How To Save An Overwatered Fiddle Leaf Fig

Your once-beautiful Fiddle Leaf Fig may have started to produce brown or yellow leaves, or its leaves may have started to droop, drop off, or develop red spots.

These are signs that your plant is receiving too much water, but how do you fix the issue?

Not to worry! You’ll have all the tools you need to restore your Fiddle Leaf Fig to health thanks to the knowledge in the following article.

Brown spots will appear all over the leaves of a fiddle leaf fig if you overwater it. Additionally, your plant’s leaves could drop off or become yellow, and it might cease developing. This harm to your plant is brought on by root rot, nutritional shortage, mineral buildup, and other issues that might result from overwatering.

  • Set up a watering routine. To allow roots to dry out, water your plant at the same time each week.
  • Use a soil and gravel potting combination, and make sure the pot has plenty of drainage holes.
  • To make sure you only water your plant when it requires it, use a moisture meter.

What transpires if a fiddle leaf fig is overwatered?

Symptoms of overwatering include brown spots or shaded regions along the borders and in the middle of the leaves, as well as yellowing foliage and leaf drop (lower leaves often dropping first).

One of the most frequent issues with fiddle leaf figs is overwatering. A fungal condition known as root rot might occur if your plant receives too much water. You’ll likely see spots and leaf drop on older leaves first if root rot is the cause.

How to Fix It: Make sure your plant receives enough of indirect sunshine and let it totally dry out before rehydrating to prevent root rot. With clean shears, you can remove any dark and mushy roots that may have developed as well as cut the leaves’ brown edges and patches.

Brown stains beginning on the edges of the leaves, curling leaves from the edges inward, and leaf drop are signs of underwatering (can affect all leaves on the plant, not just the lower leaves).

Dry, hard soil that retreats and shrinks away from the edge of the pot is another sign that your fiddle leaf figs are underwatered.

Follow a regular watering routine to fix it. The top inch of soil around fiddle leaf figs usually has to be watered once per week or when it seems dry to the touch. Try running a humidifier nearby or sprinkling the leaves with water once every one to three days to raise the humidity in the air to help counteract dry air.

Watering Tips

When it comes to their watering routine, fiddle leaf figs need consistency. Set a weekly reminder to give your Fiddle Leaf a drink. By following this timetable, you can prevent overwatering or underwatering your plant. However, it is crucial to check that the pot your plant is in has adequate drainage, since if it does not, your watering schedule may become messed up.

When its roots rot, can a fiddle leaf fig recover?

The huge, lush leaves of fiddle leaf figs make them Instagram-famous plants because they enhance the appearance of any indoor environment. They do considerably better outside and are not the easiest plants to grow indoors. However, as long as you provide your plant the finest cultural care available, it ought to be alright.

Root rot in figs causes soft, mushy, brown or black roots as well as browning leaves, drooping stems, foul-smelling soil, algae, and mold growth.

You need to repot your fiddle leaf fig right away if it develops root rot. Remove the plant from its previous container, wash out the dirt, cut off any rotting roots, and then plant it in a fresh container with enough drainage holes and soil that drains properly. To help the plant recuperate after being repotted, water it.

Use porous, airy soil, water the plant only when the soil is dry, inspect the drainage pores to make sure they are not blocked, and aerate the soil by poking holes in it with a chopstick to prevent root rot.

What does a fiddle look like when it is overwatered?

Brown patches towards the center and around the edges of the leaves of Fiddle Leaf Figs are a telltale indicator of excessive water and/or root rot. Too much water is nearly always indicated by many yellow.

A general browning with small dark patches or shaded areas that can swiftly spread from one leaf to another over the course of a week is another sign of overwatered fiddles.

You might also see that your plant loses its lower leaves first, as was indicated before. Given that plants typically safeguard their new growth and shed their older leaves first, this could be an indication of root rot.

How may root rot in a fiddle leaf fig be detected?

These dots might be anything from dark brown to black in color. They may begin at the leaf’s base, close to the stem (fungal root rot is more prevalent), or towards the leaf’s edges, moving inward. A few root rot infections begin as brown patches on the center of a leaf, resembling the spots on a dalmatian dog.

In contrast to the strong and flexible roots of a healthy plant, roots that have experienced root rot will be black and feel mushy.

Root rot is most likely the cause of a fiddle leaf fig that has brown spots and is losing leaves. Your plant may lose the unhealthy leaves until it is left with no leaves in an effort to rescue itself.

How can a fiddle leaf fig be brought back to life?

Secret No. 6: Avoid letting a sick fiddle-leaf fig tree fully dry up. Make sure any extra water drains out the bottom of the pot when watering it once or twice per week. (I water mine in the shower and keep it there for a couple of hours so the pot can drain, then I put it back on the plant saucer.)

Secret No. 7: Even if the container is so tight that roots are visible at the surface, wait to transplant it until you notice fresh growth.

