Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaf Curling – Causes and How to Fix It

There is a great deal of popularity for fiddle leaf fig leaves. Obviously, who wouldn’t love those large, glossy, green leaves? That’s why it is always disheartening to see a fiddle leaf fig leaf curling up.

Several factors may contribute to the curling of fiddle leaf fig leaves. In most cases, the problem is caused by overexposure to light, improper watering, disease, or pest infestation. However, there are a number of other reasons as well. 

No matter what the cause, it is always important to take action as soon as possible. Otherwise, your fiddle leaf fig plant will lose its aesthetic appeal. 

Throughout this article, I will share with you the main causes and solutions to fiddle leaf fig curling. Additionally, I will tell you how to avoid fiddle leaf fig curling in the future. So, make sure you read all the way through.

So, let’s explore what causes curling fiddle leaf fig leaves and how we can fix them

Why are fiddle leaf fig leaves curling up

Why are fiddle leaf fig leaves curling up

1. Lack of watering

We all know water plays a crucial role in many plants’ life-sustaining processes, including Fiddle Leaf Figs! When you underwater your Fiddle Leaf Fig, its leaves will curl. Also, lack of moisture causes fiddle leaf fig plants to wilt and dry out. 

By acting as a vessel, water allows nutrients to reach the roots of plants. Without enough water, the plant dries out and doesn’t get enough nutrients. This causes fiddle leaf fig leaf to curl up.

How to fix underwatered fiddle leaf fig?

Be sure to keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s soil moist. When the soil is dry, or very nearly dry, water your plant. 

Also, Fiddle Leaf Figs benefit from humidity in the air. An ideal humidity level for them is between 30 and 65%.

In places with dry air, use a humidifier. By doing this, your Fiddle Leaf Fig won’t suffer from underwatering.

Check Out: Our detailed blog on Underwatered Fiddle Leaf Fig – Symptoms and How to Save

2. Overwatered fig plant

Overwatered fig plant

On a fiddle leaf fig, overwatering can lead to leaf curling and deformed leaves. More importantly, too much water can cause root rot and other diseases. 

Aside from leaf curling, overwatering results in stunted growth, mold and mildew growth, wilted and droopy leaves, soggy blisters on the foliage, and weak stems.

How to fix overwatered fiddle leaf fig?

If your fiddle leaf figs are overwatered, remove them from their pot, inspect them for root rot, and remove any dead or discolored roots. Next, in a sterilized container, pot these plants with fresh soil. Moreover, use a fungicide rinse if you discover rot on the roots.

3. Root rot

Root rot

An overwatered fiddle leaf fig will have root rot. Sadly, this fungal disease is common among fiddle leaf figs. This disease causes leaf curling, water blisters on the leaves, weak and soggy stems, and even death to the plants.  

How to treat root rot in fiddle leaf fig plants?

  •  Only water your Fiddle Leaf Fig when the topsoil is dry.
  • Ensure the pot has plenty of drainage holes.
  • Check the soil’s moisture with a water meter.
  • Be consistent with your watering schedule. This will prevent situations where you are tempted to water twice in a short period of time.
  • Use the appropriate amount of water for your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Check out the below table to understand the amount of water a fig plant needs based on its size.
Size of fiddle leaf figAmount of water per week
< 2ft. (0.6m)240ml
2 – 3ft. (0.6 – 0.9m)480ml
3 – 6ft. (0.9 – 1.8m)720ml
>6ft. (>1.8m)960ml

Read More: About Fiddle Leaf Fig Root Rot – Causes, Signs, and How to Fix

4. Overfertilizing fiddle leaf plants

There is no doubt that plants of all kinds need a little fertilizer every now and then, but giving them too much fertilizer can bring about just as many problems. 

In the right ratio, fertilizers contain various nutrients that promote plant growth and health. However, if you give the fig plant too much of these nutrients, the plant can become overfed.

Additionally, overfeeding will cause the fiddle leaf fig to grow quickly, which at first might seem like a good thing. But unfortunately, a plant’s root system will not handle this rapid growth. 

How to fix fig leaves problem caused by overfeeding?

In winter, fiddle leaf fig trees do not need fertilizer. If you fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig in winter, you will overfertilize your plant.

If you are using a liquid fertilizer, dilute it according to the directions on the package. 

Apply fertilizer about 3:2:1. This ratio encourages growth and is not too much for Fiddle Leaf Figs.

