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Avatar for davvodil
May 17, 2020 11:25 AM CST
Thread OP


I got a new fiddle leaf fig about 3 weeks ago in the mail, it was healthy and spent at most 4 days in shipment. When it came, I watered it and two days later repotted it into a bigger pot (with drainage holes) as the one it came in looked very small. I used Miracle-Gro all purpose soil with a few pebbles laid on the bottom of the pot.

It's been sitting near a south facing window and gets plenty of indirect light during the day. (Sometimes a sliver of direct light passes over it and I try to move it out of the way for the hour during the afternoon when the sun passes in the exact spot.) I water with rain water (or filtered) only when I stick my finger in the soil and it feels dry (but not yet crisp) and then I sit the inner pot in the sink for an hour or two until it stops draining before putting it back into the outer pot. This works out to be around once or just twice a week. I've fertilized it once with an all purpose Miracle-Gro liquid fertilizer since having it.

I noticed the tips of the leaves starting to wrinkle a bit (please see pics!) about maybe a week ago and I thought it might have to be with my watering technique at first. I've done some research and it doesn't seem like I'm that far off with what I'm supposed to do. This stresses me out because apparently this can happen with too much or too litter watering?!

I read that it might have to do with problems with pests, especially after noticing a couple of brown spots on the underside of some (though not all) of the wrinkled areas. I checked for spider mites and mealybugs at all the crevices and underside of each leaf and haven't seen any signs of these! I did have a slight problem with these tiny small fruit fly-like flies (don't think they were fruit flies because they're not attracted to vinegar or fruit traps) but since I've put up traps and put some layers of washed shells/pebbles on the top of my plant soils, they've not been around. There's now a drying crispy lesion on one of them that goes through the full thickness of the leaf (second youngest). Pictures attached.

The wrinkling started at the tips of the leaves and now has been spreading slowly down the stem towards the base. They're affecting all the leaves except the 2 oldest ones.

There's a single new leaf bud forming and it's gotten larger but only slightly.

Please please can someone offer any insight or advice on what on earth I'm doing wrong?! Or tag someone who's an expert on finicky fiddle leafs? I'm really worried!

Many, many, many thanks in advance!

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Last edited by davvodil May 17, 2020 4:18 PM Icon for preview
May 18, 2020 12:30 PM CST
Name: Will Creed
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Take a deep breath and step back from your FLF and enjoy its overall appearance rather than worrying about minor imperfections. I see nothing in the photos that is cause for concern unless you are a perfectionist.

Your concern about direct sunlight is unwarranted. Indoor direct sun is fine.

Because you repotted it, it does not need fertilizer.

Unless your tap water is hard, there is no need to use filtered water. When you water, give it enough so that a bit trickles through the drain holes. As long as the pot it is growing in does not sit in water for more than a couple of days, it is not a problem. No need to schlep it to the sink every day. A once-weekly thorough watering should be sufficient.

Fiddle-leafed Figs are very hardy indoor plants that don't require much fussing. As long as they are in a moderately sunny location and watered thoroughly each week, they are pretty much trouble-free, even though they will have some imperfections.

Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Avatar for davvodil
May 20, 2020 6:47 AM CST
Thread OP

Thank you so much Will!

I will keep looking after it as I have and update if anything changes!
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