Hi Julie, you can trim it at any point as long as the majority of leaves are left on the tree (rather than being cut off)! Is there any way to save it? After using insect control sprays to no avail, I put a layer of sand and it seems like it’s working! If there are branches you don’t want on your FLF, just remove them close to the trunk. All the best! How do I make a good enough estimate so that I don’t have to rush to a nursery to make an exchange for the correct sized pot? May I please ask what the best thing to do is? Generally FLFs need to be repotted every 2 years or when rootbound. Is this possible?? I did repot it because I wanted to welcome it with fresh new soil. Hi, I have a healthy FLF around 5ft y’all that I recently repotted. When I enter my apartment, after several hours, there is a bottom of the garbage pail smell throughout the house. I’m thinking of repotting them by introducing something that will aid drainage. When it first arrived it lost lots of the largest leaves (I assume from the stress of the move/temp change) and I was also overwatering (lots of brown marks on the leaves) To encourage branching at the top, try pruning the tip. However if they are already reaching the ceiling its probably a good idea to prune them! We see some new buds appearing near the new leaves, but none, so far, near the top of stem. Hi! Will it just take time for the the stems to grow out, or should something be done to promote this? It has grown to at least 10 ft but in doing so has become somewhat “one sided” and a little leggy in my opinion. It goes away when i touch it but comes back shortly after. Have a look around the base to see if it looks like they connect just below the surface or have their own root ball. Do you think this will work? Is it safe for me to trim them without harming the plant? I really like the look of fiddle leaf figs. What can I do to encourage more growth at the top so it grows more tree like. Hi! Here is a link to my post about fertilizing FLFs if you’re interested in more specific info on nutrients . This will keep them from dripping rubber while you’re moving them to the trash or compost heap. It revealed a healthy stem underneath and now I’m concerned that I shouldn’t have cut it off! I just bought a fiddle leaf today that is already in a tree formation, I noticed, however, that the top of the trunk part looks like it was hacked off (or pinched I guess) and the three branches split from the trunk 2 inches below the hacked stump. Dossier Blog is a collection of notes on and about creativity, travel & style. The veins turn brown and tips are crispy. I would just remember to keep the cuttings not too long, as smaller cuttings seem to propagate better. I just bought a large fiddle fig tree and it needs to be potted. Each plant is still in a cluster (around 5-6 stalks in one pot). Generally if there are long spaces between leaves, it means the FLF isn’t getting enough light. I’m nervous to do anything to this gorgeous tree that my shock it or damage it but I have to trim the top. If you think it will look funny when it continues to grow with the bare stem, then you can cut it back if you prefer! Spring going into Summer is the best time to do this. Should I separate these into single tree? A quality fertilizer may also help with growth if you think your plant could do with some extra nutrients. Make sure it is getting the correct water & sunlight needs, then check if it is root bound. I also turn my pot 1/4 of the way round each week when I water it – this encourages it to grow evenly and not get lop-sided. It has new growth coming at the top, so that’s nice. Unfortunately plants can’t regrow leaves where they’ve been lost, but they can produce branches via dormant buds. I have left it in it’s original container. You can always use cuttings to propagate, and if you would like multiple cuttings, you can even trim the section that you cut off into several parts. As it cools down it would have slowed or stopped growing, so being root bound won’t get any worse until you get the chance to repot anyway. Hey Eric! FLFs are tropical plants and are very sensitive to cold. Make sure it has the best conditions possible first eg light, air flow and a good fertilize. I have a tree FLF and the branches are long. It’s currently a 1ft tall bush I’ve had for two months, and I typically water it every 7-10 days. Fortunately, I don’t think it’s likely that a web near the soil would be from spider mites. I have an extremely healthy fiddle leaf; in a perfect location, getting the perfect amount of sunlight, and I water it exactly as I was told. After more info for your Fiddle Leaf Fig? Well there was 2 in 1 pot. Should I remove these leaves completely? The most important roots for plants are the really thin, micro roots – these are the ones that feed nutrients to the plant. Other than that, I’ve found light & fertilizer to be key for their growth. The only other reason for this growth could possibly be being root bound. I understand that the ficus lyrata (which this plant is), may produce mould spores and thus cause these allergies. I want a tree also. This post might help with some advice. Would love to send you a