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Diagnosing and Treating Brown Leaves on Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

I’m sure you’ll relate to this scenario. You’re proud of your Fiddle Leaf Fig, nurturing it with care, but one day you notice brown, crispy edges on its leaves. You’re left scratching your head, wondering what went wrong. 

The brown tips on your fig’s leaves clearly indicate something is amiss. But don’t throw in the towel just yet. With the proper care, you can return your fig to its lush, green self in no time.

Whether it’s due to improper watering, low humidity, or other factors, I’ve been there, and I’m here to share my knowledge with you.

In this article, we’ll go over the common causes of brown leaves and the steps you can take to revive your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Trust me, it’s not rocket science, and it’ll be a fun and rewarding experience. 

Why Are My Fiddle Leaf Fig’s Leaves Turning Brown?

Have you ever bought a gorgeous Fiddle Leaf Fig, only to find brown leaves cropping up a few days later? Don’t worry; you’re not alone! I’ve been there too.

In my experience, there are several reasons why leaves can turn brown on a Fiddle Leaf Fig. Sometimes, even plants that have been thriving for a long time can suddenly start to wilt.

The most common causes of brown leaves on indoor plants are over-fertilizing, hard water, over-watering, under-watering, low humidity, and a need for repotting.

1- Excessive Chloride And Other Salts in Water Causes Brown Leaves 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. How could water be the problem? Well, my friend, tap water can be a killer for our Fiddle leaf fig.

Many cities treat it with chlorine or fluoride to keep humans healthy, but these chemicals can be toxic to our plants. Over time, lime can also build up in the soil, making it difficult for our Fiddle Leaf Fig to absorb essential nutrients.

 Chlorine and Fluoride in Tap Water Causes Brown Tips on Fiddle Leaf Fig
Chlorine and Fluoride in Tap Water Causes Brown Tips on Fiddle Leaf Fig

But don’t worry; I’ve got a solution! If you suspect poor water quality is the culprit, the first step is to give your plant a good flush.

Then, take your Fiddle Leaf Fig out of its saucer or tray, fill the pot with water, and let it drain for 5 to 10 minutes.

Repeat this step a few times to get rid of any chemical buildup. Then, let it drain for another 15 minutes before returning it to its original location.

Tip: Rainwater is ideal for all indoor plants, just like they get in the wild! If you can’t collect your own, filtered or distilled water will work just fine. 

2- Fiddle Leaf Fig’s Brown Leaves Indicate Root Bound Issue And Repotting Is Necessary

Fiddle leaf fig’s been such a beauty, shining brightly through every season, and now all of a sudden, it got brown tips on leaves?

Well, my friend looks like she’s craving a change of scenery.

Take a closer look at its roots. If they’re all tangled up, and it’s not growing as fast as she used to, even in the spring, it might be time to give her new digs.

When the roots get all crowded in the pot, water has a hard time reaching all the tips. So, even though you might be watering her enough, she’s unable to take in all the hydration she needs.

She might’ve been doing just fine for months, and then BAM! Brown tips appear out of nowhere. It’s a sign she needs a bigger home.

Check those roots; if they’re all twisted up, and she’s not growing, she should give her a fresh start with a new pot. 

Get ready to give your plant a fresh start! This article will guide you every step of the way as you repot your beloved green friend.

3- Underwatered Fiddle Fig Leads To Brown Leaves Due To Water Conservation Measures By The Plant

Have you ever noticed your beloved green roommate starting to look a bit yellow or brown around the edges? Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us.

Most of the time, it’s just a case of too much or too little H2O. If your leaves are thin and brittle, your plant is thirsty, so give it a drink!

On the flip side, if you’ve been over-watering and the soil is soggy, it’s time to hold back on the watering can.

Brown Leaf Tips in Fiddle Leaf Figs Due to Underwatering
Brown leaves in Fiddle Leaf Figs can result from underwatering, causing the plant to lose turgor pressure & wilt due to lack of water uptake

Here’s the deal, when a plant doesn’t get enough water, it’s like it’s holding its breath and conserving water, so it’ll drop its leaves to avoid transpiration.

That’s why the leaves turn yellow before they fall. But, on the other hand, if you’re only giving your plant a little sip here and there, the soil will dry out in some places, and the roots won’t get the hydration they need, causing some sides of the plant to dry up.

The secret to happy, healthy plants is to water less often but thoroughly. For example, fill up about a quarter of the pot with water and let it drain for 10-15 minutes.

Or, give your plants a spa day and let them soak in a basin of water for 15 minutes, then give them a chance to drain before putting them back in their place.

And here’s a pro tip from yours truly, if the soil is dry through and through, chances are, it’s time for a drink! Can you even remember the last time you watered? 🤔 Just remember better water less often but adequately.

