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Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Not Growing New Leaves? | 11 Reasons Why and How to Fix Them!

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I know how frustrating it can be when all you can think about is, “Why is my Fiddle leaf fig not growing new leaves?” You’ve invested time and care into your plant, and it’s disheartening when it doesn’t seem to be thriving.

But don’t worry; I’m here to help!

I’ve listed the 11 primary reasons for the stunted growth of Fiddle leaf fig.

The most common reasons your Fiddle leaf fig is not growing are improper lighting conditions, inconsistent watering, temperature fluctuations, and soil quality.

Whether it’s these most common reasons or something else entirely, we’ve worked together to figure out what’s going on.

Here, you’ll also find practical solutions to get your FLF growing again.

Let’s dive in!

Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Not Growing New Leaves
FLF hasn’t grown a new leaf in probably 15 months 😞already pinched & nothing. Next steps? – via Reddit

The Beautiful but Finicky Fiddle Leaf Fig!

The Fiddle leaf fig is a popular houseplant known for its large, violin-shaped leaves.

This beautiful plant adds a touch of nature to any indoor space, making it an excellent choice for home and office decoration.

Wild Fiddle leaf fig is native to West Africa and is a tropical species that prefers warm and humid environments.

Like most plants, new leaves indicate the plant’s overall health. A healthy Fiddle leaf fig will have fresh leaves emerging from the top of the plant, signifying that it is thriving and receiving proper care.

On the other hand, something is wrong with the plant’s environment or care routine if your Fiddle leaf fig is not gifting you with any new foliage.

Following is a quick summary of the 11 reasons why is my Fiddle leaf fig not growing new leaves:

  • Improper Lighting
  • Over-watering or Under-Watering
  • Lack of Drainage
  • Unsuitable Temperature
  • Humidity Issues
  • Root Rot
  • Pest Infestations
  • Insufficient Fertilization
  • Over-Pruning
  • Repotting Stress
  • Seasonal Changes

Let’s discuss each reason in detail and see the best solution for each issue!

Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Not Growing New Leaves?

The following are the reasons why is my Fiddle leaf fig not growing new leaves.

1.      Improper Lighting

One of the most common reasons for a Fiddle leaf fig not growing new leaves is improper lighting.

Fiddle leaf figs require bright, indirect light to grow and thrive. If the plant is not receiving enough light, it may stop producing new leaves or grow very slowly.


You must provide your Fiddle Leaf with bright but indirect light.

The plant should be placed near a window that receives plenty of natural light, at least but not in direct sun, which can scorch the leaves. It would be best to keep your Fiddle leaf fig at a corner window where it can eat up to 6 to 8 hours of daylight.

Artificial lights, such as grow lights, can also give the plant the light it needs.

2.    Over-Watering or Under-Watering

Another common reason for a slow-thriving Fiddle leaf fig is improper watering.

Over-watering or under-watering the plant can lead to a myriad of issues, affecting the plant’s overall health.

When the soil stays too wet, the roots of the plant are unable to get enough oxygen, which can lead to stunted growth. On the other hand, too-dry soil will prevent the plant from getting the water it needs to grow and thrive. An underwatered plant usually leads to wilting and yellowing of leaves.

Therefore, you need to stay away from both over and underwatering.


To prevent over-watering or under-watering, it’s crucial to maintain a consistent watering schedule. The plant should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.

Make sure to avoid letting the plant sit in water, as this can lead to root rot.

3.     Lack of Drainage

Lack of drainage refers to the plant’s inability to drain excess water from the soil.

If your Fiddle leaf fig lacks drainage, you may notice yellowing of the leaves and waterlogged soil. The plant may also look wilted even though you’ve recently watered it.

Though over-watering and under-watering are two issues related to the amount of water given to the plant, lack of drainage is a specific issue related to the plant’s ability to drain excess water from the soil properly.


A proper drainage system is necessary to ensure that the soil remains moist without becoming waterlogged.

