Tropicals forum: Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots

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ryan_b
Feb 20, 2017 4:34 PM CST
Hi everyone. I am very novice when it comes to plants, however I recently purchased a fiddle leaf fig approx 2 weeks ago and it has started getting brown spots on the leaves. I purchased it from a reputable nursery in Toronto, and maybe 1 or 2 leaves had a tiny bit of browning on it, but certainly not the whole plant. Since then, almost all of the lower leafs are going brown, the top leaves are perfect though. Any idea what is causing this? I did give it a bit of fertilizer, per the instructions given to me from the plant guy at the nursery. I'm thinking maybe that's the cause?

I checked for bugs and nothing. I live in a South facing condo and thought maybe I had it too far from the window so I've been using a full spectrum light on it throughout the day/evening but it hasn't helped. Today I moved it a bit closer to the window and started misting it with water to see if that helps. Am I over watering it? Can it be saved?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Feb 20, 2017 5:14 PM CST
Often plants that have been in a moist humid greenhouse will do that when they are moved to the drier conditions of a home. Ken (Dr. Dawg) grows and sells Fiddle Leafs, hopefully he will chime in with some professional information.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Feb 20, 2017 9:17 PM CST

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@drdawg your input has been requested for this thread. Thumbs up
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
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drdawg
Feb 21, 2017 6:39 AM CST
Welcome! @ryan_b

I agree with Alice. Simply the stress of moving the plant from a location that has near-perfect growing conditions to one that doesn't, will cause this to happen. Sometimes, these tropical plants also get chilled when moving them, and that can be part of what's going on. These huge leaves simply amplify the moving-stress related to the browning that you see.

Though some say misting won't help, in my experience fiddles do better with regular misting (every 1-3 days) when they are moved into a heated home, where the humidity will be very low. The same thing can happen in our central air-conditioned homes and businesses as well. AC removes water vapor big time. Also give the fiddle as much bright, indirect light as possible, supplementing light with fluorescents where necessary. Lastly, keep that potting soil constantly moist, but be sure the potting media is well-draining. You want it moist, not soggy wet. When the fiddle is better established, no longer having these brown leaves and having nice, new growth, it is OK to allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out between thorough waterings.

You have to be patient here, Ryan. Plant won't recover within days from these stresses. You may have to baby the plant for a month or more before you really see good results.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Aquaponics Hibiscus Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals
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ardesia
Feb 21, 2017 9:26 AM CST
That's it! I knew Ken would know how to say it better than I ever could.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 21, 2017 3:01 PM CST
I don't know so much about that, Alice, but thank you for the kind words.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.

ryan_b
Feb 21, 2017 4:24 PM CST
@drdawg Thanks for the advice, Ken! Really appreciate it.

Quick question, how often would you recommend fertilizing the plant? The one I picked up is an All Purpose 20-20-20.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 21, 2017 5:37 PM CST
Ryan, what I do is not what many will or can do. With over 1000 tropical plants, I am always fertilizing. Therefore my fiddle leafs get fertilized at least monthly, but with a half strength application. Since I water about once a week during the fall and winter, that means that I am fertilizing once every fourth watering. The 20-20-20 is fine.

Until you see that your plant has acclimated and the brown-leaves and leaf-drop are no longer a concern, I would not fertilize. When you begin to see new leaf growth without any further brown spots/tips/edges, go to the half-strength fertilization. If you can do it monthly, you'll have a fast-growing tree.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.

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