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How To Save A Dying Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Fiddle leaf figs are plants that appreciate the consistency and can show signs of stress when you change a condition that they are used to. Unfortunately, many owners don’t understand that and end up doing something that can stress the plant.

Many signs can make you feel that your fiddle leaf fig is dying. Today we will discuss all the symptoms, problems, and solutions so that you can save your dying fiddle leaf fig.

Plants show signs whenever there is a problem or if their requirements are not being met. Symptoms can vary from yellow leaves, which can mean overwatering, insufficient fertilizer, or inadequate sunlight, to droopy leaves that can be a sign of under-watering.

To save a dying fiddle leaf fig, we need to identify the cause and take the necessary steps to fix it. Start by lowering the watering frequency and moving the plant to a bright spot. Next, loosen the topsoil to allow for better soil aeration and only water the plant when necessary.

There are many other issues that your fiddle leaf fig might be facing, and most of them are easy to deal with if you can recognize them at the right time.


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How do you know when a fiddle leaf fig is dying?

Any of the following signs in your fiddle leaf fig mean that the plant is having a problem. Don’t ignore these signs, as these can become serious issues later on. The signs indclude:

How do you revive a dying fiddle leaf fig?

If you want to revive your fiddle leaf fig, you need to identify the problem first and then take appropriate steps to fix the same. Here are some common problem that leads to dying of your fiddle leaf fig:

Overwatered fiddle leaf fig

Fiddle leaf fig yellow

Overwatering is a common problem in all plants, and this happens when the owners fail to understand the water requirements of the plant and overwater it out of care. 

Fiddle leaf figs hate sitting on the water, so overwatering can cause severe problems to it.

Problems:

  • Root rot
  • Yellow leaves
  • Brown leaves
  • Falling leaves
  • Stunted growth

Solutions:

If you have overwatered your fiddle leaf fig, the following steps can help your plant recover.

  • Stop watering and let the soil get dry.
  • Check the drainage holes to ensure that they are not blocked, and the water is getting drained properly.
  • Ensure that the soil is aerated to encourage quick absorption of moisture without allowing it to stay for days.
  • Provide sufficient light so that the soil can get dry. Use artificial lighting if your house doesn’t get enough sunlight.
  • Prune the brown leaves and damaged parts.

Prevention:

  • Start by giving the plant one cup of water once a week and adjusting it as per the plant’s condition. 
  • Check the drainage holes of the pot. It should let the excess water drain out within 1-2 minutes of watering.
  • Make sure to check the moisture of the soil before watering the plant again. You can dip your finger or skewer up to 3-4 inches into the soil and take it out after a few seconds. If the soil gets stuck, it means that the soil is still moist, and you need to wait before watering it again.
  • If you can’t understand if the plant needs water, wait and let the soil dry a little more rather than overwatering the plant.


Under-watered fiddle leaf fig

All plants need water to grow. If you underwater it, the plant will become dry and weak. Their growth rate will also become slow.

If you give long gaps between watering your fiddle leaf fig, the plant will be under-watered and undernutrition. You may notice the following problems.

Problems:

  • Slow growth
  • Drooping and curling leaves
  • Brown edges
  • Falling leaves

Solutions:

If you have an under-watered fiddle leaf fig, you need to take care of the following factors to ensure that you are giving it enough water.

  • If you see any damaged leaf, prune it off.
  • Water the plant thoroughly until excess water is draining out of the drainage holes.
  • Increase the frequency of watering step by step so that your plant is never out of water.
  • Showering the fiddle leaf fig is an excellent way to let the plant recover the damage.
  • You can consider bottom watering to revive an under-watered plant.

Prevention:

  • Never let the soil get extremely dry, as fiddle leaf figs love moisture. The soil should have a little moisture at all times.
  • Low humidity can also make the plant dry, and it will not be able to retain water, due to which it will become under-watered. So, make sure you are providing adequate humidity to the plant. 
  • Try to find a watering schedule that works well for your fiddle leaf fig. 

Also read: How often should I water my fiddle leaf fig?

Root rot

Root rot is a severe problem among plants. Root rot is a condition that is most often created due to overwatering. As a result, the root system of the plant gets destroyed, and the plant can even die.

Other factors can contribute to root rot.

Problems:

  • Yellow leaves
  • Weak plant
  • Slow growth
  • Smaller leaves
  • Thinner stems
  • Wilted leaves

Solutions:

  • To make sure that it is root rot, you need to take the fiddle leaf fig out of the pot.
  • If the roots are brown and soft, your plant has root rot.
  • Prune the damaged roots using a pair of sterilized scissors.
  • Repot the plant in a pot with drainage holes and use a fresh and well-draining soil mix.
  • Water the plant thoroughly after repotting it and let the soil settle down and the excess water drain away from the drainage holes of the pot.

Prevention:

  • Watering is an essential factor when it comes to root rot. So you need to follow the proper schedule to make sure that you are not overwatering the plant.
  • Provide sufficient light to the plant so that the soil can dry up and not hold water.
  • Make sure that the drainage holes of the pot are working well.
  • Don’t let the soil remain wet for long.

Lighting issues

Fiddle leaf figs thrive in bright light. But too much light or too little can cause problems to the plant. You might notice the following issues if any of these is the case.

Problems:

There are two possible conditions with lighting. These includes:

Too much light:

Fiddle leaf fig sunburn

Too little light:

  • Browning leaves
  • Droopy leaves
  • Slow growth

Solutions:

In case your plant is getting too much light:

  • It will have sunburn. You need to place your plant in an area where it is not hit by direct sunlight and prune the leaves that have got scorched.
  • If the plant is outdoors, place it under shade or bring it indoors.
  • If the plant is placed near a window, make sure it is not getting hit by direct sunlight. You can set it a little away from or use curtains to filter the light.

