This time of year, the seasons are changing in most places. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, you’re well into autumn. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, you’re enjoying spring and heading into summer!
The changing of the seasons is an exciting time, but it can also introduce environmental changes that can mess with your fiddle if you aren’t aware of them.
At this time of year, fiddle leaf fig owners all over the world are suddenly dealing with a plant that’s overwatered or underwatered, or leaves that are drying out or turning black, even though nothing about their care routine has changed.
We all know that fiddles love consistency, but this is the one time when consistency could be a problem.
After all, a fiddle’s watering needs can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, and those factors tend to change when the temperature and light changes with the seasons. (Which is frustrating, because those temperature and light changes can cause issues all by themselves.)
Seasonal changes can hurt your fiddle leaf fig. Here are the different seasonal factors you’ll want to watch out for and what they can mean for your fiddle.
Seasonal Factors That Can Affect Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
We all know that fiddle leaf figs love light! This presents a challenge in the autumn when the days shorten and the sunlight we do get tends to be less bright or comes down at a steeper angle.
The sun also changes position in the sky as the seasons change, so a fiddle that’s been happy in a certain window all summer may suddenly get a sunburn if the sun has shifted to shine directly on it in the fall, or if the light has decreased and your plant doesn’t get enough.
Be mindful of the quality of light in your fiddle’s window. If you notice the sun shifting so that it shines directly in the window (this especially happens with south-facing windows in the northern hemisphere and northern facing windows in the southern hemisphere) you may need to move the plant.
Conversely, if the sun shifts away from a window, watch your plant for signs that it’s not getting enough light.
If this seems to be the case, you may want to supplement with a grow light during the darker months.
One of the most noticeable seasonal changes is shifting temperatures.
In the spring, temperatures get warmer and fiddles are usually happy. The real challenge comes in the fall when temperatures drop! Fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants and prefer warm temperatures no lower than 55 degrees fahrenheit at night. If you have outdoor fiddles, you’ll need to bring them in at night once temperatures drop.
If you live in a cold climate, you might also experience lower temperatures in your home during the fall and winter. This can reduce your fiddle’s need for water, so keep a close eye on the moisture level of the soil. If you notice that the soil takes longer than usual to dry out, scale back on the amount of water you give your fiddle, but keep the same schedule.
While we’re talking about temperature, let’s talk about one of ficus lyrata’s LEAST favorite things: drafts.
Even if the general temperature in your home is moderate, be mindful of doors and drafty windows near your tree. Repeated bursts of cold air from a door opening and closing or sitting by a cold window all day can freeze your fiddle, causing leaves to turn black!
If your fiddle lives by the door for most of the year, it’s time to find a better place. If your fig’s window is drafty, you may want to move the tree or look into weather sealing for the window.
This is one of the sneakiest seasonal changes.
When temperatures change, we turn on the AC or heat in our homes to make us more comfortable, and these things can help make your fig more comfortable if they vents far enough away from your plant.
But a nearby vent emits extremely dry air, which can dry out your fiddle’s leaves and cause them to crack.
If your fiddle is near a vent or space heater, it’s time to find it a better place.
Listen to your fiddle
Fiddles generally love consistency, but we can’t control the seasons and the environmental changes they bring.
This might sound like a lot of adjusting for us and like the furthest thing from consistency, but the idea here is to maintain the consistency of the environment for your fiddle. Do your best to maintain the temperature, humidity, and quality of light your tree receives, whether that means adding a grow light, using a humidifier in the winter, or covering an AC vent.
It also means adjusting your watering to suit the plant’s requirements and knowing how to read your plant so you know what it needs.
It takes practice, but with a little practice, you’ll have a gorgeous fiddle leaf fig all year round.
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