The fiddle leaf fig is a flowering plant species that falls in the mulberry family. It is usually found in Western Africa and grows between Cameroon till Sierra Leone.
The plant is quite common in the rainforests of Africa, and is capable of reaching a height of up to 15 m as well. The shape of the leaves usually varies, but they mostly have a broad apex and a relatively narrow middle.
The fiddle leaf fig has grown in popularity in the past few years, and it is now one of the most commonly grown indoor houseplants. It is one of the most popular houseplants that simply refuses to go away.
However, there are a few things that you need to understand about this plant. First of all, you should know that it requires a bit of care.
If you are a newbie and haven’t grown houseplants in the past, this one might take a bit of time for you to figure out. To successfully propagate the fiddle leaf fig, you will have to follow a detailed guide and use techniques such as air layering.
There are quite a few important things that you need to understand about the fiddle leaf fig, so it’s best to go through some key facts before you decide to bring one into your house.
However, a bigger problem arises when your fiddle leaf fig begins to die. People add houseplants to add a splash of color and to create a cozier environment at their place.
However, if the plants start to wilt, it is a serious problem. So, if your fiddle leaf fig is wilting, it might be a wise idea on your part to first take a look and determine what’s causing the issue.
Here are some of the most common reasons why your fiddle leaf fig might begin to die.
1 – Root Rot
Overwatering is a common problem among many homeowners who bring in houseplants. If your plants do not get proper drainage, the water is going to remain within the soil.
The increased levels of moisture are going to damage the plant and the roots are going to turn brown and mushy. Eventually, they are going to turn black because they won’t be able to get enough oxygen.
One of the most common causes of wilting fiddle leaf figs is root rot. To save your plant from root rot, it is highly recommended that you remove the plant from the soil and then wash the roots thoroughly.
Then, you will have to cut the roots that have sustained damage, completely cutting them off. From there, you have to wash the remaining roots, and then put the plant back into fresh soil.
The container will have to be disinfected as well.
2 – The Plant Gets Started
If the leaves begin to turn yellow but they still hang on to the plant, it is quite possible that your plant is only hungry and needs a bit of “food.” Nutrients that are found in the soil are going to deplete over the passage of time.
As a result of that, potted plants must be fed on a regular basis with fertilizer. Many plants also benefit from being repotted from time to time, as that could improve their growth dramatically.
3 – Shock
One thing that most people don’t realize is that shock can cause serious damage to a plant, and your fiddle leaf fig is probably going to start dying as a result. You have to be very careful when moving the plants around your house.
Plants tend to get used to their surroundings, so when you suddenly move them to a new location, there is a strong chance that they could experience shock from the dramatic change in light or temperature.
Eventually, this is going to cause the leaves to fall and the plant will begin to wilt. For example, a common practice among many homeowners is that they move their plants indoors during the winter months.
If you are going to do that, you have to first place them in their new location for a few hours. Remember, they need time to adjust to their surroundings, so you have to slowly introduce them to their new place.
You should continue this practice for at least a few days until the plant adjusts before you decide to completely move it indoors. It’s best to slowly increase the amount of time so that the plant adjusts to its new surroundings.
4 – Cramping Is a Problem
If your plant is struggling terribly even though you are watering it on a regular basis, there is a pretty strong chance that the plant has gotten cramped. Cramping is a serious problem that affects plants over time, and the only way to fix this issue is by transplanting it.
You should know that when the roots of the plant grow considerably, there will be no space left for the roots to move around inside the pot, and this is going to affect growth. This also affects the availability of oxygen in the plants, and it’s going to greatly affect the health of the plant.
You will also notice water seeping directly from the drainage hole when you water the plant, which is a clear sign that your plant has sustained damage. The only option available to you in this regard is to buy a bigger pot, replace the soil by adding new into the pot, and then give the plant some space so that it can breathe properly.
5 – Spider Mites
Even though the fiddle leaf fig is generally hardy and doesn’t succumb to insects or pests over time, you should know that spider mites can still attack the plant.
The clearest indicator that your plant has fallen prey to spider mites is when you begin to notice small webs growing around the leaves of your houseplant. It is a sign that there are small arachnids moving around.
They can cause extensive damage to the plant by feeding on the leaves and sucking out all of the nutrients. Therefore, if you spot any spider mites roaming around the plant, you have to isolate it right away.
Spider mites tend to multiply quickly, and if you aren’t careful, it won’t take long before other plants in your house are covered in this web-like residue as well.
Ideally, the best thing to do to get rid of these mites is to place the plant in a sink. You should hose it down as thoroughly as possible so that all of the spider mites fall off.
Then, you have to make use of an insecticidal soap and apply it generously all over the plant to get rid of any other spider mites that still might be lingering on the plant. Remember, these mites only thrive in drier conditions, so spraying a small amount of water on a consistent basis on the plants is important.
6 – Scale
Yet another cause of wilting leaves on the fiddle leaf fig is the scale. Scales are dome-shaped insects that can be seen on the leaves.
If you notice these tiny white things on your plant, you might as well prepare for a scale infestation. These tiny insects are going to suck out all of the sap and the moisture from your plants, and eventually kill them too.
It’s easy to use a knife to scrape the scales from your plant. However, if the case is quite bad and you can see plenty of these scales moving around on the plant, it might be a wise idea to remove the infected parts and then add an insecticide.
7 – Lack of Light
The fiddle leaf fig does not require a whole lot of light. However, if you notice the leaves getting smaller and sparser, it’s probably due to this reason. The lack of lighting can prove to be a serious problem, as all plants need light for photosynthesis.
If your plant is not receiving enough light, the growth is going to be affected. Over the passage of time, the leaves will start to wilt and the plant will eventually succumb to a slow death.
This is perhaps the easiest problem to fix; just make sure you keep your fiddle leaf fig in the sun for at least six hours in a day, and you’ll be good.
8 – Lack of Humidity
Last but not the least, the lack of humidity could prove to be a problem for your fiddle leaf fig as well. Most plants, such as the fiddle leaf fig, need humidity and moisture.
But, if you live in an especially dry region where humidity is very little, you might have to make artificial arrangements. For starters, you can keep a tray with pebbles at the bottom and fill it with water.
Or, you can also use an electric humidifier for keeping the plant in good condition. These are just some of the reasons why your fiddle leaf fig might begin to die, and what you can do about it.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.