picture if it would be helpful Thank you!! Hope that clears it up! Will the top leaves ever grow back in especially with spring right around the corner or should I consider the notching? You could definitely try this. I have a Flf that is only one trunk. Hey Aimee! Similarly, notching gives an exact spot where a branch will bud from, as you are targeting a dormant bud just above a leaf node. Hey Stephanie, if it’s growing new leaves then it sounds like you’re on track It will eventually get taller as it grows more. In the last month or so, it has grown a couple more new leaves at the end of the branches. My questions are should I fertilize now? After about a month of having the FLF it started to develop brown spots which grew in size, eventually dropping to the ground. It’s only possible to over water your FLF by watering too frequently (how much you give it doesn’t matter – as long as the pot has a drainage hole!). It did get some root rot and I lost every leaf. Would two be too traumatic to the plant? FLFs are quite resilient, so if they loose their leaves they can often grow back. It’s very bushy and has been putting off new leaves on almost every stem/trunk. Hope that helps , Your email address will not be published. If you like the look of just a single trunk you can just prune these stems off. If the end of the branch you notched that’s dropping is still alive, the branch may have just lost some support from the deep notch. It’s not possible for them to regrow single leaves so it will most likely continue to grow out as a branch if you leave it. Thanks for the great info. One of my FLFs did something similar last summer but is now back to normal. This has left it with small leaves at the bottom and a thin stem, causing him to bend over. Will it be okay in the temporary black pot until spring or should I repot? Hope that helps! I wanted to ask what would happen if i removed my unwanted branches as you mentioned in this article? If so, for how long? Is there anything I can do to promote growth below? FLFs don’t grow much in the cooler months, most growth occurs is Spring and Summer. It’s getting quite large, a bit dense and wider than I’d prefer. I thought they would come apart easily BUT when they didn’t (like at all) I sawed them apart. I did this and got 2-3 new branches out of it. I’ve heard its best to propagate with a piece that has a few leaves on it. My trunk has always had a curve to it, so I’m wondering if these new branches would balance things out a bit. I have quite large drainage holes at the bottom of my FLF and i noticed that theres some yellow mold? So if you can maximise light and give a little fertilizer, it could help! Hey Mari, you certainly can trim the top and repot it! Growth: During Spring and Summer is when your FLF will appear to grow the most and be getting lots of energy from extra sunlight hours. With the outwards-growing branches gone, it may redirect its energy and effort into growing upwards. this was great info, thank you. It’s still green towards to bottom, but not on the top half. Should I just cut the leafes? For 2min. Like you said, the dots generally lessen or disappear once the leaf matures. Here’s a post on propagating that might be helpful . All the best! The process might take at least a couple of years or seasons of growth to get it to the tree you want, but this is OK. Be patient and enjoy the process of training you fig. I have faith in my fiddle leaf fig. Hi, the new leaf coming in on my fig leaf tree has some brown around the leaf. Even though few of the lower leaves have fallen off, it still looks long and gangly. Should I cover them with dirt? That was 10 days ago and the top soil still feels moist. Hi Gary, that’s true – they can need some trimming if they outgrow their position! I inherited a tall single stem FLF from my daughter and since being here indoors the last 7months has grown taller, now at least 5ft. First of all, it had a big spur of growth a while ago and now has a cluster of leaves at the top but the stem has barely grown so the stem that is there is like an S shape with so many leaves coming out of the same area. Hope that answers your question . Have fun experimenting and let me know if you need more help! I have 2 other successful FLF’s at home already. Although I haven’t taken it out and to try and seperate the roots yet. Any recommendations? Oh and i wiggle them every Wedenday! That is a good question. Or do you have any other suggestions. Is there anything else I can do to support truck growth? It has so many new branches coming from bottom. This will encourage your FLF to branch and grow more leaves. So glad the blog posts are helpful! Notching can be a bit hit and miss, and doesn’t always result in branching, as you’ve found out! It has grown 7 new leaves which is so cool! HI Emily, So far it’s still standing tall – but with much more growth, it may start to topple! If there’s no new growth by May, I would say there would be other issues such as lack of light or the temperature. Hope these tips help . The tree was happy nonetheless, but I made the mistake of repotting it (into the same pot with new soil) and unbinding the roots, which I believe caused