Fiddle Leaf Fig Dropping Leaves: A Fiddle Leaf Fig typically loses its leaves due to a hydration problem, a lack of sunlight, or stress from changing environmental circumstances. Although leaf drop can occur quickly, fixing the issue usually just requires simple adjustments to the plant’s surroundings and care.
If you’ve ever seen your Fig shedding leaves, you know how frightening it can be. However, being aware of the reasons why a Fiddle Leaf sheds otherwise healthy leaves will help you identify and address any issues that might be causing your plant’s deteriorating health.
In this article, I’ll go over the most frequent causes of Fiddle Leaf Figs dropping leaves as well as a few uncommon ones. I’ll also explain what you can do to save your plant and stop it from happening again.
What Can I Expect from a Healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Before we begin, it can be helpful to understand what to anticipate from your Fiddle Leaf when it is content, wholesome, and thriving in your house. The Fiddle Leaf Fig typically grows between a few and several inches in height during its growing season. At the plant’s apical meristem, or growing tip, the majority of this growth takes place.
If your fig has no branches at all, you’ll probably notice that it grows several inches from its single growth tip and can swiftly reach a height of six to eight feet in just a few seasons. The plant will appear bushier if it is well-branched, since you can see growth taking place at each branch tip.
A well-cared-for fig often produces new growth, with glossy leaves arranged neatly on robust stems and branches. New leaves, initially pale or discolored, rapidly deepen in color and size, resembling the plant’s existing leaves. Fiddle Leaf Figs have leaves evenly distributed throughout the plant, with only the oldest parts appearing naked.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Dropping Leaves: A Brief Note on Aging
If you are fortunate enough to have an older Fiddle Leaf, you might notice that your plant occasionally sheds a leaf even though it otherwise appears to be in perfect health. Don’t be concerned if your fig drops a leaf now and again. As the plant matures and expands, the oldest leaves start to deteriorate from the effects of time. Your fig will abandon these leaves and focus its efforts on growing new, more fruitful leaves.
The only time leaf drop is an issue is when it occurs quickly and frequently without much notice. Older, less resilient leaves will begin to appear leathery and dried. Before they inevitably fall off, they can start to lose color as your Fig starts to divert nutrients to the plant’s more fruitful areas. You shouldn’t be concerned at all because this is all a normal phase of your plant’s life cycle.
3 Likely Causes for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Dropping Leaves
Any other leaf loss, including Fiddle Leaf’s oldest leaves being replaced by new, productive ones, should be considered with concern. Since figs keep onto their leaves for a long time, when the plant starts dropping them, there is usually an underlying problem that needs to be resolved before the situation gets worse.
Root Rot and Overwatering
Overwatering-related problems are by far the most frequent cause of Fiddle Leaf Figs shedding their leaves in homeowners’ gardens. Root rot is frequently the result of excessive water use. Root rot is an ailment that can spread from the roots to the entire plant, causing leaves lose.
A fig’s root system becomes waterlogged and is denied enough oxygen when it is overwatered, whether as a result of excessive watering or poor drainage in the soil and pot. As a result, soil-based bacteria attack the roots and cause them to waste away. The loss of the root system substantially impairs vital processes like gas exchange, nutrient absorption, and water control, which stresses the plant. The rot may start to spread up into the leaves as this issue worsens.
Your Fig will go into survival mode in reaction to the deficiency of nutrients and the prevalent rot, and in order to protect the most recent, most productive growth, it will begin dropping afflicted leaves, typically starting near the bottom of the plant.
Typically, other clear symptoms that your plant is excessively damp will also appear along with leaf loss caused by overwatering. In more severe occurrences of root rot, the leaves that fall off the plant may be yellow in color (an early warning sign of too much moisture), or they may have uneven, brown blotches that originate in the center of the leaves. Lower leaves typically suffer damage first and fall off first.
What To Do
If you suspect that your Fig is losing leaves due to overwatering, it is crucial to promptly address the issue. Let your fig dry out first and foremost. The Fig requires time to regain normal roots, which can only occur when the soil is no longer flooded.
Make sure your plant doesn’t have root rot if any of the leaves have brown spots. You’ll probably need to take the plant out of its container to look at the roots for this. It’s necessary to remove brown, mushy roots because they are dead and won’t revive. All of the surviving roots ought to be full and white. Take off as much soil as you can from the remaining strong roots.
Put fresh, well-draining potting soil in a clean container and repot your fig. The most crucial step at this point is to rid the plant of rot. The Fig may take some time to recover from the trauma of repotting and the reduction in the root system.
Underwatering may also cause a Fiddle Leaf Fig to lose its leaves. While much less common than overwatering, not enough moisture can cause your fig a lot of stress and cause it to shed leaves as a means of protecting what moisture there is inside the plant.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig actively retains moisture to maintain vital processes as it dries up. There is a halt in new growth, decreased respiration, and you might observe that the tips of the leaves start to dry out and turn brown.
What To Do
You must water your plant adequately if you feel that your fig is losing leaves as a result of drought-like conditions. Giving it a lengthy, deep sip at first will ensure that the potting soil is completely saturated and that any extra water drains from the bottom of the pot.
To determine whether water is actually being absorbed, you should examine the soil. With Fiddle Leaf Figs, the soil occasionally becomes old and compacted to the point that water has a hard time reaching the roots. When you water your plant, the majority of the water drains before the root system has a chance to absorb any moisture between the root ball and the pot’s side.
Your Fig needs a new pot if you observe any drainage problems or compacted dirt. When the top two inches of soil have dried up, only then should you begin to water deeply. This makes sure your Fiddle Leaf gets all the water it needs without having to worry about overwatering it and possibly creating a greater problem.
Fiddle Leaf Figs are somewhat resistant to change, as many Fig owners rapidly discover. These plants often adapt to their surroundings and environments and become adamantly hostile to any novel situations they may encounter.
Although Fiddle Leaf Figs can adjust to a broad range of varied temperatures, light levels, humidity levels, or soil conditions, if any of these changes occur too quickly, the plant will experience shock and lose several leaves.
The majority of the time, shock happens when a plant suffers abrupt changes in light and humidity. When you first bring your Fig home from the nursery or plant store, where light exposure and humidity levels tend to be significantly higher than what they encounter in our gloomy, dry homes, this is most frequently what happens.
What To Do
By introducing alterations to your Fig’s surroundings gradually, you may easily prevent stunning your plant and, consequently, shock-induced leaf drop. If you want to move your Fiddle Leaf, spread out the move over many days and gradually lengthen the time your plant spends in its new location.
By doing this, you can ensure that your Fig adjusts to the new circumstances, whatever they may be, over an adequate period of time to prevent stressing the plant out.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Dropping Leaves: Summary
Even though Fiddle Leaf Fig leaf drop can be frightening, the good news is that it typically just requires a few little adjustments in care to stop it from occurring and avoid it in the future.
To avoid any significant leaf drop and to guarantee full, healthy foliage covering your flourishing Fiddle Leaf Fig, all you need to do is make sure you are properly watering, giving your Fig enough light, being mindful of where you keep your plant, and gradually introducing changes. Best wishes!