Fiddle leaf figs, also known as Ficus Lyrata, are delicate plants that have a variety of responses to a variety of stimuli, including shifts in temperature, draughts, humid conditions, an excessive amount of direct sunlight, an insufficient amount of light, an excessive amount of fertilizer, overwatering, underwatering, and poor drainage.
The cultivation of a fiddle-leaf fig has the potential to be among the greatest satisfying accomplishments possible in the realm of indoor gardening.
This houseplant is a common sight in many households and on several people’s Instagram feeds, thanks to its enormous, lyre-shaped leaves and its capacity to grow to astounding heights.
Fiddle leaf figs do not take kindly to being relocated or repotted too frequently and are especially vulnerable to unexpected shifts in environmental conditions.
Surprisingly, the two most prevalent issues that affect fiddle leaf fig plants are opposed to one another: excessive watering and inadequate watering. The situation is made much more difficult because it is not always clear.
Root Rot & Overwatering
Root rot is caused by overwatering, a fungal disease that causes the plant’s roots and leaves to die. A plant that receives insufficient water will eventually dry and develop damaged leaves.
Role of Sunlight
To begin, root and overwatering are directly related is something to be made clear.
Root rot is caused by both overwatering and an absence of sunlight; therefore, if your fiddle leaf fig does not receive enough sun (and they like a lot of light), the indications may resemble those of having had an excessive amount of water.
Your plant will shrivel up and die if it receives insufficient water while also being exposed to excessive sunlight; hence, you will need to solve both problems simultaneously.
If there are numerous leaves with stains or marks that would result in browning, it may be worthwhile to find out why.
Possible Bacterial or Fungal Infections
This frequently occurs when the soil is constantly moist and has a high humidity level. Unfortunately, these are the circumstances that the fiddle-leaf fig frequently encounters.
High and Low Temperatures
The ideal temperature for fiddle leaf figs is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the potting soil should be allowed to become just moderately dried in between waterings.
The fiddle leaf fig leaves will fall off if there is a drastic shift in the temperature. If temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) are present, you can anticipate the appearance of fast markings on the plant’s leaves.
Sometimes it will happen as quickly as a few hours after exposure. Your plant does not have to be outside. This can also happen in the winter if a leaf is put up against a cold glass and left there for long enough.
Fiddles prefer it when things stay the same but relocating them to a new site where the temperature or the amount of light could be changed can help them adjust to their new surroundings more quickly.
During the process of adaption, it may shed its leaves rather quickly. Be sure that the new place satisfies all the necessary care demands and that it is ready to resume average growth at the appropriate time.
Even moderate damage to the leaf margins might hasten their browning and crisping. Despite appearances, the leaves are fragile and can be damaged by even casual brushing. Place in less frequented parts of your house if possible.
When you first purchased your fiddle leaf fig, it most likely came in a plastic gardener’s pot and outfitted with several drainage holes.
Repotting might cause more distress; it is best to leave your fiddle in the pot it came in during the first month as it adapts to its new surroundings in your home.
However, leaving your fiddle in the pots provided by the grower poses a risk, and because some of these pots have excessive drainage, you will need to repot your fiddle as quickly as you bring it back home.
Gardener’s pots are made to keep the roots extremely dry so the plants can be hydrated daily. However, it can be challenging to keep your plants sufficiently hydrated once you bring them into your environment because of this structure. Warning: this is common with pots purchased from Home Depot.
When you get your fiddle back home, you should keep a close watch on it to ensure that it does not become scorched in a short period. It is time to repot your plant if the soil in the grower’s pot is now dried.
Your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves will turn yellow and develop brown blotches if it has a bacterial infection. While dark green leaves with brown spots are typical for root rot, yellowing occurs with microbial leaf spots as the brown spot grows.
Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will lose its leaves due to root rot or bacterial leaf spot. Since it thrives on young, tender leaves, bacterial leaf spot is likely to be to fault if your plant’s younger leaves suffer more than their older ones.
Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves can turn yellow and develop brown patches from bacterial leaf spots. Root rot gives the opposite symptom to that of bacterial leaf spot, which is a yellowing of the leaf as the brown spot spreads: the leaf remains typically a dark green color with brown patches.
Leaf spots caused by bacteria and rotting roots will cause your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves to fall off over time.
If you see that your younger leaves are more affected than your older leaves, you may be dealing with bacterial leaf spots. This is one of the trickiest sorts of treatments. Even if you give your plant the attention it needs and water it consistently, it still can die.
If the damage isn’t too severe, you may replant it in fresh, sterilized soil and prune off any leaves with brown patches. You should ensure access to adequate light and water it periodically until it recovers.
Insect diseases, despite their rarity, can be identified by their telltale symptoms, which include the drying out of the plant’s leaves and stems.
Using a magnifying glass, examine your plant to see whether it has any pests or insects. Fragments on the leaves that eventually develop into cavities are a solid sign that there is an infestation of pests.
Treatment for insect infestations is simple. Neem oil products explicitly made for indoor plants are to be used.
Alternatively, a homemade cure is made 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 the plant elsewhere. Shower the fiddle leaf fig leaves with a mist.
Don’t forget to spray the area where the leaf joins the stem after turning each leaf to cover the backside. If more spraying is required, wait two weeks, inspect once more, then repeat the process.
Temperature swings are too large compared to its ideal range of 65 F to 75 F (18 C to 24 C). You could damage your plant in many ways, be it overwatering, underwatering, using too much fertilizer or too little, or not providing adequate sunlight. All these factors contribute to the dropping of plant leaves.
The leaves of a fiddle leaf fig plant might droop due to heat, lack of light, overwatering, underwatering, or a lack of humidity. Leaf drooping can also be caused by transplant shock, which occurs when plants are relocated.
Brown spots on plants caused by dryness are easy to identify since they cause the leaves to curl and have a dry, tan, or brown appearance at the leaf’s tip.
Over time, your plant may seem wilted or dried out, and the dirt may start to recede from the edge of the pot; this is known as shrinkage. Because of this, water may escape between the pot and the soil and not reach the root ball.
Move your Fiddle Leaf Fig away from a hot window or a space heater if the humidity level drops below 50 percent. Be careful to keep an eye on your plant and water it if the soil dries up to 50 and 75%.
You can spritz your plant once every three days or place a humidifier in the room with it. Make sure the entire root ball is saturated with water and that the water can quickly drain from the bottom of the container. After the plant has rested and expelled extra water, return it to its saucer.
The lower leaves will turn a yellowish color before finally changing color to brown and drying out. If new growth occurs at the top, this is typically not an issue that must be addressed on its own.
Our Final Thoughts
It is possible to save a fiddle leaf fig that is wilting by recreating the conditions it would have experienced in its natural environment.
These conditions include maintaining a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, misting the leaves to increase humidity, positioning the plant so that it receives brilliant indirect light, and only watering the plant when the top two inches of soil feel dry. Taking account of the insects, one needs to spray proper pesticides on the plant and separate it from others.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.