Check Out: When and How to Fertilize Fiddle Leaf Fig

5. Lack of nutrition in the soil

It is possible for plants to lack nutrition due to a lack of nutrients in the soil, damaged roots, or inadequate sunlight.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig needs nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to thrive. Through photosynthesis, they convert these nutrients into sugars for consumption. In the absence of nutrition, leaves curl because the plant cannot produce food.

How to fix nutrition deficiency in fiddle leaf fig

  • Feed your plant at least once a week with a 3:2:1 fertilizer.
  • Provide your Fiddle Leaf Fig with a large amount of bright sunlight.
  • Make sure not to over fertilize your plant, as this will damage the roots.
  • Avoid overwatering because it can cause root rot. Additionally, roots with rot won’t be able to extract nutrients from the soil.

Learn More: How to Choose Best Soil for Fiddle Leaf Figs to Thrive

6. Sudden change in temperature

Fiddle leaf figs are native to Africa, where they require a constant temperature of 60- 80℉. Fig leaves would curl up if you didn’t have this constant temperature. 

Additionally, if not given the correct growing temperature, the plant may suffer shock, stunted growth, and even death.

How to provide the correct temperature for the fig plant?

For an accurate reading of the temperature, keep a thermometer near your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Also, change the room if it’s too cold or too warm.

Place your Fiddle Leaf Fig away from air conditioners, fans, drafts, or heaters.

Read More: About Fiddle Leaf Fig Temperature Tolerance

7. Using hard water 

Fiddle Leaf Figs’ health is affected by the water that they drink. There are certain components in water that are toxic to fiddle leaf figs. A common example is tap water which may contain chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine.

When these are absorbed, they can burn your plant’s roots and body. Also, it is possible for some water to be mineral-rich. Water that is hard has a higher concentration of minerals than water that is soft.

Adding these minerals to the soil can cause salt to build up in the soil, inhibiting roots’ ability to absorb necessary nutrients, causing fiddle leaves to curl.

Which is the best water for fiddle leaf fig?

If possible, use rainwater to water your Fiddle Leaf Fig. In its natural habitat, plants have access to water similar to this one.

Alternatively, you can use distilled or filtered water if rainwater is not available. Compared to tap water, these contain fewer minerals and chemicals.

Check Out: Fiddle Leaf Fig Watering Guide

8. Too much sunlight

Light is good for fiddle leaf figs, but too much can damage them.

It is ideal for these plants to receive plenty of bright, indirect sunlight for as many hours as possible. However, they don’t like direct sunlight.

When a plant is exposed to direct sunlight it can become too hot, causing it to become under-watered.

Also, direct sunlight can scorch leaves. This causes fiddle leaf fig leaves to curl.

How to protect fiddle leaf figs from direct sunlight?

9. Bacterial or fungal infection

Bacterial or fungal infection

The Fiddle Leaf Fig plant is especially susceptible to fungal infections.

Light brown and tan spots on the leaves, yellowing leaves, and curling leaves are signs of fungal infections.

Unlike root rot, this bacterial or fungal infection affects the lower leaves first.

Moreover, bacterial diseases can affect the entire plant.

How to treat a diseased fiddle leaf fig plant?

  • Using sharp, sterilized pruning shears, remove the affected leaves as soon as you catch the fungal infection.
  • Repot your fiddle leaf fig plant. Remove as much soil from the root ball as possible to prevent the infection from spreading. Before transplanting your Fiddle Leaf Fig, make sure the new pot is disinfected. Additionally, sterilize the soil or use new soil. 
  • Don’t overwater, as water can spread the fungus.
  • Remove rotting debris, such as old leaves, from the pot.In these conditions, fungi thrive.
  • Lastly, ensure tools are sterilized.

10. Insect infestations

Insect infestations

A variety of pests feed on fiddle leaf figs, including mealybugs, scale, mites, whiteflies, and aphids.

It is common to see insects on Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves or stems, as they feed on them. Moreover, these tiny creatures rob vital nutrients from your plant. As a result, your Fiddle Leaf Fig suffers from nutrient deficiencies.

Also, mealybugs can leave behind a residue that causes mold. Leaves curl when they are infested by mealybugs because the plant won’t get enough nutrients and is damaged by them.

How to treat pest infestation on fiddle leaf fig?

  • Take action as soon as you see insects on your plant.
  • Wipe down the leaves and stems of your plants with a soapy wet rag. Every few days, repeat this action.
  • Alternatively, you can spray 1 liter of water with a tsp of dish soap.
  • You can use neem oil to get rid of fiddle leaf fig insects organically.

