I have a fiddle-leaf fig tree that I “rescued” from a dumpster at the office I work in. (To clarify, it was not IN the dumpster but sitting in a pot next to the dumpster.) I have no idea how long it was outside, un-watered and exposed to elements (this was the beginning of summer.) I now have the tree in my home, before reading that it may be harmful to re-pot, I took the tree out of its pot and gave it some new organic soil and then put it back into the same pot. It is now in a room with direct sunlight in the morning and diffused light for the majority of the day. I water it about once a week or whenever the top of the soil is dry.
So that is all the background info now here is my Question:, after looking at the pictures I have provided, do you think my poor rescue tree is dead? The leaves have many brown spots and the stalk is “flaky.” It has not however, dropped any leaves whatsoever. If you do not think it is dead, do you have any suggestions of what I can do to help it get better?
You have a tough Ficus lyrata! You should add some soil on top of the rootball and press it down in tight between the outside of the rootball and the inside of the pot. The tree also should be within a couple of feet of an uncovered sunny window, not across the room or off to the side of the window.
These trees are slow growers and new growth is always at the very ends of stems and branches. The only way to eliminate the bare stems is to prune them back. New growth will then emerge on the stems just below the pruning cuts.
The bark is naturally flaky and the leaf spots are common and will not ever go away. New leaf growth should be healthy, however.
At best, your tree will recover very slowly, so you will have to be patient.