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Fiddle Leaf Fig

Question:

 I received a beautiful, healthy 6ft tree as a birthday gift 3 weeks ago. I named it “Figgy Stardust” and I’m absolutely in love. I had previously done lots of research on them and placed it in a well lit North corner of my house, by our sliding glass door. It was doing very well and had a couple new leaves for the first 2 weeks, but last week, after I watered it, it began dropping up to 3 or 4 leaves a day! The entire leaf turns brown, shrivels and drops – old and new. It looks like the damage is starting at the bottom and middle of the tree and moving out. I’m in a panic as to what to do. I don’t want to water it again in case I had over watered it, I don’t want to take it outside to dry it out in fear of stressing it more. I can’t imagine that one poor watering would kill a plant of this size and previous health – if its this sensitive, how do these things survive in nature after one heavy rain? I hope it isn’t too far gone for me to correct whatever was done. I’m eager to hear your advice.

Answer:

I suspect that inadequate watering is causing the leaf drop, although inadequate light may also be a problem.

Ficus lyratas must be right in front of an unobstructed, completely uncovered north window to do well. If it were a south window, it could be off a bit to the side. But a north corner is nor enough light.

Assuming that your Ficus lyrata was not repotted, then it will need a thorough watering as soon as the surface of the soil feels just barely damp or almost dry. Pour water slowly all over the surface until you see a small amount trickle through the drain holes. When properly potted and given sufficient light, this is a plant that is hard to over water but easy to let get too dry.

The leaf drop that occurred right after you watered was coincidental and not causal. Plants take a week or more before they react to improper watering.

If your Fig was repotted, then get back to me with the details on how that was done because that changes the way it should be watered.