Tropicals forum: Having trouble with a dying fiddle leaf.

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plantgirl247
May 2, 2018 2:41 PM CST
Hi,

I got this fiddle leaf a little over a year ago. It was thriving and looking very nice!

However, in the past 3 months, it has been losing almost all its leaves.

In the beginning of its downfall, the edges of the lower leaves turned brown, ultimately falling off completely. Now, almost all the leaves are brown and falling.

I water is about once every 1.5 - 2 weeks. It hasn't been moved from the window. I did turn it a few months ago because one side was growing faster than the other. I do keep the back screen door open partway during the day and the window blinds open so it receives light. I haven't repotted or anything.

Is there anything I can do to rescue it? Or is it a goner based on the pics?

Thanks.

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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 2, 2018 3:24 PM CST
Your Fiddle Fig is in critical condition, but it is not yet hopeless. The problem resides with the roots. You did not repot it, so it is a watering problem. The wilting leaves could be caused by opposite conditions - excessive dryness or over watering that causes the roots to gradually rot and no longer be able to absorb water.

Based on your description, my educated guess is that you have been under watering it. This is a plant that needs a thorough watering as soon as the surface of the soil is dry and that usually occurs about once per week. Once he soil gets very dry, it often shrinks away from the inside of the pot and when you water subsequently, the water tends to run over the surface of the soil and down the side of the pot without getting absorbed by the rootball.

If the soil feels hard and dry, then set the pot in several inches of water for an hour or two so the water is wicked up from the bottom and the entire rootball is re-wetted. Then, don't allow it to get that dry again and you can water it subsequently from the top.

If excessive dryness has been the problem, then you should see some of the leaves perk up a bit shortly after re-wetting., If so, then you will know it is on the road to recovery. However, given the loss of so many leaves, you may want to prune some of the bare stems back.

If the soil is saturated and wet, then the problem has been that the roots have rotted and are no longer functioning. If so, the chances of recovery are poor. All you can do is allow the soil to dry out before watering lightly.
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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