Fiddle leaf figs are beautiful plants with big fiddle-like leaves famous on social media for their indoor aesthetic presence. If these plants start getting leggy, they won’t remain appealing, and it is a sign that there is something wrong. Let’s find out more about why your fiddle leaf fig is leggy and ways to fix it.
Lack of light is the most common reason for a leggy fiddle leaf fig. Move your plant to a bright spot where it gets enough sunlight throughout the day. Other causes of legginess in fiddle leaf figs are improper fertilization, sudden temperature change, and being root-bound.
You need to keep the plant at the brightest part of your house and make sure it gets proper fertilizers, even temperature conditions, and pruning from time to time.
We will discuss all the reasons for a leggy fiddle leaf fig and the steps you should take to fix the problem.
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Why is my fiddle leaf fig leggy?
Fiddle leaf figs are beautiful plants that have big lustrous leaves.
But when your fiddle leaf fig grows tall and has a weak and feeble stem, then you know your plant has become leggy.
There can be more than one reason for the fiddle leaf fig to become leggy and weak.
Fiddle leaf figs love bright light. A healthy and happy fiddle leaf fig requires a lot of light. When the plant doesn’t get enough light, it starts becoming leggy.
A leggy fiddle leaf fig will grow long stems that will seem unusual. It will have only a few leaves on the stem and will look weak and unhealthy.
In the wild, the fiddle leaf figs get a lot of light throughout the day. If the plant is not getting light for 6-8 hours daily, it will become leggy.
Also read: How much light do fiddle leaf fig need?
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Fiddle leaf figs are big plants that need a lot of energy. Therefore they need a lot of fertilizers that can provide them the required nutrition.
In their natural habitat, fiddle leaf figs can absorb all the nutrients from the soil with the help of their roots. That is not possible indoors, so they need a lot of fertilizers to keep them going.
Insufficient fertilizer makes the plant weak and leggy.
If you are not using a fertilizer with the correct ratio of nutrients, then the fiddle leaf fig is likely to get leggy.
Fiddle leaf figs love consistency. They love to remain in the same place and experience even temperature throughout the year.
A sudden rise or fall in the temperature can cause stress to the plant, leading to weakness and a leggy fiddle leaf fig.
Make sure you don’t move the plant from one room to another or from indoors to outdoors and vice-versa.
Changes in the temperature also lead to the dropping of lower leaves.
Not pruning the plant often
Pruning is essential if you want your fiddle leaf fig to look tidy and aesthetically pleasing.
But plant owners often forget to prune the plants that make them grow tall and leggy.
Pruning also helps stimulate growth hormone, which results in better growth in the plant.
Fiddle leaf figs love to remain snug in the containers, but that eventually leads to root-bound plants.
When the fiddle leaf fig is root bound, the plant roots are unable to absorb the nutrients and water from the soil.
That makes the plant weak, and it becomes leggy.
How do you fix a fiddle leaf fig leggy?
After understanding all the problems, it is time to find out how to fix the issues.
If you keep neglecting your fiddle leaf fig or don’t care for the plant, it will not be able to get back to health.
To have a healthy fiddle leaf fig, you need to determine the problem, fix it, and take care of the plant so that the issues don’t come back again.
You should provide sufficient light, proper fertilization, and prune the plant from time to time and not let it get root-bound.
If you have a leggy fiddle leaf fig, here is what you need to do:
- Fix the lighting
- Fertilize when needed
- Provide consistent temperature
- Pruning occasionally
- Repot in case of a root-bound plant
Fix the lighting
Insufficient light is the most common reason for a leggy fiddle leaf fig plant.
If the fiddle leaf fig doesn’t get enough light, it will try to find a light source and stretch towards that. This would make the plant lean and leggy.
Your plant will not have overall growth as it will bend and start growing in one direction.
The only way to solve this problem is to provide sufficient light to your fiddle leaf fig.
It is always advised that you place the fiddle leaf fig at the sunniest and brightest spot of your house as these plants love bright light. These plants need at least 6-8 hours of light every day.
Keep the plant near a window that gets light throughout the day. If you have a south-facing window, you can try to keep the plant there.
If there are no windows in your house or no bright spot, you need to use artificial light. There are many artificial lights available on amazon that provide sufficient light to the plant.
You can also rotate the plant very slowly so that the plant gets light on all the sides.
As we have mentioned already, fiddle leaf figs need a lot of fertilizers to grow and remain healthy.
Use a gentle fertilizer to fertilize your fiddle leaf fig once every week.
Fiddle leaf figs need an NPK ratio of 3:1:2. The plants need nitrogen as it boosts the growth of new leaves, phosphorus helps with root growth, and potassium helps to regulate water in the plant. (I personally love this Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plant Food I got from Amazon)
You can also use a diluted 10:10:10 fertilizer if you don’t have any other fertilizer in hand.
Fertilize the plant when it is growing and avoid fertilizing during the winter months, which is the plant’s dormant period.
If you have not been fertilizing the plant as mentioned above, following these steps will help you fix the problem of legginess in your fiddle leaf fig.
Fiddle leaf figs love consistency, and they start showing problems whenever something changes abruptly for them.
In their natural habitat, the fiddle leaf figs get a warm and humid climate.
Inside the homes, the temperatures drop during the winter season.
When there is a sudden change in the temperature, the fiddle leaf figs get stressed and become weak and leggy.
So you need to maintain a consistent temperature so that the plant doesn’t get stressed.
Also, you should keep your fiddle leaf fig away from cold drafts, AC, and vents.
Not pruning the fiddle leaf fig can lead to leggy growth in your fiddle leaf fig.
These are big plants, so you need to prune them to ensure that the plant stays in shape and doesn’t grow too tall for your house.
Here is how you can prune your fiddle leaf fig:
First of all, you need to decide the areas you want to prune and the shape you would like to give to the plant.
Next, you need to remove leaves that have turned yellow or brown or are damaged in any other way. It would be best if you also cut off any branch that has few leaves on it.
If there are crowded branches, then you might want to cut off those as those branches restrict airflow.
Note: Use a sharp and sterilized pair of scissors to ensure that the cuts are clean and no damage is caused to the plant during pruning.
Always fertilize the plant after pruning it, as that will help the plant to recover and have new growth.
Fiddle leaf figs love to be rooted tightly, but often these plants become root-bound.
Root-bound plants cannot absorb water and nutrients as the roots don’t have enough space to move, and the soil becomes compact.
There is a lack of space that stops airflow, and the plant becomes weak and leggy as it cannot absorb sufficient nutrients.
Even when you fertilize, the nutrients don’t get evenly distributed to all the roots.
It is essential to report the plant at this stage to fix the legginess and have a healthy fiddle leaf fig again.
Here is how you can repot your fiddle leaf fig:
- Choose a larger pot than the previous pot that the fiddle leaf fig was in and make sure that it has suitable drainage holes.
- Take the fiddle leaf fig out of the old pot by gently pulling the plant out.
- Carefully remove the soil from the roots by gently massaging the root ball. You can also run water to remove the soil from the roots.
- Add new soil mix to the new pot and place the plant in the center. Add soil to the sides so that the plant stands upright.
- After repotting, water the fiddle leaf fig thoroughly to reduce stress and to make sure that the plant has settled in the new pot.
Keep in mind all the points discussed above and make sure not to make any of these mistakes, which will ensure that your fiddle leaf fig is not becoming leggy.
Repot the fiddle leaf fig every 1-2 years, keep pruning the plant to keep it in shape, provide consistent temperature, and provide proper fertilization to the plant to keep it healthy and aesthetically pleasing.