Ask a Question forum: Fiddle leaf fig turning brown, leaf drop

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Tyler, TX
Cnas
Sep 23, 2017 12:22 PM CST
Bought this three stalk beauty in April. Placed indoors in a West facing window and seemed to do OK. I do have a 13 ft covered patio that extends out next to the window that I placed the plant. (Please see 1st pic.)I live in East Texas. Plant seemed to be doing fine. I placed a dowel and watered only when it came out dry, probably once every two weeks. When I bought it, it did have some of those white mites but I treated it and haven't noticed them. In the first month or two it even put out some new leaves. Now over the last two months, the only new leaf buds (very few) end up drying up before coming out. More recently, it has been dropping leaves precipitously, mostly leaves from the bottom. I also noticed that the area where the stalk and the leaf meet is brown on some leaves but not others. Is this normal? I am not great with plants but my others indoor plants are fine and my outdoor hibiscus and ferns are awesome. I really want to keep this plant inside as decor and don't want it to die! It was expensive and hard to find. I had to drive 2 hours to find it and bring it home. Please help...
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Sep 24, 2017 3:23 PM CST
You are keeping your Fiddle-leafed Fig too dry. I see that it is well rooted and it is tightly potted in its original nursery pot. Therefore, it will need a thorough watering at least once per week. It will need water as soon as the surface of the soil feels dry. Overwatering it is not something that you need to worry about.

In one photo, it appears that the soil may have shrunk away from the inside of the pot. If so, tamp down the soil into that space. Otherwise, the water you add may simple run across the top surface and down that space without the soil getting saturated throughout.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
[Last edited by WillC - Sep 24, 2017 3:23 PM (+)]
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Tyler, TX
Cnas
Sep 29, 2017 8:54 AM CST
Thank you for your response! I have attached another picture of tiny purple spots on new growth. Please tell me what you think! Is this that oedema? I am still getting lower leaves turning yellow and dropping but new leaves with the tiny spots. I tried to take a magnifying glass and see if I could see any insects. I saw a few little web type things but not many. I went ahead and sprayed all leaves with fertilome triple action plus, has neem in it. When I put my finger in the holes at bottom of pot soil still feels moist.
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Tyler, TX
Cnas
Sep 29, 2017 9:05 AM CST
Well.... I should say, slightly moist when I stick my finger in the bottom of the holes in the pot. I just stuck a wooden dowel down many different areas of the soil and it came out feeling cool but not much moisture. Maybe I should just leave this guy on my east facing back porch with a little more sun and more humidity, (instead of in the house). I live in East Texas. How cool outside temps can they handle?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Sep 29, 2017 12:14 PM CST
Oedema?! I think you are doing a bit too much online research and finding things that are not helpful.

New leaf growth on Ficus lyratas often has a pale color and the spots that have you concerned. They will disappear for the most part as they mature. Your tree is not diseased and does not need to be treated with anything.

Outdoor light is too intense for this plant, so I don't recommend your moving it outside. Keep it in front of a sunny indoor window.

The soil dries from the top down. The soil should always be moist at the bottom of the pot. Make your watering determination by how dry the surface of the soil gets. Make sure the water is not running around the sides of the rootball and down through the space between the rootball and the inside of the pot.

Older leaves will continue to fall off as your tree adapts.

Concentrate on providing good indoor light and not letting the soil get too dry. Forget about everything else!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Tyler, TX
Cnas
Sep 29, 2017 1:45 PM CST
Will, thank you for the quick response! The plant was big and beautiful and green in late March when I got it. It seemed to be doing fine for the first few months and this was when I was only watering it every 2 weeks. Just in the last month to six weeks have I noticed the dropping of larger lower leaves. I pushed/ramped the soil down like you said but didn't add any to it. I do leave it in a saucer when I water for a couple of hours to absorb the runoff through the bottom. Is this a no-no?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Sep 30, 2017 7:36 AM CST
Cnas - It often takes a few months before the symptoms of a problem show up. It is okay for the pot to sit in water for several hours as long as it evaporates in less than 12 hours.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Tyler, TX
Cnas
Sep 30, 2017 8:11 AM CST
Will, thanks for the quick responses!! From my first post and the pic do you think the covered patio is keeping too much sunlight from getting to it? It is in an East Facing window and the patio depth is 13 feet. I feel it is getting enough morning light. This is how much sun it is getting in at 9am:


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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Sep 30, 2017 8:29 AM CST
Outside sunlight is many times more intense than indoor light. Outside on your patio is fine as long as it is located back far enough that the rays of the sun do not fall directly on the foliage.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Tyler, TX
Cnas
Sep 30, 2017 10:13 AM CST
Thanks, Will! I have moved it back into the dining nook next to window where I first had it. I appreciate your expert opinion and timely responses!
Tyler, TX
Cnas
Sep 30, 2017 9:46 PM CST
Thanks, Will! I have moved it back into the dining nook next to window where I first had it. I appreciate your expert opinion and timely responses!

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