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House Plants/My Fiddle Leaved Fig!!


Dear Ms. Kittle,

I bought my Fiddle Leaved Fig a little over a year ago, at the Ikea in Atlanta over Thanksgiving.
For a long time there were no issues, but after I went to Europe this Summer it has been so finicky!
It lost a few leaves and those that were left were yellow.
After I went home for Thanksgiving, the leaves have gotten very droopy and they have not gotten any better. Now the leaves are starting to yellow again. I am at my wits end with this. I have consulted Success With House Plants, and I cannot figure out what is wrong with it. I suspected chlorosis but after repotting it does not seem to have gotten any better.

Attached is a picture of the plant, you will see that it is droopy and all of the leaves are on one side. The most yellowed leaf is in the front. I just cleaned the pot and there was a strange white film on the outside.

Help me please!


You said the problems began with your Fiddle Leaf fig while you were gone in Europe. I suspect that the problem began with the watering and the person who was handling the watering in your absence. This plant needs to dry out between waterings. I notice that it is in a large pot to hide the clay pot. This allows the outer pot to hold a lot of water between waterings. That is bad. It causes the roots to rot. When you repotted the plant did it have a lot of roots or were they noticeably less than when you first got the plant?

The white film may be lime from the plant sitting in a lot of water if you are watering it with hard water. From now on when you water it empty the drain tray 30 minutes after you after it so it is not sitting in a pot full of water. Insert a bamboo skewer or a small dowell rod into the soil reaching all the way to the bottom and sticking out of the soil 1 inch. If you think it needs watered pull out the stick and see how wet it is. If it is not dry 2/3rds of the way down it is not time to dry the plant.  Keeping it to wet rots the roots and causes the damage you are seeing. Most houseplant will benefit from this. The only plants that like to sit in water constantly are those that grow in swamps in their natural environment. This tree is not one of those and very few plants are. If you have more questions write again. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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