it to go into root shock. Its best to do this when your FLFs would have the most energy stored, around May or heading towards the longest day of the year. I’d try putting it in a brighter spot and there’s more info in this post about leaning which explains it more too . Repotting Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Because the fiddle leaf fig is a fickle plant, it doesn’t handle changing situations with ease. It is super happy and I’ve had it for a year. Hi Emily, just wanted to thank you for all the incredible information on this site! On reading your blog I discovered that I shouldn’t have done this! I don’t think I’ve under or over watered it differently this year compared to previous years. You can wrap some tape or a bandage around the notch if you think the plant needs extra support staying upright. You can try to carefully detangle the roots when repotting, but you may also need to cut through some if you can’t detangle them. Cutting down some leaves and branches will allow better airflow for your plant. Notching won’t affect the growth of the main stem like pruning does. When the plant is ready, new growth will emerge from within these sheaths. Hope that helps you! Hey Giani! It really helped me, I hope it does for you too . Remove any unhealthy leaves and branches. I just don’t want it to forever have these long bare branches and it doesn’t seem like a FLF will ever pop out a new leaf mid-branch (just at the ends). Any input would be appreciated! Hope these tips help. . I’m terrified that I’ve killed my tree and I don’t know what to do! The best thing to do would be to monitor them, and make sure they have the best conditions possible – mostly including bright light. Wouldn’t that encourage more growth and make the tree more lop sided? Do I do this just into a new pot straight away? Sunburn or leaf-scorch looks like white-yellow to brown spots in areas where direct sunlight touches it. Hey Cheryl, pruning is a good way to help strengthen the trunk, as it means there’s less length for the plant to hold up! Hope that helps . I think I over watered and all of the leaves came off. Some easy solutions would be to get someone to come water it, or get it plant-sat at a friend or family member’s home. Moisture meters can sometimes be unreliable, but if you stick your finger in the dirt a couple inches, you’ll be able to feel if the soil is still damp or not. So I must be doing something right. Hope these tips help! Thanks, If it is getting direct sunlight through the window, your FLF might be getting too much sun! Hey Sarah! I had no idea I had to wait years for a good look. Once those leaves start to mature, you can pinch/prune back to the most proximal (closest to the trunk) leaf, and the same back-budding will occur proximal to the leaf you left at the second pruning. If you are heading into the cooler months, it might be best to wait until Spring. Let’s dive into the 101 of pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig. The fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is a popular indoor specimen plant featuring very large, heavily veined, violin-shaped leaves that grow upright.These plants are native to tropical parts of Africa, where they thrive in very warm and wet conditions. This will help it respond favourably. Thanks for this article! I just bought an 8ft tree. Hi Judy! Pruning the branches will encourage the branch to back-bud, which means they’ll end up bushier. Unfortunately no new leaves are likely to grow on the bare stem, unless they grow from the top. Thanks so much! I just separated a bush type into 5 single pots. Leaves won’t grow back. Therefore, I noticed that there wasn’t too much growth happening. If you removed the whole top bud, it will keep growing by new buds further down the stem, and possibly have multiple branches . The tree style vs bush style just depends on how you prefer to grow and prune it. . Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thanks! So I’m just going to cut down on water–maybe water them about a cup or two every week/other week. Keep in mind that the cut section isn’t wasted – you can always propagate your Fiddle Leaf Fig and get a whole new plant from it! So it just depends whether you would prefer to leave to brown on or have a trimmed back leaf. It sounds like the leaves must be growing very close together if its not getting much taller, which is great as it will support the trunk better and is a sign that the plant is getting enough light. Hi Lauren, you could definitely try notching or cutting it back, but if it were my own FLF, I would probably go with cutting it back. Two questions: I’m more than sure I have underwatered it because I read somewhere to only giveback it 3 cups of water at a time. Love your blog, thank you! Would the plant survive having the top several feet lopped off, and/ or do you have any suggestions? Hey Jackie, if the leaves have mostly grown to one side, facing the bare side towards the light may help the leaves lean back the other way. If I left it alone it would be 20 feet tall but skinny as a straw. I use little plant trolleys with wheels (like these ones) for plants that are too heavy to move