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Signs Your Fiddle Leaf Fig is Dying | With Treatments to Save It

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The Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata) grows beautiful, large fiddle-like leaves. So, it can be easy to spot when something seems off. These are the common signs that your Fiddle Leaf Fig is dying; yellowing leaves, brown spots on leaves, droopy leaves, and excessive loss of leaves.

Fiddle Fig Ficus Lyrata or Ficus Lyrata Bambino
Fiddle Fig, Ficus Lyrata

This trendy houseplant can be tricky to raise and keep alive. Therefore, noticing any signs of your plant in critical condition will help prevent further suffering. But saving a dying Fiddle Leaf Fig is possible.

If you’re asking yourself, “Why is my Fiddle Leaf Fig dying?” this is the guide to help you discover the answers. Here are 8 signs to look out for on your fiddle leaf fig, that will help you nurse your plant to good health.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Are Turning Yellow

Fiddle leaf figs are best known and loved for their magnificent green leaves. So when the leaves suddenly start becoming yellow, it’s an indication of a problem afoot. However, when a Fiddle Leaf Fig has yellow leaves, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s dying.

The good news is that the problem might not even be severe. Which means the issue can be treated easily.

One of the main causes for a fiddle leaf Fig getting yellow leaves is overwatering. Many first-time plant parents tend to water their plants more than what is required. First-time fiddle leaf fig parents are no exception.

Unfortunately, because of overwatering, the Ficus will start to show its unhappiness by getting yellow leaves.

Overwatering a fiddle leaf fig can be the cause for root rot. If this is the case, root rot is a  severe problem and needs to be treated immediately.

Small Fiddle Fig with beautiful green leaves
Small Fiddle Fig with beautiful green leaves

Another possible cause for yellowing leaves is insufficient light. The fiddle leaf fig plant needs at minimum 6 to 8 hours of indirect light.

If your fiddle leaf fig does not get enough sunlight, it won’t be able to photosynthesize – which in turn makes the leaves of your plant yellow.

A lack of fertilizers is also a cause of yellow leaves in fiddle leaf figs. When the Ficus Lyrata is in their natural habitat, it’s easy for them to absorb all the essential nutrients from the soil.

However, as an indoor fiddle leaf fig plant, it will only get the nutrients you give them with the help of fertilizers. So be sure to give your plant enough fertilizer, to avoid the leaves turning yellow. 

This next factor is sometimes overlooked as a cause for your fiddle leaf fig getting yellowing leaves. But, repotting a fiddle leaf fig can also cause yellowing in the leaves.

If you have recently repotted your plant and its leaves have started yellowing soon after, then that means your plant is stressed and in shock.

Fiddle Leaf Figs like to remain rooted. So if you have repotted them, they might not be responding well to the change.

Some of the other factors that can contribute to yellowing leaves to a Fiddle Leaf Fig can vary from fluctuating temperatures, plant pests, or irregular soil pH (soil acidity).


Pests are a common occurrence in indoor plants. However, the Spider Mite is one pest you should be on the lookout for when it comes to the fiddle leaf fig.

The Spider Mite is one of the worst kinds of fiddle leaf fig bugs because they are extremely small and can be difficult to notice from a distance. Moreover, the Spider Mite can cause damage to your plant by eating your plants’ nutrients.

These pests will also leave tiny webs throughout your Ficus and because they harbor diseases, they can be extremely dangerous for your plants’ health. With these pesky pests around, your Fiddle Leaf Fig can experience a myriad of problems.

Such problems include leaves dropping, curling yellow foliage, brown or wilting leaves, or small speckled brown dots littering your leaves. Neem oil is a great natural way to treat these mites.

Soil Acidity (Soil PH)

Sometimes the hardest problem to solve when it comes to indoor plants are the things we cannot see with our naked eye.


If you have checked your fiddle leaf figs leaves and stem, and you haven’t noticed anything obvious, the problem could be with the soils’ pH levels.

Each plant has a specific level of pH that they feel most comfortable with. It’s important to know this about each of your plants to ensure you can properly care for them.

Generally, the pH levels in soil range from about 3 to 10. However, the number is dependent upon a certain number of factors. 