4- Overwatered Fiddle Leaf Fig Can Result in Root Rot, and Brown Leaves Due to Reduced Moisture Absorption

Overwatering Causes Brown Leaf Tips in Fiddle Leaf Figs
Overwatering causes brown leaf tips in Fiddle Leaf Figs due to root rot, preventing Fiddle Leaf fig from absorbing water & nutrients needed for growth

Have you ever accidentally given your fiddle fig a whole army’s worth of water?😅 I’ve been there, too! But don’t worry, I’ve learned from my overwatering mishaps.

Here’s the deal: when your plant’s soil is still wet, or water has collected in its pot, that’s when overwatering becomes a problem.

If the roots stay waterlogged, they can start to rot and no longer provide your plant with the moisture it needs. So, even though the soil might be wet, the leaves can still look dry.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Root Rot Due to Overwatering
Fiddle Leaf Fig can develop root rot from overwatering, leading to decreased oxygen levels in soil and hindering proper root function

So, what’s the solution? Well, forget about watering on a schedule and start using the “finger test.” Simply stick your finger into the soil to see if it’s dry. If it’s dry, give your plant a drink!

And remember, even in nature, plants sometimes get a good drenching of rain. Just let your plant drain before putting it back in its pot.

Trust me, by doing the finger test and avoiding waterlogged soil; you’ll be well on your way to happy, healthy plants!

5- Low humidity causes brown tips on Fiddle Leaf Fig

Winter got your Fiddle Leaf Fig feeling dry and dull with brown leaf tips? Blame it on the low humidity caused by that trusty heater of yours. But don’t worry; I’ve got some moisture-packed solutions for you!

Due to the low humidity, the Fiddle Leaf Fig developed brown tips.
Low humidity can cause brown leaves on Fiddle Leaf Fig as dry air can lead to transpiration stress & reduce the plant’s ability to absorb water.

First, give your plant a daily spritz of water, or better yet, place it in a bright bathroom with a shower for some steamy TLC.

Need some backup? Join forces with other plants to create a lush microclimate with evaporated water to keep them together.

Invest in a humidifier! Not only will it keep your plants happy and healthy, but you’ll also be breathing in some sweet, humid air.

And, a friendly reminder, always keeps heaters and plants separate – they don’t mix well like green smoothies.

6- Overfertilizing Fiddle Leaf Fig Can Harm Roots & Cause Brown Leaves

Have you been showering your Fiddle Leaf Fig with too much love in the form of fertilizer? Unfortunately, overindulging your plant can lead to brown or yellow leaves, limp stems, and general sadness. But don’t worry; a simple repot and soil change can help revive your plant.

Salts Build Up Due to Over-fertilizing Causing Brown Tips
Brown tips on Fiddle Leaf Fig can result from over-fertilizing, leading to salt buildup and reduced absorption of essential nutrients.

Remember, young Fiddle Leaf Figs don’t need any fertilizer for the first year of their life; even mature plants can go without it during winter.

If you’re using liquid fertilizer, follow the instructions strictly, and if in doubt, go for a weaker dose. To play it safe, consider using slow-release fertilizer pellets instead.

7- Wrong Location Can Cause Brown Leaves on Fiddle Leaf Fig Due to Low Photosynthesis Rate

Listen up, folks, I’ve got a story to tell. I used to have the greenest, lushest Fiddle Leaf Fig you’ve ever seen. But then, I made the mistake of moving it to the wrong location, and it was downhill from there.

So it might be because of a similar situation if you’re experiencing brown leaves on your Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Here’s the deal, these plants are pretty particular about where they live. Some love basking in the warm sun of a south or west window, while others prefer a cooler, shadier spot in the east.

If you put your Fiddle Leaf Fig in a place that’s too warm or not the right amount of sunlight, it will show its displeasure by turning brown at the edges.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Sunburned
Brown leaves on Fiddle Leaf Fig can occur due to sunburn from direct, intense sunlight which damages the chlorophyll & causes leaf scorch

And let me tell you, these plants don’t just suffer from light issues. If you live in an apartment with smokers, the polluted air can cause discoloration of the leaves, edges, and tips.

And don’t even get me started on drafts! If your Fiddle Leaf Fig is in a spot where it’s constantly being brushed or disturbed by air currents, it’ll show its annoyance by browning up.

So, what’s the solution to all these problems? It’s simple, my friend. Treat your Fiddle Leaf Fig like you would if it were still living in its natural habitat. Give it the right amount of light, suitable soil, and the right amount of moisture. And if possible, avoid temperature fluctuations and drafts.

Brown Leaves on My Fiddle Leaf Fig – Time to Chop ‘Em Off?

When I first noticed some browning, I hesitated to cut them off. But trust me, waiting for the whole leaf to dry up isn’t worth it.

So, what did I do? I got my trusty scissors (which I had disinfected) and got to work. Now, listen closely because this is important. If you’re only removing the brown part of the leaf, make sure you don’t cut into the green part! That’s a surefire way to give your plant another injury and watch it die slowly and painfully.

But don’t worry; with some care and attention, you’ll have those brown leaves gone in no time. Make sure you use clean scissors or a knife, and you’ll be fine.

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