Fiddle Leaf Figs are beautiful, unique, and great additions to any home. But, like all plants, they can sometimes have problems. One of the most common problems is a fiddle leaf fig dropping leaves.
Leaf drop is a common problem among many kinds of plants and can be caused by several different things, including:
- Drought stress
- Too much water
- Excess fertilizer
- Poor drainage
- Pests or disease
- Changes in temperature or light
In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common causes of leaf drop in fiddle leaf figs and what you can do to fix the problem.
What Is Causing My Fiddle Leaf Fig To Drop Leaves?
First and foremost, let’s dive into the most common causes of leaf drop in fiddle leaf figs.
Reason #1: Drought Stress
Drought stress is the most frequent cause of leaf drop in fiddle leaf figs.
Ficus are native to tropical regions, and fiddle leaf figs like a lot of water. So when they don’t get enough water, their leaves will start to turn brown and drop off.
If you expect your fiddle leaf fig is experiencing drought stress, the first thing you should do is check the soil. It should be moist but never soggy.
If it’s dry, water it thoroughly and make sure the drainage is good.
You can also try misting your fiddle leaf fig with water to help increase the humidity. Just be sure not to mist the leaves too frequently, as this can cause them to rot.
Reason #2: Too Much Water
In addition to drought stress, your fiddle leaf fig might struggle if you’re overwatering it.
When fiddle leaf figs are overwatered, their roots can’t get the oxygen they need to survive. This can cause the leaves to turn brown and drop off.
To avoid overwatering your fiddle leaf fig, check the soil before watering it. If it’s still moist, don’t water it. Instead, let the soil totally dry before watering again.
It’s also a good idea to get a moisture meter to help you keep track of the soil moisture. That way, you can water your fiddle leaf fig when needed and avoid overwatering.
Reason #3: Excess Fertilizer
Too much fertilizer can also cause leaf drops in fiddle leaf figs. When you fertilize your fiddle leaf fig, you’re essentially giving it a big dose of nutrients.
But, if you use too much fertilizer, the roots can’t absorb all of the nutrients, causing some of them to end up in the leaves.
This can cause leaf drop, and if not corrected, can be devastating to the plant. If you think your fiddle leaf fig has been over-fertilized, flush the pot with water to remove any excess fertilizer from the soil. Then, cut back on how often you fertilize your plant.
Reason #4: Poor Drainage
Fiddle leaf figs need well-drained soil to thrive. If the soil doesn’t drain well, the roots can become waterlogged, which can cause the leaves to turn brown and drop off.
To ensure good drainage, use a pot with a drainage hole and add a bed of gravel or rocks to the bottom of the pot. This will help to keep the roots from sitting in water.
Reason #5: Pests Or Disease
Fiddle leaf figs can also be susceptible to pests and diseases. Both of these can cause leaf drops, as well as other problems.
Some common pests that attack fiddle leaf figs include mealybugs, scale, and spider mites.
If you see any of these pests on your plant, you’ll need to treat it with an insecticide.
Common diseases that affect fiddle leaf figs include root rot and leaf spot. Both of these can be treated with fungicides.
However, it’s always best to prevent diseases from happening in the first place by keeping your plant healthy.
Reason #6: Changes In Temperature Or Light
Fiddle leaf figs are native to tropical regions and like warm temperatures and bright light.
However, they can also tolerate some changes in temperature and light.
If your fiddle leaf fig is suddenly exposed to colder temperatures or less light, it can cause the leaves to drop off.
To avoid this, ensure you acclimate your plant slowly to any changes in temperature or light.
What Can You Do To Save A Fiddle Leaf Fig From Leaf Drop?
If any of the above problems are plaguing your fiddle leaf fig, don’t despair—there are things you can do to help your plant recover.
If you act quickly and diligently, you may be able to save your fiddle leaf fig from dying.
Identify The Problem
Using the outline above, do your best to identify which problem (or problems) are causing your fiddle leaf fig to drop leaves.
This is important as different problems require different solutions.
Once you know what’s wrong, you can take steps to address the issue and save your plant.
Signs To Watch Out For
Since the symptoms of leaf drops are similar no matter the reason for their occurrence, to help narrow down the problem, be on the lookout for any other signs that might help you identify the issue.
Here are some signs to watch out for:
Discolored leaves: If the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig turn yellow, brown, or black, this could be a sign of overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests/diseases.
Wilting leaves: If the leaves are wilting or drooping, this could be a sign of too little water, too much water, or poor drainage.
Yellowing leaves with brown spots: If the leaves are yellowing and have brown spots, this could be a sign of leaf spot disease.
Sticky leaves: If the leaves are sticky, this could be a sign of pests.
Holes in the leaves: If there are holes in the leaves, this could be a sign of pests.
If you see any of these signs in addition to leaf drop, it will help you to identify the problem so you can take steps to fix it.
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