Ensure the pot has adequate drainage holes and the soil is well-draining. You may need to switch to a pot with better drainage or amend the soil with perlite or sand.

If the plant is sitting in water, remove it from the saucer and allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again.

Using pots with drainage holes will prevent waterlogging and shunted growth
Why is my Fiddle leaf fig not growing new leaves? | Using pots with drainage holes will prevent waterlogging and shunted growth—Image via Annie Spratt.

4.    Unsuitable Temperature

Temperature is a vital factor in determining the health and growth of your Fiddle leaf fig.

Fiddle leaf figs are native to tropical regions. Thus, their forever homes should ideally be warm and humid. They need a temperature range of 60–85°F to thrive and produce new leaves.

If the plant is exposed to low temperatures or cold drafts, it can cause it to go dormant and stop producing new leaves, leading to slow growth.

Prolonged exposure to this environment will stress your plant, causing it to lose its leaves, become stunted, or even die.


To fix this problem, ensure that your Fiddle leaf fig is kept within the preferred temperature range and remains free from cold drafts.

If you have air conditioning or heating, keep the plant away from the vents to prevent it from getting exposed to extreme changes in temperature.

5.     Humidity Issues

In addition to temperature, it’s essential to maintain adequate humidity levels.

If your Fiddle leaf fig is struggling with humidity issues, you may notice browning of the leaf tips or yellowing of older leaves.

The plant may also look wilted or limp even though the soil is moist.


Fiddle leaf figs prefer a relative humidity of around 50–60%.

To increase humidity, you can mist the leaves, use a humidifier, or place a water tray near the plant. Keeping the plant in a warm and humid environment will provide it with the conditions it needs to grow healthy and produce new leaves.

Again, do not place the plant too close to any sources of dry air, whether it be a heater or an air conditioning unit.

6.    Root Rot

Root rot is a common issue faced by Fiddle leaf fig owners, and it can be fatal if left untreated.

Root rot occurs when the plant’s roots are constantly sitting in moist soil, leading to harmful bacteria and fungal growth. That can cause the roots to become mushy and rot, preventing the plant from absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.

Besides rotting roots, root rot symptoms also include yellowing of the leaves and a foul odor from the soil. The plant may also look wilted even though the soil is moist.

The yellow leaves may fall off, and the plant may become stunted or stop growing altogether.


If you suspect root rot, acting quickly to save your Fiddle leaf fig is essential.

The first step is carefully removing the plant from its pot and examining the roots. This is a clear sign of root rot if they are mushy or have a foul odor.

Trim away damaged roots and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.

Make sure to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings and avoid overwatering in the future.

Take extra note of the drainage tips in #3.

If you want to know in detail about what root rot looks like and how to treat plants with root rot, check this article.

7.     Pest Infestations

The pests you’ll most likely find on your Fiddle leaf include spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects.

These pests can damage your plant’s leaves, stems, and roots, decreasing your Fiddle leaf fig’s overall health.


Pest infestations can be treated with a mixture of water and dish soap, a store-bought insecticide, or neem oil.

It’s essential to regularly inspect the plant for signs of pests, such as webbing or discolored leaves, and treat them promptly to prevent further damage. If the infestation is severe, removing the plant from its pot and washing the roots to remove any pests may be necessary.

Be sure to rinse the plant thoroughly after treatment and to monitor it closely for any signs of re-infestation.

8.    Insufficient Fertilization

If your Fiddle leaf fig is not getting enough nutrients, you may notice yellowing of older leaves, sparse foliage, and slow growth.


To fix this problem, use a balanced fertilizer every 4–6 weeks during the growing season.

The frequency of fertilization and the type of fertilizer to use depends on the plant’s growth stage (For more detail, check out the fertilizing tips in the next section).

When choosing a fertilizer, it is recommended to choose a balanced fertilizer that provides equal parts of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K).

It is also important to follow the instructions on the fertilizer label and not to over-fertilize, as this can have adverse effects on the plant. Over-fertilizing can result in the buildup of salt in the soil, which can damage the roots, cause leaf burn, and even kill the plant.

