Ask a Question forum→Fiddle leaf fig - root rot?

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Name: Evan
Portland, OR
Eschaye
May 30, 2020 2:24 PM CST
Hello,

Our fiddle leaf fig is growing well but it's showing some issues. The edges of the lower leaves are brown and dead; the upper leaves are all fine. And today I found some green algae or mold on the soil in the pot. Is this root rot?

Thanks,

Evan
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Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Hummingbirder Birds Organic Gardener Dog Lover Cat Lover
oneeyeluke
May 31, 2020 4:14 AM CST
Browning edges can indicate too much water. A plant pushes water through to the edge of its leaves, and if given in excess, this can cause veins at the edges to burst, which leads to browning. Let the soil dry more between waterings for better results. Let the top 1 or 2 inches dry before watering again and don't let it set in water in the drain tray.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 31, 2020 9:11 AM CST
The white stuff on the soil surface is mold and is not necessarily a problem.

How long ago was it last repotted?

How far is it from the nearest window?

How do you decide when to water and how much do you give it?
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: Evan
Portland, OR
Eschaye
Jun 1, 2020 9:13 AM CST
We repotted it about six weeks ago with regular black gold potting soil. It's across the room from a window - so it doesn't get a ton of sunlight - but there's quite a bit of natural light in the room (we don't have to turn on lights during the day). I usually water it about once a week - I put my finger down the first two inches or so of soil to make sure they're dry. However, I did stick my finger down a bit further and noticed the soil is damp in the middle of the pot; it hasn't been watered in over a week.

I don't think I'm overwatering it, but it's definitely holding water. Sounds like the best idea is to pull the plant out and repot it with some better draining soil?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 1, 2020 9:24 AM CST
The primary problem is that it is not getting enough light. Light intensity drops off dramatically with every foot of distance from the window. Your FLF is a plant that requires lots of indoor sunlight falling directly on its leaves. Without adequate light, nothing else matters, so you have to move it close to the window.

It has already been repotted unnecessarily and repotting it again will cause more problems. The soil you used had some mold spores in it, but the mold is harmless so the soil does not need to be replaced.

Remove any soil you added to the top of the original rootball when you repotted as that soil prevents oxygen from penetrating the root zone readily and makes it harder to determine when to water. The uppermost roots should be just barely covered with soil. Then, allow the top half-inch of the remaining soil to feel dry before watering.

The hard part is determining how much water to add at each watering. You want the top half-inch of the soil to get dry again in about a week so you will have to adjust the amount of water you add so that happens. It will take a bit of experimentation and careful monitoring on your part until you are able to make that determination of how much water it uses each week.
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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