How to Revive a Fiddle Leaf Fig

How to Revive a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Table of Contents

Despite the appearance of hardiness, fiddle leaf figsare a demanding and fragile plant that, with one adverse environment condition, can die. Knowing how to revive a fiddle leaf fig when this happens is crucial, which is why we’ve put together this guide to saving your plant from its most common ailments. Read on to find out how to save your fiddle leaf fig or check out our guide to revive other houseplants here.

How to tell if your fiddle leaf fig is dying

In order to know how to save your fiddle leaf fig, you must first be able to diagnose what is wrong with it. The high-maintenance fiddle leaf fig can have one of any number of ailments that could be causing it to die. Here’s some of the most common afflictions your fiddle leaf fig could be suffering from and how to save it.

Extreme loss of leaves

If a fiddle leaf fig is excessively dropping its leaves, it’s normally because of one of three causes. The first is because it is suffering from lack of sunlight. Fiddle leaf figs need a constant source of bright, indirect sunlight and so if it is languishing in a shady corner, this deprivation could cause it to drop its leaves.

Alternatively, fiddle leaf figs are extremely sensitive to both hot and cold temperatures and so placing them beside or near a heating or AC vent will immediately cause them to shed their leaves and begin to die.

Thirdly, like many plants, extreme leaf loss can be caused by improper watering and your fiddle leaf fig could need saving if it’s being under- or overwatered.

Brown spots

Brown spots on a fiddle leaf fig can mean a number of things. This discoloration could be caused by root rot – a fungal infection that occurs when a plant’s roots sit too long in water and begin to rot. Overwatering and poor drainage are the key culprits for this.

Brown spots also occur when your fiddle leaf fig is too dry. This is easier to spot and so makes your plant easier to save and revive. A too-dry fiddle leaf fig will have brown or tan patches on the edges of foliage and the leaves will begin to curl. In general, your plant will look wilted and thirsty and soil might have receded from the pot – that’s when you know it’s time to revive it.

Yellow leaves

If your fiddle leaf fig has yellowing foliage as well as brown spots, you can assume it is suffering from bacterial leaf spot. When you begin to see foliage turning yellow as the brown spots grow, you know it’s time to step in and revive it.

Foliage with holes

While first appearing as small brown spots on a fiddle leaf fig’s foliage, insect infections are easily identified when you begin to notice these spots turning into holes. To save your plant from insects, use a magnifying glass to check for webs and pests on your plant so you can start reviving it.

White leaves

Plants can get sunburnt too! Fiddle leaf figs with foliage that appears bleached have had too much direct light and need to be saved from a bad case of sunburn!

Related Post: How to Care for an Indoor Bamboo Plant

How to bring a fiddle fig back to life

The strategies for reviving a fiddle leaf fig will depend on what affliction your plant is suffering with. Let’s return to the causes of a dying fiddle leaf fig and look at ways to save it.

Extreme loss of leaves

To save your fiddle leaf fig after too much shade, moving your tree to a sunny window filled with indirect light should be enough to revive it. If your fiddle leaf fig is suffering from temperature extremes caused by heaters, air conditioning, or draughts, move it away from these killers to revive it.

Finally, if it is suffering from over- or underwatering, check your plant’s soil. Remember that fiddle leaf figs thrive in warm, humid places where there are even temperatures, lots of light, and consistent moisture. To save it, your soil should therefore be moist but never soggy. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly to ensure you are only watering your fiddle leaf fig when it’s mostly but not completely dry. This should save and revive it.

Brown spots on leaves

In the case of fungal infections, you can revive your fiddle leaf fig by removing infected leaves and re-potting your tree. Making sure it has ample light will also revive a fiddle leaf fig, as well as taking care not to overwater it in the future!

If your fiddle leaf fig needs to be revived after being in a too-dry environment, move it away from more extreme temperatures and water it regularly – making sure the root ball is completely wet each time. You can also save it by some misting your fiddle leaf fig every few days.

Yellowing Leaves

Sadly, if it’s a bacterial infection, it’s really hard to save a fiddle leaf fig. It might be too late to attempt to revive it. Try cutting off any foliage with brown spots and replanting the tree in sterile soil. Lots of light and gentle watering will also help save it if the damage isn’t too bad.

Insect Damage

Thankfully, it’s much easier to save a tree from insects. Simply spray all sides of the foliage with neem oil designed for houseplants to revive it. Wait for a couple of weeks and redo as needed.

White spots

It’s relatively easy to revive a sunburned fiddle leaf fig. Cut away the sunburned leaves and move your plant to an area saved from harsh, direct life from the sun.

How to prune a dying fiddle leaf fig

If your fiddle leaf fig has damaged stems or leaves, you will need to remove them in order to save it. However, this needs to be done consistently and with the utmost care.

Related Post: How to Prune, Trim, and Care for Roses 

To revive a sick fiddle leaf fig, you need to remove any damaged leaves as soon as you notice them. Use a sharp scissors or pruning shears to trim off only the infected spots on your fiddle leaf fig. This will protect and save the remaining healthy leaves on the plant, giving your fiddle leaf fig a better chance of survival.

Only remove a whole leaf if it has turned brown all over – then pull it gently from its base or, if it won’t come away easily, snip it off with a clean shears to save and revive your plant. Make sure to protect any damaged buds or brown husks and don’t cut them off unless they look moldy. It’s these hard covers that should sprout new growth come spring.

Finally, remember that fiddle fig trees are dormant in winter and are notoriously slow to grow so don’t expect miracles before the weather gets warmer again. Your efforts to save and revive your tree will take time to be rewarded so practice patience as you wait for improvements.

Buy a stunning fiddle leaf fig here.


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