Generally speaking, getting too much or too little water results in leaf drop. However, Fiddle Leaf Figs can also lose their leaves as a result of exposure to weather extremes, either hot or cold.
How to correct it
Check to determine whether it is too close to a heater, an air conditioner vent, or a draft before moving it if required. It’s important to keep in mind that fiddle leaf figs are indigenous to warm, humid, tropical regions with stable moisture and stable temperatures. Therefore, maintaining comparable conditions will make your tree the happiest. Keep the soil damp but not drenched. Only water when 50 to 75 percent of the soil is dry. To increase the humidity in your fiddle leaf fig, you can mist it frequently.
Does the fiddle leaf fig typically shed its leaves?
Nothing is more scary for many fiddle leaf fig owners than discovering that their cherished plant has lost a leaf—or, *gasp*, several leaves!
Take a deep breath before you start watering, repotting, purchasing grow lights, moving your plant outside, or looking for insects out of sheer fear.
The good news is that fiddle leaf figs occasionally dropping one or two leaves here and there is actually natural and beneficial.
Because they are always producing new leaves, all plants eventually lose their old ones. Older leaves may just fall off while new leaves are produced by the tree to take their place.
Here are several indicators that the leaf-dropping on your fiddle is normal and not a reason for alarm.
Why are the leaves on my fig tree falling?
During the winter, the indoor air quality is frequently rather bad. Plants are stressed by low light levels, chilly drafts, low relative humidity levels, and other environmental variables. Figs and other indoor plants may shed a few leaves in the winter due to the stressful circumstances. Leaf drop over the winter should be kept to a minimum with good, regular maintenance.
Fig trees favor locations near windows that are well-lit. Sites near windows facing east and west are frequently the greatest. Ensure that the plant is maintained away from sources of heat or cold. When watering a fig tree, keep applying water until it starts to drip out of the pot’s bottom. Get rid of the extra water. Before giving the fig tree another drink, let the top inch of the soil dry up. Figs, like the majority of houseplants, don’t require fertilization during the winter.
How frequently should a fiddle leaf fig be watered?
Overwatering or failing to provide adequate drainage are the two most common ways to destroy a fiddle leaf fig. About once every 10 days or once a week, water your plant. As we just discussed, FLFs are accustomed to receiving a massive amount of water with intermittent dry spells because they are native to a rainforest-like habitat. Therefore, it’s recommended to water indoor plants until the soil is barely dripping before letting the soil dry fully in between applications.
There are two ways to accomplish this. Bring the plant inside after watering it and letting it drip for an hour or two outside or in the bathtub. Place your FLF on a plant stand above a drip tray if you don’t want to carry it back and forth to be watered. Make sure the roots don’t spend a long period sitting in extra water, whichever method you pick.
Watering a Fiddle Leaf Fig
Overwatering or failing to provide adequate drainage are the two most common ways to destroy a fiddle leaf fig. About once every 10 days or once a week, water your plant. As we just discussed, FLFs are accustomed to receiving a massive amount of water with intermittent dry spells because they are native to a rainforest-like habitat. Therefore, it’s recommended to water indoor plants until the soil is barely dripping before letting the soil dry fully in between applications. There are two ways to accomplish this. Bring the plant inside after watering it and letting it drip for an hour or two outside or in the bathtub. Place your FLF on a plant stand above a drip tray if you don’t want to carry it back and forth to be watered. Make sure the roots don’t spend a long period sitting in extra water, whichever method you pick.
Not sure of the next time to water? Simply press your finger into the soil’s top 2 inches. If it’s still wet, don’t touch it. Don’t believe in yourself? Purchase a cheap soil moisture meter, and water when it indicates that the soil is practically dry.
Having trouble deciding when to water your fiddle leaf fig? Simply press your finger into the soil’s top 2 inches. If it’s still wet, don’t touch it. Don’t believe in yourself? Purchase a cheap soil moisture meter, and water when it indicates that the soil is practically dry.
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.
Are fiddle leaf figs sun-sensitive?
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.