Sunburned Fiddle Leaf Fig: How to Identify, Treat & Prevent it

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Fiddle Leaf figs (Ficus lyrata) are popular houseplants known for their large, elegant leaves.

These plants originate from tropical regions and require bright indirect sunlight to thrive.

However, if these plants are exposed to too much direct sunlight, especially during the hot summer months, they can get sunburned.

Sunburned fiddle leaf fig plants will have discolored or browned leaves on the edges and tips. The leaves may also be curled or crinkled.

If you think your fiddle leaf fig tree has sunburn, it’s essential to take action immediately to prevent further damage.

Here you’ll find everything you need to know about sunburned fiddle leaf figs, including how to identify and treat them.

What Causes Sunburn on Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants?

Fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants that need at least six hours of indirect sunlight daily.

A few things can cause your fiddle leaf fig to get sunburned.

The most common is if the plant is placed in an area with direct sunlight for more than six hours a day.

This can happen if you live in a hot climate or place the plant near a window where the sun’s rays will hit it.

Fiddle leaf figs are also susceptible to sunburn if they are not acclimate to the sun.

This means that if you suddenly move your plant from an indoor location to an outdoor one where it will be in direct sunlight, it can get sunburned.

Fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants that need at least six hours of indirect sunlight daily.

However, if they are placed in an area with direct sunlight for more than six hours a day, they can get sunburned.

What Does Sunburn Look Like on Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants?

It’s essential to identify sunburn on your fiddle leaf fig so that you can take action to prevent further damage.

By identifying the problem early, you can also take steps to treat the sunburn and help your plant to recover.

Sunburned fiddle leaf figs will have discolored or browned leaves on the edges and tips.

The fiddle leaf fig leaves may also be curled or crinkled.

Common Signs of Sunburned Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants

There are a few common signs that your fiddle leaf fig has been sunburned.

These include:

Brown Edges or Tips on Leaves

One of the most common signs of sunburn on a fiddle leaf fig is brown edges or tips on the leaves.

This is caused by the leaves getting too much direct sunlight and the edges of the leaves drying out and turning brown.

It’s usually more noticeable on the newer leaves that are growing in but can also affect older leaves.

White or Brown Patches on Leaves

One of the most common ways to tell if your plant has sunburn is by the presence of white or brown spots or patches on the leaves.

These patches are caused by the sun’s UV rays damaging the cells in the leaves.

The damage appears as a bleaching of the green chlorophyll in the leaves, which leads to white or brown patches.

Sunburned leaves will also often have brown or blackened edges.

Scorched Looking Leaves

Look for one or more leaves that have turned yellow or brown and feel crispy to the touch.

It should easily come off if you gently rub your finger along the leaf.

If the leaf comes off easily, it’s a sure sign that your plant is sunburned.

Discoloration of Leaves

One of the most common signs that your fiddle leaf fig plant has sunburn is when the leaves start to turn yellow or brown. This can happen gradually or all at once, and it’s usually more pronounced on the leaves facing the sun. Sometimes, you may also see tiny brown spots on the fiddle leaf fig leaves.

Discoloration is one of the first signs that your plant is getting too much sun, so if you see this happening, it’s essential to take action immediately.

The leaves may eventually fall off if the sunburn is severe enough.

Wilting or Drooping Leaves

If your plant is sunburned, you may also notice that the leaves are wilting or drooping. This is because the sun has damaged the cells in the leaves, and they can’t hold water as well as they used to.

As a result, the fiddle leaf fig leaves will start to droop and eventually fall off if the sunburn is severe enough.

Leaf Loss

In severe cases, sunburned fiddle leaf figs can lose all their leaves. This is usually a result of the sun damage being so severe that the leaves can no longer hold onto the plant.

If your plant has lost all its leaves, it’s essential to take action right away to prevent further damage.

Can a Fiddle Leaf Fig Recover From Sunburn?

Fiddle leaf figs are tough plants and can often recover from sunburn if the damage isn’t too severe.

If your plant has only a few affected leaves, it will likely be able to bounce back relatively quickly.

However, if the sunburn is severe and has caused all the leaves to fall off, it will take longer for the plant to recover.

Damaged leaves will eventually fall off, and new ones will grow in their place.

It’s essential to be patient and not force the plant to grow new leaves by giving it more water or fertilizer than usual.

This can do more harm than good and may delay the plant’s recovery.

How Do You Treat a Sunburned Fiddle Leaf Fig?

If your fiddle leaf fig leaves look a little bit worse for wear after spending too much time in the sun, don’t despair!

There are a few things you can do to help your plant recover.

  1. Move your plant to a shady spot or indoors where it will be out of direct sunlight. Place it in an east-facing window where it will get indirect sunlight for a few hours each day.
  2. Trim off any leaves that are severely damaged or browned. These leaves will not recover and will only continue to drain energy from the rest of the plant.
  3. Reduce watering slightly until the leaves have had a chance to recover. Check the soil regularly and only water when the top few inches are dry.
  4. Cut back on fertilizing until the plant has recovered. Once the leaves have started to green up again, you can resume your regular fertilization schedule.
  5. Monitor your plant closely for signs of new growth. This indicates that your plant is on the mend and on its way to recovery.

How To Prevent a Fiddle Leaf Fig From Getting Sunburned

The best way to prevent your fiddle leaf fig from getting sunburned is to give it the right amount of sunlight.

Fiddle leaf figs need bright indirect light to thrive. They can tolerate direct sunlight for a few hours each day, but if they’re in direct sun for too long, they will start to experience sunburn.

If you live in a sunny climate year-round, it’s best to keep your fiddle leaf fig indoors, where it will be protected from the harsh sun.

Indoor fiddle leaf figs should be placed in an east- or west-facing window where they will get indirect sunlight for a few hours each day.

If you want to move your plant outdoors for a short period, make sure to do so gradually. Start by placing it in a shady spot for a few hours each day and then slowly increase the amount of time it spends in direct sunlight.

Just keep an eye on the leaves and move them back indoors if they start to look brown or wilted.

When living in a climate with harsh summers, it is best to grow your fiddle leaf fig indoors or in a shady spot.

Tips For Growing a Healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle leaf figs are relatively easy to care for, but you can do a few things to ensure that your plant stays healthy and happy.

Here are a few tips for growing a healthy fiddle leaf fig:

  • Place your plant in an east- or west-facing window where it will get indirect sunlight for a few hours each day.
  • Water your plant when the top few inches of soil are dry. Be sure to empty any water that collects in the saucer, so the roots don’t become waterlogged.
  • Use a well-draining potting mix and make sure the pot has drainage holes to prevent the roots from becoming waterlogged.
  • Fertilize your plant monthly during the growing season (spring and summer).
  • Prune off any dead or damaged leaves as needed.
  • Monitor your plant for pests and treat accordingly if you notice any.

With some care, your fiddle leaf fig will thrive and provide you with years of enjoyment!

Final Thoughts

Fiddle leaf fig care can be tricky, but it’s doable with patience and dedication. Sunburn is a common problem that fiddle leaf figs face, but it can be easily prevented with proper care.

If your fiddle leaf fig does get sunburned, don’t despair – it can recover with the proper treatment. Just be sure to give it the care it needs and be patient while it heals.

With a little effort, you can keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy and happy for years.