Fiddle Leaf Fig Is Dead – Signs & How to Revive a Fiddle Leaf Fig

A dead fiddle leaf fig can be identified by brown spots, yellow or brown leaves, and leggy stems. If you are noticing these signs, your fiddle leaf fig is in big trouble. And as a lover of fiddle leaf figs, I know how heartbreaking it is to witness your tree die.  You are at the right place if you don’t want to see the fiddle leaf fig die.

The most common causes of dead fiddle leaf figs are improper watering, insufficient sunlight, pests, and diseases. However, you may be able to save your fiddle leaf fig if you notice yellow, curling, or brown spots early on.

For the revival of your fiddle leaf fig, you will need to treat all damaged and dead parts of the plant, then provide the plant with the proper care, and finally notch the plant to encourage new growth. To gain a better understanding of these three steps, please continue reading the article. Also, in this article, I will provide you with some amazing tips on how to keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy.

Having said that, let us save your fiddle leaf figs

Signs of dying fiddle leaf fig

1. Yellow leaves


Yellowing leaves aren’t necessarily a sign of dead fiddle leaf fig. Also, there is an easy fix to the problem.

Usually, the yellowing of fig leaves is caused by overwatering. As it is common for owners to overwater plants.

Moreover, your fiddle leaf fig may develop root rot due to overwatering. However, this is a serious problem and should be treated right away.

A lack of light can also result in yellowing leaves. For fiddle leaf figs to flourish, indirect light is needed at least 6-8 hours a day.

It is also due to a lack of fertilizers that fiddle leaf figs develop yellow leaves. As they grow in their natural habitat, fiddle leaf figs can absorb all the essential nutrients from the soil.

However, as a houseplant, its only source of nutrients is fertilizers. Without enough fertilizers, fiddle leaf fig leaves will turn yellow.

Additionally, there are other causes of yellowing leaves, such as temperature fluctuations, pests, and soil acidity.

Check Out: Our blog post on Fiddle Leaf Fig Yellow Leaf – Causes and How to Fix Them!

2. Dark brown spots


Overwatering might cause dark brown spots to spread throughout the leaves.

Overwatering causes roots to rot because the soil retains water, so the plant sits on it for longer than usual. A brown spot on the leaves is a sign of root rot.

On the other hand, even underwatering can cause brown leaves. A fiddle leaf fig doesn’t like sitting on the water, but it doesn’t like dry soil either.

You know your fiddle leaf fig is underwatered when its leaves appear dry and crispy. Dry soil makes plants dehydrated because they can’t absorb enough nutrients or water from it.

In the African rainforests, fiddle leaf figs enjoy a warm and humid climate. Therefore, the level should not drop below 30-65% even with less humidity. Below that, the leaves turn brown.

Also, there will be brown spots on your fiddle leaf fig if it is infested with scales, mealybugs, or spider mites. If you look carefully, you might be able to spot them.

You will notice the young leaves are affected if your fiddle leaf fig has bacterial infections. Aside from turning yellow, these leaves will also turn brown and eventually fall off.

Read More: About Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots – Causes and How to Treat Them

3. White leaves


Leaves on your fiddle leaf fig may turn white or lose color. It can be caused by sunburn. Because too much direct sunlight bleach and discolor your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves.

Since the lower leaves are under the upper leaves, they are not directly exposed to the sun. Usually, sunburned leaves don’t recover, so you should prune them and move them to indirect light.

Mildew infection is another cause. A lack of light and air encourages mildew growth and spread. A mildew infection appears as a white powdery substance on the leaves or stems. It can kill the plant if it spreads.

To get rid of the infection, you will need to remove white leaves and allow airflow, as well as use a humidifier and apply neem oil.

Also Check: White Spots On Fiddle Leaf Fig – Causes And What To Do

4. Leggy fiddle leaf fig

Leggy fiddle leaf fig

Fiddle leaf figs with leggy stems grow too tall and have thin and weak stems.

There are a lot of reasons why your fiddle leaf fig is leggy. One of them is not enough light. To stay healthy and strong, fiddle leaf figs need a lot of light.

When there is no light, fiddle leaf figs start getting weak. You will see a long stem with very few leaves.

Using insufficient fertilizer can also weaken and leggy plants. Without fertilizers, the soil cannot supply enough nutrients to the plant.

Additionally, the fiddle leaf fig can be leggy if not pruned frequently. By pruning, the plant remains in shape and growth hormones are stimulated.

