Is fiddle leaf fig yellow leaf causing you stress?
Be at ease! Because yellowing of fiddle leaves is a common problem in fiddle leaf figs.
There are several reasons why your fig leaves are turning yellow. However, if you identify the cause quickly, you can save your plant’s beauty. Also, once the leaves turn yellow, they cannot be green again.
As I’m sure you don’t want to see your fiddle leaf fig drop all its leaves. So, in this article, I have explained all the possible causes of yellowing fiddle leaf fig leaves with their solutions. Thus, it would be easy to take action once you figure out why your fig leaves are turning yellow.
So, let’s get started!
Fiddle leaf fig yellow leaf: Causes and How to fix it!
1. Too much-watering fiddle leaf fig plants!
Almost all yellowing leaves in Fiddle Leaf Fig plants are caused by overwatering.
We sometimes water our houseplants too often in our attempt to be diligent houseplant owners. Our fear of discovering a thirsty, wilted fig plant is understandable, though most people are wrong about figs’ water requirements.
When a Fig is overwatered the excess moisture in the soil ends up causing the root system to get waterlogged. Thus, the roots are unable to perform essential functions for the plant, such as gas exchange and nutrient absorption.
Over time, your fig plant reduces its capacity to absorb nutrients resulting in a nutrient deficiency in the leaf. The fig leaves turn yellow, usually starting at the veins and moving outwards. In the beginning, yellowing affects the lower leaves and spreads up the plant over time.
How to fix an overwatered fiddle leaf fig plant?
Give your plant one cup of water a week if it is less than 2 feet from the soil. If your plant measures over 2 feet, you can use two cups of water. However, you should periodically adjust the amount and frequency of watering.
Furthermore, fiddle leaf figs enjoy moist conditions. So, it’s best not to let the soil completely dry out. Always check the soil before you water the plant. When the soil feels moist and cold, your fiddle leaf fig is ready to be watered.
Moreover, it is always best to water less in winter. As your fig is in dormancy. For the rest of the year, when the plant is actively growing you can water more.
Furthermore, a well-draining pot will help prevent root rot. So, ensure that your pot has drainage holes so that excess water can drain. If you have got a fig plant in a sunny and bright area, it will need more water than one in a relatively dark spot.
2. The fiddle leaf fig plant has a poor drainage system!
In any container, drainage is vital. When there are no drainage holes, water collects around the roots. Thus, causing root rot in plants. As with overwatering, these conditions will quickly turn the leaves yellow.
Also, choosing the right soil mix is important for drainage. As soil with tightly packed particles is unable to drain well and retains too much moisture, especially indoors.
How to fix poor drainage in fiddle leaf fig plants?
To increase the spacing between particles, choose a well-draining soil mix amended with perlite.
If you are making your container, drill holes along the bottom to facilitate drainage. Additionally, it is not advisable to use rocks at the bottom. As rocks do not function as drainage holes and cause water to stagnate, allowing bacteria to grow.
3. Lack of water in fiddle leaf fig plants!
Fiddle Leaf Figs are dependent on water for photosynthesis, keeping the leaves upright, keeping cool, and delivering nutrients.
If your fiddle leaf fig does not receive adequate moisture, the leaves will begin to droop. This is due to the lack of moisture in the plant’s cells, causing it to lose its upright shape. Eventually, plants will become yellow and drop off if there is too little moisture.
How to fix yellow leaves on fiddle leaf figs caused by lack of moisture?
Water more frequently and test the soil more frequently at that point. Also, observe changes in environmental conditions that could affect soil moisture levels daily.
4. Fiddle leaf fig plant leaves turn yellow in low light!
Lack of light exposure can also cause yellow leaves on your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Since figs require lots of bright, indirect sunlight, they struggle in places that are too dim.
Figs have big, fan-like leaves. To keep their leaves looking vibrant and dark green, these plants require a large amount of light to produce chlorophyll.
Additionally, it is common for your plants to produce less chlorophyll when they are in a dim spot.
Lower light intensity down-regulates the genes that synthesize chlorophyll. As a result, the plant’s ability to photosynthesize is negatively affected, since it relies on chlorophyll to create food. Over time, the leaves of the plant become yellow due to a lack of chlorophyll and nutrients.
What to do if your fiddle leaf fig plant doesn’t get enough light?
