Houseplants forum→Clueless Fiddle Leaf Fig (?) Owner

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ElleCii
May 20, 2020 11:37 AM CST
Hi, I received this plant as a gift in January 2020, but I don't have any experience with plants at all so I'm not sure how to take care of them. I believe its a fiddle leaf fig and I've tried to research how to take care of it but it seems to be getting worse. I've added photos below, so I'm just going to state as much information I can.

The issues I see on my plant is that it has developed a lot of small brown spots on the bottom of the leaves, and one which has a tip that has cracked (?). I also have a leaf that seems to have developed some lighter dry patches, just yesterday it was a small patch, but now it has spread significantly on the top of the leaf. The difference between today and yesterday was that I sprayed some water on the leaves, I'm not sure if that was what caused it to spread. I notice the lower leaves in general are always crusty and eventually just fall off, it used to have like 5 smaller leaves at the bottom.

I water it roughly once a week and have it near a window. I used to place it directly in front of my window which had a lot of sun and heat during the day, but I read online that it doesn't like direct sunlight so then I moved it to the side where theres still some light but the heat isn't going to hit it too much. It used to be in a plastic container that was placed inside the pot but I eventually removed it and placed the plant back into the pot and filled in the gaps with some new soil around 2 weeks ago.

I gave it a lot more water when it still had the plastic pot in it, from what I read online which was to pour enough water till it comes through the bottom. But now I've been scared to overwater it, because while my pot has a hole for water to go through, the 'tray' it's on can't be detached, so a lot of the water would not be able to escape even though some water makes it onto the tray. I think I've given it like half a cup of water per week since the move, but the soil is still wet so I don't know what to do.

I've done research on how to take care of this plant, but I can't tell what's going wrong. This is my first plant, how can I fix it's issues? Thanks.

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My plant when I first got it:
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[Last edited by ElleCii - May 20, 2020 11:46 AM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 21, 2020 7:18 AM CST
Welcome! There is a lot of confusing and incorrect information online about Fiddle-leafed Fig care.

Large brown patches on the leaves are most commonly caused by the soil getting too dry. That can be avoided by watering your plant thoroughly as soon as the top half-inch of soil feels dry, which will be about once per week. No need to worry about water in the saucer as it will evaporate soon enough.

Most of the other discolorations on your plant's leaves are normal blemishes or dings from rough handling. The leatherlike leaves crack easily. Those spots cannot be repaired and some of them may get gradually larger but that is not evidence of a disease or any ongoing problem. New leaf growth may come in with speckled red coloration, but that is normal and the new leaves will become larger and all green as they mature. It is also normal for older lower leaves to gradually die back as they age.

You cannot give your plant too much direct indoor sun, so keep it in front of a sunny window.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

ElleCii
Jun 27, 2020 1:40 AM CST
Thank you so much for your help!! I took your advice and watered it more as well as moved it to the window. I think I accidentally burned the edges of some leaves by not being careful and having it touch the glass, but I'm very happy to say my plant has finally sprouted a new leaf!!! Hurray!

Very excited to see that it's finally growing, thank you! :)

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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 27, 2020 6:41 AM CST
Great news!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Gary Figueroa
Milwaukie, OR (Zone 7b)
Image
daFigz
Jun 29, 2020 3:59 PM CST
@ElleCii - Avoid overcare/under care. Maintain potting media moisture level at "moist of the dry-side." Remember to fertilize. Remember the F. lyrata is a tropical tree. Paz! - daFigz™

ElleCii
Jun 1, 2021 2:53 PM CST
Hi, I need more advice for this plant! After I took the previous advice, during June to until about December my fiddle leaf fig was consistently shooting out new leaves every few weeks. I haven't changed a thing since then, it is still next to my window and I check to see if the soil is dry before I water, but it hasn't grown a new leaf since.

Instead, during the first few months of the year the bottom leaves would yellow and fall off. I thought I was watering it too much so I left off watering it for longer, around every 10 days. It seemed to have stopped leaves from falling, but the older leaves slowly became to have a strange yellow tint to them.

The plant doesn't look like it's dead, but it doesn't look as healthy as it did last year. What's wrong with it? Do I need to fertilize it? I don't know anything about that so I haven't tried. Thank you!

The plant is on the floor for photos only (currently how it looks):
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This was November 2020 when it looked the healthiest:
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This picture was at the end of February 2021, it already lost a leaf in January and was in the middle of losing another one:
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 1, 2021 4:26 PM CST
How deep into the pot does the soil get dry before you water? Is your tap water hard?

Can you post a photo that shows where you keep it relative to the nearest window?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

ElleCii
Jun 1, 2021 6:42 PM CST
I usually just dig my finger in the soil about an inch to see if it's dry. I haven't felt any deeper than that. I believe my tap water is not hard, and I keep it right next to the window like in last pictures. My windows also have UV film if that changes anything. Thanks!

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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 2, 2021 6:13 AM CST
The light appears to be fine, but I think you are letting it get a bit too dry. I suggest watering thoroughly as soon as the top half-inch of soil feels dry to your finger probe. Try to confirm that your tap water is not hard.

It is normal for some of the older lower leaves to die back as healthy new leaves are added on top.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

ElleCii
Jun 2, 2021 11:16 AM CST
Thank you, I will try to water it more often! Just curious, what would need to be changed if I had hard tap water or not?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 2, 2021 3:38 PM CST
If your tap water is hard or you suspect it is, then use filtered or distilled instead.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

Picklepea23
Jun 2, 2021 6:01 PM CST
Hi! Just thought I'd ask, but do you know the humidity percentage of the area it's in? I have a similar fiddle and it really didn't start doing well till I moved a humidifier in the area. I think some of the leaf bubbling and curling could be related to that.

ElleCii
Jun 2, 2021 9:54 PM CST
Thanks for the responses! I will figure out the tap water. For humidity, I don't know the percentage but I think it's not very high. So I will look into that as well, hopefully it will look better in a few weeks!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 3, 2021 1:11 PM CST
I have never had any problems with FLF in dry air along as the soil was kept properly watered. Underwatering is a common problem with FLFs. Low humidity is not.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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