When your fiddle isn’t happy, the first place you’ll notice issues is in the leaves.
Yellowing, drooping, puckering, brown spots, they all mean different things. Some of these are good signs and some are signs that something is really wrong.
But how do you know what your fiddle is saying?
Which signs do you need to worry about and which are okay?
Here’s a guide to leaf troubleshooting for fiddle leaf figs:
The #1 sign that your fiddle is unhappy is brown spots. However, brown spots can indicate a bunch of different issues, including, but not limited to:
Learn all about brown spots and how to treat them here:
Usually mean a lack of light and/or nutrients and that your plant needs more light. The good news is that yellow leaves can recover once you reverse these issues!
Read our in-depth guide: How to Fix Yellow Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves
If your leaves are dry and crispy but not showing brown spots, it could indicate that your plant needs a little more water or that it’s cold.
Make sure your tree isn’t near a draft like a cold window, leaky door, or a cooling vent.
Severe drying can’t be fixed, but if your tree only has a few dry leaves, there’s still time.
This could also mean a lot of different things like root shock, slight underwatering, or that your plant is cold.
If you’ve just brought your fig home or repotted it, you can expect droopy leaves for a few days.
You’ll also see droopiness if it needs a drink. Droopy leaves can indicate some larger issues though, so make sure you cover all your bases.
Red spots on new growth is fairly normal and is usually caused by inconsistent watering. It typically fades as the leaf grows.
They could also indicate an insect problem, so it’s a good idea to check for signs of bugs as well.
Read more here: Red Spots on New Growth on Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
Pockmarked, Puckered, or Curling Leaves
If your leaves are covered in dimples, curling, or look like they got caught in a hail storm, that could be caused by a lack of humidity, especially while the leaves are growing.
To prevent this, make sure to mist your leaf buds while they’re growing and set up a humidifier near your tree. You can also use a pebble tray to create more humidity.
Extremely Stiff Leaves
If your leaves are really, really stiff (almost to the point of being brittle), this could also indicate a lack of humidity.
The exception here is bambinos or dwarf fiddles, because they tend to have smaller, stiffer leaves, so if you have a bambino, don’t worry!
Leaves That Point Straight Up
Healthy fiddle leaves either stick straight up or relax slightly. As long as they’re not drooping, you’re okay!
If a lot of leaves seem to be pointing toward your plant’s light source though, this could indicate that your tree wants a little more light. Check your tree’s lighting situation and if all seems to be well, you might just have a perky tree!
Thin, Flimsy Leaves
It’s normal for new leaves to be thinner than the older growth, but they should thicken over time.
However, if older leaves are still thin and floppy, your plant might need more light. Growing and thickening leaves takes energy, and light = energy!
It could also mean that your plant it too cold, so check your plant’s area for drafts from windows, doors, or vents.
If the dots rub off easily and feel powdery, you’ve probably got fungus.
If they’re a little harder to remove, you could have a hard water situation. If that’s the case, try watering your fig with filtered or distilled water.
If you just brought your fiddle home, it’s normal for it to drop a few leaves. But if you’ve had your plant for a while and it starts dropping leaves, something’s up.
New Leaves Smaller Than Older Leaves
If new leaves aren’t growing as large as the older leaves, this could mean that your tree needs more resources or more room to grow. You might need to increase light, fertilizer, or water, or to repot your tree.
Learn to Read Your Fiddle Like a Book
The more you learn how to read your fiddle, the easier it will be to keep your tree healthy!
With a little practice, you’ll learn exactly how much water, light, humidity, and fertilizer your unique fiddle needs to look its best!
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