Overwatering is the most frequent reason for fiddle leaf fig death. This issue can get worse due to poor drainage and a lack of sunlight. Never give your plant more than one watering per week, and wait until the roots have had time to dry out in between waterings. Use a moisture meter like this if you’re unsure of when to water. Learn more about watering plants by clicking here.
Are fiddle leaf figs difficult to maintain?
placing a fiddle leaf fig tree in a large, contemporary container. Garden tools, dirt, and a container of Ficus lyrata on a hardwood floor. New house tree planting procedure
Fiddle Leaf Fig 10106:21
The fiddle leaf fig, which has been a popular houseplant recently, adds a stunning architectural element to any room in the house. Although this lush plant is beautiful and has shiny, violin-shaped leaves, it can be challenging to maintain. But don’t worry—we have advice to maintain it flourishing in your area.
The good news is that the fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata), if acclimated, can grow to be at least 6 feet tall, making it an impressive statement piece. If you want a different look, there are also various cultivars of the plant, such “Suncoast” and “Compacta,” that don’t grow as tall and are bushier.
So, before taking one of these not-so-cheap houseplants home, read our in-depth care instructions and essential information if you want to get the most out of your investment for years to come.
Why keep dying my fiddle leaf figs?
Leaf drop has three primary causes, and it might be challenging to distinguish between them. Finding out what is causing your plant to drop leaves is the first step in quickly fixing the problem.
Leaf Drop From Shock
When you buy a new fiddle leaf fig plant, it goes through a lot of stress moving and being placed in a new setting. Fiddle leaf figs prefer a steady environment and dislike change.
Given that the plant was raised in a bright greenhouse with numerous other plants nearby and high relative humidity, the new illumination and humidity may both be much lower than what the plant is accustomed to. Your plant may respond to shock by shedding older leaves at the centre and bottom of the plant, which may be coupled with the physical stress of being bruised during the transport.
Leaf Drop From Dry Conditions
Dryness is the second main factor in fiddle leaf fig leaf drop. A fiddle leaf fig may drop leaves due to lack of watering and extremely dry air.
Be careful not to place your plant in the bright sun or close to a heating vent where it will frequently be bombarded with dry air. Because fiddle leaf figs dislike drafts, it’s best to choose a location far from any vents or bursts of hot air.
How are fiddle Leafs maintained?
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.
Do fiddle leaf figs require direct sun exposure?
Fiddle Leaf Figs need to be thoroughly watered about once a week to match their love of natural light. You should modify the amount of watering based on the size of the plant and, consequently, the size of the roots. As a general rule, water the plant thoroughly only after the top 2 to 3 inches of soil have dried up. This entails watering it till water drips out the bottom if it’s in a planter with a drainage hole. However, avoid letting the drip tray fill up with water for too long because root rot can readily develop in this situation. Remember to water the plant slowly and in a circular motion around it, making sure to wet all of the soil. Water will then reach all of the roots rather than just some.
A Sustee Aqua-meter is one of the greatest instruments for determining how frequently your Fiddle Leaf Fig requires water (available for purchase in our shops). We have discovered that there are particular seasons of the year when our plants are significantly more thirsty than usual since we started using these in our stores. The Sustee changes color from blue to white when the soil is sufficiently dry to prevent overwatering from occurring after it has become saturated with water.
You should water all tropical plants with water that is room temperature. A plant will undoubtedly experience shock if exposed to hot or extremely cold water, just as it would if the same conditions existed outside.
Prior to watering, aerate and break up the soil to improve water absorption. In order to ensure that water reaches all of the plant’s roots rather than draining out along the planter’s edges, we also advise watering very slowly around the top of the soil.
Fiddle Leaf Figs need some routine care, just like most other plants. One crucial maintenance procedure for your fiddle leaf coincidentally involves its leaves, which are also its most noticeable feature. Wonderful duty in the shape of routine dusting comes with great leaves. Fiddle Leaf Figs require frequent dusting due to the size of their leaves. As dust builds up on plant leaves, dust particles interfere with the plant’s ability to absorb sunlight and carry out photosynthesis. Given how much Fiddle Leaf Figs adore light, giving your plant a frequent dusting will go a long way toward keeping it healthy.
Rotating your plant monthly or biweekly is a good idea in addition to dusting the leaves. By rotating your plant, you’ll ensure that it receives an equal distribution of light, preventing one side from growing much faster than the other and resulting in a solid, symmetrical Fiddle Leaf Fig.
There are a few things you can do to encourage your Fiddle Leaf Fig (or any tree, for that matter) to start developing branches. First, try providing your plant with additional light. Trees naturally sprout branches, and if they have a lot of natural light, they may have more energy to devote to doing so. Cutting off your plant’s highest point of growth is another approach to promote branching. As a result, the plant will be forced to start branching out from the sides rather than continuing to grow vertically. Visit our pruning journal entry to find out more about pruning and branching.
Aerating the soil once every few months prevents the soil from being compacted for people who don’t already do so. The ability of your plant to absorb water is one of many factors that can be badly impacted by compacted soil, which eventually forms tiny pockets of soil where water never penetrates. It is possible to aerate using a variety of tools, including chopsticks and official soil aerators that are of a similar size and shape. To avoid destroying too many roots, gently press the aerator deeper into the earth as you go. By breaking up any areas where the soil has clumped together, do this a variety of times around the soil to keep your plant healthy and happy.
Last but not least, we advise using a “less is more” philosophy when it comes to fertilizing your Fiddle Leaf Fig and other indoor plants. It’s advisable to avoid providing your plants with too many extra nutrients at once. In the spring and summer, we strongly advise adding a slow release pellet fertilizer, such as the Osmocote Plus Indoor Smart-Release Plant Food, into the top layer of the plant’s soil. These pellet fertilizers typically last for a few months.
Winter is a challenging season for indoor plants, including Fiddle Leaf Figs, because of the obvious lack of natural light and the cooler temperatures. As indicated above, keeping an eye out for cold windows is a smart place to start, but there are other things you can do to keep your Fiddle Leaf content throughout the chilly months.
People frequently experience problems with heating vents during the winter, but since they aren’t used for more than half the year, it’s simple to forget about them. Plan to relocate all of your plants away from any heating vents when it is time for them to turn on. Repeated hot air bursts have the potential to scorch leaves and quickly dry out your plants.
Break up the dirt a little with your fingertips before watering your plant in the winter. Soil is easily clumped and compacted in winter due to the dry indoor air. By lightly breaking it up with your fingertips, you can prevent water from dripping through the soil and out the sides of the planter.
It’s also important to note that a humidifier can benefit Fiddle Leaf Figs and other tropical plants all year long, but particularly during the winter when the indoor air turns dry. Your plants are able to flourish as they would in a rainforest thanks to the continuous increase in moisture circulating in the air, which prevents browning leaf tips.
Fiddle Leaf Figs thrive when put immediately in front of windows since they require a lot of natural light.
Once a week, thoroughly water the soil, allowing the top few inches to dry out before watering again.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about caring for fiddle leaf figs below, in person at one of our stores, or by contacting us.
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.