Fiddle leaf fig plants (Ficus lyrata) are all the rage these days, and for a good reason – they make a bold statement in any room with their large, glossy leaves.
But while these plants are relatively easy to care for, they can be finicky when it comes to their environment. So, it’s essential to know how to identify a healthy fiddle leaf fig and what to do if your plant is not looking its best.
Signs of a Healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig
There are a few key things to consider when determining if your fiddle leaf fig is healthy.
Here are some signs to look for:
The Leaves Are a Deep Green Color With No Yellowing or Browning
When trying to determine whether your fiddle leaf fig is healthy, one of the most telling signs is to take a look at its leaves.
If you notice that they are deep green with no yellowing or browning, then you can be confident that your plant is thriving. This means it is getting all the nutrients and water that it needs, allowing its leaves to stay strong and vibrant.
Pay attention to the texture of your leaves. If they feel firm and robust to the touch, there is a good chance that everything else about your plant is also in good health.
So if you are looking for an easy way to gauge the well-being of your fiddle leaf fig tree, be sure to look at its leaves!
The Leaves Are Glossy and Free of Spots or Blemishes
A healthy fiddle leaf fig will also have glossy leaves that are free of any spots or blemishes.
This is another good indicator that your plant is getting the nutrients it needs and the right amount of water.
If your plant’s leaves look dull or lifeless, it could be a sign that something is off. In this case, looking closely at your plant’s care routine is essential to see if any areas can be improved.
The Leaves Are Evenly Sized and Shaped
When you look at your fiddle leaf fig plant and notice that the leaves are evenly sized and shaped, you can rest assured that your plant is healthy. This is because when a fiddle leaf fig is thriving, its leaves will grow in an even pattern on the branches of the plant.
When the individual leaves are all relatively similar in size and shape, it indicates that the plant has been receiving enough nutrients from its growing medium and sufficient water and light.
This even growth pattern can indicate that you have been caring for your plant correctly by properly regulating temperature, humidity levels, and general care routines.
Overall, when you see evenly sized and shaped leaves on your fiddle leaf fig plant, you can know that you are doing a great job at keeping your plant happy and healthy!
The Plant Is Compact and Full, Rather Than Leggy or Sparse
When you take a step back and look at your fiddle leaf fig plant as a whole, you should notice that it is compact and full rather than leggy or sparse.
A healthy plant will have leaves that are close together on the stem, giving the plant a fuller appearance. If your plant seems stretched out with leaves far apart, it is likely not getting enough light.
A healthy fiddle leaf fig plant will also have leaves that are lots close to the potting medium rather than standing straight. If you notice that your plant’s leaves are pointing upwards, it could be a sign that it is not getting enough water.
So, if you want to ensure that your fiddle leaf fig plant is healthy, take a look at its overall shape and structure. A compact and full plant is a good indication that your plant is happy and healthy!
The Plant Is Growing New Leaves Regularly
When growing a fiddle leaf fig, one of the most important things you can look out for is whether or not the plant regularly produces new leaves. This is considered a sign of a healthy plant, as it indicates that your fiddle leaf fig is getting the nutrients and sunlight it needs to thrive.
Healthy fiddle leaf fig trees often have several new leaves at any given time, and you may also notice them becoming darker and lusher.
Additionally, you may notice that your fiddle leaf fig grows taller and bushier as it becomes healthier.
If you notice that your plant has stopped producing new leaves or has slowed down in its growth rate, you may need to take some steps to improve its conditions.
The Plant Is Upright and Has a Solid Stem
A healthy fiddle leaf fig’s upright and solid stem is a sign of good health and vigor.
The upright nature indicates that the plant is growing tall and strong, supported by healthy roots and nutrients in the soil. This also means that the plant has strong support instead of being spindly or weak.
A solid stem also shows that there is sufficient water content in the plant without any gaps or missing areas.
Maintaining an upright, solid stem for your fiddle leaf fig is essential to its overall health and vitality.
The Roots Are Healthy
To have a healthy fiddle leaf fig plant, you must also have healthy roots.
The roots are responsible for anchoring the plant in the potting medium and taking up water and nutrients from the potting soil.
When the roots are healthy, they will be white or light-colored and firm to the touch.
Additionally, healthy roots will have a healthy root system that is dense and compact.
