I got a Ficus Ginseng fresh from the store a couple of weeks ago.

This is placed a bit further away from the window, getting moderate sunlight, especially now in autumn and winter. My impression is that I do not water the plant too much, the soil is mildly moist but not wet or soaked, the bottom of the pot does not hold water, I do not drown the plant in water.

Note in the images of the truck that there seems to be moisture crawling up the trunk, there is a clear line where the moisture stops and also the bottom of the trunk feels more moist to touch than the top. Is this due to too much water? What is going on there?

Perhaps once every 2 weeks I spray the entire plant with tab water from an aerosol/spraying can being super careful, this so that water can be consumed over the leaves. I stop once little droplets are on top and under the leaves, like gentle rain.

However I noticed that the plant is now loosing leaves, some fresh and fully green and apparently healthy, others with brown sprinkled dots, others already fully brown. Here are some photos of what is happening with the plant. I smelled the soil but it does not smell like mushroom or rotten, rather just fresh, like outside in the forest.

I do have a Sanlight Q4W and am considering placing the plant under it with a lot of space from the light of course, this to be able to supply the plant with better light, on all spectrums.

There are still new light green leaves coming from the top of the plant what I am happy about, though my concern is that fully darker green and healthy leaves are apparently being shaken off by the plant. When I move the pot or give it just a gentle nudge the leaves are falling off.

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1 Answer 1


This may be a partial answer, but I suspect there are root problems. Notice that "line" you mentioned, saying the trunk is darker just under it? If you gently scratch the outer bark with your fingernail (as little as possible), you may see the color of the inner layer of the bark. You may even compare the color above and below the "line" for reference.

Green = alive

brown = dead

If you have a root rot, which has crawled all the way above the soil, the color is not just brown, but dark brown, almost black. You should consider growing from cuttings taken from a healthy tissue and throw away the bottom part.

If the rot is further down, it does not hurt to take the plant out without disturbing the root ball (just keep the potting soil around it) and check the health of the roots. At this occasion, you may see how much moisture it is holding. Ficus trees are known for their vigorous root system. It even happened to me once that a ficus tree died from seemingly overwatering. However, the root system (which tends to go down) was sufficiently large to clog the drainage holes. For resolving root rot, just take-out as much of the rotten fibrous roots as you can, cutting up into the healthy tissue, leaving no infected tissue attached.

If no root rot is the culprit, it most likely started shedding leaves after it moved to a new location. Just give it time to adapt. You may move it under the growlights you have. Another reason is triggered by the shortening days of winter, triggering the response to an impending dry season in its habitat. source. However, there is a fine line between dry and overly dry, so if no root rot is found you may increase watering slightly.

  • thank you, I will have time on the weekend to look at this further and then post more images, also of the roots, see what can be done, what I can tell you now, it is loosing leaves, lots of them..
    – lowtechsun
    Dec 4, 2020 at 7:43

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