Ask a Question forum: Inexplicable leaf drop from my beautiful fiddle leaf fig tree----help!

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Brooklyn, New York.
allgreenishthumbs
Aug 1, 2017 5:43 AM CST
Hi fellow gardeners,

I have had my beautiful, fiddle-leaf fig tree for two years now, and she was green, healthy, and growing----until suddenly this month, she started dropping leaves, day by day. The tree is absolutely green and growing---no black spots, yellowing, or brown on any of the leaves (in fact new leaves are still sprouting), and the majority of the falling leaves also look completely healthy (there were about 2 or 3 that were slightly brown, but most are completely green). Her watering schedule (once a week, and I always touch the soil to check if its dry), and her location (at an angle from my living room window, which gets a lot of light) has not changed in all the time I have had her. I just don't understand why this is happening. It can't be overwatering, right? I have also been giving her a little bit of fertilizer in the spring and summer, once every two weeks, as was recommended by the gardener who sold me the plant. Is something wrong with the soil?

Please advise! I'm so worried. Thank you for the collective wisdom. I've attached 4 pics, 2 of fallen leaves, and 2 of my tree so you can see location and general health.

Thumb of 2017-08-01/allgreenishthumbs/994e40


Thumb of 2017-08-01/allgreenishthumbs/226944


Thumb of 2017-08-01/allgreenishthumbs/6ffa06


Thumb of 2017-08-01/allgreenishthumbs/ebb1d2

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Aug 5, 2017 7:47 AM CST
I suspect that your Fiddle-leafed Fig has maxed out the number of leaves it can support in that light you have available. Outside or in a green house, it would get much more light from all sides and could support more leaves. Yours will continue to put out healthy new growth at the top ends of each stem, but it will also continue to lose a comparable number of older, lower leaves.

You have two options. One is to pinch out new leaf growth as it emerges. This will not harm the plant and it will maintain the status quo. The other option is to prune back any stem that you feel is too long. Usually, new growth will then emerge on the stem just below where you prune it back to.

Of course, if you improve the light somewhat by moving the tree right in the center of the window, that will allow it to support more leaves - up to a point. Rotating the pot will ensure equal light to all sides of the plant. In any case, eventually, you will have to control future growth by pruning or pinching. Otherwise, it will be up against the ceiling.

Your watering seems to be about right, but I usually water a soon as the surface of the soil is just barely damp, not completely dry.

Contact me directly if you have further questions.
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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