Fiddle leaf fig plants are one of my best-prized possessions and I am very proud of them. Can you imagine my concern when I started to notice my prized fiddle leaf fig was dropping leaves?
No matter how well you take care of your fiddle leaf fig, the leaves can fall off. Moreover, there are several reasons for fiddle leaf fig dropping leaves. And it is common for fiddle leaf figs to drop their leaves in response to stress.
Some of the most common causes for a fiddle leaf fig to droop its leaves because of:
- Inadequate sunlight
- Improper watering
- Pest infestation
- Dry air
- Bacterial disease
- Plant shock
So, is your fiddle leaf fig plant dying? Why is it losing its leaves? How can you fix this problem? Today, in this article, I will discuss the reasons why your fiddle leaf fig plant starts to lose its leaves all of a sudden and how you can fix this problem. Let’s find out below!
Reasons for fiddle leaf fig dropping leaves!
The Fiddle Leaf Fig loses its leaves for nine different reasons, including too much water, too little water, extreme heat, and extreme cold. It is also possible that sudden changes in light or bacterial infection may cause leaf falls, but the stress resulting from any of these conditions usually leads to leaf drops. Now, let’s discuss the reasons in detail!
1. Overwatering fiddle leaf fig
Leaf drop is caused by improper watering of the Fiddle Leaf Fig. Additionally, it is possible to lose foliage even by temporarily over watering. Fiddle root rot may cause a large number of leaves to drop at once if the soil is saturated long enough.
The only way to save a fig plant that is losing leaves from overwatering is to remove the saturated soil and replace it with a fresh potting mix. Also, watering less may be enough if only a few leaves have fallen.
2. Underwatering fiddle leaf fig
Leaves fall off too when the plant doesn’t get enough water. Figs do like a steady supply of water and relatively humid air. If your soil is not absorbing the water evenly, your plant will experience leaf drops due to dryness.
Hence, it is important to lift out the fig plant after a thorough watering. This will determine if there are any areas of dryness that could lead to water stress or leaf drop.
3. Lack of humidity causes leaves to drop
Due to its tropical origin, the fiddle leaf fig needs higher humidity than the typical home environment. The average household maintains a humidity level of 40%, while this houseplant prefers 60% or more.
So, it would be best if you placed the plant near a humidifier. At least in a humid room, such as a bathroom. Also, make sure that Fiddle Leaf Figs are kept away from heater vents and dehumidifiers. When fig leaves drop due to low humidity, they will dry out from the tips first.
4. The roots are packed too tightly in a pot
Occasionally, mature house plants show signs of being dry, regardless of how much water they receive. This is due to root rot. If the roots become too tightly packed in the pot, they crowd the outside and bottom. After watering, they are exposed to more air, which causes them to dry out quickly.
In the case of a root-bound plant, it’s best to replant it as soon as possible. You can see how rooted-bound the fiddle leaf fig plant is by lifting it out of its pot.
5. Unstable lighting conditions
A Fiddle Leaf Fig prefers bright and mostly indirect light, but not too much direct sunlight. During winter, as sunlight levels drop naturally, a plant will likely lose one or two leaves.
The best way to maintain stable light levels all year round is to use artificial lighting. Furthermore, it prevents sun scalding while providing sufficient light.
6. Fig temperatures fluctuate suddenly
When the temperature suddenly changes around a Fiddle Leaf Fig, it will drop at least a few leaves. No matter how hot the air from an open window or how cold the air from a heater is, this delicate houseplant is shocked by drafts. Hence, make sure they are not exposed to exterior doors that are opened regularly, especially during the winter.
Also, when leaves drop suddenly due to drafts or temperature changes, they may not be yellow or discolored at all. In time, the replacement leaves should grow if the drafts stop.
7. Pest infestation on fiddle leaf fig plant
If leaves continue to drop despite no changes in watering or lighting, the plant is probably infected by a pest or disease. Often, Fiddle Leaf Fig pests are too small to notice, like mites or aphids. Therefore, make sure you examine the undersides of healthy leaves, not just those that have fallen.
Dark spots on leaves, web-like mold on the soil’s surface, and withering stems are signs of disease.
8. Lack of fertilizer
When growing, Fiddle Leaf Figs do not need much fertilizer, but they do need nutrients every few months. If you don’t fertilize for a year or two, the fig will drop leaves. It is usually the inner veins of the Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves that turn yellow first, and then they shrivel and fall off.
Do not over-fertilize the plant in an attempt to solve the problem. To boost new growth without burning the roots, start with half the strength of what the fertilizer manufacturer recommends. After that, you can follow up two months later with the full-strength fertilizer.
9. Plant age of figs
As Fiddle Leaf Figs age, they naturally lose their leaves. Eventually, the bottom leaves of the plant become too old to support the plant.
A plant usually doesn’t turn yellow or develop dry tips before dropping off. It is usually the older leaves that drop first, whether it is due to aging or a problem. However, if the process is natural, only one to two leaves will be lost at once.
There may be other reasons why leaves can fall off suddenly, leaving half the plant without leaves.
