Sad Fiddle leaf fig

Asked March 1, 2018, 5:04 PM EST

Hello! I Purchased a fiddle leaf fig back in August and it did great until about the month of December. I had made no changes in its location or watering habits and so I assumed it was due to winter temperatures. Most of the leaves are brown and crispy on the Tips and it has recently dropped several leaves. Can you please advise what steps I should take to hopefully help this plant hang on until spring?

Kent County Michigan

1 Response

Fiddle leaf figs are plants native to warm, tropical rain forest areas with very little air movement. They grow best in indirect sunlight in a a warm, humid environment where temperatures range between 60-90 degrees. Understandably, you cannot match this type of environment in your house, especially in the winter time.

As the weather gets colder, your furnace blows more warm, dry air which could cause the leaves to brown at the tips. Check the humidity in your house and see if you can raise it with a humidifier (even a little will help). And if the plant is by a heat register, look for another location where it can get less air movement.
Other than dry air there are a couple of other things that could be causing the leaves to brown at the tips. If watered too much or too little, the leaves will turn brown and eventually drop. Allow your fig to dry out between waterings and then water deeply once a week until water runs out of the bottom of the container. If you water thoroughly and water does not run out of the container, then the problem may be that your plant has crowded roots and is due for replanting into a larger pot. When roots are overcrowded, they cannot use the water efficiently resulting in browning leaves.
Again, when caring for your fig, remember that this is a tropical plant so try to emulate the same conditions as closely as possible in your home. Trim the brown edges off with scissors and hopefully the changes you make in the care of your plant will result in less leaf browning. As we get into the growing season, provide some slow release nitrogen fertilizer to encourage new growth.
Hope that helps!