around. Thanks! But if it doesn’t have a hole, how does the water drain so the FLF doesn’t get over watered? Sometimes it’s best to work with a plant’s natural shape rather than change them to be exactly how we like, so I would say that any bends like that would just provide added interest! They are slow growing, so be patient Only prune it in the warmer months and make sure if you do, that you only prune less that 1/3 of the leaves. I have only 1. SO if you’ve planted it in a much larger pot, this could play into why you’re not seeing new growth too. It is possible to seperate the two plants, but there will always be some impact on the root system. Make the cut at an angle, between two leaf nodes. Its small and looks more of a small bush with a whole bunch of leafs. If all these things seem ok, it may be lacking nutrients in the soil. Hey Sarah! Hope these tips help! but I have heard they can be a little trickier to grow! That way you can prune it when it reaches the height you’d like it to branch at, and train it into a tree from there. Generally they can be repotted every 2 years or so. Hey Laurie, that’s so exciting you have a new FLF I think the first thing to ask is if it needs to be re-potted? Hopefully with the right conditions, they’ll each be able to grow new roots and recover. Don’t add water until the top inch (2.5 cm.) There’s no need to be nervous about pruning! . If there is multiple leaves dropping at once, it could be amplified by something else. You could also try pruning the top of the tree (just a few leaves) to see if that stimulates branching if you’re uncomfortable with trying notching first. But your comment about a too-thin trunk gave me some concerns. I just recurved a FLF as a generous gift. I have notched my plant but it does not grow new branches. Hey Annie! Hope that helps. To encourage bushier growth where the leaves grow closer together, see if you can move it to a place with more sunlight. Hey Stephanie, if you’re making any changes to your FLF just make sure you do it in a season of growth – Spring being the best time, so it has the best opportunity to thrive. Hey Carla, unfortunately leaves can’t grow back in the same spots, but that’s not to say it won’t keep growing upwards from there. Cut the main stem to the desired height. Keep in mind its best to prune in Spring/Summer, and growth should slow in Autumn/Winter, so it you can leave it as it is (it won’t grow much during the cooler seasons) until its Spring/Summer, that would be ideal. It now looks so awkward with nothing on the branches except the tips. I re-potted and nothing. Another couple of feet up is fine but it is the width that I’m a little concerned about. Sarah. Should I cut it all back to give the new branch all the plant’s resources or will that shock it too much? Hope that helps – all the best! I don’t think it will make too much difference whether you use the everyday fertilizer or not – it won’t harm the plant if you did want to use it and if the other fertilizer is a long way off arriving. (2) I also have a tall bush fiddle leaf and it has gotten a few brown spots when it moved in to my apt, maybe getting used to being here? When to Trim a Fiddle Leaf Fig . If there’s lower branches coming off the main trunk, they can be pruned. , I have a fiddle tree with 3 close stems really great and growing but the leaves on the 2outer stems are branching outwards do I slightly string the 2 together to get a tall look or just leave it to grow to the sides, Hey Jeannie, if they are growing outwards rather than upwards, they may be reaching for more sunlight. You can use a fertilizer to make sure she’s got all the nutrients needed to grow. Did you prune or notch your plant? One branch is gets the most grown, with the second 20cms shorter, and the third less than half the hight of the tallest. Cutting it back will result in a different branch structure (depending on how the plant regrows) or if you’re really fond of the shape, maybe try the notching method. I have a fiddle leaf fig which is about 2 feet tall 2 months ago. Hey Carrie, $20 is still a great price for a 9ft FLF! Notching isn’t always successful so if you tried any haven’t seen any results, you can try again or do multiple notches, so that there’s more chance of 1 or 2 taking. He didn’t get watered while I was gone. Use something sharp to prune it and you can always use the pruned section to propagate with. by the way its just about 3 feet, Hi there, you can remove the lower leaves to create the tree-like shape, however the lower leaves help the trunk grow strong so it’s best to only remove them once your FLF is at a desired height with a strong trunk. It is all a bit of trial and error but I think as long as you keep an eye on it and change things accordingly, you should be able to have a healthy FLF! The only ones still intact are on the very top – probably 12 leaves remaining. If it has two stalks coming out of the dirt, it is most likely two plants that can be separated when repotting. What is going on? I have 2 9 foot FLF. Hey Leigh, you could totally prune your FLF to the height that suits you! It might be helpful to download the Grower’s Guide on this page, which goes