Fiddle leaf figs are a popular houseplant because of their large, glossy leaves. They are native to Africa and require warm temperatures and bright light to thrive. Fiddle leaf figs are slow growers and can live for many years with proper care. Fiddle leaf figs are most kept as indoor plants because it’s sensitive to cold drafts and temperatures. One sign that the plant is not thriving is that the leaves are curling and today we are going to figure out the reasons for fiddle leaf fig curling leaves.
There are several reasons for fiddle leaf figs leaves curling such as:
- Temperature Fluctuations
- Root Rot
- Wrong Pot Size
- Wrong Soil Mix
- Not Enough Humidity
- Poor Water Quality
- Not Enough Light Exposure
- Lack Of Nutrients
- Insect Infestation
Today we are taking a look at the most common reasons why fiddle leaf fig leaves are curling and how to prevent it from happening and make your plant thrive.
Let’s get started.
Reasons For Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling
Underwatering Will Cause Curling Leaves
If you notice your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves curling, it could be a sign of underwatering. When the plant doesn’t have enough water, its leaves will often start to curl in order to prevent moisture loss. Water is important to the plant because it helps it to grow and develop.
Water helps to transport nutrients and minerals throughout the plant, and it also helps to keep the plant’s leaves healthy and hydrated. Without water the fiddle fig plant leaves would curl and if the plant don’t get enough water for a long period of time it could die.
How To Avoid Underwatering
To water fiddle leaf figs, you will need to water them deeply and thoroughly about once a week. A weekly routine will make your fiddle leaf fig thrive and a tip is to set an alarm on either your phone or maybe an smart home device.
It’s important your plant it potted properly and that it completely drains after each watering. A good piece of advice is get a moisture meter. Using a moisture meter is my preferred way of watering my fiddle leaf fig plant and I have never had a watering issue since I got one.
If you have a moisture meter, then stick it 2 inches and down and look for the number 4. This means it’s time to water your plant. You can also put your fingers 2 inches down the soil and if it’s dry it’s time to water the plant.
These plants also like humidity, so misting the leaves frequently could be good way to keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy.
Fiddle Leaf Figs Are Sensitive To Temperature Fluctuations
Fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants, meaning they prefer warm temperatures. They will not thrive in cooler temperatures and may even die if exposed to frost or freezing weather. Therefore, it is important to maintain a consistent temperature around your fiddle leaf fig if you want it to stay healthy and happy.
If the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit the leaves could start to curl. This is common in the winter and if the temperature drops fast in your home, your plant can start curl its leaves. Sudden temperature changes can be caused by AC units, drafts or a fireplace.
How To Avoid Temperature Fluctuations
A good way to make sure your fiddle leaf fig is getting the temperature it needs is to use a thermometer in the same room as the plant. If the room is too cold or too warm, you can first try and figure out why and if you can’t fix the temperature then move your fiddle leaf fig to another room.
So the placement will be important, especially in the winter and summer time. In the summer make sure to not place your fiddle leaf fig near your AC, because the fluctuation in temperature can shock your plant. Also avoid places near windows and doors, because the draft from opening and closing them can cause stress as well.
In the winter make sure to not place your plant near a fireplace because it can dry out your fiddle leaf fig instead.
Root rot is a condition that can afflict fiddle leaf figs. It is caused by a build-up of water in the soil, which creates an environment that is conducive to the growth of fungal pathogens. These fungi attack the roots of the plant, causing them to rot. This can lead to a decline in plant growth, and eventually death.
This happens if you water your plant too often or if the post don’t have good enough drainage. The most common symptom is that the fiddle leaf fig will curl its leaves because the roots can’t transport the nutrients needed for the plant to survive.
If you suspect root rot, then remove the plant from the pot and inspect the roots. Replanting the fiddle leaf fig is something you can try, but it’s not sure the plant can survive it.
How to Avoid Overwatering
There are ways to avoid overwatering and they are as follows:
- Check the top soil if it’s dried then you know it’s time to water your fiddle leaf fig. You can also as mentioned earlier use a moisture meter. Stick it down 2 inches and if the indicator shows a 4 then it’s time to water your plant. You can also use your fingers instead and if they are dry then you also know it’s time to water your fiddle leaf fig.
- Try to schedule a watering routine to avoid watering your fiddle leaf fig to often. It should be given water once a week, every 10 days or every other week. It depends on how big your pot and your plant is. Once a week is the most common frequency to water.
- Inspect your pot drainage holes. Make sure they are big enough for your plant otherwise, the pot will fill up quickly and not drain the pot fast enough causing the roots to rot.
- The soil mix can also be of importance when it comes to root rot, it’s good to use a soil mix that can drain well and that doesn’t too much water.