This may include things like the type of soil or the amount of rainwater the soil might receive. A healthy fiddle leaf fig should have a pH between 6 and 7.

A moisture meter can help discover the pH level of your soil; and once this number is known, certain materials may be used to either raise or lower the pH level in the soil.

Be sure to continue monitoring these levels in the soil to ensure it eventually levels out where you need it.

If the pH in your fiddle leaf fig is not at the level it should be after monitoring it, then you will need to repot your plant and use a well-balanced fertilizer. If this isn’t possible, alkaline water drops might be a good remedy to adjust your plants’ pH.

There Are Brown Spots on My Fiddle Leaf Fig

When your fiddle leaf fig starts to develop brown spots on the leaves, it is generally due to a fungal infection from the roots sitting in too much moisture.

As mentioned earlier in this guide, overwatering can lead to root rot as well as poor drainage. Root rot eventually works its way up and spreads to the leaves of your plant.

It can be hard trying to figure out if one of your plants’ ailments is root rot. Sometimes once you’ve figured it out, it is too late.

Therefore the only way to be certain that your plant has root rot is to remove the pot and inspect the roots. If the roots are brown and soft, then your plant is definitely being affected by root rot.

However, if there are just a few brown spots on the leaves, let your plant dry out and observe your plant over the course of two weeks until the roots have adequate time to recover. You could also remove the affected leaves.

In the case that there are multiple brown spots, you’ll need to cut away the brown, mushy roots before repotting your plant. It is risky, so be sure to consult this repotting guide before cutting and repotting.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Are Drooping

If you notice that your fiddle leaf fig leaves are drooping then that means your plant is severely underwatered. Luckily, the remedy for this isn’t complicated and can be treated instantaneously.

Simply give your fiddle leaf fig some water, and within an hour or so, you’ll notice a perkier, and friendlier-looking fiddle leaf fig.

Keep in mind that depending on how long your Ficus has gone without water, it might take a little while longer to awaken the drooping leaves of your fiddle leaf fig.

It is imperative that you implement and maintain a balanced watering schedule, in order to stop seeing droopy leaves on your fiddle leaf fig.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is Excessively Losing Leaves

If you feel that your once luscious fiddle leaf fig plant is losing its leaves at an alarming rate – you might have an unhealthy fiddle leaf fig. But don’t worry, falling fiddle leaves might not be that severe.

How to Fix Fiddle Leaf Fig Drooping Leaves.

As mentioned earlier, fiddle leaf figs enjoy consistency, so the slightest change can cause shock. The plant will likely to lose a lot of leaves due to this problem.

If you have just brought home a new fiddle leaf fig, or you have decided to relocate it, your Ficus can start to lose leaves because it is feeling stressed from all the changes.

Another factor that can get your fiddle leaf fig to excessively lose its leaves is when your plant gets exposed to dry conditions. It’s great if you are not overwatering the plant, but remember that the soil should not be arid.

Remember, you should water your fiddle leaf fig when the soil feels cold and a little moist. If you let the soil of the Fiddle Leaf Fig get completely dry, it will result in dry fig leaves and the leaves will begin to fall off.

It is also best to avoid keeping the plant near an air conditioner or any heating machine as the air will dry out the plant, and it might even cause early death.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Are Turning White

Fiddle fig sunburn is the potential cause of your plant’s leaves turning white. Too much direct sunlight can result in it getting sunburnt. Sunburnt leaves on a Fiddle Leaf Fig can present itself as light brown spots that may look bleached.

The white spots on your fiddle leaf fig will predominantly be on the top leaves and can sometimes show up as red or yellow.

Treatment for this issue is simple too. You can remove the sunburned leaves with sharp scissors or pruning shears and relocate your plant to an area that is protected from the direct rays of the sun.

Another reason for white leaves on your fiddle leaf fig can be due to a fungal infection called mildew infection. This infection is a noticeable white powdery mildew on the stems or leaves of your plant.

If the Ficus is not getting enough light and air, it encourages the growth and spread of mildew. If the mildew rapidly spreads all over your plant, the infection will kill it.

