GWO-Ficus-1.jpg
Credit: iStock / ihoe

GWO-Ficus-1.jpg

Q: My ficus plant looks healthy, but the soil smells musty when you water it. Should I re-pot it or is there a way to sweeten the soil?

Sprinkling in some activated charcoal in the soil may help. Make sure your pot has a drainage hole at the bottom.

Indoor plants should only be repotted into another pot one size up; for example, 6 inch moved to an 8 inch, not 6 inch to a 12 inch pot.

Make sure the pot is not standing in water after 30 minutes. Any excess water in the saucer should be discarded to avoid over watering. Some potting soil may appear to be a bit heavy or smelly; try adding some more material for aeration (no more than 20 percent by volume); for example, pumice or perlite. Excessive perlite in potting mix will tend to float to the surface.