11. Low humidity

A humidity level of 40% to 60% is ideal for fiddle leaf figs. If the humidity level drops below this percentage, the plant may exhibit the same symptoms as not enough water, including curling leaves.

How to fix the low humidity problem in fiddle leaf fig?

Get a humidifier. These are easy to buy and instantly increase humidity. Another option is to group your plants together. As one plant evaporates, the other plant receives moisture from the air.

Also Check: Fiddle Leaf Fig Humidity Requirements

12. Poor soil encourages problems

To grow fiddle leaf figs, it is necessary to have light soil that drains well and is well aerated.

They will have a hard time breathing if they don’t have this.

Salt or chemicals can also build up in poor soil, encouraging bacteria or fungal growth.

All of these things will make your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves curl if you use the wrong soil type.

Additionally, it will be hard for the roots to get water and nutrients.

Which type of soil is best for fig plants?

A potting mix that drains is best for Fiddle Leaf Fig. Additionally, put 1 – 2 inches (2.5 – 5cm) of gravel at the bottom of the container, then soil on top. It will help drain.

13. Choosing the incorrect pot size

Don’t choose a pot that’s too big or too small when repotting your Fiddle Leaf Fig. There should be at least six inches (15cm) more diameter in the new pot.

It can cause root rot, mineral buildup, or underwatering if planted in too large a pot.

Also, it may appear that the soil doesn’t need watering because it retains too much moisture and minerals.

However, you will end up with a pot-bound Fiddle Leaf Fig if you have a small pot. Also, you will damage the roots, and your plant won’t get enough nutrition from the soil.

Thus, if you plant your Fiddle Leaf Fig in the wrong pot size, the leaves will curl.

How to choose the correct pot size for a fiddle leaf fig?

  • Measure the diameter of your Fiddle Leaf Fig pot.
  • Your next pot should be three to four inches wide (7.5 to 10cm).
  • Don’t use a pot larger than 6 inches (15cm) in diameter when repotting.

All of these were possible causes of fiddle leaf fig curling. As promised above, let’s now take a look at how to prevent fiddle leaf figs from curling.

How to prevent fiddle leaf fig leaves wrinkling

  • Plan your watering schedule to avoid underwatering or overwatering. Water only after the topsoil has dried.
  • Water your Fiddle Leaf Fig after the same interval, and use the appropriate amount of water. 
  • Be careful not to over-fertilize. During your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s dormant stage, use diluted liquid fertilizer.
  • Make sure your Fiddle Leaf Fig gets lots of indirect sunlight.
  • To prevent mineral and chemical buildup in the soil, always use collected rainwater, distilled water, or filtered water.
  • Maintain a humidity level of 40 – 60%.
  • Don’t choose a pot that is too big or too small.

Few questions on fiddle leaf fig leaves wrinkling

Q1. Why are my Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves wrinkled?

Ans. Damage to the roots causes wrinkled leaves. Most commonly, this is caused by recent repotting or a brief period when the soil got too dry. For this, water your plants regularly to prevent wrinkles.

Q2. How do I fix cracked Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves?

Ans. Low humidity or overwatering causes cracking leaves. Make sure your home’s humidity is between 40 and 60%. If it’s too low, use a humidifier. Lastly, stay on a watering schedule and make sure the topsoil is dry before watering. 

Q3. Why are my fiddle leaf fig leaves curling inward?

Ans. The main reasons for fig trees leaf curling inward are underwatering, scorching sun, or fungal disease. If the leaves are curled inward, water the tree when the soil is 2 inches dry, then move it to a place with fewer sunlight hours.

Q4. Do I need to remove damaged fiddle leaf fig leaves?

Ans. Yes. Get rid of puckered leaves so they don’t pile up under the tree and spread spores that will further infect the tree.


It’s usually lighting issues and underwatering that cause fiddle leaf fig leaves to curl. Hence, place your fiddle leaf fig in a bright area where it will receive enough indirect light. Also, water the plant if the soil becomes dry.

There are also a number of other reasons for this problem, such as lack of humidity, improper fertilizing, pest infestation, root rot, as well as poor water quality. The only way to fix curling leaves in your fiddle leaf fig is to identify the cause and treat it.

Also, it’s important to give fiddle leaf figs a lot of light, water, nutrition, and humidity. In the absence of these factors, the plant will curl its leaves. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your fiddle leaf’s needs so you don’t get any problems, like curling leaves.

If you have any thoughts on fiddle leaf figs curling up, please let me know in the below comment section.

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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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