Find a spot in your home that gets more sun exposure if you suspect your Fig isn’t getting enough light. It is best to choose a location that receives at least six hours of indirect, bright light each day. The fig will happily take more light if you give it a little longer, but at least six hours will do.
Also, don’t be afraid to place it in a bright spot in your home. Fiddle Leaf Figs can handle a little direct sunlight.
Nevertheless, if you are moving it to a brighter area, give it time to acclimate to the new environment so as not to shock it. This can be accomplished by slowly increasing the amount of bright, direct light the plant receives over several days. Also, protect it from extreme light with sheer curtains if necessary.
Besides, if you want to prevent yellow leaves in the future caused by inadequate light exposure, you should ensure you give your Fig enough sunlight. You may need to give it the best spot in your home with the lightest, such as a south-facing window. With a grow light, you can supplement your Fig’s exposure if you don’t have great exposure.
In most cases, figs recover rather quickly once they are moved to a brighter location. In a few weeks, you should notice previously pale yellow or pale green leaves becoming more vibrant and green.
5. Your fiddle leaf fig plant lacks minerals and nutrients!
To function smoothly and keep the plant alive and healthy, plants require a variety of nutrients and minerals. Figs are no exception. There are instances when certain nutrient deficiencies can cause the leaves of your fig to yellow, though it’s not common.
In the case of nitrogen deficiency, yellowing can begin inside the oldest leaves and eventually spread up to the newer growth. Similarly, overwatering and poor drainage disrupt nutrient absorption. Potassium deficiencies can yellow the edges of leaves, while the inner portions remain green. A lack of iron, magnesium, and sulfur can also cause yellowing.
How to fix the nutrient deficiency in fiddle leaf fig plants?
In general, you have two options to correct yellowing. During the growing season, you can apply supplemental liquid fertilizer once a month.
When watering, dilute the fertilizer to half-strength and apply it only once a month. This should be done during Fig’s growing season, which is from early spring to late fall.
During the winter months, when the plant is dormant, there is no need to supplement its nutrition. Too much feed will burn the plant’s roots if too much accumulates in the soil during this time.
As a second option, you can transplant your Fig into the new soil. You should do this especially if your Fig has been in the same soil and container for a long time, as the soil is probably depleted over time.
Many quality potting soils include slow-release fertilizer that provides all of the nutrients plants need for several months. By replanting your Fig in new soil, you will ensure that it has everything it needs to thrive.
As soon as you apply supplemental fertilizer or revitalize the soil, nutrition deficiencies are usually resolved fairly quickly, and you may even notice improvements to the color of your Fig within a few days.
Moreover, don’t be alarmed if your Fiddle Leaf Fig looks a bit wilted for a week or two after transplanting. Figs can be stressed by any changes in the environment, so don’t overwater or make any other changes until they settle back down.
6. A pH imbalance in the fiddle leaf fig plant’s soil!
If you have planted your fig in a pH imbalance soil, it can lead to plants yellowing leaves.
Soil becomes more acidic as organic compounds. This process is slow however it becomes intensified if you have applied many fertilizer applications. Additionally, if you have added coffee grounds to your soil.
When the soil becomes acidic, its nutrients aren’t readily available for your fig. As a result, it leads to nutrient deficiencies and fiddle leaf fig yellowing leaves. These deficiencies arise when the soil pH becomes 6.0-7.0 which is acidic. Whereas, the fiddle leaf fig plant prefers neutral soil pH.
How to fix an imbalanced pH in fiddle leaf fig plant’s soil?
The most common and easy solution is to re-pot your fig plant in neutral pH soil. Usually, solid acidification happens over time as soil breaks down. However, if you regularly repot your plant in a larger pot with balanced soil, this problem won’t occur. Ideally, you should plant every 2 years or so.
Another way is to apply lime to the soil occasionally. Lime consists of calcium and magnesium. Both these nutrients are vital for plant growth. Moreover, these nutrients help to replace hydrogen levels in the soil. You can go with this option if your fig plant is larger and difficult to re-pot.
Moreover, before you evaluate the pH of your soil consider using a pH tester kit. Because pH issues are rare, it is better to double-check such situations before upsetting your plant.
7. Your fiddle leaf fig plant can get a transplant shock?
Fiddle leaf figs are overly dramatic plants. Whenever there is a change in their environment they respond with yellowing fig leaves. Additionally, in extreme cases, there is a leaf drop.