You can check the health of your fiddle leaf fig’s roots by gently removing the plant from its pot and inspecting the roots.
If you notice that the roots are dark, mushy, or have a foul odor, it is a sign that they are unhealthy, and your plant will likely not be long for this world.
On the other hand, if you see healthy, white roots that are firm to the touch, you can rest easy knowing that your fiddle leaf fig’s roots are healthy and will support the plant for years to come.
The Plant Is Free of Pests
When caring for a fiddle leaf fig plant, one of the most important things to look for is whether or not it is free of pests. This can be a good indicator that the plant is healthy and well-nourished.
To keep your fiddle leaf fig free from pests, you should regularly check the leaves and soil for any signs of insects or other unwanted visitors, such as mold or mildew.
Additionally, you should never overwater your fiddle leaf fig, as excess moisture can attract unwanted organisms that can wreak havoc on your plant’s leaves and stems.
By taking these simple steps, you can help to ensure that your fiddle leaf fig plant stays healthy and pest-free.
Signs of an Unhealthy Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
In contrast to a healthy plant, an unhealthy fiddle leaf fig plant will have several distinctive characteristics.
If you notice any of the following signs, it indicates that your fiddle leaf fig is not doing well and may need extra care.
The Plant Is Wilting or Drooping
When you notice that your fiddle leaf fig is drooping or wilting, it can be a sign that the plant is unhealthy and in need of attention.
Several factors can cause this behavior in a fiddle leaf fig, including insufficient water, lack of sunlight, and overfeeding.
To help your plant recover from this condition, you should determine what may be causing it. Once you have identified the underlying problem, you can take steps to restore the health and vibrancy of your fiddle leaf fig.
Whether you need to adjust your watering or fertilization schedule or move your plant into a brighter location, you can help ensure that your fiddle leaf fig thrives for many years.
The Leaves Are Turning Yellow or Brown
If you notice that the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig are turning yellow or brown, it is a sign that something is wrong.
Several factors can cause this type of discoloration, including too much sun, too much water, or a nutrient deficiency.
If the leaves are only yellow or brown around the edges, your plant is likely getting too much sun. Fiddle leaf figs need bright, indirect light, so if they are in a spot that is too sunny, the leaves will start to turn brown. If this is the case, move your plant to an area that gets less direct sunlight.
If the leaves are entirely yellow or brown, it is a sign of overwatering. Fiddle leaf figs should be kept on the drier side, so ensure you are not watering them too often. Allow the top inch or so of soil to dry before watering again.
If the leaves are still yellow or brown after adjusting your watering schedule, your plant may suffer from a nutrient deficiency.
A nutrient deficiency can also cause discoloration of the leaves. If this is the problem, fertilize your fiddle leaf fig with a balanced fertilizer and see if the leaves start to recover.
The Leaves Are Falling Off
If you notice that your fiddle leaf fig is starting to shed its leaves, this may be a sign that the plant is unhealthy. Leaves falling off is one of the most common problems with fiddle leaf figs, which several factors can cause.
One possibility is that the plant needs more water. Fiddle leaf figs need to be watered regularly; if they are not, their leaves will turn brown and fall off.
However, overwatering can also cause leaves to fall off, so it is essential to find a happy medium. The best way to water a fiddle leaf fig is to stick your finger into the soil to see if it is dry before watering it.
Another possibility is that the plant needs more light. Fiddle leaf figs need bright, indirect sunlight to thrive.
If they do not get enough light, their leaves will turn yellow and drop off. If this is the problem, try moving your plant to a spot that gets more light. But be careful not to put it in direct sunlight, as this can damage the leaves.
The Plant Has Dry or Cracked Leaves
When you notice that your fiddle leaf fig plant has dry or cracked leaves, this is a sign that the plant is unhealthy.
Typically, dry leaves indicate that your plant needs more water or humidity. At the same time, cracked leaves are a sign of improper care or too much exposure to sunlight.
To prevent these conditions and keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy and flourishing, you should make sure to provide it with the proper amount of water and sunlight.
If the leaves are dry, water your plant more frequently. But be sure to water it appropriately, as this can lead to problems.
You should also regularly check the soil to ensure it is not getting too dry or too wet. Additionally, invest in a humidifier or pebble tray to help maintain adequate humidity levels for your plant.
