The Q&A Archives: Repotted Plant is Leaning

Question: I have a ficus tree approximately 4 feet high. I recently repotted it, and it's green and growing but, it's slumping way over. If I brace it with 3 or 4 strings, it stays straight, but I don't want to leave it like this forever. Is there anything I can do to help it grow straight on its own again?

Answer: It sounds like there may have been a pocket of loose soil beneath the root ball that settled after you repotted and watered your tree. I suggest that you give it another try, this time making sure the soil is well settled in the pot and that the tree can stand tall and straight on its own. You don't have to pack the soil in, but make sure it is firm. Watering the soil before you put the tree in the pot will help settle it further. Since ficus don't do well in very wet soil, you might wait a day between settling the soil with water and moving the tree to the new pot.

I know it's a lot of work to repot a 4' ficus, but it will be worth it in the long run. Fortunately, ficus don't mind being potbound, so you won't have to repot it again for a long while!

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