Wrong Pot Size Can Lead To Curling Leaves For You Fiddle Leaf Fig
The fiddle leaf fig is often grown in pots and this can lead the fiddle leaf fig to experience problems with its pot size. If the pot is too small, the roots of the plant can become crowded and constricted, which can lead to problems with growth and development.
If the pot is too large, the plant can become unstable and topple over, but also it might be overwatered leading to root rot. It can also go the other way getting underwatered because of the amount of soil in the pot being in the way from the water getting to the roots of the fiddle leaf fig. Both overwatering and underwatering will lead to the fiddle leaf fig curling its leaves.
Therefore, it is important to choose the right pot size for your fiddle leaf fig.
How To Choose The Proper Sized Pot For Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
When choosing a pot for your fiddle leaf fig, it is important to consider the size of the pot in relation to the size of the plant. The pot should be large enough to accommodate the root system of the plant, but not so large that the plant is dwarfed by the pot. It is also important to consider the drainage capabilities of the pot, as fiddle leaf figs require well-drained soil.
Repotting every other year is a good way to keep your fiddle leaf fig plant healthy and in a proper sized pot. A good rule of thumb is not use a pot bigger than 5 inches that the previous one.
Wrong Soil Mix
Fiddle Leaf Fig trees are native to tropical regions of Africa, and as such, they require a soil mix that is rich in organic matter and drains well. A good soil mix for a fiddle leaf fig tree should be loose and airy, yet hold enough moisture to keep the roots hydrated.
A common soil mix used for Fiddle Leaf Fig trees consists of two parts peat moss, one part perlite, and one part loam. A soil mix with high amount of organic matter will help to hold moisture in the soil and provide nutrients for the plant.
How To Pick The Right Soil Mix
Don’t go overboard looking for the perfect soil mix, the most important part is that it drains well, because when it comes to nutrients you can also use fertilizer to make your fiddle leaf fig grow and thrive. Every store bought soil always have some nutrients in it, which will be enough in the beginning.
Not Enough Humidity
Fiddle leaf figs are a type of plant that thrives in humid environments. If the air around a fiddle leaf fig is too dry, the plant will suffer and may eventually die. The leaves of a fiddle leaf fig will start to curl and turn brown if the air is too dry. To prevent this from happening, it is important to keep the air around a fiddle leaf fig moist.
Fiddle leaf fig need 30-65% humidity and if you go below 30% it will start to dry up more quickly. The reason for this that the soil will dry faster making the plant lose moisture resulting in curly leaves.
How to Create More Humidity Around Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
- The best and easiest way to give your fiddle leaf fig a good environment with excellent humidity is to use a humidifier. It’s the perfect way to control the humidity and it’s very convenient.
- You can also group other plants in your home together with your fiddle leaf fig. When the water from one plant evaporates, it will provide moisture in the air for the other surrounding plants.
- Use a pebble tray which can act like a humidity control system that helps to regulate the amount of moisture in the air around your fiddle leaf fig. By using a tray filled with pebbles and water, the pebble tray helps to increase the humidity in the air, which is perfect for plants that require more moisture. Then place your fiddle leaf fig plant in the tray, just make sure the pot does not sit in the water.
Poor Water Quality
Water quality is important for fiddle leaf figs. Poor water quality can lead to a number of problems, including leaves curling, yellowing leaves, and stunted growth. Tap water often contains chloride and minerals, which fiddle leaf fig is sensitive to.
This can cause minerals to build up in the soil, which can leading to damaged roots resulting in the plant not being able to provide itself with nutrients.
How to Provide Your Fiddle Leaf Fig With The Right Water Quality
Here are some tips to help you provide your fiddle leaf fig receives the best possible water quality:
- Use filtered or distilled water. This contains way less chemical and minerals than tap water.
- You can also use rainwater, which is the best most natural water your fiddle leaf fig can get.
Not Enough Light Exposure
Fiddle leaf figs are a tropical plant that thrive in bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some direct sun, but it is important to avoid too much direct sun exposure, as this can cause the leaves to scorch. Fiddle Leaf Figs want as much light as possible every day without needing to move the plant around. If it get to little sunlight it can’t photosynthesize leading to curly leaves.
How To Give Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Enough Light Exposure
When choosing a location for your fiddle leaf fig, choose a spot that gets bright, indirect light throughout the day.
Here are some tips:
- Place your fiddle leaf fig near a window giving it the most in direct light during the day, but also in a angle that minimizes the direct sun light exposure.
- Artificial lights can help your plant get enough light to sustain it’s photosynthesis.
- You can also use shades/blinds if the only spot you can place your plant is in direct sun light.
