The Q&A Archives: Failing Fiddle Leaf Fig

Question: How can I stop my ficus lyrata from loseing it's leaves? It is sitting in front of a west facing window, I water it once a week, but the leaves get brown spots, begin to droop and then fall off. Please, help.

Answer: Are you fertilizing your ficus? A general use fertilizer such as a 20-20-20 applied every two weeks from March to September is a good rule of thumb. Be sure to follow package instructions for how much to apply. Fertilizers are not needed during the winter months and could actually harm some plants. However, a nice top dressing of compost would be well received by your ficus. Ficus generally enjoy bright light (but not direct sunlight) and grow best when the temperature is 70-80 degrees during the day and 65-70 degrees at night. You probably already know not to let your soil get too wet or too dry. Use the pencil test...insert a pencil approximately 3" into the soil. If it comes out with soil on it, the moisture level is fine, if it comes out clean, the plant needs watering. Also make sure your container is the appropriate size, could your ficus be rootbound. One last thing, keep an eye out for "suckers"... the twiggy growth at the base. It should be removed as it appears. Suckers can zap a plant's strength. Hope the above information helps you help your ficus regain its health!

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