Your plant experiences shock when they are transplanted or there is a large environmental change. For example, a major difference in lighting conditions or extreme temperature. As fig plants do not adapt quickly to big changes, they suffer as they struggle to acclimatize to new conditions.
How to avoid transplant shock in fiddle leaf fig plants?
To prevent the yellowing of fig leaves after transplanting, make sure you provide all the nutrients your fig needs. Additionally, avoid any extreme conditions.
For instance, watering your fig after transplant is essential. This helps the fig plant to establish it in new conditions. However, make sure there is a good drainage system. In any case, you should avoid overwatering fig.
The same goes for light levels. After repotting, provide your fig with as much indirect light as you can. At the same time, it is important to protect your plant from direct sunlight while it is acclimating. Additionally, avoid applying any fertilizer directly after transplant. Because your new potting soil will have everything your fig needs already.
Also, to avoid shock caused due to big environmental changes, always take the time to acclimate your plant. Let your fig get used to new light conditions by gradually moving it to a new spot. Additionally, you can slowly increase the time exposed to the new light level.
Moreover, consider other factors such as humidity, temperature, and exposure to drafts or vents. Make sure your fig plant is protected from any extreme cases.
As long as you allow your plant to acclimate, it will be fine. Once your plant gets adapted to its new environment soon yellow leaves will turn green again.
8. Pest Infestation on fiddle leaf fig plant!
Figs rarely get attacked by pests. However, if sometimes your plant gets pest infestation it will cause discoloration.
To determine if pests have caused the fiddle leaf fig to yellow leaf closely inspect your plant. Check for the signs such as holes, webbing, and creepy crawlies insects.
How to treat pest infestation on fiddle leaf fig plants?
Scale, spider mites, and mealybugs can attack your fig plant and cause yellowing leaves. Hence, check for pests on leaves or underneath. If you notice any pests, if possible you can manually pick them. Otherwise use insecticides or insecticidal soap to treat pests.
Why neem oil is important to treat pests?
Neem oil is always considered the best way to treat pests. Neem oil is excellent for killing eggs and larvae of pests so that they don’t reproduce.
Just dip a cotton ball in a diluted neem oil solution and apply on fig leaves and leave it for a day.
Why is soap water important to treat pests?
Using soap and water is the common solution to treat pest infestation. Moreover, you can easily get insecticidal soap in the market.
Additionally, you can use a solution of liquid hand wash or hand soap and spray it on plants. Or else you can take a cloth and dip it in soap water and wipe the leaves with that solution.
9. Overfeeding the fiddle leaf fig plant!
Usually, the new fig parent thinks that feeding the plant more can improve the plant’s growth. Unfortunately, this is not true.
Overfertilizing the plant causes a build-up of salts in the soil. This excess feeding burns the roots and leaves of the plants. Thus, turning the fiddle leaf fig into a yellow leaf.
How to feed the fiddle leaf fig plant?
While applying fertilizer, always follow the instructions and recommended amount mentioned on the bottle.
Moreover, if you are repotting the plant into high-quality soil, adding fertilizer may not be necessary. Furthermore, it is always best to add less fertilizer than too much to the fig plant.
10. Root Rot causes fiddle leaf fig yellow leaf!
Fungus is the main culprit behind root rot. Various types of fungi grow in moist environments. Usually, the fungal attack is common when you bring a new plant from the nursery. Also, it is possible while repotting the plant. When this fungus resides in the soil, they eat away at the roots. Thus, eventually, causing roots to die.
When the root stops functioning correctly, fiddle leaf fig leaves turn yellow and start to drop. Usually, this starts from the oldest leaves of the plant first.
How to treat root rot in a fiddle leaf fig plant?
The only way to treat root rot is to repot the plant with new soil. Moreover, trim off any damaged roots for the healthy growth of the plant.
Also, if you are using the same pot, make sure to clean that pot with soap and water thoroughly. This will remove any fungi that might have remained on the pot.
11. Unsuitable temperature and humidity for fiddle leaf fig plant!
Fiddle leaf fig enjoys the heat. Also, they prefer high humidity levels between 70%-90% throughout the year.
The ideal temperature for the fig plant is 60F- 75F. If the temperature reaches too far beyond this range, the fig stops growing. After that, they may face cold or heat stress that causes the fiddle leaves to turn yellow. Also, in extreme cases, yellow fiddle leaves can turn brown or black.
