enter image description hereThis plant was very and thriving. Over the last few weeks it began to drop it's leaves and form a crust on the pot & some of it's bark. How do I fix the problem?

  • Can you add a photo please?
    – Bamboo
    Jul 23, 2019 at 14:51
  • @Bamboo - Photo added
    – Christine
    Jul 23, 2019 at 15:09
  • Are there drainage holes in that pot and how long has the plant been in it? How does the rest of the plant look?
    – Bamboo
    Jul 23, 2019 at 15:28
  • @Bamboo - No drainage holes. It's been in this pot for about a year & a half. It was doing really well and a few weeks ago it turned a bad corner. I was thinking of re-potting it with a pot with drainage.
    – Christine
    Jul 23, 2019 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


This is a crust of the naturally occurring salts in the water. Clay is porous and as water moves from the wet inside to outside and evaporates the salts are left behind.

They can be removed with a scrub brush soaked in vinegar.

The Ficus benjamina (probably "Starlight" cultivar) does not look well but might grow new leaves.

It looks over watered. Is there drainage in the pot?

  • No drainage. It was doing very well for a long time & a few weeks ago starting dropping leaves. I have been watering it the same way for a year & a half.
    – Christine
    Jul 23, 2019 at 15:47

I suggest you repot into a different container with drainage holes, because, yes, the soil looks wet.

The other thing is, I can see white insects, but can't tell what they are - there are a couple hiding under the dead leaves, plus another on the side of the pot in the photo. They might be leafhoppers, but I'm only guessing... which might mean your plant needs spraying with at least neem oil, although it would be better to ID the insects. On the other hand, they could be associated with the dank, wet soil conditions, hard to say.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.