- Don’t move your fiddle leaf fig, just for the light exposure because it can get stressed from temperature fluctuations.
Lack Of Nutrients
Lack of nutrients is one of the most common problems with fiddle leaf figs. The leaves will curl, turn yellow and then brown and fall off if the plant is not getting enough nutrients.
They require sunlight to be able to photosynthesize so it can use the nutrients in the soil. Fiddle leaf figs like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to stay healthy and grow.
Healthy roots is also important, enabling the plant to pick the nutrients it needs, so if the roots get rotten it will be impossible for the plant to use the nutrients in the soil.
How To Make Sure Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Gets Nutrients
There are a few things you can do to make your fiddle leaf fig is getting the nutrients it needs:
- Avoid overwatering and water it once a week. To make it easier, set up a water schedule or a notification and make this a routine. Watering your fiddle leaf fig too often can lead to root rot, taking way it’s ability to pick up nutrients from the soil.
- Use a fertilizer every two weeks than contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, also knows as 3:1:2 fertilizer.
- Make sure your plant is standing in a spot that has indirect sunlight.
There are a few diseases that commonly affect Fiddle Leaf Figs, including stem and root rot, leaf spot, and aphids. Stem and root rot is caused by a variety of fungi, including Phytophthora and Pythium species. Leaf spot is also caused by several different fungal pathogens, such as Alternaria, Cercospora, and Colletotrichum.
Fungal diseases are hard to get rid of and they can spread to other plants nearby as well.
Most of these diseases can cause fiddle leaf fig leaves curling upward.
How To Prevent Disease And Keep Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Healthy
It’s important to fix fungal diseases early to prevent it from spreading and eventually killing the plant.
- Start with removing the leaves.
- After that you can repot the plant.
- Make sure to not overwater the fiddle leaf fig to avoid root rot.
- A last tip is to increase airflow, good humidity and a lot of indirect sunlight to keep your plant healthy.
Fiddle leaf fig insect Infestation can be a serious problem for indoor plants. The most common insects that infest fiddle leaf figs are scale insects and mealybugs. These pests can cause significant damage to the leaves of the plant, and can also spread to other plants in the home.
Scale insects feed on the sap of the plant, and Mealybugs suck the juices from the leaves. The insects will prevent the plant from getting nutrients and it will cause the leaves to curl, turn yellow and fall off.
To prevent the plant from getting an insect infestation it’s important to keep the plant healthy.
How To Get Rid Of Insect Infestation
Here are some tips to deal with a insect infestation.
- To remove insects you can use insecticidal soap and to wipe the leaves with and the stem.
- Do this every other day until your fiddle leaf fig looks better.
- Don’t use chemical based pesticide because it harm wild life or pets.
How To Prevent Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves From Curling (Quick Guide)
- Water your fiddle leaf fig once a week, create a watering schedule and make it a routine.
- Use a moisture meter to make sure the plant is getting the right amount of water.
- Place the plant in a room with a temperature that don’t falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make sure the pot size fits the plant and repot every other year to make your fiddle leaf fig thrive.
- Use a soil mix that drain well, but also hold moisture to keep the roots in good shape.
- A humidifier is recommended to keep the humidity around the plant around 30-60%.
- Best water for fiddle leaf fig is rainwater, resembling it’s natural habitat, second best is distilled or filtered water. Don’t use tap water, it contains high amount of chemicals and minerals.
- Place your plant in a spot that gets indirect sunlight most of the day.
- Use fertilizer every two weeks to give your plant nutrients to grow and stay healthy.
- If you see a sign of fungal disease the act quickly to prevent it from spreading to reduce damage.
- Use insecticidal soap with first sign of insect infestation.
That was my quick guide and I hope it can help you keep your fiddle leaf fig green and healthy.
A fiddle leaf fig can be a wonderful addition to any room in the house and has become a very popular plant in bedrooms due to the big beautiful green leaves creating a soothing atmosphere.
It’s said that the big round leaves are thought to attract positive energy to help give the room get a better feng shui vibe.
Having big plants in the house like fiddle leaf figs can improve the air and putting in near other plant can benefit all plants when it comes to airflow and humidity.
It’s know for being a stubborn and hard plant to care for and that is why I made a short guide at the end of this article to help you make your fiddle leaf fig thrive and not go dormant.
I’ve had my fiddle leaf fig for about 4 years now and I gotta say that it was some hard work in the beginning because I did not keep a weekly water schedule and it resulted in me underwatering my plant.
Once I got the watering to a weekly routine everything got a whole lot easier and it started to grow and thrive again. I also placed my plant in the perfect spot for light exposure and got a humidifier. Look and listen to your fiddle leaf fig, because it will often tell you what it needs.
Thanks for reading, take care!