Therefore, it is essential to fertilize the plant in moderation and per the recommended guidelines.

9.    Over-Pruning

So, you got carried away, and you feel that you might have over-pruned your Fiddle leaf fig way too much.


If the plant has been over-pruned, it may take some time to recover. Prune only as needed to remove dead or yellowing leaves and to maintain the shape of the plant.

Avoid excessive pruning that removes healthy, green leaves.

Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Not Growing New Leaves 3
Why is my Fiddle leaf fig not growing new leaves? | If you are extensively pruning your FLF, it can cause stress to the plant, resulting in stunted growth—Image via susana MaRo.

10.           Repotting Stress

Repotting stress can occur if the plant is repotted too often or when roots are disturbed during the process.

If this happens, you may notice stunted growth and, of course, the anxiety-inducing sight of absent leaf growth in weeks.


To avoid repotting stress, repot the plant only when necessary, and then only in a pot one size larger. Make sure the soil is moist and well-draining, and avoid disturbing the roots as much as possible.

When repotting, try to minimize the handling of the roots and be gentle, to prevent any damage or stress to your Fiddle leaf fig.

11.  Seasonal Changes

Changing seasons can also be a reason why your Fiddle leaf fig is not growing new leaves.

Fiddle leaf figs are sensitive to changes in light and temperature.

During the winter months, many regions experience shorter days and lower light levels, which can cause the plant to go dormant and stop producing new growth.


The solution to this problem is to provide your Fiddle leaf fig with enough light during the darker months.

As mentioned in #1, you can use artificial lighting or grow lights to compensate for the longer nights. Additionally, make sure that the temperature in the room remains consistently warm and doesn’t fluctuate too much.

When the seasons get drier, remember the tips from #5.

Our favorite is using a humidity tray. If you want to make your own humidity tray, check out our DIY instructions in the next section.

It’s important to remember that Fiddle leaf figs are slow-growing plants and may not produce new leaves for several months at a time.

If you’ve provided adequate light and care, be patient and give the plant time to adjust to the changing seasons.

Fundamental Fiddle Leaf Fig Care!

Here are some caring tips for your Fiddle leaf figs.

Keep an Eye on Your Plant

Regularly inspecting the plant for signs of problems, such as pests, discolored leaves, or slow growth, can help prevent issues from becoming more serious.

By identifying problems early, Fiddle leaf fig owners can address them promptly and keep their plants healthy.

Light is the Key

Providing the Fiddle leaf fig with adequate light is essential for its growth and overall health.

Regularly checking the plant’s light exposure and adjusting it as needed can help prevent a lack of new leaf growth.

Routine Watering

Maintaining a consistent watering schedule and ensuring not watering the plant too often or too little can help prevent root rot and other issues.

Keep It Cozy!

Keeping the Fiddle leaf fig at a suitable temperature and humidity level can help prevent slow growth and lack of new leaf growth.

By ensuring the plant is kept in a warm and humid environment, Fiddle leaf fig owners can ensure that their plants thrive.

With this extra care, your FLF will sprout new and bigger leaves! You will also enjoy the natural benefits (more on this later) that this beloved houseplant provides.

Make Your Own Humidity Tray

Humidity trays are trays filled with water and placed underneath a potted plant to help increase the surrounding humidity.

The water in the tray will evaporate and create a humid microclimate around the plant.

To make your own humidity tray, you will need a shallow tray, a saucer or shallow dish, and pebbles or rocks.

  • Fill the shallow tray with water, then place the saucer or shallow dish on top of the water.
  • Place the potted plant on top of the saucer or shallow dish, making sure the bottom of the pot does not touch the water.
  • Add pebbles or rocks around the base of the plant to secure it in place. That will prevent the plant from being accidentally knocked into the water and help to keep the humidity levels constant.
  • Remember to refill the tray with water as needed to ensure it stays at an appropriate level.

