For many fiddle leaf fig owners, nothing is as terrifying as noticing that your beloved fiddle has dropped a leaf or, *gasp*, several leaves!
Before you panic and start watering, repotting, buying grow lights, putting your plant outside, or checking for insects, take a breath.
The good news is that sometimes, dropping a leaf or two here or there is actually normal and even healthy for fiddle leaf figs.
All plants shed leaves over time because they’re constantly growing new ones. Older leaves might simply drop off as the tree grows new leaves to replace them.
So when is leaf drop healthy and when should you actually take action?
Here are the signs that your fiddle’s leaf dropping is actually healthy and not a cause for concern.
What Does Normal Leaf Drop for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Look Like?
The leaves drop from the bottom
The bottom leaves are usually the oldest leaves because most new growth on fiddle leaf figs occurs at the top.
It’s normal for bottom leaves to droop and eventually fall off because the tree just doesn’t need them anymore.
If your tree drops a leaf or two from the bottom, don’t panic.
The dropped leaves are free of brown spots
The #1 sign of health problems in fiddle leaf figs is brown spots, so if your tree is dropping lower leaves that are generally unblemished—no brown spots or dots, and little to no crispiness—it’s probably normal, healthy leaf drop and doesn’t signal a larger issue.
Dropped leaves may be a little yellow
Brown spots are cause for concern, but yellowing on dropped leaves generally isn’t. Lots of yellowing leaves on the tree can mean that your tree is getting too much water and not enough light or fertilizer, but if a lower leaf yellows and drops, that means the tree is no longer maintaining that leaf and is just done with it.
To sum it up, if your tree occasionally drops a lower leaf that is generally unmarked but maybe a little yellow, you can rest easy. Your fiddle is healthy and just carrying out a natural process!
So when SHOULD you get concerned about leaf drop?
Here are signs that you should take action:
Dropped leaves have brown spots
This could signal that your fiddle needs more or less water, that it has root rot or a bacterial infection, or that there’s an insect infestation going on.
Brown spots take a little practice to read, but here’s our Ultimate Guide to Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots so you can nip the problem in the bud!
Your fiddle is probably overwatered and may be in the early stages of root rot.
Holes could mean that your tree is suffering from an insect infestation, a severe lack of humidity, or that physical trauma has occurred from being bumped or moved.
Leaf Dropping is Natural
Dropped leaves themselves aren’t necessarily a bad thing, so look for these other signs as well. Before long, you’ll become an expert in reading your fig’s signals and knowing exactly what your tree needs!
If you tree is dropping leaves and you aren’t sure what to do, check out this post: What to Do if Your Fiddle Leaf Fig is Dropping Leaves
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