It is rather simple to identify the root of your fiddle leaf fig’s negative attitude if it is anything other than green and full. Indoor fiddle leaf figs typically have a problem with either light, irrigation, or both. You can restore its health with a little work before it’s too late. Simply keep an eye out for the warning symptoms listed below and administer the appropriate treatment.
One thing to remember with fiddle leaf figs is that once a leaf is injured, it can’t truly be repaired. We’re diagnosing the issue and taking action to maintain the plant’s health going ahead. The tree will likely stop providing energy to the injured leaves when new growth begins to emerge, and they will eventually dry up and fall off. Last week, I got home to precisely that circumstance. The lowest leaf on the tree with damage was this one. The plant consumed all of its resources until it was entirely dried out, at which point it let go of it.
Unlike rubber plants, which can recover fallen leaves, fiddle leaf figs cannot. Because once the leaf is gone, it’s gone, maintaining their health is crucial.
How can I encourage my fiddle leaf fig to produce new leaves?
It might be time to pot-up when your Fiddle Leaf Fig appears to be too large for the pot (aka move it to a larger pot). This will give it more room to grow and get taller. Additionally, it is a good idea to completely re-pot your FLF so that it has new nutrients to grow with rather than using the same old soil (this entails taking as much soil from the roots as you can, cutting, and planting it in new soil).
How to Train you Fiddle Leaf Fig into a Standard Tree form (from bush / cluster or small plant)
While it may be tempting to start trimming your FLF to make it immediately resemble a standard form using the secateurs, this may not be the best course of action. It’s really alluring looking at those drool-worthy interior design images! Although your FLF may not be in the best shape right now, if you give it some thought and time, you will end up with a much beautiful tree! To get the tree you desire, the process could take at least a few years or seasons of growth, but this is okay. Be patient and take pleasure in the training process.
To start with, don’t pick off the bottom leaves! These aid in supplying nutrients to the lower trunk, strengthening and thickening it as a result. The waif-like trunks of FLFs are well known, but if the trunk is too thin, it won’t be able to support the leafy treetop portion as you want it to, and it will always need to be anchored or lean. The bottom leaves should probably be removed last, in my opinion.
Separating a Cluster: If you have a cluster or collection of FLFs in a pot, you can cut them apart into individual trees. Remove them from their containers at the beginning of the growing season, gently dividing the roots, and providing each plant a root ball that is appropriate for its size (if you have to cut the roots apart, make sure each plant has a root ball that is appropriate for the plant’s size). Replant each in a separate pot.
Be warned that some clusters may not be able to be separated because they share a root ball. This may be the situation if your FLF has a group of stems that are quite near to one another at soil level. This type of cluster separation might cause damage to the plant or possibly cause it to die.
There are ways to encourage your Fiddle Leaf Fig to grow more branches if it now just has a single trunk. To promote new growth, one method is to clip off the tip or top few leaves of the trunk. Another method is known as “notching,” in which a tiny cut is made into the trunk right above a bud that needs to branch. The tree will be duped into branching out at this point by this.
Simply remove any branches near the trunk that you don’t want on your FLF. They can also be employed for cultivating fresh FLFs. This post will be useful for more detailed information on cultivating a FLF tree.
Are you setting out on a trip with a brand-new FLF? Please share your progress with me in the comments section below; I’d love to hear from you.
If you’re looking for more detailed information on fertilizing, pruning, supporting a leaning trunk, and common FLF myths, check out my other Fiddle Leaf Fig posts here.
Can you still rescue a fiddle leaf fig that has none?
As long as the fiddle leaf fig’s stem and roots are strong, it can live without leaves. A barren fiddle leaf fig can be brought back to life if you can quickly identify the source of its illness. Water and warmth should be sufficient to treat its illness and revive it.
The good news is that your Ficus does not necessarily have to die if its leaves start to shed. There’s a good possibility you can save the plant if its stem and root system are still sound and whole. Let’s look more closely at how to restore a fiddle leaf fig that has lost all of its leaves.
Check your fiddle leaf fig’s stem and roots
You must first check your fiddle leaf for any lingering live signs in order to determine whether it has a good chance of surviving. This entails paying great attention to its stem, branches, and root structure. Work softly is the first rule, after all.
