Due to their enticing qualities as houseplants, fiddle leaf figs are highly popular in the US. They are still cultivated artificially in indoor gardens even though they can only be grown outside in warmer parts of America, such as Florida or California, due to their origins in the west of Africa.
Western Africa’s lowland tropical woods are the natural habitat of the Fiddle leaf fig, scientifically known as the Ficus lyrata plant. They do best in a hot, muggy climate with regular downpours. The Fiddle fig tree thrives in similar environments when planted indoors as a houseplant.
A fiddle fig that has been overwatered or underwatered will quickly express its unhappiness because this plant could be demanding. Fortunately, a dried-out fig plant can be easily revived if the root reason is adequately addressed.
Keep reading below to find out how to fix an underwatered fiddle leaf fig by examining these symptoms.
How Can You Determine Whether Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Needs Water?
By utilizing a moisture meter or perhaps the finger test that enables you to determine whether the upper 2 to 3 inches of soil are parched, you may determine whether the fiddle fig plant needs more water or not. If so, this is the appropriate time to water the fiddle leaf fig.
Fiddle fig plants require soil that distributes effectively and keeps damp just at the root zone; however, if the soil is consistently wet, the plants will suffer. Your fiddle fig plant must be thoroughly watered to soak the ground completely, and then it needs to be allowed to dry till the topmost two to three inches of compost feel completely dry.
Underwatered Fiddle Leaf Fig: Symptoms
Many indicators indicate that a fiddle fig is waterlogged and will quickly alert you to danger. Regrettably, fiddle fig leaves troubles frequently exhibit the same signs for several diseases.
In order to identify the precise offender, if you detect such an issue, you might need to go through a process of elimination. You can typically find out where the issue may be by reviewing your personal houseplant maintenance routine, which is usually relatively simple to do.
Leaf drooping or wilting
The Fiddle fig plant, which has been waterlogged, will initially display its unhappiness by displaying withering or drooping fronds. Fiddle fig leaves that are sagging or wilting indicate insufficient moisture in the cells for the plant tissues to maintain their water pressure (turgidity).
Drooping and falling leaves also can develop if the temperature needs of the fiddle fig are not fulfilled, especially if it has been in severe temperatures or loses moisture faster through transpiration in contrast to what the roots absorb and deliver to the fiddle fig. Sometimes, inadequate drainage and overwatering of the Fiddle fig could cause drooping and wilted leaves.
You must look for additional symptoms, such as abnormally dry soil and withering and sagging leaves, to identify whether underwatering is the reason.
The growth of a fiddle fig may be stunted, mainly if any new leaves are tiny or undeveloped. Additionally, you might observe something if the fiddle leaf fig isn’t producing any fronds.
This is because, without enough water, the plant’s roots will be unable to transfer and absorb the nutrients and moisture required for growth.
Additionally, you might observe that the growth of the fiddle fig tree slows or ceases. Although this is normal in the autumn and winter, your fiddle’s growth may have slowed or stopped altogether; however, if it happens in spring or warmer times of the year, something is fishy.
Fiddle figs that are underwatered generally get brown edges on their fronds. This is distinct from the sizable, dark brown patches overwatering causes on the fronds.
The leaves edges develop a faint brown when they are underwatered. If the problem is not fixed, the brown spots become larger, and the fronds turn crispy and dry.
The fiddle leaf fig tree’s brown borders on the leaves start to curl inside over time due to underwatering. Yet again, these brown parts are crunchy and crisp.
If your hydration schedule is not changed, this could impact all of the plant’s leaves. The telltale symptom of an underwatered fiddle fig is its brown, curled leaves.
Falling of Leaves Overall
The fiddle fig tree experiences leaf drop when its brown, curled fronds die prematurely and fall off the tree. Instead of shedding the bottom, aged fronds on the tree, which occurs due to overwatering, this applies to all the leaves wherever on the plant.
Underwatering causes the fronds on the entire plant to become brown. Leaf drops may happen despite the browning and curling of the leaves.