In case of less light:

  • Please place it in the brightest spot that receives ample indirect light.
  • Make sure that the plant is getting light on all sides.
  • Use artificial light if your home doesn’t have enough natural light.

Prevention:

  • Your fiddle leaf fig needs 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight every day, so make sure that it is getting that.
  • You can keep the plant near a window that gets even light throughout the day.
  • If you plan to relocate the plant, do it gradually as fiddle leaf figs don’t like sudden changes.

Also read: How much light do fiddle leaf fig need?

Temperature fluctuations

Fiddle leaf figs like consistent temperature and don’t like sudden rise or fall in temperature. 

If you have relocated the plant recently and there is a change in the weather, you may encounter these problems in your fiddle leaf fig.

Problems:

  • Stressed plant
  • Discolored leaves
  • Wrinkled leaves
  • Brown patches on leaves

Solutions:

  • Place the plant where the temperature is not below 50° F.
  • Prune the damaged leaves so that the plant can recover.
  • Light a furnace and keep the plant at a distance of a few feet to combat low-temperature problems.

Prevention:

  • Make sure that the fiddle leaf fig is not exposed to cold drafts.
  • Please don’t keep the plant too close to the fireplace or any other heating system as it can burn the leaves.
  • Don’t keep the plant near the window during the winter months.

Low Humidity

Fiddle leaf fig mist

Fiddle leaf figs love humidity. In the African rainforests, these plants get a lot of moisture that helps in their growth. 

You might not be able to provide the same amount of humidity to the plant when indoors. But if the humidity goes down, that will not be great for your fiddle leaf fig.

Problems:

  • Dry leaves
  • Fungal infections
  • Pest infestation
  • Brown tips

Solutions:

  • Use a humidifier to increase the humidity.
  • Another way of increasing the humidity is to use a pebble tray. Take a tray, fill it with small stones, and reload the tray with water. Place the plant on the tray, and as the water will evaporate from the tray, it will add moisture around the plant.
  • Group it with other plants, and through transpiration, the plants will release moisture, and the humidity level will rise in that area.

Prevention:

  • A hygrometer will help you check the humidity level, and if it gets low, you can move the plant to a different room where the humidity might be more.
  • Maintaining a humidity level of 40-60% should work well for your fiddle leaf fig.

Also read: Should I mist my fiddle leaf fig?

Pest infestation

Pest infestation is a common problem in plants, but it can be challenging to figure it out. 

If you notice that the plant is looking unhealthy, the growth has slowed down, and then you can check the leaves and the plant and try to look for pests.

Pests suck all the nutrients out of the plant and make them weak, which can even cause the plant’s death. So, you need to treat the plant immediately and get rid of the pests.

Problems:

  • Slow growth
  • Brown leaves
  • Dull leaves
  • Decaying stems and leaves

Solutions:

  • If the infestation is severe, the chance of the survival of the plant is really low. In this case, you can cut a healthy stem from the plant and propagate it.
  • If the infestation is not severe, prune the damaged leaves and stems.
  • Give the plant an excellent shower to get rid of the pests.
  • Spray neem oil all over the fiddle leaf fig to kill the pests.
  • Use cotton dipped in soap water and wipe the leaves with it to get rid of pests.

Prevention:

  • Keep a check on your fiddle leaf fig so that you know if there is a pest infestation before it’s too late.
  • Use neem oil spray to get rid of pest infestations.
  • Don’t overwater the plant.
  • Make sure that the plant gets enough air.

Also read: Do fiddle leaf fig attract bugs?

Inadequate Fertilization

Fertilization

In the wild, fiddle leaf figs get all the nutrients from the soil with the help of their roots, but when it is indoors, its reach is limited, so it needs the support of fertilizers that can provide sufficient nutrients.

However, under-fertilization and over-fertilization can cause many problems for your fiddle leaf fig.

Problems:

If the fiddle leaf fig is not getting sufficient fertilizers, it will have these problems.

  • Slow growth
  • Yellowing or browning leaves
  • Droopy leaves

If you are over-fertilizing the plant, the problems will be like:

  • Stunted growth
  • Weak stem
  • Wrinkled leaves

Solutions:

  • If you are under-fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig, try to find a routine. Start by fertilizing it at least once a month.
  • If you are over-fertilizing the plant, stop giving it fertilizers for a few weeks and let it recover. After it has healed, maintain a proper schedule so that you don’t end up over-fertilizing it.

Prevention:

  • Fertilize during the spring and summer months.
  • Don’t fertilize during the winter months as that is the dormant period for the plant.
  • Use the correct fertilizer with a 3:1:2 NPK ratio and give diluted doses to your fiddle leaf fig.

Also read: Do fiddle leaf fig need fertilizer? How much? How often?


If you are looking to buy a lot of houseplants to brighten up your space and that too on a budget, try out Cellardoorplants. They offer a wide variety of plants, delivered right to your doorstep, and that too for every budget. If you haven't checked them yet, Try them now!


Final Words

A little care can reduce or stop any problems with your fiddle leaf fig, so keep a check on your fiddle leaf fig to make sure it remains healthy, and if there is any problem, you can act quickly and fix it.

  • Fiddle leaf figs need bright and filtered light every day for at least 6-8 hours.
  • To understand the water requirement of the fiddle leaf fig, check the moisture of the soil. Don’t water if it is wet and water when it feels cold and almost dry.
  • A moderate temperature and a humidity level between 40-60% are ideal for your fiddle leaf fig’s healthy growth.
  • Repot the plant every 2-3 years, and make sure that you are using the right-sized pot with suitable drainage holes.
  • Provide the plant sufficient fertilizer so that it gets enough nutrients to support its growth.

Sources: CABI.ORGNew York Botanical gardenUniversity of Florida.