This Old House on PBS has long been one of my favorite programs. It's unfortunate that the producers of the program didn't know enough about indoor plants to cut this video.
The houseplant teacher in this segment of Ask This Old House is a retail sales person from Mahoney's Garden Center in Boston. She is a smooth (and fast) talker but the video is chock full of tired old mythology.
Just about everything she says in the video is open to critique. I'll save it for a separate post.
The most egregious thing she has to say is about Ficus trees (02:15). She calls them the number one plant that people ask for but calls them "difficult".
She obviously doesn't know how growers acclimate Ficus trees. They may be grown in full sun, but they are shade acclimated prior to shipping. If Mahoney's is selling unacclimated Ficus trees, my advice is to not buy them there.
This is the narrative.
Roger Cook (the landscaper on Ask This Old House): So, what is the number one plant that people ask for when they come to see you.
Mahoney’s Rep: The number one plant they ask for is the Ficus! People see them in offices, they see them in malls and want that tree look in their homes.
But you know Rog, the reality is they are not easy plants. They’re difficult. You bring it home…this is what happens (shakes tree)…the leaves start to fall.
Roger: So this is grown in full sunlight and then we bring it up here and it doesn’t get as much sunlight.
Mahoney’s Rep: That’s right and it will drop all this dense foliage that’s been grown in Florida. It’s in the middle. It will all fall out when you bring it in your house…and sometimes it continues and continues and continues.
Roger: I know and some of the interior plant companies actually rotate these when they get thin.
Mahoney’s Rep: Right….it’s deceiving. Gee, you think…boy that plant looks good in that office. But…they switch it.