Feel the Ficus’ stem and branches. It’s possible that your plant has already passed away if the leaves are woody, dry, and brittle. There’s a strong possibility you can revive your plant if it is still flexible and slightly green inside.
Similar to that, gently examine the roots. You’re out of luck if they are dry and shriveled, but if they appear healthy, your plant has a chance.
Repot your fiddle leaf (if it has root rot) and remove any decay
You may want to repot your plant and remove any dead or decaying wood and roots if you suspect that your fiddle leaf fig has root rot and that this may be the cause of its abrupt lack of leaves. Having said that, fiddle leaf figs may find this process to be extremely stressful, so avoid doing it unless it’s absolutely necessary.
The ideal soil for fiddle leaf figs is often high-quality, well-draining potting mix, so be sure to choose that when repotting your plant. Spread out the root ball of the fiddle leaf and trim back any moldy, wet, or dead roots using clean equipment. Replant your fiddle leaf gently, securing the dirt around it.
Water your plant
Water is necessary to revive a sick plant, but there is a fine line between overwatering and underwatering your fiddle leaf fig. A fiddle leaf fig won’t require as much water if its leaves are absent since it won’t expend as much energy.
You want to keep the soil moist but not soaked when it comes to how frequently you should water a fiddle leaf fig. Your plant will suffer further harm from too much water. Every few days, check the wetness of your soil with the tip of your finger, hydrate as necessary, and watch out that extra water doesn’t collect in your fiddle leaf fig’s drip tray. Also, don’t wait too long to avoid accidently drowning your fiddle leaf fig.
Ensure it gets adequate warmth and sunlight
It’s possible that your fiddle leaf is losing leaves because of a lack of light because these tropical beauties appreciate warmth and sunlight. Make sure your plant is placed in a location where it will receive enough sunlight to meet the fiddle leaf fig’s light requirements in an effort to combat this. It’s preferable to be near a window.
On its path to recovery, a fiddle leaf fig can benefit greatly from warmth. Get your plant to a sunny location as soon as you’ve cleaned up and hydrated it so that it may begin the process of regrowth.
Prevention is better than cure
A violin leaf can surely be restored to its ideal condition, but this isn’t always attainable. This is why it is better to take care of any potential illnesses with fiddle leaf figs before the plant begins to shed its leaves.
By carefully checking your plant every few days for any indication of illness, you might be made aware of potential concerns. Brown spots, in particular, are almost always a warning indication and call for action on your fiddle leaf fig. If you do this, you might be in a far better position to save your plant than if you were left in the more difficult scenario of attempting to revive a fiddle leaf fig that had lost all of its 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.
Why is there no foliage on my fig tree?
Leaf drop on figs is a typical issue, but if you can identify the cause of your plant’s unexpected leaf loss, it’s usually not fatal. The following are the most typical reasons for fig tree leaf loss:
- Winter Figs know it’s time to go dormant and spend the winter in a deep sleep when the air gets chilly in the late fall. Many fig species depend on dormancy, which is a totally normal phase of their life cycles. Annual leaf loss is nothing to be concerned about; new leaves will appear in the spring.
- Environmental Changes That Are Sudden
- If you want to move the tree to alter the temperature, humidity, or lighting of your fig’s surroundings, make sure to move it slowly because figs are sensitive to stress. Expose your fig to the new surroundings gradually by starting with just an hour each day and gradually increasing the amount of time it spends there over the course of around two weeks. Moving slowly will keep the leaves on your fig where they belong and help minimize shock.
- incorrect watering
- Some plants are trickier to water than others, and figs are no exception. Dropped leaves on fig trees can be caused by both overwatering and underwatering. Instead of watering on a schedule, water your fig whenever the soil is dry to the touch 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the surface. When the extra water has finished draining, rinse the pot well with fresh water. Repeat as necessary.
- PestsScale insects and spider mites are typical fig pests whose feeding activities might result in leaf drop. Scale insects frequently appear less like regular insects and more like a fungus or other odd growth on the plant. Although spider mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye, you could see tiny silk strands on the leaves of your fig tree. Weekly applications of neem oil might be used to treat both.
How frequently do fiddle leaf fig leaves reappear?