This issue is very severe. You will need to remove the leaves and allow airflow. You can do this by using a humidifier and applying Neem oil to get rid of the infection.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is Getting Leggy

What is meant by the term, “leggy fiddle leaf fig”? Well, this is when your fiddle leaf fig grows too tall and has a thin and weak stem. And there are many causes as to what makes your fiddle leaf fig appear this way.

One of the reasons for having a leggy Ficus is due to insufficient light. In order for the fiddle leaf figs to remain healthy and strong, it needs bright and indirect light.

When there is a lack of sunlight, the Ficus will start becoming thin and weak with very few leaves on them.

If you are not giving your plant enough fertilizer or you are perhaps feeding your plant too much, the plant will not get enough nutrients from the soil. This will cause your fiddle leaf fig to become thin and frail.

It is advised that you use a gentle fertilizer that contains Nitrogen as it boosts the growth of new leaves. Phosphorus also helps with root growth. Potassium will help to regulate water in your Ficus plant. Fertilize your plant once every week.

Not pruning your Ficus consistently can lead to a leggy fiddle leaf fig. Pruning is helpful in allowing your plant to not only retain its shape but also promote growth. When you neglect to prune the plant, your plant can weaken and become leggy.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Has Curling Leaves

When the foliage of your fiddle leaf fig starts to curl, it means that your plant is underwatered. The reason for curling leaves on a fiddle leaf fig can be due to the changes in temperature and humidity.

Relocating a plant or a change in season can also be the reason for curling leaves. Any type of change in the plant’s environment can cause stress and shock.

If the temperature is higher than usual, give your fiddle leaf fig more water and use a humidifier that can help steady the humidity for the plant.

Black Edges on Fiddle Leaf Fig

If you’re guilty of overwatering your fiddle Llaf fig or it has fallen victim to poor drainage, root rot is probably the cause of this.

In addition to your fiddle leaf fig not getting enough sunlight, root rot can make this problem worsen. Too large of a pot can also cause your plant’s roots to get too wet between waterings, leading to blackened leaves.

How to Keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig Healthy

Unfortunately the fiddle leaf fig won’t make it to the ‘Easy indoor plant’ list due to its very specific regime and preferences for optimal growth.

However, if you’re up for the challenge, your Ficus plant can be one of the most prized possessions within your home. Here’s how to save a fiddle leaf fig.

Solidify a Proper Fiddle Leaf Fig Watering Schedule and a Sound Drainage System

Start by establishing a good watering routine for your fiddle leaf fig. Remember, if you see brown spots on your plant and its leaves are drooping, it could be due to poor drainage, or a bad lighting situation.

If your Fiddle Leaf Fig is sitting in a large container, with the wrong soil, and you’re overwatering your plant, it can be a deadly combination and lead to root rot.

A lack of sunlight can worsen bad conditions. If your plant is not in a very bright location move it toward a south or east facing window draped in a gauzy curtain to filter the sunlight.

If your problem is severe, you’ll need to repot your plant to a new container with drainage holes and use fast-draining soil to make sure your plant’s roots can breathe.

 Find the Correct Placement

A Fiddle leaf fig really flourishes in a location that meets its light and temperature needs.

So, scout your home for space that accommodates the requirements of your plant. The correct placement for your plant is a spot that is warm and humid, and without too much direct sunlight.

This isn’t easy in all homes, but it will be what’s best for your plant. If necessary, get a humidifier and grow lights.

Give the Appropriate Fertilisation

When you don’t fertilize these plants enough, you’ll notice that your fiddle leaf figs growth might be stunted. During the summer season, when the fiddle leaf fig grows exponentially, it will need more nutrients.

So, in order to see your plant flourish, use liquid fertilizer on your fiddle leaf fig plant. It is easy to use and is safe for plants. But just like overwatering, using too much fertilizer can also be harmful.

Final Thoughts on Signs Your Fiddle Leaf Fig is Dying

Figuring out what is wrong with your plant can be challenging, and as a plant parent to a fiddle leaf fig, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. But don’t be discouraged, this post is sure to help you to take care of your Fiddle Leaf Fig better.

Saving a fiddle leaf fig is simple, it just takes a bit of dedication. All you need is to be armed with a positive mindset, the right tools, lots of patience, and your fiddle leaf fig is sure to have a speedy recovery.