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I have got a ficus, presumably Ficus benjamina variegata. It is not in the best shape, presumably because it was a bit overwatered.

What confuses me is that it drops leaves (a bad sign) and at the same time it grows new branches (presumably a good sign). Should I just let it happen? Or should I chop off the new branches to encourage it to grow leaves on the existing branches?

my ficus

I am (now) aware of the general ficus caring advice: no draughts, no changes in room temperature, no moving around, and daylight but no direct sunlight, water when the surface of the potting medium feels just about dry to the touch, then watered well, but not left sitting in water in any outer tray or pot after 30 minutes - thanks to How can I revive these house plants.

  • The answer given under the question you link to completely applies to your question, so follow that advice, including checking whether its pot bound. I'd cut your one down by two thirds to about 8/10 binches, and remove any dead branches. Repot as necessary, use a balanced liquid fertilizer (baby bio or similar) weekly or bi -weekly – Bamboo Jan 31 at 23:35
  • @Bamboo : thanks! are suggesting to cut all branches so that the plant is only 8-10 inches high? should baby bio be used during the winter? – Yulia V Feb 1 at 0:05
  • If you cut it back now, you will need to use liquid fertilizer to help it get over the shock and give it encouragement to put on new growth. Be prepared for it to take some time though. You can wait another few weeks and do it then if you prefer - I feed most of my foliage houseplants (except succulents) once a month in winter, then weekly or fortnightly from about mid spring through to midsummer, then reduce down to once a month again. – Bamboo Feb 1 at 0:08

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