Why Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Keeps Losing Leaves

When your beloved Fiddle Leaf Fig starts dropping leaves, it can be disheartening. But fear not! The Grow-How™ Team is here to guide you through common issues and help your plant bounce back to its former glory. Let’s explore some of the most common symptoms, their potential causes, and how you can solve the problem.

Dropping Leaves like Crazy: Improper Watering and/or Improper Temperature

Leaf drop in Fiddle Leaf Figs is often a result of over or under-watering. However, extreme temperatures can also lead to leaf loss. These tropical beauties thrive in warm, humid conditions with consistent moisture and moderate temperatures. To fix the issue:

  1. Check the placement of your plant. Ensure it’s not too close to an A/C vent, heater, or draft. If necessary, relocate it to a more suitable spot.
  2. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Aim to water only when 50-75% of the soil volume is dry.
  3. Consider misting your Fiddle Leaf Fig regularly to increase humidity.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Brown Spots on Leaves: Root Rot or Bacterial Infection?

Brown spots can indicate two different problems: root rot or bacterial infection. Let’s address each one separately.

Root Rot

Root rot occurs when the roots are exposed to excessive moisture, causing fungal infection. To treat root rot:

  1. Remove the pot and inspect the roots. If brown and mushy, root rot is the likely culprit.
  2. If only a few leaves have brown spots, let your plant dry out for a couple of weeks to allow the roots to recover.
  3. Remove affected leaves and ensure your plant receives adequate light.
  4. In severe cases, cut away brown, mushy roots and infected leaves, then repot with fresh soil, taking care not to overwater in the future.
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Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infection manifests as yellowing leaves with brown spots. This condition is more challenging to treat, but not impossible. If your Fiddle Leaf Fig suffers from bacterial leaf spot:

  1. Remove all leaves with brown spots and repot your plant using sterile soil.
  2. Provide ample light and reduce watering until your plant recovers.

Bacterial Leaf Spot

Insect Damage

Insect damage is rare but leaves clear clues. Look for webs or insects using a magnifying glass. If you detect insect damage:

  1. Treat the infestation with a neem oil product specifically designed for houseplants.
  2. Alternatively, create a homemade spray using baking soda, mineral oil, and water. Apply this solution to the infected areas, ensuring complete coverage.
  3. Keep infected plants away from your other houseplants and repeat the process if necessary.

Your Plant is Too Dry

Dry plant brown spots are distinguishable by their dry tan or brown areas, usually starting at the leaf edges and causing the leaf to curl. To combat this issue:

  1. If your plant is in an extremely dry environment or near a heater, consider relocating it to a less extreme location.
  2. Water regularly when the soil is 50-75% dry, and monitor moisture levels diligently.
  3. Misting or using a humidifier near your plant can also increase humidity.
  4. Ensure water reaches the root ball by giving your plant a thorough drink and letting excess water drain before placing it back on its saucer.

Tan, Almost White Spots on the Top Leaves: Sunburn

Excessive direct sunlight can cause sunburn on your Fiddle Leaf Fig, resulting in light brown spots that may appear bleached. To address sunburn:

  1. Remove sunburned leaves using sharp scissors or pruning shears.
  2. Relocate your plant to an area shielded from direct sunlight.
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Sunburned Fiddle Leaf Fig

Grow-How™ Note

To help your plant recover and maintain its best appearance, always remove damaged areas or entire brown leaves. Follow these instructions for proper removal:

  1. Trim brown leaf tips or spots, leaving a tiny margin of brown to avoid damaging healthy foliage.
  2. If the entire leaf has turned brown, gently pull it off. If it resists, snip the stem with clean shears.

If you have any plant-related questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Grow-How™ Team. We’re here to provide guidance and inspire you to be the best plant parent you can be. We’re passionate about sharing our knowledge and love for plants.

More for Your Indoor Garden

For additional indoor gardening tips and inspiration, visit Ames Farm Center.