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.
Potential Cause 1: Root Rot
Brown stains on the roots from a fungus caused by too much moisture. Root rot is brought by by over watering and bad drainage, and it eventually affects your plant’s leaves.
How to Correct It
Removing the pot and looking at the roots is the only way to be confident that your plant has root rot. Root rot is at blame if the roots are mushy and discolored. Let your plant dry out for around two weeks if there are only a few brown patches on the leaves so that the roots have enough time to heal.
Make sure your plant gets enough light, and remove any damaged leaves. If there are several brown patches, you should remove any brown, mushy roots and the affected leaves before repotting the plant and being careful not to overwater it in the future.
Potential Cause 2: Bacterial Infection
In addition to the brown spots, your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves will yellow as a result of bacterial leaf spot. In contrast to bacterial leaf spot, which causes the leaf to turn yellow as the brown spot spreads, root rot often causes the leaves to remain dark green with brown patches. Your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves will eventually drop off due to both bacterial leaf spot and root rot. Since bacterial leaf spot tends to feed on new growth, it is likely to be to fault if your younger leaves are suffering more than your older leaves.
Unfortunately, this is the Fiddle Leaf Fig condition that is most difficult to treat. It can already be too late for your plant, even with the right care and watering. Cut off all of the leaves that have brown spots if the damage is not severe, then repot your plant in new, sterile soil. While it is healing, give it lots of light and don’t water as frequently.
Potential Cause 3: Insect Damage
Although uncommon, insect illnesses leave clear signs. Check your plant for webs or insects using a magnifying glass. Small patches that develop into holes on the leaves are a sure sign of insect damage.
Treatment for insect infestations is simple. Use neem oil products made specifically for indoor plants. Alternately, you might make your own cure by mixing a few teaspoons of mineral oil and baking soda in a spray bottle with water. Spray the entire affected area of the plant after thoroughly shaking the solution. Your other houseplants should not be near diseased plants. Neem oil has an overpowering odor, so move your plant outside if you can. Spray your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves with a strong mist. Don’t forget to spray the area where the leaf meets the stem after turning each leaf to cover the underside. If more spraying is required, wait two weeks, inspect once more, then repeat the process.
Potential Cause 4: Your Plant is Too Dry
Dry tan or brown regions that originate at the edge of the leaf and force the leaf to curl make dry plant brown spots simpler to identify. Your plant will occasionally appear dry or wilted overall, and the dirt may have retreated from the pot (shrinkage). This may result in the water never reaching the root ball and instead running between the pot and the soil.
Consider transferring your Fiddle Leaf Fig to a more moderate area if it is currently close to a heater or in an extremely dry environment. When the soil is 50 to 75 percent dry, water as needed, and keep an eye on your plant to make sure it’s getting enough hydration. Use a humidifier close to your plant or try misting it once to three days. Make sure the root ball of your plant is completely submerged in water by giving it a long sip. Make sure the pot’s bottom is dripping with water. Before placing the plant back on its saucer, let it to rest and drain any extra water.
How can you recognize a dying fig tree?
A sick fig tree typically shows symptoms of stress, such as disease or pest infestation.
By recognizing and comprehending the reasons of these symptoms, you can save your tree and avoid disaster.
Any or all of the following symptoms and warning signals could indicate a dying fig tree:
- Browning of the leaves is typically an indication of both under- and overwatering.
- slower growth
- fewer, younger leaves
- leaves turning yellow
- leaves are curved
- sagging leaves
- significant leaf loss
- lacerated leaves
Why are the fresh leaves on my fiddle leaf fig dying?
One of the main reasons why fiddle leaf figs are unhappy is root rot. A fungal infection that develops as a result of overwatering or letting your pot sit in water can spread swiftly to your plant’s leaves. Light brown crusting on the leaf margins can be one of the infection’s recognizable symptoms.
How to Fix It: “Waterlogged roots are unable to receive the correct oxygen to absorb nutrients. Garcia advises removing your plant from its container right away, carefully removing the soil, and removing any moist roots from the root ball. Your plant may benefit from receiving new dirt.
How may root rot in a fiddle leaf fig be detected?
By simply examining a potted plant, it can be challenging to identify root rot. Even a fiddle that seems to be rather dry on the top of its soil could be rooted underground. Only by looking at the roots underneath the surface can one truly know. Remove your plant from its pot and take a look if you notice any signs of distress, such as dropping or browning leaves.
Here are a few telltale symptoms of root rot in your fiddle leaf fig:
Once a portion of the roots starts to decay, the disease can spread throughout the entire root system and start to climb up to the plant’s leaves.
Is my fig tree going to grow back?
My fig tree has suffered severe frost damage. Should we let the dead alone or cut them off? It has always produced good, healthy yields.
A: Although many fig trees were harmed over the recent winter, most will recover. Once you uncover green tissue, begin chopping away at the browned branches. If not, entirely cut off that branch. The tree can then be shaped by cutting a few inches off all around if necessary. Use a general-purpose garden fertilizer or a granular fruit tree fertilizer to fertilize. If the summer is dry, keep mulch around the tree’s base and water it once a week. An elder tree like this one has a fair chance of recovery with your proper care, even if you don’t receive many figs this year if they are late-bearing.
