Indoor ficus – leaves turn yellow and drop
Hi. I hope you can help. My indoor focus that I have had for 15 years is loosing a lot of leaves. They are turning yellow and falling off. The plant has lived in the same location with no changes to its environment for all that time. The plant was reported this summer to a bigger pot and the root ball is solid. The photo shows the top two thirds of the soil being dry whilst the bottom third is wet. I don’t know if I’m over watering or under watering. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. David From Wiltshire.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This does not look like it needs to be repotted. This shrub will enjoy being rootbound and likely develop issues unless very carefully repotted. What kind of soil did you use? Many potting soils are way to rich for this to go into. You will need a very light mix.
These don't like to be wet for very long. It can be very hard to gauge how much water you will need for the new soil. Since it does not have enough roots to consume water, it will sit in the bottom. This is a chance for infection.
As for now, you should not feed this for quite awhile, and let those extra nutrients be taken up. Disturbing the roots anymore will likely cause more damage, so this will just have to be carefully watered a little less until it recovers. In spring, it should start to regrow new leaves in response to day length increase. It will be an excruciating wait until then.