Black Thumb

I still remember the moment. Seeing that beautiful little fiddle leaf, standing by it’s lonesome in Home Depot, just waiting for me to come and rescue it from the dole drum life of the hardware store. I couldn’t believe my eyeballs, and Jay couldn’t believe his ears – why, why was this woman so excited to get her paws on this tropical house plant.

I mean come. on. husband – that’s a whole lotta leafy green hubba hubba goodness. Am I right, or am I right?

Where to Buy Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

But y’all – Houston has got a problem. I think I’m (we’re) killing the plant. A week or so ago, it looked liked this:

How to Care for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

And now, well now it looks considerably worse than that. I may be able to count the remaining leaves with one hand. :'(

Right now the plant is:

  • In indirect sunlight
  • Watered about once weekly
  • Kissed and cuddled and encouraged to get better soon

HELP! Do we have any (tropical) gardeners out there? Is this beautiful plant destined for the compost bin? Say it ain’t so – does anyone know what I can do?

24 thoughts on “Black Thumb

  1. I would say, hey try this! BUT ours is dying, too. A really slow, almost painful to watch kind of death. I think it has 2 leaves left so I’m useless.

  2. I looked up info on it online. It needs to be in indirect sunlight and the soil needs to be completely dry before you water it again. From what I’m reading, they’re temperamental little buggers. :/

  3. Is it possible that the plant is in a place where it gets a draft from the air conditioner? Not sure if that would bother it. Just a thought!

  4. Only suggestions I have are to maybe move it outside in a semi shaded area for a week or two & let it really dry out between watering sessions. Good luck!

  5. Let it dry out between waterings. The top few inches of soil should be bone dry before waterings – check by sticking your finger in the soil (stirring up the surface soil a little also helps the plant aerate.) Also, check to see if the roots are starting to grow out the bottom of the planter and trim them off if so. Lastly, move it to a sunny spot in the room but out of direct sunlight. Hope that helps! Oh, and a little fertilizer every once in a while doesn’t hurt, either!

  6. I’ve heard fiddle leaf figs are almost impossible to keep alive. It seems like people move them around until they find a place the plant likes, and then NEVER move it :) They’re also toxic to cats, so I was wondering if your kitty messed with it. I have cats, and I’m always worried about plants, but they’re so beautiful.

  7. Mary, here’s a site with info about this plant. My first guess was that, being a native tropical plant, it wasn’t getting enough humidity. I’ve always found it difficult to grow most house plants, as we can never seem to give them all the conditions they need – light, water, soil, humidity, etc. I gave up a long time ago, and resort to artificial plants. Good luck! http://houseplants.about.com/od/foliageplants/p/Ficus-Lyrata-growing-Fiddle-leaf-Fig-Indoors.htm

  8. My fiddle leaf fig was not doing well so in the summer I moved it to our covered patio, it has grown at least a foot & is gorgeous!! I live in the St Louis. Mo. area, and now fall has arrived! I am hoping I can keep it alive till spring! LOL! I do let it dry out completely before I water it & it is getting bright light… They are beauties when in the right conditions! Best of luck! :)

  9. Hey Mary! I brought three of them home several months ago (from WalMart, of all places — I couldn’t believe my eyes!!!), and I’m having to rethink my placement of them, too. But I’ve learned something that might help you — my plants were all in indirect light, and (I think) getting the right amount of water …. BUT, one was getting southern exposure, one was getting western, and one was getting eastern. The ones getting light from the west and east have turned brown throughout and look like they’re on the slow road to death … but the one getting light from the south looks awesome! Not a brown spot on it! It’s also produced more baby leaves than the others. So … there might be something to the kind of light you’re giving it. It needs indirect light, yes … but BRIGHT indirect light, I think! :-) Maybe try a room with southern light? That’s what I’m going to try with my two sick plants. Best of luck!! Let us know how it turns out!! :-)

  10. My fiddle leaf fig, looked WAY worse than yours. And I was doing everything everyone tells you to … Indirect, bright light. Way dry soil. Watering in the shower with the door closed and letting it stay humid. EVERY.THING. No luck. More brown leaves. I put mine outside, in almost 80% full sun, and I have new growth. I live in KY, similar climates. Try it! Good luck!

  11. What ended up happening with your Fiddle Leaf Fig? Did you save it? I am having a similar problem right now. We brought it home a month ago and it is starting to turn brown.

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