5. Curling of fiddle leaves

Curling of fiddle leaves

You might have underwatered your fiddle leaf fig if the foliage curls on all sides.

Besides curling leaves, brown spots will be visible around them. Starting at the edges, they move to the center.

Changes in humidity and temperature can also cause leaves to curl.

When you relocate a plant or change the season, its environment will change. You might see leaves curling because of this.

Water your fiddle leaf fig more if the temperature is high and use a humidifier to increase humidity.

Now, the time has come to save your dying fiddle leaf fig if you have noticed any of these signs. Hence, let’s see how to revive a dead fiddle leaf fig in the next section.

Also Read: How to Fix Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling

How to revive dead fiddle leaf fig

How to revive dead fiddle leaf fig

In three sections, I will explain how to revive a dead fiddle leaf fig. First, we will learn how to handle dead parts and damaged leaves of figs. Next, we will discuss how to care for your plants. Lastly, we will learn how to encourage fig new growth. 

1. Treating damaged and dead parts of fiddle leaf fig

The first step is to take out brown dead fig leaves. To do so, use your hands or a pair of sharp pruning tools. By doing this, dead leaves won’t drain your plant. Also, healthy leaves can help to revive your plant. Also, cut any white, powdery mildew growing on the stems or branches.

If your fig plant has mildew, spray neem oil on it. Cover the mildewed area generously with a fungicide spray made from neem oil. Do this every few days until the mildew starts to die.

Spray the infected areas with water to manually remove any small bugs, black spots, or dark spots that appear on the leaves, branches, or stems. To kill the bugs, dip a cotton swab in alcohol and press it on each spot.

If gnats are flying around your plants, fill a small dish with honey or apple cider vinegar. Put plastic wrap over the dish and poke holes with a toothpick. Near your plant, place your gnat trap.

If your plant has rot roots, move it to a better pot. Check the roots for rot if the leaves are falling off or turning brown around the edges. Cut off any wet, brown, and mushy roots with pruning shears. After that, plant your fiddle leaf fig in fresh soil and a better pot.

 If your fiddle leaf fig appears dry and under-watered, remove it from its pot and examine its roots for brown, shriveled, straggly roots. Pull the roots off the plant by cutting through them with a sharp knife.

When your plant’s leaves turn brown or yellow, remove them from its pot. To prevent the bacterial transfer, remove as much of the old soil as possible from the root ball. After repotting, create good drainage and fresh soil for your fiddle leaf fig.

Treating damaged and dead parts of fiddle leaf fig

2. Providing proper care to fiddle leaf fig

Make sure your plant receives 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight daily. You will probably notice your plants’ leaves turning brown if they don’t get enough sun.

Also, it’s best to keep the room between 60- 90 °F (16 – 32 °C). Keeping it at a moderate temperature will prevent the plant from overheating or getting too cold. Moreover, keep it away from drafty areas as much as possible. However, even if the room temperature is controlled, you can still get brown fig leaves.

When the soil on your fiddle leaf fig feels slightly dry, water it until it is moist. To prevent rot, place the plant in the sink or outside for a few hours to let the water drain out.

The only fertilizer you should apply to your fiddle leaf fig plant is liquid fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer every month in the spring, summer, and fall.

3. Encouraging new growth on fiddle leaf fig

Encouraging new growth on fiddle leaf fig

To encourage new branches, notch your fiddle leaf trunk. Choose where you want your fiddle leaf branch to sprout. After choosing, use a sharp knife, to make a 1/8-inch (0.32 cm) cut just above the node closest to the desired branch location.

By notching your fiddle leaf fig after pruning, you will encourage it to grow new, healthy branches, which will rejuvenate the plant. Also, there may be a bit of sap dripping during notching.

Use pruning shears to cut off the newest growth on the top of your fiddle leaf fig tree to revive it and encourage more branches. When the cut scabs over, it will force new growth in multiple directions

Wait until you see new growth on your fiddle leaf fig before you repot it if its roots start to outgrow its current pot. You may not be able to repot your fiddle leaf fig before it begins to revive.

Also, it is not recommended to prune brown, bare branches unless they are covered in mildew. After recovering from common issues, fiddle leaf fig branches often remain bare. After bare branches have recovered from winter, they may sprout new leaves in spring.

