Fiddle has lost so many leaves – House Plant Journal

Fiddle has lost so many leaves

Plant: Fiddle leaf fig

How long have you had the plant? 6 months to 1 year


My daughter didn’t water her ficus for about 3 weeks – I took over its care 2 weeks ago:


How do you determine WHEN to water?  I read to stick my finger in the soil 1-2 inches. If dry, water. If not, check again in a day or two. Soil should be lightly moist, especially in summer or exposed to lots of light. But not sopping wet especially if no drainage holes.

Describe HOW you water: Pour a small amount of water. Water other plants & come back & check to see if water reached bottom. If not, add a little more. Pot has no drainage so I worry about overwatering.

I don’t usually provide extra humidity but because this plant was dehydrated I use a small, cool mist humidifier near it to see if it helps.

Fertilizer? Yes, I’ve started recently. Liquid NPK 3-1-2 & insect control spikes w/slow release plant food 8-11-5


Darryl’s Analysis

It’s difficult to predict how this plant will grow because I don’t have a sense of the environment where this plant spent the majority of its time but where you have it currently seems okay.  Right in front of the window would be better – and block direct sun only if the exposure duration exceeds 2 or 3 hours.

I prefer to use a chopstick and determine when to water by seeing that the top 3″ inches is dry.  The volume of water that fully saturates a particular volume of soil is roughly one quarter the total soil volume – as long as you don’t pour more than that, you’ll avoid having a soil soup.

Do not double dose the fertilizer – use liquid ***or*** the slow-release spikes, not both at the same time!

New leaves will never grow from the lower stem but may emerge from the tip – and it could take a few weeks or months.  If you’re unhappy with how the plant currently looks, you could try propagating the top part: cut somewhere in the middle of the stem, root it in water, then plant it into new soil.  The new plant will feel more balanced as the foliage will be closer to the soil level.  The stump in the original pot may push out new growth too – and then you’ll have two plants.

Planning what to do with a plant requires understanding how it will grow and the factors to best support that growth.  Get clarity from my book or my online course.

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

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