Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling: Some Causes And 8 Solutions

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Have you detected a problem with the fiddle leaf fig? The leaves have begun to dry out and curl. If you’ve witnessed this transformation in your tree, you might be wondering how to bring it back to life. Why are the fiddle leaf fig leaves curling? Figuring out the exact cause can be tricky as there are so many reasons for leaves to curl.

In particular, the culprit might be water, pot size, lighting, humidity, pests, fertilizer, soil, or temperature. It’s time to dive into this article to get an in-depth explanation of potential causes. Besides, it will recommend the most practical and helpful ways to save your tree. Let’s get started!

What Is A Fiddle Leaf Fig?

These trees, also called Ficus Lyrata, are well-known for their unique foliage. The violin-shaped leaves on these tall trees are very big, richly veined, and grow upright.

These trees, which come from Western Africa’s tropical environment, flourish in warm, light, and humid circumstances, making them difficult to grow inside the house.

Yet, they are relatively resilient and can tolerate less-than-ideal conditions. They’ll grow in a room with filtered, bright light or a balcony that faces east.

If you can place these trees in floor-standing pots that allow them to develop at least 6 feet in height, it makes an excellent focal point for a space.

They proliferate and may be planted at any time of year whenever you buy a young fiddle leaf fig plant to keep inside your home.

The plants will flourish with proper watering and warm temperatures. Bear in mind that these beautiful plants are poisonous to dogs and cats.

There is a fun fact about this tree you should know! The tree does not bear fruit, despite the name.

Ficus Lyrata is the primary type and most commonly grown fiddle leaf fig in gardens. However, there is a variety available, including:

  • Ficus Lyrata Variegata: This type is an unusual cultivar with striking green and cream-colored foliage.
  • Ficus Lyrata Compacta: This variant, which can grow approximately 5 feet in height, has smaller, more clustered leaves than the parent species.

Ficus Lyrata Bambino: This dwarf cultivar only grows to a height of just a few feet.

It is an indoor plant - Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling

Fiddle leaf fig is an indoor plant

Why Is Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaf Curling?

Your Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves curling could be due to various factors. So, let’s look at what’s causing the curling and how to fix it.

Underwatering

Water is essential for plants to carry out their everyday operations and collect nutrients in the soil.

These plants, in particular, require a considerable amount of moisture and water since they consume a lot of energy to develop huge leaves.

Your plant will get dry if you do not give it enough water. Besides, if the soil becomes too dry during watering sessions, the leaves begin to curl.

If you’re not sure how much you should water your fiddle leaf fig plants, start with one glass of water once per week. These trees prefer moist soil, so never let it become too dehydrated.

Check it and water right away when the soil seems chilly but not moist. Then, depending on how your tree responds, you can change the watering routine accordingly.

Underwatering also makes leaves curl - Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling

Fiddle leaf fig tree leaves curling up

Pot Size Issues

Whenever changing the container for your tree, avoid using a container that is either too large or too tiny.

The new container should have a diameter of at least 6 inches more significant than the old one.

The tree can succumb to root decay, mineral accumulation, or underwatering if you plant your fiddle leaf fig tree in a too-big container for them.

The soil stores excessively moisture and nutrients, or the massive surface of the ground may mislead you into thinking it does not need watering yet.

Your fiddle leaf fig tree will get root bound if the pot is too narrow. The rhizome will then be broken, and there’ll be insufficient nutrients to feed your tree.

The leaves will curl if you choose the wrong pot size since they won’t get enough water and nutrients.

Lack Of Humidity

As shared earlier, these plants come from Africa’s tropical rainforests. They flourish in areas with a high level of humidity.

Even when you can’t give your plant that much humidity, ensure it doesn’t get too dry. The trees thrive in temperatures between 30 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything less than that is unsuitable for this species.

The tree will not retain hydration because of low humidity, and the soil may dry up rapidly. The leaves might curl as a consequence of the shortage of moisture.

Lack of humidity - Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling

Fiddle leaf figs lack humidity

Poor Quality Water

The water you are using for your tree impacts its health.

Some aspects of water cause them to get irritated. Chlorine and fluoride, for instance, are frequently present in tap water. When absorbed, they might damage the body and roots of your tree.

In the same way, some water has a high mineral concentration. Mineral concentrations in distilled water are higher than in tap water.

These elements can induce salt accumulation in soil, obstructing the roots’ capacity to absorb essential nutrients and leading the leaves to curl.

Pest Infestation

Pests occasionally infest your plant. Mealybugs, scales, and spider mites are among the insects that commonly affect their leaves.

These bugs eat the tree’s sap and absorb all nutrients, leaving your plant nutritionally deficient. Curling leaves is the result of a lack of nutrition.

Insects such as mealybugs might also leave a deposit on your tree, which can cause mold to grow.

Bug infestations cause curling leaves because your plant loses nutrients and when the pests harm it.

Insect infestation - Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling

Insect infestation

Fiddle Fig Root Rot

Fiddle leaf root rot occurs when you place the roots in moist environments for an extended period.

Since the soil isn’t allowed to dry out during watering, this phenomenon happens due to overwatering.

As water cannot leave the container and the stems need to stay in the liquid, poor drainage might also lead to fiddle leaf fig root rot and overwatering.

Root rot fiddle leaf fig leads to fiddle leaf fig curling leaves, which causes extensive harm to the rhizome. Rot causes roots to become weak, brown, mushy, and they stop working correctly.

It indicates the rhizome might be unable to draw nutrients and water in the soil, and the leaves of the sick tree will curl due to the absence of these essential elements.

Improper Fertilization

The species prefer to be supplemented with a 3:1:2 ratio of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate.

The leaves will curl if you employ too much fertilizer or an obscene amount.