If the leaves are cracked, try moving your plant to a spot with less direct sunlight. Fiddle leaf figs need bright light, but too much direct sunlight can damage their leaves.
There Are Spots or Discoloration on the Leaves
If you notice spots or discoloration on your fiddle leaf fig leaves, this is a sign that the plant is unhealthy. Spots and discoloration can be caused by several factors, including pests, disease, or improper care.
One possibility is that your plant has a pest problem. Fiddle leaf figs are especially susceptible to mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. If your plant has a pest problem, inspect the leaves closely for signs of insects or eggs.
If you see any pests, you can try removing them by hand or treating the plant with an insecticide.
Another possibility is that your plant has a disease. Fiddle leaf figs are susceptible to several different diseases, including bacterial leaf spot and fungal leaf spot.
If you think your plant has a disease, inspect the leaves closely for signs of infection, such as spots or discoloration. If you see any signs of disease, you need to treat the plant immediately.
You can also prevent diseases by caring for your plant correctly. This includes watering it regularly, keeping the leaves clean, and not overwatering it.
The Plant Is Not Growing
If your fiddle leaf fig isn’t growing, it could indicate the plant is unhealthy. Fiddle leaf figs are typically fast-growing plants, so it’s a cause for concern if yours isn’t growing.
When your fiddle leaf fig is not growing, there could be several possible reasons for this.
One possibility is that it may be experiencing some growth stress due to temperature or light levels.
Another possible reason is that you may not provide the plant with all the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Finally, you may have accidentally overwatered or underwater your plant, which can also prevent it from growing.
Whatever the cause of your fiddle leaf fig’s stunted growth, you can help remedy the situation by adjusting your care regimen accordingly.
For example, you can make sure to keep your plant in a warm and well-lit environment and give it enough water and nutrients.
The Plant Looks Spindly or Leggy
If your fiddle leaf fig looks leggy or spindly, it’s another sign that the plant may be unhealthy.
A healthy fiddle leaf fig should have thick, sturdy stems with large leaves. If your plant’s stems are thin and its leaves are small, it’s a sign that something is wrong.
One possible reason for this problem is that the plant isn’t getting enough light. Fiddle leaf figs need bright, indirect light to thrive, so if yours isn’t getting enough light, it will start to stretch out in search of sunlight.
You can remedy this problem by moving your plant to a brighter spot. Another possible reason for leggy growth is overfertilization.
If you’re fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig more than once a month or using a strong fertilizer, this can cause the plant to produce too much growth.
To fix this problem, cut back on fertilization or switch to a weaker fertilizer.
There Is Mold on the Plant
If you see mold on your fiddle leaf fig, it is a sign that the plant is unhealthy. Mold can be a sign of too much moisture in the pot or poor drainage. When there is too much moisture in the pot, it can cause root rot, which can kill the plant.
To fix this problem, you need to improve the drainage of your fiddle leaf fig pot. Make sure the pot has a drainage hole, and you’re not watering the plant more than necessary.
If the plant is already too far gone, you may need to repot it in fresh soil.
How To Keep Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Healthy
Now that you know whether a fiddle leaf fig is healthy or unhealthy, you can take steps to keep your plant healthy.
Here are some tips for keeping your fiddle leaf fig healthy:
- Make sure the plant has enough light. Fiddle leaf figs need bright, indirect light to thrive.
- Keep the plant in a warm environment. Fiddle leaf figs prefer temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Water the plant when the soil is dry. Fiddle leaf figs don’t like to be overwatered, so ensure that the pot has good drainage and that you’re not watering more than necessary.
- Fertilize the plant during the growing season. Fertilize your fiddle leaf fig once a month during the spring and summer.
- Prune the plant as needed. Pruning will help to encourage healthy growth.
- Repot the plant every two to three years. Repotting will help refresh the potting soil and boost the plant’s nutrients.
Following these tips can keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy and happy.
If you’re unsure whether your houseplant is healthy or unhealthy, there are a few key things to look for.
Healthy fiddle leaf figs will have glossy, deep green leaves. They will be well-branched and have a robust root system.
Unhealthy fiddle leaf figs will have yellowing or browning leaves, and their branches may be spindly or weak.
If you think your ficus lyrata is unhealthy, it’s essential to identify the problem and take action to correct it.
With proper care, you can help your fiddle leaf fig thrive and enjoy its beautiful foliage for years to come.