Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Healthy

Akin developed the website and published the book to share how to grow strong fiddle leaf fig plants. Although many indoor gardeners wish to grow the plant, she discovered that there is very little reliable and comprehensive information on cultivating them.

You will find all the information you require in this comprehensive, simple-to-read guide to succeed with fiddle leaf fig plants. This involves determining whether your plant is healthy or whether it needs some additional special care and attention.

Akin lists numerous symptoms of fiddle leaf fig plant illness along with their causes. Brown stains on leaves, which may indicate over- or under-watering, are one of these. Fungal disease, which develops when leaves are overwatered, is what causes brown blotches in the middle of leaves. Browning on the leaf edges is a sign of dry, drafty air and inadequate irrigation.

Your fiddle leaf fig plant may be suffering from a lack of sunlight or inadequate nourishment if it is dropping leaves all over the plant and the leaves are yellow.

If your fiddle leaf fig has new growth and the new leaves are bigger than the old ones, your plant is likely healthy. Additionally, the plant will have glossy, brilliant green leaves and a beautiful overall appearance.

1. Ensure adequate drainage.

Plants of the fiddle leaf fig don’t respond well to wet soil. The plant roots’ ability to breathe and maintain good health depends on adequate drainage.

2. Prevent overwetting.

Every time you water, give the soil a little time to dry out. The plant will die from root rot if the soil is kept wet. The book contains details on how much water was used to water fiddle leaf figs.

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 a healthy fiddle leaf fig be identified?

Examining the leaves will help you distinguish between a healthy and diseased fiddle leaf fig. New leaves should be larger than the older ones and there should be signs of recent growth. The ideal leaf is bright and sturdy.

The trunk should be solid and colored brown or green. In contrast to their striking foliage, fiddle leaf figs naturally have relatively thin, delicate-looking trunks. This plant can be either more bushy and full with leaves extending all the way to the trunk or tall and slender with all the growth focused at the top. Both sorts can be entirely healthy; it’s only an issue of look.

Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves may naturally point downward, particularly those that are located lower on the tree. Without inspecting the remainder of the plant, do not mistake this for withering. It might simply be the plant’s typical development. Before you go shopping, look at some online pictures to get an idea of what a healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig looks like.

Fiddle leaf fig leaves, how should they feel?

Understanding what to anticipate from a happy, healthy plant working at its best is a great place to start when attempting to diagnose a potential issue with your fiddle leaf plant.

A Fiddle Leaf Fig will produce a lot of healthy, new growth if all of its demands are met and it is in the best possible growing conditions. But how does that actually appear?

As a new leaf appears, your fig tree begins to grow healthily. This leaf will start out much smaller than more established leaves, but it will eventually get to the right size. The new growth should be supple and malleable, and it frequently has a glossy sheen immediately away.

The leaf really thickens as it matures in addition to getting broader and longer, as you shall see. The thickness of a leaf has a significant impact on how flexible it is, therefore you’ll notice that young leaves are typically quite flexible but gradually become a little more rigid and strong as they become thicker.

Now, a leaf should still have some suppleness even as it thickens with age. The leaves should still be flexible enough to be bent or rolled without being broken. There may be a problem if the leaves are really brittle, but we’ll cover that below.

Additionally, it is common for older, more developed leaves to progressively lose some of the glossy sheen that was so obvious in younger leaves. This is a typical aspect of growing older. Even if the cuticle on older leaves isn’t as glossy as that on newer growth, you can usually see it if you look at them closely.

Your fig’s leaves may also have a naturally occurring scalloped shape, with natural curves around each leaf’s edge. Again, this is very typical for fiddle leaf figs. When handled, they should still feel supple and malleable. Underwatering can be detected if the leaves’ curls intensify and they begin to feel dry and brittle.

It is typical to find more thicker and more brittle leaves as you descend to the oldest parts of the plant. As new growth gradually replaces the older leaves, plants will do so organically over time. Reduced water and resource input into those older leaves prior to complete shedding is a part of the process that dries them out and makes them more stiff and fragile.

How can I tell if the light reaching my fiddle leaf fig is adequate?

Measuring the space between the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig tree is another proven way to determine whether it needs more sunlight.

The leaves of a fiddle will grow more closely together than those of a fiddle that must reach for its solar energy.

Here is an illustration of a fiddle leaf fig that displayed these precise signs. Just two years ago, I gave my mother this beautiful plant:

As you can see, the leaves were able to remain near to one another without suffocating one another due to the abundance of sunlight offered by the greenhouse environment. It was flawless.

I sent it over to my mother without checking for a bright spot in her home. The greatest spot she could locate in her house was close to a window, although it received little natural light.

After a year, she was able to move the large plant outside for some summer heat and humidity, but as you can see, the branches had already started to spread:

This fiddle leaf fig tree had a terrific summer, but when winter arrived, it had to return indoors.

It is now as follows:

Watch for this lanky, “reaching” appearance and address it right away by moving your plant steadily closer to the sun.

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.

Should I prune my fiddle leaf fig’s dark leaves?

Like grooming your dog or cat, pruning your plant is crucial to keeping it healthy and attractive. Pruning your fiddle leaf fig prevents weed growth and maintains its health. You should prune your plant for a number of reasons.

Remove Damaged Leaves and Stems

To promote the general health of your plant, you can safely remove any leaves with significant brown spots or holes. A damaged or ill leaf depletes your plant’s nutrients and increases the risk of infection. Any time of year, get rid of any leaves that are broken or ill right away.