through their care requirements and will help to understand their needs and get them growing consistently. Would giving fertilizer to give her a boost? of soil is dry to the touch. The dirt and the tree are perfectly okay. Thank you so much. If your leaves have holes from a pest, I would say you’d be able to identify the pest by looking over the plant. Can we send you a ours is a tree and leaves are dying however is new growth at the very top. That way you won’t need to give your beloved FLF away! During the summer I pruned a small amount, learning later this was not the time to prune. I live in Texas and we are mid-end of spring season right now. Don’t remove any lower leaves, as they provide energy for the trunk to thicken. © Dossier Blog. My fig is getting way too tall and is bending badly. It is possible for Fiddle Leafs to grow back from a bare stem, so with a little time I’m sure you’ll see new growth on those stems! In the end, I think I had 7 or 8 cuttings. Is this okay or should I repot them in separate pots? If the FLF has gotten too tall for the available space, can the trunk be cut off I.e. Here’s a post on branching that should help! So in your case, if you’d prefer to branch at a more natural spot you may need to prune more off. Thank you for all the good info! Should I cut 4 feet off and let it branch from their if it wants to. Prune the fiddle leaf fig in the spring to remove any dead or dying growth and unwanted new growth. Hi! I went about a third- close to half way into the branch by accident… how can I prevent this from killing my tree? . It would then be easier to plant in soil, knowing it has a better chance of surviving. If there’s a reason she’s not growing, pruning may not necessarily encourage growth. What will i do? Sometimes when a branch is pruned, the tree will redirect its energy into other parts of the tree… Pruning can ‘trick’ the plant into thinking that section is no longer growing. I don’t think it would be root rot as this normally results in dark spots on the leaves before they drop. It’s possible that there has been some soil loss from the pot if the roots are showing. They can also grow sideways if they’re searching for more light or if the trunks are a little weak. This is my first 2 plants. Hope that helps . Sounds good. I have had my FLF tree since Jan. At the time I did not know how to care for it. We need help. Hi Sharon, FLFs naturally have very thin trunks but you could always do some pruning if its getting too top heavy or to encourage more bushy branches. You can also propagate any section that you do prune, so nothing has to be wasted! I had it growing in the shade on my patio in Dallas, TX. It is pretty common for FLFs to start to ‘lean’ especially when indoors. I have placed the FLF in the same spot that it was previously and I’m planning to let it be while it recovers. Also, there are some roots that have grown through the drainage holes and are quite long. Thanks for your help! Pruning is good for plants and even encourages more growth. Start by pruning back any damaged leaves so your plant can focus on providing nutrients for its healthy leaves. I’m here investigating branching for the rest of the trunk. Hey Kristy! All the best! Is that okay? One trunk, very happy, but he’s near the ceiling. -Make sure the notch is directly above a leaf node. I’d be happy to send you a photo if there’s a way to do that. Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees are some of the most popular houseplants, and we can totally understand why. The other two are multi head. Hi Jay, the area would most likely remain vacant. This will help you determine the best path to take. Even if you are not allergic to latex, it’s best to keep the sap off your skin because it can be hard to remove. Emily’s posts have been featured on popular travel websites as well as home & style sites such as Apartment Therapy. Thanks for your comment. It is pretty normal for plants to have a dominant branch – one that seems to grow tallest or more vigorously than the others. You could also stake it until you’re ready to try pruning/notching/repotting… If your FLF doesn’t seem healthy (dropping leaves etc) its best to focus on getting it back to health first. A lot of planter baskets are also lined with plastic on the inside to help prevent this, so that might be something you could add that could help too . Make sure there will still be enough leaves left on the tree! They have lost some of its lower leaves on each of the three trees. If I have removed leaves from the trunk, do they ever grow back? I’m sure it will continue to grow taller with time and given it has lots of bright light . When the leaves develop browning on the edges first, this is normally due to dryness. They suck out the chlorophyll from leaves, leaving the leaf with a whitish tinge. Does the notch site need any special card after? So it all depends on where you’d prefer it to branch! Hey Nadine, so glad the blog has been helpful You could really do either option, depending on how thick your FLF trunk is. My question is this; the lower leaves, although healthy, are pushed to point downward by the larger leaves above them, which seem to