If you are wondering, Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Dropping Leaves? Today, in this article, we are going to fix the issue of dropping leaves in fiddle leaf figs.
Fiddle leaf fig is scientifically known as Ficus lyrata. It is a “flowering plant” species that comes from the family Moraceae.
But instead of its fruits or flowers, this plant is popular because of its giant guitar/fiddle-shaped leaves.
Due to its breathtaking foliage, the fiddle leaf fig is regarded as an indoor ornamental houseplant in tropical and subtropical gardens.
As it is native to tropical rainforests of West Africa, it thrives habitually in warm and humid environments. Therefore, it is rare for this plant to bloom or produce fruits in indoor settings.
Occasionally, due to some improper caring techniques and unhealthy conditions, the beautiful and exotic fiddle-like leaves of the fig tree can start to drop. Dropping leaves in fiddle leaf figs is one of the most common issues people face with these plants.
You are probably here because of the same problem with your plant and are wondering, “Why is my fiddle leaf fig drooping leaves?”
But let me tell you… there is absolutely no need to worry in this regard. According to my experience — most of the time — dropping leaves in fiddle leaf fig is because of being a little offhand with plant care.
You’ll know why is your fiddle leaf fig dropping its leaves as you dive into the article. I’ll also mention some of the other common issues people usually face in fiddle leaf fig, along with the dropping of leaves.
But first of all, let us see some of the potential reasons for dropping fiddle leaves.
Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Dropping Leaves? – Potential Reasons
One of the leading causes of dropping leaves in fiddle leaf figs is overwatering or underwatering.
Reason #1: Overwatering or Underwatering
Overwatering is one of the most frustrating habits to kick out if you are a beginner plant parent. But you have to leave this bad habit if you want to rise effortlessly in your plant journey. Fiddle leaf fig stays happy as long as you provide it with proper watering.
You will see the leaves in fiddle leaf fig will turn limp and start to drop if you are not following a proper watering schedule or giving you plant excess or insufficient water for extended periods.
How to Fix
If you are overwatering your plant most of the time, you should wait for the top 2-3 inches of the soil to entirely dry out before giving it another shot of hydration.
You can simply examine the moisture levels of the soil by touching it. Stick your index finger into the plant’s potting mix, and feel if it is damp or not. If it feels moist, then wait for it to get entirely dry before watering your plant again.
In this way, you can establish a good watering schedule for each of your gorgeous little green buddies.
You can also fix underwatering in the same way. Constantly monitor your plant’s soil for a week or two, and you’ll get the whole picture.
On the other hand, keeping your fiddle leaf plant in heat or cold stress can also lead to drooping leaves.
Reason #2: Heat or Cold Stress
Keeping your plant in heat or cold stress means that your plant is currently in an unhealthy habitual state.
Placing your Ficus plant in too much heat can cause it to dry out pretty wildly, leading to weak and dry foliage. Dry leaves tend to quickly drop off from the plant.
On the other hand, ice crystals are formed in plant cells at freezing temperatures. Cold temperatures usually result in plant dormancy. During this period, the plant does not produce any new food, and ultimately, the leaves start to die off.
What’s the Fix?
If we look at the temperature stats of the native area of the fiddle leaf plant, we see that there is an average of 18°C temperature annually. Therefore, this plant will love to be in warm conditions, usually around 60°F.
First, make sure you are not placing your plant in front of a heater or an air conditioner vent. If you live in hot areas, you should move your plant indoors during summers. The same goes for the winters if you live in such areas where it is freezing during winters.
Always try to keep your fiddle leaf plant around a normal room temperature.
Reason #3: Environmental Stress
This usually happens if you just transferred a Ficus lyrate from one location to another.
If your fiddle leaf fig is under environmental stress, you may see the leaves giving a droopy look. Some of the leaves might also drop off the plant.
It usually takes a little time for a fiddle leaf fig to adapt to new environmental conditions. You should be more careful regarding plant care, especially after shipping it.
