Whether you’re new to taking care of plants or you’ve been doing it for years, it takes skill and talent to keep them alive. On the other hand, maybe you’ve got a natural green thumb and you don’t struggle like some of us do. However, if your fiddle leaf fig or any other plant starts dropping leaves, it’s only natural to wonder why and to try and figure out the source of the problem.
A fiddle leaf fig will drop leaves for a variety of reasons, including a change in environment, irregular watering, dry air, root rot, lack of sunlight, or a lack of water. Despite the various causes for leave dropping, most of them can be solved by proper and consistent watering.
Leaves can be a telltale sign of the condition of your plant. It’s important to pay attention to the leaves and watch for signs that your plant is not healthy and may need help. It’s also important that you know what to do to keep your plant healthy and solve any potential problems you may discover.
Why a Fiddle Leaf Fig Is Dropping Leaves
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are many reasons a fiddle leaf fig could be dropping its leaves. It’s also not just dropping leaves that tell you something is wrong. The actual condition of the leaves can tell you a lot too.
The leaves will tell you a lot about the condition of the plant, so it’s important to pay attention and look for signs that you may need to help your plant get back to its ideal state.
Shock or Change in Environment
Fiddle leaf figs don’t do that well being moved around too much. A sudden change in their environment can actually be quite harmful to your plant. As a result of this move, they can become “stressed,” which can result in the dropping of leaves.
If the lighting or humidity levels change, that can also cause stress to your plant and it will need to adjust to the new environment. Once adjusted, the plant should grow strong again, but it will take a little bit of time. Just make sure to give it all the proper care it requires, and your plant will thrive.
How to Fix:
- Keep environment consistent for your plant
- Be careful when moving the plant is necessary
- Avoid big changes when possible
- Continue to give your plant proper care
- Give your plant the time it needs to adjust
Something else that causes fiddle leaf figs to drop their leaves is improper watering and dry soil. If the plant doesn’t have enough water, it will begin to drop leaves. However, it’s not good for the plant to be swimming in water either. There has to be a balance in the amount of water. The soil should not be allowed to dry out completely.
The best way to test out if the soil is the proper moisture is to stick your finger into the top inch of the soil. If it’s still really moist, you shouldn’t water it yet. The soil should be allowed to drain and dry out a little bit. Good drainage is needed because if the plant is allowed to sit in the water for too long, it can lead to root rot.
Once the top inch of soil is fairly dry, you should water your fiddle leaf fig. It’s important to give your plant a fair amount of water—until the water begins to drain out the bottom of the pot.
How to Fix:
- Consistently water your plant
- Allow for proper drainage
- Don’t let your plant sit in a pool of water
- Don’t let your plant or its soil completely dry out
Air Is Too Dry
Fiddle leaf figs are also sensitive to the humidity levels in the air. If the air is too dry, it may cause the plant to drop its leaves. The plant should not be kept close to a heater, heating vent, or AC unit.
The air around all of these is too dry. The plant also should not be kept in drafty areas. Doors and windows around them should be kept closed when possible. It may also be helpful to increase the humidity in the air around your plant to make sure it’s not too dry.
How to Fix:
- Keep the plant away from sources of airflow
- Keep doors and windows around plant closed
- Use a humidifier in the area where the plant is kept
Unfortunately, root rot is one of the most common problems in all houseplants. Root rot, as mentioned briefly earlier, is what happens when a plant has been given too much water and the soil becomes waterlogged. If the soil is too wet for long periods of time, the roots can begin to rot. As a result, the plant’s leaves can begin to drop.
How to Fix:
- Keep a good, consistent watering schedule
- Allow the soil to drain and dry out in between waterings
- Don’t overwater your plant
- Don’t allow your plant to sit in a pool of water
- Regularly replace the plant’s soil (This will help with drainage and keeping the roots healthy.)
Sunburn or Not Enough Sunlight
Fiddle leaf figs enjoy being in bright places. You should be sure to place the plant near a window. It is ideal for them to be by a south-facing window because of the way the light hits.
However, any large window should give your plant plenty of light. Fiddle leaf figs need plenty of sunlight, but it’s important to make sure that your plant is not getting any direct light. Even if it’s just a few hours a day, if the plant is in direct light, the leaves can actually burn. On the other hand, if the plant isn’t getting enough light, it may begin to drop leaves.
How to Fix:
- Keep your plant next to a window that gets plenty of light (south-facing is best)
- Keep your plant out of direct sunlight
- Allow your plant to get plenty of light each day