When soil is too dry, it compacts and pulls away from the pot’s sides. This can occasionally be misleading because water will flow readily from the base of the container whenever you water the Fiddle leaf tree.
Although you might believe the plant contains all the moisture it needs, the water leaks between the soil’s edge and the pot’s rim.
Once the soil is compressed, water doesn’t saturate it as it ought to. Underwatering is a common cause of compression, but there are other factors, such as your chosen potting medium.
To prevent soil compaction around the fiddle leaf fig tree, use lightweight material that drains quickly. A nice potting soil that drains effectively comprises one portion of gardening soil, one portion of peat moss, and one portion of perlite in the fiddle leaf fig.
Underwatered Fiddle Leaf Fig: How To Fix It?
Here are some ways to revive an underwatered Fiddle Fig:
An underwatered fiddle fig plant can be saved by developing a solid watering regimen that involves assessing the soil’s moisture content and hydrating the plant whenever the topsoil gets dry two to three inches underneath the surface. Additionally, ensure the pot is not too tiny and the potting material is of good quality.
This means that soil that is excessively loose, sandy, and devoid of organic material could drain too rapidly and be unable to retain adequate water for the requirements of the fiddle leaf fig plant. Similar to how a small pot plant may lack sufficient soil to meet your plant’s demands, it might get dried too soon.
If you believe the soil quality and container size are to blame for the fiddle fig tree being underwatered, update the soil in the plant and repot it in a larger container.
The fiddle fig plant’s soil is dry and compacted if backing away from the pot’s edge and looks crusty at the top.
In this condition, water cannot permeate the soil and reach the plant’s roots. When a plant is irrigated, the water ends up falling into the space between the pot’s side and the soil.
Bring the fiddle fig tree to the sink, and then fill a bucket or basin with lukewarm water to completely cover the plant’s pot. Put the plant outdoors and utilize the rain barrel and perhaps another large basin if, somehow, the sink is not suitable.
Fill the pot with water until the border of the fiddle fig plant is completely submerged. Bubbles will start to appear out of the water. As water seeps into the soil and starts to saturate it, bubbles are produced from the air trapped inside it.
Let the plant soak until bubbles no longer rise to the water’s surface. Based on the container’s dimensions and how parched the soil has become, this could require 20 minutes or longer.
Whenever the bubbling stops, take the pot out of the water. Let it completely drain before emptying any extra water from the tray and catch basin.
Put the fiddle fig tree where it usually is, and don’t water it again until the soil feels dry to your fingertips two to three inches underneath the surface.
Restart and manage a reliable watering schedule. The soil just at the root should not be permitted to air dry, but the top two to three inches should remain damp.
The degree of the issue determines reasonably how the fiddle fig tree reacts towards remedial action. When arid soil and underwatering problems are addressed and corrected at the earliest symptoms of stress, like a few sagging or withering leaves, restoration is swift, and the tree suffers little long-term harm.
Rehabilitation will be delayed in more severe forms, yet you will eventually notice renewed growth and health. Regeneration is less probable if the tree has lost most of its foliage or the underwatering problems have gotten so bad that all of the fronds are brown and curled.
Without sufficient numbers of fresh leaves that can photosynthesize the sun’s radiation, the fiddle tree will not thrive.
Wilted or drooping leaves typically come back to life rapidly when underwatering problems are fixed. Nevertheless, leaves that are twisted or have become brown cannot be saved. The dried leaves must be removed since they are devoid of the chlorophyll required for photosynthesis, so they won’t cast a spell to turn green.
Cut curly brown or dead leaves off the fiddle fig plant near its stem. Instead of adequately pruning the fiddle fig plant, which is typically only necessary if you are eliminating areas of a plant with greater vitality, you may normally pluck these by hand with such a slight tug to extract it from the stalk or branch.
Underwatered Fiddle leaf figs are easier to handle in the initial stages. However, the chances of their survival are still great if the dead matter is removed and the techniques mentioned above are applied to solve the issue.
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.