Houseplants forum→Confusing signs with my Fiddle Leaf Fig

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Annemariefl
May 25, 2020 8:40 AM CST
Hello all! My name is Annemarie and I'm relatively new to plant owning...

I've had a fiddle leaf fig for about 4 months and she appears to be struggling in our house. I've been very careful to water at most once a week, making sure that the plant is not sitting in water, yet despite this care I've had brown spots developing on several of the leaves.

About 4-6 weeks ago I trimmed all the leaves that had developped spots off the tree in the hopes of stemming the spread, but now they're back with a vengance. The plant has not been repotted since I purchased it from a local greenhouse but I have taken it out of its pot and inspected the roots to make sure rot wasn't the culprit.

I'm at a loss, because it really seems I'm being sent mixed messages. I have my 3rd new leaf growing now (we lost 1 new leaf when I tried spacing the watering to a 2 week interval for fear of over water) but the latest two are nice and healthy (I'm assuming their red spots are also due to the water gap and I've seen these clear up on the more mature larger growth that happened since being in our home). How can the plant be growing new leaves while developping spots on nearly all the others?

I've included a picture of the nearest windows, which face mainly East, or at most South-East. We thought that the light would be enough but could this be the problem? The tree is about 10-12 feet from the windows.

Please help I'm really trying my best to keep this beautiful tree alive and am at a loss.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 26, 2020 7:40 AM CST
Welcome! Annemarie. Fiddle-leafed Figs require an abundance of indoor sunlight and soil that is not allowed to get dry, despite what you may have learned elsewhere.

When plants don't get enough light, nothing else you do will prevent slow deterioration. In reduced light the plant will sacrifice its older, lower leaves while continuing to preserve its future by putting out new leaves in the expectation that conditions may improve. Keep your FLF's as close to and directly in front of your sunniest windows as possible.

Brown leaf patches occur most commonly because the soil has gotten too dry. It is not a disease that spreads. But as long as the soil is allowed to get too dry, then the brown patches will continue to develop. Let no more than the top half-inch of soil get dry before watering thoroughly enough that a bit of water trickles through the drain holes.

It is normal for new leaves to have a reddish speckled appearance initially.

If you improve the light and watering, your plants should slowly recover. Some older leaves may decline a bit longer and existing discolored leaves will not recover. But there should be few new problems.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

Annemariefl
May 27, 2020 1:30 PM CST
Thank you so much Will! I will find a new place in our home for the tree and hope that we start seeing signs of improvement!

I'm just glad to hear it doesn't seem to be something I'm doing but rather a location issue.

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 28, 2020 6:57 AM CST
Yes, it is a light issue first and foremost, but make sure you don't let the soil get too dry as is commonly recommended.
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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