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Fiddle leaf figs, also known as Ficus lyrata, lean towards one side due to improper watering, lack of light, and insufficient fertilizer. As the towering beauties can grow up to 49-feet, a tall fiddle leaf fig tree tends to lean due to a lack of support.
Fiddle leaf fig plants are members of the Moraceae family. They are native to western Africa’s lowland rainforests.
With their broad, violin-shaped leaves and Instagram-worthy aesthetics, these statement plants are found in many stylish indoor spaces.
These light lovers are known to be finicky plants to keep alive. However, with proper care and consideration, your fiddle leaf fig will thrive in your home – and the striking greenery is definitely worth the required attentiveness.
So, what do you do when your precious plant is leaning? In this guide, I’ll uncover common causes and tips for a leaning plant.
The primary causes of a leaning fiddle leaf fig tree are overwatering, underwatering, lack of light, and inadequate plant food. To follow, we’ll look at each factor and how it stresses your plant.
Bad watering habits are a primary cause of leaning fiddle leaf fig plants. Both overwatering and underwatering affect your plant’s health.
To determine whether your plant is dehydrated or receiving a surplus of water, have a look at the visual signs displayed.
Fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants that require sufficient water to flourish. If you notice floppy leaves, it is likely a case of underwatering. A lack of water leads to a weakened plant with dry, crispy leaves.
With overwatering, you’ll find dark, brown spots on the leaves. Extensive overwatering is harmful and can result in root rot, fungal infections, and nutrient deficiency in your plant.
Luckily, plants can recover from overwatering and underwatering – depending on the extent.
Here’s what you can do if you find your plant leaning over due to improper watering:
- Check the soil before watering your fiddle leaf fig plant
- Water your fiddle leaf fig when the top 3 to 4 inches of soil is dry
- You can water your plant once every week, but adjust your schedule accordingly
- Water your plant less during winter when temperatures drop
- Make sure your planter pot has drainage holes to prevent excess water from pooling
- Use a moisture meter to avoid over or underwatering
Note: If you’re looking for a fiddle leaf fig tree basket, read this informative guide on plant pots.
Fiddle leaf fig plants thrive in medium-bright light. The tropical trees love receiving ample sunlight from above. Although other houseplants tend to flourish in both bright or low light, a fiddle leaf fig does not follow suit in that regard.
If your fiddle leaf fig is not receiving enough light, it will search for a light source and bend towards it. Other visual signs of insufficient light include brown spots, yellow and falling leaves.
It is best to keep them in a sun-filled space that provides sufficient indirect light and a few hours of direct sunlight per day. Although they enjoy bright light, it is best to steer clear of intense afternoon light as it can lead to sunburn.
Keep the following in mind if you notice your plant baby is leaning due to a lack of light:
- A fiddle leaf fig tree flourishes in bright, indirect light while low light restricts growth, and a lack of light causes the plant to bend
- To revive leaning fiddle leaf fig indoor plants, place them in a spot with bright light
- Make sure your fiddle leaf fig is getting six to eight hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day
- You can rotate your plant each week to ensure all the sides are receiving sufficient sunlight
- For healthy growth during winter, you can use an electric grow light
Plant fertilizer provides fiddle leaf fig trees with the necessary nutrients and minerals for healthy growth. Inadequate fertilizing causes a lack of nutrition and a weakened, leaning plant.
If you have not repotted your fiddle leaf fig for more than two years, it results in a leaning and root-bound plant.
A root-bound fiddle leaf fig is unable to absorb water and nutrients. How do you know if your plant is root bound? If roots appear through the drainage holes of the pot, it is indicative of a root-bound plant.
Here are a few things that you can try to save your plant from inadequate fertilizing and inability to absorb nutrients:
- You should use a diluted or gentle fertilizer to feed your fiddle leaf fig, such as a 3:1:2 NPK fertilizer
- You can fertilize your plants every two weeks in growing seasons (spring and summer)
- Reduce fertilizing during winter months as most plants don’t actively grow during the chilly season
- Repot your fiddle leaf fig every 1 to 2 years
- It is best to avoid repotting during winter
Note: For more information, check out this guide on fertilizer requirements.
Fiddle leaf figs can be a bit fussy with several requirements to thrive in your home. To help you care for your beautiful indoor tree, I’ve discussed a few commonly asked questions below.
An easy solution to support your fiddle leaf fig is using house plant stakes. Staking will help your plant to develop stronger roots and grow straight. If your fiddle leaf fig is too tall or leggy, consider pruning your plant.
To revive a weak or leaning fiddle leaf fig tree trunk, you should provide the plant with sufficient light, airflow, and movement. Shaking fiddle leaf fig trees will help them thrive and thicken the trunk. You can wiggle the tree every one to two weeks for a minute or two.
Note: It is best to avoid removing lower leaves as a weak trunk cannot support a top-heavy tree.
The primary cause of droopy leaves is dehydration due to underwatering. Other reasons for floppy leaves are lack of light, overwatering, root rot, and inadequate fertilizing.
You can use two stakes on either side of your plant if needed. Finally, attach the stake to your plant using the hooks or plant tape.
Note: You can remove the stake after a month or two to check your plant’s progress. If it can stand straight without the stakes, you won’t have to reattach them.
Finding a leaning fiddle leaf fig tree can be disheartening for plant parents, but don’t fret. Whether your plant is leaning from over or underwatering, there are ways to fix it.
Now that we’ve covered the main reasons and revival tips for a leaning plant, you’ll be able to straighten out the situation in no time.
If you have revived a leaning plant before, share your experience in the comment section below.