Throughout this section, we discussed how to save your fiddle leaf fig. But the best way to prevent fiddle leaf figs from dying is to take good care of them. Below you will find amazing tips to keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy.

The best way to keep fiddle leaf figs healthy

The best way to keep fiddle leaf figs healthy

1. Maintain a watering schedule for your fig plant

Owners of fiddle leaf plants often water their plants erratically. You should understand and maintain a proper watering schedule for your fig plants.

If you have no idea where to begin, give your fiddle leaf fig one cup of water a week and adjust as needed.

2. Choose a pot with the good drainage system

It is important to make sure that the pot has enough drainage holes. So, before you add soil to the pot, add some stones to prevent the soil from plugging in the drainage holes.

Moreover, well-draining soil with light nutrients will aid excess water drainage.

Check Out: How To Choose the Best Pot For Fiddle Leaf Fig (Size and Type)

3. Regular Repotting

You will eventually get rootbound with fiddle leaf figs. 

A rootbound plant can’t absorb nutrition or water from the soil, so you have to transplant it.

Even if the plant isn’t rootbound, it needs to be repotted every 2-3 years because the soil tends to get acidic. 

It’s good to repot your plants every few months to keep them healthy.

4. Pruning

The plant stays in shape and grows better when it’s pruned. Hence, it’s best to prune any damaged leaves or stems so the plant can heal faster.

5. Cleaning fig leaves

As fiddle leaf figs have large leaves, they tend to accumulate dust a lot. By cleaning the leaves, the plant gets rid of pest infestations and can photosynthesize more efficiently.

Learn More: About How To Clean Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves

6. Correct location

Don’t forget to give your fiddle leaf fig enough light.

Pick a spot with enough indirect light so your plant can thrive. It’s best if you put the fiddle leaf fig near a south-facing window so it gets a lot of light.

Avoid placing the plant near a fireplace or heating machine. Also, AC air can make your fiddle leaf figs dry.

If your area has low humidity, place a humidifier in the room so the plant doesn’t get dry.

7. Proper fertilization

For fig growth, they need ample nutrition. The leaves are big, so they need a lot of energy.

It is best to use a fertilizer with a 3:1:2 NPK ratio. A fiddle leaf fig’s fertilizer formula should contain nitrogen and phosphorus to promote growth.

If you want to keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy, fertilize at least once a week

In winter, plants rest and don’t grow actively. Fertilizers will only burn the roots during the winter.

Few questions on dying fiddle leaf fig

Q1. Why is my fiddle leaf fig tree dying?

Ans. Some of the main causes of dying fiddle leaf fig are improper watering, inadequate sunlight, poor soil, and disease. 

Q2. Should I remove dead fiddle leaf fig leaves?

Ans. Yes, it is a good idea to do light trimming or remove dead fiddle leaf fig leaves.

Q3. Can I revive a dead fiddle leaf fig?

Ans. Yes, you can revive a dying fiddle leaf fig if part of the trunk or stem is alive. Additionally, it will take a lot of care and time to revive dead fiddle leaf fig. To begin with, you need to prune off all the dead parts of your fiddle leaf fig.

Q4. How do I cut dead fiddle leaf fig leaves?

Ans. With the help of clean and sharp tools prune off the dead parts of fiddle leaf fig. Be careful not to crush or damage the fiddle leaf fig stem while cutting. Cut each leaf or trunk about half an inch long. In this way, the main trunk and any remaining leaves of your fig plant will be safe from infection.


The fiddle leaf fig is relatively easy to grow, but some issues can lead to the death of the plant if not addressed properly.

Also, there are a number of causes of dying fiddle leaf figs, including inadequate light, overwatering, pests, and diseases.

It is usually possible to save a fiddle leaf fig if you treat its particular issue and provide it with the right care and conditions. With the notching method, you can help your plant flourish by encouraging new growth. Also, make sure your plant stays healthy by following mentioned tips in the article. 

If you found this article useful, please make sure to share it with your friends. We also have other posts related to fiddle leaf figs, so be sure to check them out.

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  • Prachi Parate

    Prachi Parate is an enthusiast writer. She is a native of a science background, where botanical science was one of her favorite subjects. It was always Prachi's dream to combine her passion with a career. Hence, her fascination with plants led to a career as a writer. Also, she believes that taking good care of yourself is key to happiness. Time spent in nature is one of her favorite self-care practices. It is her goal to transform her learning into content that helps readers.

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