In conclusion, letting your fiddle-leaf fig tree heal slowly on its own is the greatest thing you can do to ensure its survival. Give it filtered sunlight, water once a week, and warm environments (a room temperature between 60 and 90 degrees would do). Furthermore, if there is even a remote chance that the temperature may drop below freezing overnight, don’t leave it outside.

Are you also attempting to preserve your fiddle-leaf fig? The Fig and I: 10 Tips for Caring for a Fiddle-Leaf Fig has more advice. Visit Fiddle-Leaf Fig Trees: A Field Guide in our selected plant guide for Tropicals 101 for additional growing, maintenance, and design advice.

Finally, consult our Creeping Fig: A Field Guide for additional guidance on how to effectively plant, nurture, and maintain a creeping fig.

Get additional tips on planting, growing, and caring for fiddle-leaf fig trees by reading our Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree: A Field Guide.

Finally, use our Houseplants: A Field Guide to learn more about how to grow and care for different houseplants.

Are you looking for additional tropical plants for your indoor or outdoor space? With the help of Tropical Plants: A Field Guide, you can learn more about how to cultivate and care for different tropical plants.

Finally, consult our Vines & Climbers: A Field Guide for more guidance on how to cultivate and maintain a variety of vines and climbers.

How are fiddle leaves that have root rot fixed?

Although diagnosing root rot in Fiddle Leaf Figs early on is crucial if you want to save the plant, it does not always guarantee death. Remove your plant from its pot as soon as you notice any problems, and thoroughly examine the roots. Are the plants’ bases surrounded by a buildup of moisture? Are the roots becoming mushy or dark brown in color?

If so, repot your plant right away by taking the following actions:

Thoroughly rinse the roots with water. After cleaning them, use a pair of clean scissors or pruning shears to remove any that are broken.

Repot your plant in a new, well-draining container with fresh, quick-absorbing soil. To enhance drainage and aid in keeping your plant dry, you can think about placing some pebbles or a foam block at the bottom of your pot.

Because these plants are finicky about light, put your Fiddle in bright, indirect light and give it one watering. Until you are certain that the roots have dried up, do not water again. Depending on the size of the plant and the climate it lives in, this could take one to two weeks or longer. It’s usually best to err on the side of underwatering!

Repot your fiddle leaf fig in the well-draining container with new potting soil. Once more, water the plant and check to see if any extra water is draining out the bottom of the pot. then hold off. Until you are certain that the roots have had a chance to dry out, do not water again. To examine the soil at the base of your plant, you can also use a moisture meter.

Be patient and wait for the plant to stabilize since your plant may still lose a few leaves at first. Remove the leaves that have been severely damaged, and cut some of the leaves that have just minor damage to get rid of the brown edges. A good general rule is to not remove more than 30% of the plant at a time because doing so could further shock the plant. Whatever the situation, your Fiddle has a high chance of healing with a little water, light, and love!

This article was modified from Claire Akin’s Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource. For additional information on how to take care of the fiddle leaf fig, see their website.

Severe dryness

You could be better off giving up and buying a new fiddle if practically all of your leaves have dried out from extreme dehydration and several of your branches have died.

If a portion of the trunk or stem is still alive, you technically could resurrect your fiddle, but it would take a lot of time and attention. Many violin owners just don’t want to do that since then you’d have to chop off all the dead parts and essentially start over. Think of this as your “practice fiddle and begin again with a fresh, wholesome tree. Also, remember to water it this time!

Severe bacterial infection

It is quite challenging to treat bacterial infections once they have affected the majority of the leaves. Furthermore, such illnesses may really spread to your other indoor plants!

For the sake of your sanity and the wellbeing of your other houseplants, you should give up if those medium-brown blotches persist despite your efforts. If you intend to reuse the pot, make sure to carefully clean the violin before placing it in the trash so it won’t come into contact with any other plants.

Severe root rot

It could be simpler to purchase a new plant if the majority of your fiddle’s root system has rotted away or if root rot has caused your tree to lose almost all of its leaves.

Make sure to dispose of the plant away from other plants, just as you would with a bacterial problem. If you’re not careful, root rot can still spread to other houseplants even though it doesn’t spread as quickly as other bacterial illnesses do. Before utilizing the pot for another plant, make sure to give it a thorough cleaning.

Complete leaf loss

Even though the stem or trunk of your tree is still technically alive, it’s okay to buy a new plant if all or almost all of its leaves have fallen off.

It will take a lot of work to repair the tree and encourage it to grow again, and it will take a long time before your tree is restored to anything approximating its former splendor. Severe leaf loss frequently indicates a major condition that could possibly be harming the roots. It’s ok to purchase a new fiddle if you’re not up to the challenge. Nothing to judge here.

Before properly mastering fiddle leaf fig maintenance, it’s not unusual for owners to go through a few fiddles. That’s okay!