A: My entire garden area is covered in ants. I can’t even enter to prepare the ground for planting because the situation is that horrible. Do you have any suggestions for how I might get rid of the ants before planting?
A: To get rid of these ants, you’ll need to treat the entire garden and the region around it. There are various options, but a potent pyrethrin spray can provide effective, quick control. Afterward, use a baited ant control in the vicinity of the garden to discourage them from returning.
Q: Help! My flowerbed has a weed that is currently in bloom and whose extremely long roots make it impossible to get up. The use of weed killers hasn’t been effective, and I anticipate new growth. Any recommendations?
A weed’s behavior indicates how to control it even if we are unable to identify it. Since it dies back in the summer, we can conclude that this weed is a cool-season perennial. This most likely indicates that it appears between the first cool spell in the fall and late winter. The best course of action right now is to get those blooms cut off and remove as much of them as you can, making it more exposed to the upcoming hot weather. Since it’s impossible to remove all of those tangled roots without completely digging up the bed, the plants will resprout. When it reappears, bring a sprig to your favorite neighborhood garden center and discuss a spray with the horticulture. Compared to the mature plants you are now facing, the new growth will be significantly more susceptible to weed killers.
Do fiddle leaf figs need direct sunlight?
Although they can withstand moderate sunlight, it’s not their preferred environment. It’s a good idea to put the plant near a south or west-facing window, but not directly in the sun, as it prefers steady, ambient light. They can tolerate up to six hours a day of direct sunlight, if necessary.
Finding a location where the conditions are as consistent as possible throughout the day is the finest thing you can do for these plants as they are creatures of habit. Placing your plant in low light is one thing you must never do.
Can my plant go outside?
Of course, you can take care of your fiddle leaf fig outside given the correct circumstances. It might perhaps act and develop to a height of more than 40 feet if you locate it in the ideal location. Your garden should, however, be entirely frost-free and never drop below 50 degrees at night in order to prevent any issues.
On summer days, you should use caution as well. Keep your plant from getting too hot too quickly and water it frequently so the roots have access to moisture all the time. Similar to when you keep it as a house plant, you should be watchful of how much direct sunshine it gets.
Why do the leaves turn brown?
You have some homework to complete if the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig are starting to turn brown. There are several potential causes, but light and water are the most frequent ones.
In most cases, water is the culprit if the edges of the leaves are becoming brown. If just the lower leaves are impacted, overwatering has created root rot. The likelihood of the plant being thirsty increases if all of the leaves are going crispy. Unhappy leaves that are going brown in the middle show that the plant needs more humidity since it is receiving too much light.
What’s the difference between a fiddle leaf bush and a tree?
An established fiddle leaf tree can cost hundreds of dollars, so you’ll probably end up nurturing a smaller plant to grow tall. Ficus lyrata likes to grow straight up if left unattended, but you can encourage branching by either pruning the new growth or notching the stem.
To notch, choose where you want a new branch to grow and make a 1/8-inch cut into the stem just above a node using a clean knife. The node should produce a new branch. The lower leaves can then be removed when your plant appears very healthy.
Should I mist my plant?
When caring for any rainforest plant, especially in the winter, misting is a need. Fiddle leafs prefer a humidity level of 65 percent, which is substantially higher than that of most houses.
Filling a spray bottle and leaving it next to the plant is the ideal method for misting. You can regularly spritz it with room-temperature water in this manner. Misting your plant is very crucial after dusting its leaves. For your plant, a humidifier is ideal if you can afford one, but regular misting with a spray bottle should suffice.
How long does it take for the plant to grow?
Most fiddle leaves can grow up to 10 feet tall indoors. They might even outgrow your home if they’re truly content. However, that may take up to 15 years. Of course you two want to stay together for that long, but it can be difficult to wait for a plant straight out of a magazine.
These are not the quickest-growing plants, but with proper care and fertilization, the 18-inch bush you purchased from the garden center should mature into a respectable-sized tree in 34 years.
Should I cut off brown spots off the leaves?
Although brown stains on the leaves are unsightly, you shouldn’t immediately remove them. After all, in order to photosynthesize, the plant requires its leaves. Your plant won’t thrive if the leaves are pulled out as soon as spotting appears.
Your plant is attempting to tell you something when its leaves turn brown, whether it’s water, fertilizer, sunshine, or pest control. The best course of action is to try to identify the issue, fix it, and then postpone pinching off the damaged leaves until your plant has produced some healthy new growth.
Are fiddle leaf fig toxic?
Yes. We’re not talking about plants that are aesthetically pleasing but dangerous here, but if you have kids or animals in your house, you should be cautious of them around any Ficus family plant, including your fiddle leaf fig.
A healthy adult won’t suffer long-term consequences from ingesting the plant, but cats, dogs, and small people can get hurt from the calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves. A burning, irritated mouth, trouble swallowing, drooling, and vomiting are indications of an adverse response. Consult a doctor straight away if you believe that your child or pet may have consumed a portion of the plant.