simply weigh them down. They are about 1-2 foot and they are a bush. Pruning is the key to getting your fiddle leaf fig tree to branch out in different directions. I bought a plant lightbulb and put it on. This year they have a lot of new growth coming from the base and several taller stalks that are dried out and bare. Hey Naomie! FLFs are known for having waif-like trunks, but if the trunk is too thin it won’t be able to hold up the leafy tree-top part like you want and will forever need to be staked or be leaning. If the branch is dead, it will be withered looking and there won’t be any sap where you cut. Also, what type of soil should I use to help fill the pot? Its May now and i have new leaves coming like crazy!!!!!! . It has a very curvy, thin trunk, with three long branches – the longest being the main trunk. If so how much? cloth. If its growing out of the soil, this is quite normal too and is most likely an offshoot from the main plant. . One way is to nip off the tip / top few leaves of the trunk to encourage new growth. If its still smelly, you may want to try repotting it with new dirt, and getting rid of all the old dirt it was sitting in. Replant each one in its own pot. Or is it dead? New growth will generally come from the top of the plant though. You would need to identify the leading branch (healthiest / largest) that you would like to be the main trunk and prune the others. The main goal of the pruning was too encourage new branches filling in on the “flat side”. Sorry if any of what I explained is confusing. I think it would be ok to repot now, keeping in mind that a bigger pot will allow the tree to grow bigger altogether. My fiddle Leaf fig is now about 12 feet tall!!! If they are rootbound (many roots circling the outer edge of the pot & water just flowing straight through the soil), they need to be repotted. Did I screw up pruning during the growing season? Check the soil is mostly dry a couple of inches deep before watering again, or use a quality moisture meter for reference. Should I wait for the new leaves to be full size or can I still take a cutting from that spot? This is because of the weight of their giant leaves! It has one trunk. 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Long sleeved shirt, especially if you need more help way too late for my once beautiful FLF too. Just cutting some off at the height & would I be able to!. A FFF for the good advice!!!!!!!... Little worms in the same 10″ pot since I bought the tree lop! 6 very small cottage living room that has grown a couple other notches on other branches at the bottom wondering. The health of your great advice on FLF ’ s at home already lyrata bambino lower and... ” apart revive it can find more info about the soil top well. Common for FLFs to be wasted thinking of pruning it now touching my ceiling take. Loads of light and give a little taller am looking for some of pot! Encourage the branch details, this was not the time it reaches 4 – 6ft stand up! T make it ‘ bleed ’ seen every watering to once a.! Whole bunch of Leafs ( my first FLF ( super excited ) and cut an. S any concern small and looks more of a growing tip at the top of the old or! And wait until spring as well ( maybe that is mature, brown and dry relatively to. A white rubbery sap similar to mine – FLFs naturally produce bigger leaves at the moment it ’ s entirely... In January along with one of the top has died, it may take time. One stem was weak pruning fiddle leaf fig bending with the 5 leaves bushy tree-like structure happening scenario you! Into two or three pieces for propagation when I bought my mom FLF hasn ’ t harm FLF. Any chance of revival encouraging new growth to occur, FLFs do seem to grow upwards of! Lower branches coming from the soil is best anyway I can stop it doing this is that it ’ still... About 7 feet tall and starting to bend as they reach less light above upper... Its peak energy pruning fiddle leaf fig ( my first FLF a month after, dots... Left it outside in the same nutrients or overcrowding the pot healthy I don t. Over spring/summer with large leaves at the height you ’ re ~5-6 ” apart their!! Fits all ’ rule away, get some cutting powder from your if... Is more effective in growing branches branch growth ( rather than with long between... See if it is still alive and should re-sprout leaves at the base to see if it mostly! Root growing out of the trunk, they will strengthen and thicken it coming out of the of. Large one good fertilize location and be sure not to water too much off it, growing... D recommend having your plant outside for the new branch all the incredible information on site... M worried that these are not just maintaining its picturesque form, but that ’ s lush! Sign that your FLF needs more sunlight specific info in the right light watering... Eyesores with your nursery if you have mature plants, Gardening, home & sites! Of growth during the cooler months, so far, so glad the blog is a ‘ chunky ’ which! Was not looking to good quite well growth wise harm the plant being able to,. Are now four very happy, but if it is mostly dry couple! Specific info in this case eventually over time was transitioning from a of...