Bring that fiddle back to life if you enjoy giving plants that are close to passing away a second chance! However, it’s acceptable to give it a few attempts if all you want is a vibrant green plant to liven up your room.

Do root rot symptoms self-heal?

Wet conditions in the plant’s soil provide toxic fungi the chance to flourish, which results in the disease known as root rot. Because roots require air to function properly and prolonged immersion in water deprives them of oxygen, the roots decay. Since it’s more difficult to regulate moisture and water might become confined, houseplants in pots are more likely to develop root rot than their planted counterparts. While other causes can also contribute to root rot, overwatering is the main cause of root rot issues. So, we’ll focus on the precise method for treating root rot brought on by excessive moisture.

Root Rot Diagnosis:

You must first confirm that the roots of your plant are indeed rotting. Navigating the best remedy for your plant will be made easier by immediately removing any further potential problems. If you want to determine if your issue is genuinely indoor plant root rot, start by observing any obvious symptoms, such as:

Remember that it’s normal for older leaves to change color and fall, so pay greater attention to those younger ones. If you observe browning, yellowing, or dead leaves, it may be a sign that the roots are also dying. Wet soil and wilting foliage are two telltale signs of root rot.

Look at the saucer of the pot; if water is still there, too much water was supplied at some time, soaking the soil and roots of your plant. Standing water should never be present because it might create waterlogging of the soil and its roots.

Assess the roots at the bottom, which will have received the most water exposure, after slipping the plant out of the pot. Check the roots to see whether they are dark brown in color, squishy or spongy, or even covered in fuzzy moldy debris. These are all warning indications of rot. All of these are symptoms of weakened roots.

Root Rot Rx:

Firm roots and light colour are characteristics of healthy plants that are not rotting (usually either beige, green, or tan). The soil must be adequately moistened and the leaves must be in good condition. Once you’ve determined that your houseplant’s problem is actually root rot, it’s time to create a treatment strategy. Priorities first

1. Let the dirt dry out.

Allow the soil to air out if you’ve recently seen some standing water or a change in leaf color and are unsure whether it’s root rot yet. Allow the soil around the plant to dry out for 3-5 days. For plants that aren’t yet damaged, this technique occasionally works. Drying the soil is beneficial since plant roots require oxygen to function properly. However, if the roots of your plant are severely decomposing, go to the instructions below right away because it’s probably too late to dry the soil.

2. Get rid of all the browned leaves.

Attempting to remove any dead leaves is the first step in this process. As close to the plant’s root as you can, make sure to remove them from it.

3. Remove old soil.

The next step will be to repot. To do this, you must first dig the plant out of its present soil. As you take the plant out of the pot, carefully scoop out as much soil as you can. Brush off wet or clumpy soil being careful not to overly damage the root system.

4. Remove rotting and dead roots.

Trimming off rotten roots will be done carefully while the plant is still in its pot. Attempt to preserve as much as you can by removing dead roots and preserving good ones.

5. Replant in fresh soil.

Repot your plant next using sterile potting soil (one that is appropriate with your specific plant). Fresh soil will help ensure that any bacteria or fungi that may have developed have been largely eliminated. Additionally, it will provide nutrients that may have been lacking in the previous soil and aid in the plant’s recovery.

Remember that the plant is probably already susceptible and under stress from the root rot. And depending on how severe the damage is, repotting could make your plant much more stressed or even kill it. But given that the plant is already declining, it’s definitely worth a chance. Also, it’s actually your only opportunity. Allowing the root rot to continue in its current condition of decomposition will eventually kill the entire plant because root rot cannot be reversed and spreads swiftly.

Preventative Measures:

Always, prevention is the best course of action. So make an effort to develop a watering schedule that works for the particular indoor plant you have. Simple procedures like these can help prevent root rot in the future.

  • Use pots that have a drainage hole.
  • Use appropriate soil, and periodically check to make sure the water is draining properly.
  • The plant roots must have access to some air, as was previously said, in order to survive. The plant will be able to absorb oxygen and avoid probable root rot if the soil is allowed to somewhat dry out (only the top layer). The finger test—in which you wiggle your finger a few inches deep into the soil to gauge the moisture level—works well for determining whether to water many tropical houseplants. Its presence indicates that the soil’s bottom is noticeably moist. Therefore, you won’t water again until the top layer is mostly dried.
  • Again, don’t let extra water build up and remain in the bottom dish of the pot.
  • Depending on the season, you’ll also need to change how much water your plant receives. Plants typically require less water during the colder, drier months.
  • Keep an eye on your plant. Knowing when the plant needs less or more will help you stay in the moment.

Since root rot affects the part of the plant that cannot be seen, it is frequently not discovered until major harm has already been done. Your houseplant may be saved if you swiftly follow the survival instructions. However, if your plant simply won’t survive, we strongly advise taking some cuttings to reproduce it. In this manner, some of the plant survives and everything is not lost!