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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How can an overwatered fig be saved?
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.
How frequently should fiddle leaf figs 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.