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House Plants/Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree - brown spots and droopy top leaves

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Question
Hi,

I have a mid size fiddle leaf fig tree which I recently repoted into a nice size pot with a proper drainage. The tree started getting brown spots as soon as we brought it home from the nursery. It already had some brown spots on the edges of the leaves but more developed fast.

I've read that brown spots are the signs of overwatering. I've even purchased a moisture meter: I water it once every 2 weeks and my moisture meter usually is on 2. I read that these trees like dry soil and I should keep it on 2...

The problem is that it's not even 2 weeks when I notice top branches of the tree (there are only two branches on this tree) start drooping down... Then I researched that and it said that it's the sign of underwatering... And I think it's true because once I water the plant, the top branches perk up in couple of hours...

So this is quite a conundrum: brown spots and droopy branches...

In terms of lighting, the plant is placed in a south facing room with large windowns... the pot is not placed directly near the window in order not to get direct sun...

Coould you please advise?
Also, what number should I aim for on my moisture meter reader?

Thanks,
Buka

Answer
Buka,

At this time of year your tree should be outside in a location it gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Indoors it should be next to a large south facing window with all window covering open. This tree needs sun to be healthy for at least 4-6 hours a day. Indoors it only gets sun from one side and that will not hurt it.

When you water it you should give it enough water so that all the soil in the pot is moist then do not water it again until it is dry, back down to 2 or less. It needs alternating periods of wet then dry. After you water empty the drain tray an hour or 2 later. If you can't lift it suck any excess water out with a turkey baster so it is not standing in water constantly. That is what will rot the roots. Follow these instructions and let me know how it is doing in a month. Good luck!

Darlene

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Darlene K. Kittle

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

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

Education/Credentials
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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