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How To Fix A Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig – 7 Reasons With Solutions

The Fiddle Leaf Fig, also known as Ficus lyrata, is a beautiful plant and one of the most popular plants in the world. The plant is native to Africa but has been introduced to different parts of the world.

Fiddle Leaf Fig is easy to grow and needs very little maintenance, but it can be prone to leaning. So, we are here to tell you how to fix a leaning fiddle leaf fig tree.

The leaves of this plant are dark green with reddish-brown veins, giving them a fiddle-shaped leaf shape. This unique leaf shape is what gives this plant its name. Although this plant can withstand a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels, it leans towards one side due to various factors.

These factors include improper watering, lack of light, and insufficient fertilizer. Moreover, fiddle leaf figs grow tall, leading to leaning over. This article will show you how to fix a leaning fig tree.

How To Fix A Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig 1
Leaning fiddle leaf fig. – via Reddit

Reasons Behind A Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig And Their Solutions

Following are the reasons that cause a fiddle leaf fig plant to lean:

1.      Improper Potting

The lean problem started with the plant when it was re-potted into a too big pot and wasn’t put in straight. Over time, the lean increases as the plant have grown taller and more top-heavy.

Solution

Position your trunk up in the pot so that it is completely vertical. Press your hands against the soil around the base of the main trunk to hold it in place.

2.      Scarce Watering

Fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants that need plenty of watering to thrive well. If the leaves are leaning and droopy, you may be underwatering them. Lack of water will cause a stunted plant with dry and crispy leaves.

The water chain in its xylem starts to thin if the plant is not watered enough, which means that it loses more water than it can absorb. Ultimately, it causes your fiddle leaf fig plant to lean.

Solution

Fiddle leaf fig indeed enjoys much water, but you should not keep their roots immersed for too long. This plant needs watering about once a week or every ten days.

3.      Overwatering

You may wonder if less watering causes fiddle leaf figs to lean, how will more water have the same effect? This plant is native to habitats like rainforests, where they are used to receiving huge waterfalls with periods of no rain in between.

It helps prevent the soil from being soggy, and the plant is able to get sufficient oxygen. In contrast, fiddle leaf fig may lean if grown in soggy soil, as it will not receive enough oxygen.

Solution

It’s best to provide plants with care similar to what they get outside. You should try and replicate their natural watering environment at home. Water thoroughly every week, allowing the soil to dry out before watering again.

4.      Inappropriate Light Direction

Fiddle Leaf Fig is a plant that needs to be in direct sunlight with enough indirect light. Six to eight hours of direct sunlight and some indirect natural light will allow this plant to grow best.

This plant is a light lover and grows towards the light source. Hence it will start growing in the light direction if you don’t rotate it towards the sunlight regularly.

Solution

The best way to ensure your plant is getting enough light is by rotating the pot a quarter turn 4 times each time you water it. Place your fiddle leaf fig directly in front of a window with no obstructions. More sunlight means better stems and leaves.

Place the plant in an area that provides indirect but bright light for at least 6-8 hours. When natural light is scarce and not intense enough, use grows lights to provide the necessary light.

How To Fix A Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig 2
Advice needed: my fig is starting to lean – via Reddit

5.      Inadequate Fertilizers

Under-fertilizing your plants will result in them being malnourished, which will cause them to grow more slowly and lean. Fiddle leaf fig plants have large and dense leaves, so they need many nutrients to keep healthy.

Solution

Fiddle leaf fig plants are best treated with NPK fertilizer, which is 3-1-2. You should feed them every time they are watered but not in the winter. It is also best to use granular fertilizer and liquid fertilizers. Few best fertilizers for this plant are: Fiddle-Leaf-Plant-Ficus-Lyrata , Fiddle-Liquid-Houseplant-Fertilizer-competitors.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plant Food for Ficus Lyrata (and Ficus Audrey) – Calcium Fortified, Urea-Free and with NPK Ratio of 3-1-2 for Healthy Roots, Stems and Leaves (8 Ounces))
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  • EASY TO USE WITH NO MIXING OR MESS by diluting 1 teaspoon in 2 cups of water, Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food is gentle enough to use every time you water. Each 8 oz bottle contains enough ficus food to last from 6 months to a year, depending on your plant size.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food 6-2-4 | Liquid Houseplant Fig Tree | Bottle Lasts Twice as Long as Other competitors
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6.      Plant Needs Repotting

If it’s been too long since you re-potted your fiddle leaf fig, it is root bound, i.e., the roots won’t be able to absorb nutrients from the ground. As a result, the fertilizer you are adding will be of no use, and the plant will start to lean.

Solution

If you’re growing your fig in a pot, check the bottom of the roots protruding from the drainage holes. You can also gently pull the plant out to look at the roots. If you see a dense ring of roots, it’s time to re-pot into a container that will accommodate its growth. Re-potting a bigger container will keep away your fiddle leaf fig from leaning.

7.      Too Tall And Dense Plant

Another common reason you’ll see your fiddle leaf fig plant leaning is that the plant’s stem and branches are becoming weighed down. These plants can grow too much for their stem to bear the weight, so they often tilt over.

Solution

Regular pruning is the best solution to resolve this issue. Pruning promotes a better airflow between the branches preventing your tree from leaning in any specific direction.Ensure proper pruning of your fiddle leaf fig by the following tips:

  • Pruning back the tallest stem to take to the same height as the other stems
  • Shorten the side stems more as compared to the top ones
  • Use sterilized pruning tools to keep your plant healthy

Additional Tips On How To Fix A Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig

  • Check the soil for compaction or drainage issues. If there are any, add more organic material and amend the soil as needed.
  • Prune out any dead, diseased, or dying branches from the tree’s canopy and remove these branches by cutting them off at ground level.
  • Consider adding a trellis or other support system if needed to keep your fig tree upright and stable over time.
  • You can also tie the trunk to a stake or another sturdy object with string or wire. It will help keep it from leaning too far over on one side as it grows taller.

The Complete Guide to Fiddle Leaf Fig Care

The reasons mentioned above not only cause your fiddle leaf fig to lean, but they also leave various other negative impacts on this plant.

  • If your leaves are bleaching out, the plant is getting sunburned due to harsh and direct sunlight.
  • If the leaves exhibit brown spots, it may indicate root rot. Root rot occurs due to overwatering and soggy soil.
  • Yellowing leaves of a fiddle leaf fig may indicate a bacterial problem, and re-potting may help it.
  • Shedding leaves and the drooping plant may imply that the plant is getting excessive or insufficient water.

Conclusion

This article contains all you need if you want to fix your leaning fiddle leaf fig tree. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can fix your leaning fiddle leaf fig. Share your feedback and leave your queries below in the comments section. Happy gardening!