Why are My Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves So Small? [Causes & Fixes]

The huge, veiny leaves, some of which take the shape of fiddles, have made this stunning plant famous. New leaves should emerge every four to six weeks and be the same size as the older leaves.

If new, tiny leaves start appearing on the plant, it means that the plant needs assistance.

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Causes of Small Leaves

The following are the causes of small leaves in this plant:

1. Watering Issues

Overwatering your plant will eventually cause it to lose its leaves and die from root rot. Root rot is brought on by overwatering and containers with blocked or nonexistent drainage holes.

The plant’s roots become infected and eventually decompose due to this disease. Root rot occurs when a plant’s roots get diseased and impede the plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients.

Stunted development and small, immature leaves are potential outcomes of overwatering.

On the other hand, if you water your plant too little, it will drop its leaves, giving rise to withering and dehydration.

Remember to keep the soil damp, not wet. By setting up a weekly watering schedule, you may avoid overwatering or underwatering your plant. Allow the soil to dry out in the days between.

2. Sunlight

Insufficient light is detrimental to the health of fiddle leaf fig plants. It thrives under a mixture of indirect and direct light.

If the plant is not given the appropriate amount of light, its new leaves won’t be as big as the older leaves. The plant may start to seem unbalanced. Therefore, it is crucial to place your plant in a bright area.

Sunlight via a window is the ideal source of illumination. That light source must keep shining all day long. You’ll learn which window works best for your needs through trial and error.

3. Sunburn

Intense sunlight will cause large, dark brown spots to appear on the leaves of your fiddle leaf fern. Sunburnt young leaves cannot reach their full potential, producing small leaves as they grow. Leaves overexposed to the sun should be removed since they will not recuperate.

4. Not Enough Food or Other Nutrients

 Fiddle leaf figs and other sun-loving plants need fertilizer to make up for the soil nutrients they inevitably use.

If you suspect your plant’s delayed leaf growth, it might be because of a lack of fertilizer. Therefore, you should give fertilizer a try.

On the other hand, over-fertilization can also cause problems. Use a high-quality fertilizer once a month. Don’t overfeed it; otherwise, it might do more harm than good. It has the potential to be the cause of growth restriction and perhaps death.

A nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) ratio of 3-1-2 is ideal for fiddle leaf figs. Since it prefers nitrogen-rich foods, this ratio indicates a significant concentration of the element.

Fertilizer is only necessary during the growing season; therefore, there’s no need to give it to the plant in the winter.

5. Drainage Issues

Always choose a planter with a drainage hole. You can make do with a few holes drilled into the bottom of a disposable container. When the earth is saturated, any further water will drain.

Because the soil may dry up more quickly with drainage holes, the risk of overwatering is significantly reduced.

6. Size of the Container

Your fiddle leaf fig will flourish in a roomier container. You know it’s time to upgrade your fiddle leaf fig container if its roots are beginning to spill out of the drainage holes.

If it is kept in a tight container, its new leaves might develop at a much smaller scale. Repot the plant into a slightly larger container to yield bigger leaves.

7. Plant Disease

Anthracnose is a nasty fungal disease that destroys plants. It is known as leaf spot disease. When infected, the leaves will have brown patches with tiny black dots.

New leaves will also be infected by the fungus, leading to the plant’s eventual death.

The only option here is to cut off the diseased parts of the plant immediately before the infection may spread. Cover the unaffected areas with a fungicide application to prevent further spore growth.

8. Infestation

Fiddle leaf figs occasionally fall victim to insect infestations; however, it is quite unusual. Insects, known as scales, are the most common pests that attack this plant.

They appear as tiny brown lumps on your plant and are easily missed. When they settle on a patch of vegetation, they stop moving, and their outer shells solidify.

The female will keep eating and laying eggs, eventually hatching into larvae while clinging to the plant. It might even spread to its neighboring plants.

The first step in solving this problem is to isolate the plant. Stop these pests in their tracks before they infest your entire garden.

The next step is to pick off the bugs. You need a moderate infestation for this to function. You can use alcohol or neem oil to kill the insects if the infestation is bad enough. Neem oil can kill insects and prevent mold growth without using any synthetic chemicals.

Remove all infected parts, including leaves, branches, and stems. If you have to cut back many leaves, don’t worry; your plant will bounce back stronger and more beautiful than before.

9. Root Rot

Root rot may cause leaves to wilt, brown, and shrink in size. You’ll need to take it out of its container to inspect the roots of your fiddle leaf fig.

Symptoms of this fungal illness include soft, small, discolored, and mushy leaves.

If the root rot hasn’t spread over the entire root system, your fiddle leaf may be salvageable. If there are still some strong white roots, there is still a chance to save the plant.

Cut the infected part using a pair of scissors. Soak the remaining roots in a fungicide to kill off any lingering fungi. Report it for better results.

10. Temperature

Your fiddle leaf fig should be kept at 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plants of this genus are native to West Africa, where they thrive in the warm, humid atmosphere but are highly vulnerable to even minor shifts in their environment.

It would help if you didn’t expose your fiddle leaf to temperatures below freezing or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit since it could stunt its growth.

Cold damage and shock might occur if you leave your fiddle leaf in temps below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in the United States, you must grow this plant indoors.

11. Relative Humidity

Fiddle leaf figs require a humidity level of around 70%. Insufficient humidity throughout their growth stage might cause young leaves to appear wrinkled and shriveled. Leave tearing or hole formation in leaves may result from overly dry conditions.

Spray the leaves with water from time to time. It can help them retain moisture and strengthen them against damage. Get a humidifier to complete the task.

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Other Things You Must Know About Fiddle Leaves

  • The Fiddle Leaf Fig is native to Western Africa. However, it is now grown in homes and offices worldwide. It grows naturally in lowland tropical rainforests’ dense, warm, and moist conditions.
  • Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will grow happily and healthily in your home if you provide it with the proper care and environment.
  • The Fiddle Leaf fig is a houseplant that does not produce edible fruits or flowers.
  • The Fiddle Fig, when planted outdoors, can reach a height of around 15 meters, whereas when kept inside, it will only grow to about 3 meters. Many indoor Fiddle Leaf Figs can be kept at a manageable size, shape, and height using a larger or smaller container and periodic pruning.
  • It’s a weed killer, and it kills other plants. In its early stages, it usually grows on top of other trees. Its spreading roots will eventually encircle and kill the host tree. However, not all trees begin their lives this way. If you get a Fiddle Leaf from a nursery, you can rest assured that it hasn’t mowed down any other plants.
  • The Fiddle Leaf Fig is the plant of 2010 and beyond. This plant has been the standard for years in the home décor realm, indicating that it is the most popular houseplant of the decade.
  • You may find them in lovely planters ranging from basic modern white pot covers to curated baskets.
  • They are popular with interior designers and homeowners because they are sculptural and work well with various design aesthetics, from industrial to minimalist to bohemian chic. The best option in every respect!
  • The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a beautiful houseplant that can make a statement or liven up any dark space. Remember that they could be picky and slow to adjust to their new surroundings.

Final Word

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is one of the most popular houseplants in the United States. If you get one for your home or office, ensure to provide it with proper care and environmental conditions.

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