If you don’t give your plant adequate fertilizer, it won’t get enough nutrients to thrive. As a result, the leaves will surely curl.

Moreover, overfertilization results in a salt and mineral buildup in the soil, triggering leaf curling. This buildup then travels up the tree’s leaves, burning and killing them.

The roots system is also harmed due to this phenomenon, and they grow less effective at transporting essential vitamins and minerals to the leaves.

Improper fertilizer - Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling

Improper fertilizer

Wrong Soil Mix

Plants have different soil requirements. It’s critical to know which soil type your plant will thrive on.

If you don’t use the appropriate soil, it may hold water and harm the roots, resulting in various issues, including curled leaves.

Furthermore, employing the incorrect soil might create an ideal environment conducive to the growth of fungi and bacteria.

In general, these trees require well-draining, nutrient-rich, and aerated soil.

Lighting Issues

These plants thrive in bright light for lengthy periods. As a result, they require a minimum of 6 to 7 hours under sunlight per day to stay healthy.

They won’t be capable of photosynthesis if there isn’t enough light. Because the leaves aren’t getting enough nutrition, they may curl.

It’s important to note that these plants do not thrive in direct sunshine. On the other hand, they flourish in artificial lighting.

Since the soil moisture evaporates too rapidly in direct sunshine, the tree can become overheated, resulting in under-watering.

Leaves exposed to direct sunlight might become burned. Leaves will curl as a result of these reasons.

Lighting issues - Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling

Lighting issues

Temperature Fluctuations

These plants are picky regarding consistency. Even the tiniest adjustment might shock or stress this species.

If the tree does not have a steady temperature, it will curl its leaves. Between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable for these trees.

The temperature lowers dramatically during the cold season. If your tree is exposed to it, the leaves curl as well.

Placing the tree near an air conditioner, cold drafts, or fireplace will shock your tree, which causes it to be dry and curl leaves.

How To Fix Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling?

After you’ve confirmed that your plant’s leaves are suffering from this dire situation, you should find ways to save them right away. You can consider the following solutions:

Offer Additional Water To Your Plant

Maintain a watchful check on your plant’s soil. Once the soil surface is dry, it’s best to water your tree.

Fiddle Leaf Figs require a consistent watering schedule and should be irrigated weekly or once every ten days.

When to water your tree? Here are some valuable tips:

  • Poke the index finger in the soil, about 1 to 2 inches deep
  • Check the moisture
  • If the soil is too dry, water it.
  • If the soil is wet, don’t water.

The soil may dry out sooner in the warm season, causing you to water your tree more frequently.

The tree might not require much watering during the cold season because the soil will keep moist for longer.

Remember, these trees are tropical plants. Therefore, try to create humid environments for the place you plant them.

Read more: How To Fix A Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig? Done With 8 Steps

Select The Proper Pot

A container that is 1/3 broader than the rhizome of your plant is the best size for it. Your plant will have to be transplanted to an enormous container if it has grown out of the current one. However, be gentle, as it dislikes being moved.

Once repotted, it’ll take a couple of weeks for your tree to adjust to the new surroundings. Once the living conditions change, these plants go through a period of adjustment.

Select suitable pot - Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling

Select a suitable pot for fiddle leaf figs

Increase Humidity

If the environment where you place your tree is dry, there are some ways you can do to increase humidity:

  • Utilize a humidifier to keep the air moist.
  • Assemble a group of plants: When one plant’s moisture evaporates, it offers humidity to the others through the air.
  • Utilize pebble trays: Place the plant container in a tray filled with pebbles. Fill the tray with water. The water will gently evaporate, leaving humidity surrounding your tree.

Get Rid Of Insects

It would be best if you took action as soon as you discovered bugs on your tree. Wipe the stem and leaves of your tree with a clean moist towel. Repeat this practice for a few days until no bugs remain.

You may also use one tablespoon cleaning solution combined with 1 gallon of water to spray onto the tree. Besides, neem oil is a natural way to keep insects away from the plant.

If you are unsure how to use neem oil, you can watch this video:

Apply Right Fertilizer Ratio

You only need to fertilize your plant in the growing period. In the wintertime, don’t fertilize your tree because it won’t help it and will contribute to overfertilization.

Apply plant food that has been diluted according to the package directions. Dilution is essential to minimize overfertilization.

Read more: Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Not Growing? 15 Reasons Must Know

Improve Soil Quality

Rather than using just soil, start with a 1 to 2-inch gravel layer on the container bottom, followed by the ground. The drainage will be better as a result of this action.

Improve soil quality - Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling

Improve soil quality for the plants

Provide Light Properly

Choose a position for your tree that gets plenty of indirect, bright light. If you’re still concerned that your plant is receiving excessively direct sunshine, you can cover it by using solar coverings on the window.

If your room is just bright for about one or two hours during the day, you might want to relocate your pot constantly.

Provide enough light - Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling

Provide fiddle leaf fig plant with enough light

Keep The Temperature Stable

To get a precise temperature reading, put a thermometer with the Fiddle Leaf Fig. Take it to a separate room when it’s excessively chilly or too hot.

Place the tree away from air conditioners, heaters, drafts, and radiators. These items can drastically alter space temperature rapidly, which will shock your tree.

Wrapping Up

This article has eventually explained the potential causes of the question: Why are fiddle leaf fig leaves curling?

Overall, many factors lead to this unhealthy situation for your plants, such as light, water, humidity, fertilizer, temperature, or soil type.

Besides, Swipe Garden also recommend the most effective ways to save your fiddle fig leaves curling. Let’s apply one of those solutions right after you detect any signs of curled leaves!

Thanks for reading this post!

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Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

I’m Kelly Lawrence, two years after graduating with a Journalism major, I had the opportunity to apply my experiences to become the founder and executive content writer of this gardening blog.