Also, low humidity causes the fiddle leaf fig to be yellow. Due to lack of moisture, figs start to change their color to pale yellow. Usually, it starts with browning at the leaf tips first.
How to fix fiddle leaf fig yellowing leaves caused by temperature fluctuation?
Fig plants prefer high temperature and humidity. However, the most important thing is to provide the plant with consistent temperatures throughout the years.
By providing a consistent and high temperature you can prevent the yellowing of fiddle leaf fig leaves.
Moreover, it would be helpful if you place a temperature and humidity meter near your plant. This will help you to keep an eye on the fig’s condition.
12. The presence of cold drafts in fiddle leaf fig plants!
No doubt, good airflow prevents pests and diseases from attacking your houseplants. However, airflow and a strong draft are two different things.
The leaves need a light breeze to breathe, but strong drafts (especially cold ones) dry them out. These drafts cause rapid temperature changes, causing the leaves to yellow. Also, it is common for leaves to drop due to cold drafts.
How can you protect fiddle leaf fig plants from cold drafts?
Do not place your trees in the path of drafts or air conditioners. Immediately move the plant to a warmer spot if you notice yellow leaves due to this issue.
13. Changes in the environmental condition around fiddle leaf fig plants!
Houseplants dislike dramatic changes in their care or environment. Change is difficult for Fiddle Leaf Fig. Whenever their environment or care changes, they will start to show signs of stress.
Yellowing leaves are one of the signs of stress. Dropping leaves is also common, especially if they have turned completely yellow.
How to fix fiddle leaf fig yellow leaf caused by environmental changes?
Maintain consistent weather conditions throughout the year, especially if you live in a region with huge seasonal differences.
14. Age of the fiddle leaf fig plant!
It’s natural for houseplants to age. There is no way to hold onto all the leaves forever. Some older leaves turn yellow, then brown, and fall off the plant as part of their natural cycle.
There is no need to worry about one or two old leaves falling off. However, your problem may be different if you notice yellowing leaves on newer leaves or if several turn yellow at once.
In the next section, let us discover how to prevent fiddle leaf fig yellow leaf.
How to prevent yellow leaves on fiddle leaf fig plants?
It is easy to prevent fiddle leaf fig yellow leaf if you provide your plant with the right care. Make sure to give the following conditions to your fig plant to keep them healthy so that they can deal with issues on their own.
- Give fig plants bright indirect light. Moreover, if possible provide them with direct morning sun.
- A well-draining and airy soil is important for fiddle leaf fig growth.
- Make sure to repot your plant in new potting soil every 2 years or so.
- Provide high temperature and humidity to the plant.
- Maintain a watering schedule to ensure regular watering of fig.
Few questions on the fiddle leaf fig yellow leaf plant!
Q.1 What is the cause of the yellowing of my fiddle leaf fig tree leaves?
Ans. One of the most common problems with fiddle leaf figs is yellow, discolored leaves, often caused by overwatering. Hence, it is best to keep fiddle soil relatively moist, but not consistently waterlogged or soggy.
Q.2 Should I remove yellow leaves from the fiddle leaf fig?
Ans. Fiddle leaf figs are beautiful, but they are finicky. They seem to lose their leaves just by sneezing at them. A yellowing leaf, however, is an indication that there is something wrong with the plant. You can fix it and make it happy again to keep your plant alive!
Q.3 Is it possible for yellow leaves to turn green again?
Ans. Unfortunately no, yellow leaves will not turn green again. It is chlorophyll that gives a leaf its green color. When the leaf loses its chlorophyll, the plant abandons it and begins absorbing its remaining nutrients. Thus, once a leaf turns yellow, it cannot be turned back green.
Q.4 Is too much water causing yellow leaves?
Ans. When your plant’s leaves turn yellow, you are either overwatering or underwatering it. Water is essential for plants to survive, and if they don’t get enough, they drop leaves to conserve it.
As you can see there are several reasons your fiddle leaf fig has a yellow leaf. Fortunately, yellowing leaves on figs can be fixed.
Since there are many causes, getting to the root of the problem may be difficult. So maintaining the right conditions and watering schedule for them, as well as repotting them regularly, is always the best course of action.
There is a solution to most of them. However, there is one thing you cannot do when your plant leaves naturally as it ages. Further, the best advice here is to provide your tree with the right care and favorable conditions to prevent yellowing leaves. I would appreciate it if you shared this article with others who enjoy figs. Also if you have any questions, feel free to comment down below!
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