Keep Your Plant From Getting Too Tall

Healthy fiddle leaf fig plants have a tendency to grow aggressively toward the sun, which could cause them to become too big or tall for their environment. You should cut back any growth over that height since plants look their best when their upper leaves are at least 8 to 10 inches below the ceiling. You can make your plant stronger and more compact by trimming it to prevent it from growing too tall.

Give Your Plant Balance

Your plant might grow sideways towards the direction of the closest window depending on where it receives its light, which could make it asymmetrical or unbalanced. Rotate your plant frequently so that it develops symmetrically to avoid this. Even after pruning, plants can still go out of balance, which will assist prevent uneven growth.

Decrease Crowded Areas

To stay healthy, fiddle leaf fig leaves require airflow and room. The leaves on your plant may become damaged by rubbing against one another if it becomes overly compact and crowded. Pruning will help to spread out crowded regions.

Shape Your Plant

Due to their restricted exposure to sunlight when grown indoors, fiddle leaf fig plants can develop unique morphologies. They might develop sideways rather than upwards toward the sun as they would if they were growing outside.

The lowest leaves will also fall off in the wild because of a lack of sunshine. Lower leaves, though, may still receive plenty of light inside and stay on the plant. The desired tree-like shape may be destroyed as a result. You should cut off lower leaves and branches that are spreading out too much in order to shape your plant so that it looks best in the area where it is placed.

Does my Ficus have a bacterial infection or root rot?

  • Most likely not. Despite the fact that this diagnosis is all over the internet, we have found it to be incredibly unusual in the thousands of Ficuses that our sister firm, Greenery NYC, has taken care of. It’s usually a different issue, like inadequate lighting or overwatering. If you’re curious to learn more, we do offer a guide on how to distinguish between bacterial and fungal leaf spots.

Help! My Fiddle Leaf Fig dropped a leaf!

  • Moving and changing the environment can be hard on ficus trees. The Ficus plant will temporarily go into shock and drop its leaves since the dry, cold air is such a drastic change from the warm humidity of the greenhouse. This situation is only transitory, so don’t worry. Your tree won’t return to normal for a few weeks, and during that time it might lose a few leaves. However, if the leaves keep falling, it can be an indication of poor lighting or water.

My Fiddle Leaf Fig has brown spots and the leaves are dropping. What do I do?

  • Overwatering is the most common error people make when caring for their plants. Even though they require a lot of water to stay healthy, moist soil will drown the plant. Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees prefer to let their leaves slightly dry out between waterings. Allow the plant to dry out until the soil is totally dry if your leaves begin to turn brown and fall and the earth is moist.
  • Lack of light is the second biggest error people make. Fiddle Leafs need a lot of light to grow, and if they are not soaking up enough energy, they will begin to shed their leaves. It’s preferable to put your plant by a window if you’re unsure about where to put it. Please see our lighting guide for additional details.
  • The fiddle leaf fig can also be severely damaged by underwatering. The edges of the leaves begin to brown and curl in when submerged, and this ultimately spreads throughout the entire leaf. Fallen leaves that were submerged in water will typically be entirely or largely brown and dry to the touch.

RIGHT: A dropped leaf that has been overwatered. A telltale indicator that the plant has received too much water is the browning that is spreading from the central node (or midrib) through the veins of the leaf. RIGHT: If the leaves have brown spots or holes, the plant is probably not getting enough light. This frequently occurs on the lowest leaves of the tree, which over time may start to lose light.

How do I tell when my Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree needs water?

  • The simplest approach to determine whether your Fiddle Leaf plant needs water is to look at the leaves once you’ve determined that the top few inches of soil have dried out. The leaves will inform you they need water if they are not firm and straight and begin to look droopy. Until you develop a habit, be sure to check in with your tree frequently to make sure you don’t go underwater.

Left: a submerged Fiddle Leaf Fig tree; right: the same tree less than twenty-four hours later.

How much light is too much light for the Fiddle Leaf Fig?

  • In New York City, fiddle leaf figs should thrive if placed directly in front of a window. However, they cannot tolerate prolonged exposure to the sun (being placed outside on a sunny day). They might be sunburned in exceptionally bright apartments (i.e., those with floor to ceiling windows), in which case your best chance is to position them in front of the window with a sheer curtain. The complete spectrum of the sun’s rays will be blocked by partial shades like solar shades, therefore avoid using them to filter the light.

Can I put my Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree next to the AC / heater?

  • Floppy Leaf Tropical vegetation like fig trees prefer a humid atmosphere. They lose their leaves if the weather is too dry. Although fiddle leaves do well in air-conditioned apartments, never place them right next to an air conditioner or heater. It is recommended to move to a different location if their leaves are wagging in the air.

How often should I fertilize my Fiddle Leaf Fig?

  • Fertilizing indoor plants from spring through fall generally results in their thriving. Use an organic houseplant fertilizer once a month, dilution and application instructions on the container. In order to ensure that your plant doesn’t require fertilizer within the first six months of receiving it, Greenery NYC employs an organic potting mix with a slow release fertilizer in the soil.

How often does my Fiddle Leaf Fig need to be repotted?

  • We advise repotting bigger floor plants every 18 to 24 months. In order to allow for growth, you need often use a potting vessel with a diameter that is 2- 4 bigger. Selecting a pot that is significantly larger than the previous one could drown the plant’s roots. Repot your plant into the same container, add additional soil, and remove some roots and foliage if you’d like to keep it at its current size. Repotting should be done in the spring or summer when the plant is at its healthiest.