How to prevent fiddle leaf fig drooping leaves?
There are several reasons why fig leaves drop, so adopting a proper care routine is the key to preventing it from ever happening.
1. Make sure you are watering fiddle leaf fig correctly
Watering your Fiddle Leaf properly is the biggest favor you can do. Make sure the top 2 inches of soil are dry by sticking your finger into the soil and only water when it is dry.
Give your plant a deep drink once the soil has dried out, and then wait until the soil has dried out again before watering. Using this method, you can avoid extreme over- or under-watering, which can lead to leaf drops.
2. Ensure good drainage
Your next step should be to check that the soil and pot in which your Fig is planted drains well. In either case, you can easily overwater a plant if they have improper drainage or if excessive moisture is retained.
It may be necessary to repot your Fiddle Leaf as it grows, at which point you can refresh the soil. So, make sure your potting soil has good drainage and is of high quality. If you want to make the substrate more airy and structured, you could add a few handfuls of perlite or pumice. If you prefer, you can mix in some cactus or succulent soil.
It is also important to choose containers that drain well. To properly wet the soil, you will be pouring a lot of water over it, and the extra needs to drain away. Following a watering session, you should pour off any excess liquid that fills the saucer.
3. Place the Fig tree in a bright location
Place your Fig tree in a location that receives at least several hours of bright, filtered sunlight each day to avoid leaf drops. Even a few hours of morning or afternoon direct sunlight won’t harm your plant. You can give it as much indirect sunlight as you want.
Consider using a grow light if you don’t have lots of light in your home or your Fig seems to be struggling despite being in the best location. You can even find free-standing lights for bigger plants, like Fiddle Leaf Figs, that fit into desk lamps.
4. Make sure your Fig is in a suitable environment
Consider your Fig’s environment as well. Pay attention to the amount of light, where the heating vents are located, and how dry the room feels.
It is important to remember that figs do not like change, so fluctuations in light, temperature, or humidity can upset them.
Maintain a temperature between 60 and 80 °F for your Fig by keeping it in a warm, draft-free place. Also, it may be necessary for you to keep the humidity levels in your room between 30% and 50% if you reside in a dry climate. Generally, humidifiers are pretty affordable, provide consistent moisture, and will likely benefit all of your houseplants, not just your fig.
Remember to move your Fig gradually so it can acclimate to its new home. They are pretty tolerant of a wide range of conditions, but they don’t adjust quickly. Avoid stressing out your Fiddle Leaf Fig by slowly introducing new conditions.
5. Avoid physical damage to fig plant
Despite our best efforts, physical damage to your houseplants will occur. This is not a major concern most of the time, and your plant will deal with it as best it can.
If any leaves are severely damaged, prune them away to preserve energy for future growth. Take note of the causes of the trauma. Moving a plant and bumping it is not a big deal. However, if a pest infestation caused the trauma, you need to treat the plant accordingly.
Few questions on fiddle leaf fig dropping leaves!
Q1. Is it normal for fiddle leaf fig leaves to fall?
Ans. As plants mature, they lose some leaves and newer leaves perform photosynthesis and make energy for the plant. A fiddle leaf fig that loses an occasional leaf is not a cause for concern if it is otherwise healthy.
Q2. Why Is Fiddle Leaf Fig Dropping Leaves In Summer?
Ans. Your fiddle leaf fig plant can drop its leaves in the summer if the temperature rises above 80 degrees or if it is exposed to too much direct sunlight. If your fiddle leaf fig does not get enough water in the summer sun, its leaves will drop.
Q3. What do you do when fiddle leaf fig leaves droop?
Ans. It is possible to see your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s branches go limp or its leaves droop and crisp up if you let the soil dry out completely. Soak the pot if the soil is extremely dry throughout. Place your plant in a sink or bathtub without a saucer and soak it for a few hours.
Q4. Will leaves grow back on fiddle leaf fig?
Ans. Whenever your Dog sheds a leaf, that node will die. Fiddle Leaf Ficus does not regrow the same leaf, so keeping the leaves healthy is essential to its survival.
Although it’s not ideal if your fiddle leaf fig drops leaves, it’s also not a huge deal. The sooner you notice the problem, the easier it will be to correct it before it gets too late. To determine what’s causing your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves to fall off, you have to eliminate factors one by one. You can easily restore your fig plant by simply adjusting its maintenance once you have identified the culprit.
The reason fiddle leaf fig leaves fall off is stress, but the cause can vary. Hence, it is important to be mindful of the growing needs of your fiddle leaf fig tree. Water your fiddle leaf fig plant properly, let the soil dry out slightly between waterings, give it ample light, and remove environmental stressors. Keep these tips in mind when growing figs and you will have thriving fiddle leaf figs.
This article has many reasons why fiddle leaf fig leaves drop. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about this fabulous houseplant. If you have any more questions or want to know something specific about your Fiddle leaf fig plant, reach out to us at plantslane. Also, don’t forget to share it with other fig lovers! I would be more than happy to help make your plant journey as easy as possible.
Until next time, Happy gardening to you!
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