Here’s a video to help you with caring for your Fiddle leaf fig:
Fiddle Leaf Fig Success in 8 Steps! | The Basics of Ficus Lyrata Care – YouTube

Now, let’s talk about the fertilizing tips I mentioned.

Fertilizing Tips for Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fertilizing your Fiddle leaf fig is integral to its growth and maintenance.

Here are some tips for fertilizing your Fiddle leaf fig during various stages of its growth.

Seedling Stage

During the seedling stage, the plant’s root system is still developing, so it’s essential to use a fertilizer high in nitrogen. That will help promote vigorous growth and healthy leaves.

You can use a balanced fertilizer like a 10-10-10 or a 20-20-20, but make sure to dilute it to half-strength.

Apply the fertilizer every 2–4 weeks.

Vegetative Stage

During the vegetative stage, the plant will proliferate and produce new leaves.

That is when you should increase the frequency of fertilizing to every 4–6 weeks. Use a balanced fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content to promote healthy root growth and stronger stems. You can use a 10-20-10 or a 20-30-20 fertilizer.

Reproductive Stage

When the Fiddle leaf fig enters the reproductive stage, it will start to produce flowers and fruits.

During this stage, you’ll want to reduce the frequency of fertilizing to every 8–10 weeks and switch to a fertilizer high in potassium to support the plant’s reproductive development.

A 30-10-10 or 40-10-10 fertilizer would be appropriate.


It’s important always to follow the instructions on the fertilizer label and avoid over-fertilizing, as this can harm the plant.

Also, be sure to water the plant well before and after fertilizing, as this will help the fertilizer reach the roots and prevent burning. If you’re not sure when to fertilize, a good rule of thumb is to wait until the soil has dried out completely before applying fertilizer.

Looking to the Future | Fiddle Leaf Fig Characteristics!

So, you’ve kept your Fiddle leaf fig happy; what can you expect from a thriving plant?

Fiddle leaf figs can grow up to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide, making them a large and eye-catching addition to any room. Their eye-catching leaves are usually a rich green color and can grow up to 12 inches long and 6 inches wide.

The leaves are also quite stiff, giving the plant a unique texture.

Fiddle leaf fig plants produce aerial roots that help them absorb moisture and nutrients from the air, making them well-suited to life as a houseplant.

They also have a slow growth rate, making them a low-maintenance choice for those who don’t have a green thumb.

Benefits of Fiddle leaf fig

In addition to its attractive appearance, the Fiddle leaf fig has several benefits that make it a popular choice for indoor gardening.

  • Firstly, it is excellent for purifying the air. It helps to remove toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air, making it a great choice for people who suffer from allergies or respiratory issues.
  • Secondly, it is also a great stress reliever and mood booster. This is due to their ability to increase the air’s moisture, creating a more comfortable and relaxing environment.
  • Caring for the plant and watching it grow can help reduce stress and improve mental health.
  • Moreover, greenery in your home can help create a sense of calm and peace.
  • Finally, it is also a great conversation starter, making it a perfect addition to any home or office space.

That’s all for today!

Final Thoughts!

Growing a healthy and thriving Fiddle leaf fig requires proper care and attention.

Suppose your Fiddle leaf fig is not growing new leaves. In that case, it could be due to several reasons such as insufficient light, over-watering or under-watering, pest infestations, insufficient fertilization, over-pruning, repotting stress, or low temperatures and humidity levels.

However, following the simple solutions outlined in this article, you can quickly revive your beloved plant.

It’ll reward you with its stunning beauty and new foliage!

Remember to be patient, as it may take some time for your Fiddle leaf fig to fully recover and grow new leaves. Keep up with its basic needs, and you’ll continue to enjoy the many benefits of owning this popular houseplant.

Why is my Fiddle leaf fig not growing new leaves, you asked? We hope this article has provided you with valuable information!

If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you and help you solve any problems you may be facing with your beloved plant. So don’t hesitate to engage and ask questions.

Let’s work together to keep our Fiddle leaf figs healthy and thriving!