How to Fix Environmental Stress
Plants naturally go into stress because of a drastic change in lighting and humidity levels. Just like fiddle leaf figs, other plants are also grown in a greenhouse. Where they thrive in proper lighting and moisture levels.
Make sure you place your fiddle leaf fig in a place where it receives bright, indirect light. Insufficient light also causes the dropping of leaves in the Ficus plant.
Ficus lyrate isan indoor ornamental plant, so it can pretty much tolerate moderate lighting conditions. Keep it away from direct sunlight or shady areas. Harsh rays of the sun can cause nasty burns on the leaves and keeping your plant in shade keeps it deprived of light.
Sunburns on fiddle leaf figs appear as big white spots on the leaves.
In the same way, as underwatering affects the plant, less humidity/moisture levels in the environment can cause the leaves to dry out.
By looking at the stats,
We can see that the average humidity levels in native regions (Cameroon, West Africa) of fiddle leaf fig are around 80% annually.
Therefore, your Ficus plant would need at least 70% humidity levels to flourish at its peak level. These levels are pretty hard to achieve in indoor settings if you live in dry areas. Thus, you might need to pick up the humidifier.
Occasional misting can also serve a very good purpose in increasing humidity levels. Your tropical moisture-loving plants would really appreciate it if you place them near a bathroom or a kitchen. These places usually have a lot more water vapors than other parts of the house.
Reason #4: Root Rot
Root rot is another potential reason for dropping leaves in fiddle leaf fig. It is closely related to improper care but is usually regarded as a disease.
What is Root Rot: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Root rot is a plant disease in which the roots wilt, turn black and mushy, and are unable to absorb nutrients or water. At first, we are unable to see the rot because roots are not visible from the outside.
As the rot progresses, it affects the plant in a way that the whole plant goes under stress. It is the same as if the plant is not rooted at all.
In the case of fiddle leaf fig, the leaves will start to fall off, and the whole plant just looks droopy and sad. But you have to take the plant out of the pot to be sure if it is root rot. If the roots look really dark and gooey, and they break off by a slight touch leaving behind a thin thread-like structure, it’s the rot.
Particularly in fiddle leaf figs, brown spots are formed on the leaves due to root rot.
The leading cause of root rot is overwatering. However, sometimes underwatering for extended periods can also be a cause.
I’ve already discussed watering… but along with watering, the other very important factor is the potting mix that you are using for your plant. A bad bulky potting mix that’s not well-aerated and well-draining can easily cause waterlogging ultimately leading to root rot.
If the rot is not looking really bad, and it had just infected a few rootlets, and others look healthy, then you can cut off all the damaged roots using sharp scissors or shears.
Make sure you get rid of all the infected roots, as the rot can spread to healthy rootlets as well. Also, cut off the damaged parts of the leaves (or whole leaf if it is infected) from your fiddle leaf fig, if you diagnosed it with root rot. This will save the plant’s energy and would help it survive after repotting into new and fresh soil.
But if the rot is severe, it would be better to propagate a new plant through healthy leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why Is Fiddle Leaf Fig Dropping Leaves After Repotting?
If your fiddle leaves fig is dropping leaves only after repotting then maybe you are using a bigger pot for your plant. Try to go for a suitable-sized pot and see if it helps or not.
2. Will Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Grow Back?
If you properly diagnose and treat the problem with your fiddle leaf fig, it will surely be able to grow new leaves.
3. Do Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees Lose Leaves in Winter?
Fiddle leaf fig doesn’t necessarily drop leaves in winter until they are not under cold stress. They are said to skip “dormancy” by just slowing down their growth.
With all that said, hope you got the answer to, “Why is my fiddle leaf fig dropping leaves?”
Fiddle leaf figs look unique in a household canvas. We should always try our best to keep these greeneries alive.
I hope you enjoyed today’s article, and if you did: make sure to share this exclusive info with your friends and family.
Regards, Mahad H.