Fiddle Leaf Figs are infamously difficult to grow. There are a few typical maladies of this plant, like brown spots and leaf drop, that can make it sick or, worse, fast bring about its demise. The secret to keeping your plant happy and healthy is to keep an eye out for them and catch them early. Keep an eye out for these indications of a possibly sick fiddle leaf fig.
Brown spots on the leaves
The leaves of fiddle leaf figs are incredibly prone to browning. Brown spots that start to form and spread should be investigated even though a few small markings here and there are not a cause for concern.
Due to two opposing factors—either overwatering or underwatering—most brown patches on fiddles are unfortunately difficult to diagnose. Here’s how to distinguish between them:
Overwatering, which results in root rot, is probably to blame for brown patches that appear in the center of the leaf and spread outward. A fungal illness called root rot will eventually kill your plant by spreading to the leaves. You should repot your plant as soon as possible if it has root rot. Take the plant out of the ground, wash the roots thoroughly, and cut off any that are brown or mushy. After that, repot the plant in new soil with adequate drainage and remove the damaged leaves.
Are the brown spots on your fiddle beginning at the outside border of the leaves and moving inside? The plant is probably too dry for this to be the cause. Give your Fiddle a thorough rinse, and make sure it’s not too close to any heaters or air vents because that will likely cause the plant to dry out more quickly than is desired.
Finally, trauma may cause brown spots to form at random. A plant can suffer trauma just by changing homes (i.e. changing environments). If only one or two of your plant’s brown, damaged leaves are present, remove them at the stem and give your plant some time to heal.
The new growth is smaller than the older leaves
A healthy plant always shows new development, and if your Fiddle’s leaves are getting big and strong, your plant is doing fine.
The presence of little, stunted new leaves, however, may indicate that your plant is deficient in nutrients. Consider repotting your plant if it has been a while since you gave it fresh soil, or just fertilize it in the spring and summer to give it the extra nutrients it requires.
Fiddle Leaf Figs can appear to drop their leaves out of nowhere. One leaf here and there is normal; but, if several leaves have fallen off in a short period of time, you must act quickly to rescue the tree. Once more, underwatering or overwatering are the most likely causes of leaf drop in fiddle leaf figs. How then can you distinguish between them? Look at the direction in which the leaves are falling from the plant: if the older leaves (at the bottom) are dropping first, overwatering is probably the cause. On the other hand, if the plant’s leaves are falling off all around, it’s probably not getting enough water. Here are a few more techniques for differentiating.
Leaves turning yellow
Do your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves appear to be yellow? There are several potential reasons:
inadequate lighting Fiddle Leaf Figs require as much direct, strong light as they can get. Even a little direct sunlight is acceptable, but stay away from areas with medium or low light. Remember that a Fiddle that receives insufficient light is more likely to overwater.
a lackluster diet. Due to a deficiency of nutrients in the soil, your Fiddle plant may have yellow leaves. You may want to attempt fertilizing it with liquid fertilizer.
Pests. If fiddles are being attacked by insects, their leaves may also turn yellow. If you have a suspicion that this is the case, thoroughly check the leaves’ top and bottom surfaces for any potential bugs.
Stunted or slowed growth
During the spring and summer, healthy fiddles typically produce new leaves every four to six weeks. It’s possible to see your plant add numerous new leaves in only a few days or weeks because growth usually occurs in spurts. It’s typical for there to be no new growth during the winter. Again, if you don’t observe the expected growth in this plant, it may require new nutrients in the form of a quality plant fertilizer.
Dirty or dusty leaves
When was the last time you washed your plant’s leaves? Plants breathe through their leaves in addition to absorbing sunlight through them. Your plant won’t be able to carry out either of these tasks as effectively as we’d like if a layer of dust is present on its huge leaves. A fantastic technique to keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant bright, healthy, and vibrant is to clean the leaves every few months. Here you may read about a few different ways to clean your Fiddle Leaf Fig.
Fiddle Leaf Figs are known to be pickier than most plants, despite the fact that they can be quite low maintenance. Maintain a regular watering routine, fertilize in the spring and summer, and most importantly, ensure that your plant receives enough light year-round (yes, this may require moving it in the winter!). Keep a watch out for any of these symptoms since treating them quickly is essential to keeping your plant healthy and looking nice.
This article was modified from Claire Akin’s Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource. For additional information on how to take care of the fiddle leaf fig, see their website.