The fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is a wonderful plant with a bit of a reputation. However, while its care requirements are pretty simple, this particular Ficus can sometimes be a little temperamental.
A prime example of this drama queen behavior is this plant’s habit of getting droopy leaves. These large leaves are the main reason most people want to own a fiddle leaf fig, so seeing them droop suddenly can make most people panic.
However, this shouldn’t discourage you from having one, and there’s no reason to panic when it begins to act a little overdramatic.
The good news is that while many things can cause this drooping, they’re almost always an easy fix. That said, let‘s look at the various reasons this can happen and what to do to remedy each cause.
Why Are The Leaves Of My Fiddle Leaf Fig Drooping?
As mentioned, there are several potential causes, some completely natural and others hinting at care or environmental issues.
The following are some of the most common reasons for leaf droop and how to fix the problem.
Fertilizer can be a great thing for plants in moderation, but too much fertilizer can burn a fiddle leaf plant.
Likewise, many pesticides or insecticidal soaps can lead to burns on plants, especially if the plant is sensitive or the leaves end up wet.
In the latter case, Fiddle-leaf figs may suffer sunburn from the light hitting the water droplets.
The fix for these problems is simply being aware of what you’re doing. When fertilizing, always use the proper dilution and frequency.
As for any pesticidal product, try to use them so the leaves will be dry by the time the sun’s rays hit them, or manually wipe each leaf with a soft cloth.
Improper watering is a huge deal for most plants, as they don’t use water in quite the same way you or I do.
In fact, more than 97% percent of the water they drink goes to a process called transpiration, which is similar to sweating in some respects.
When a plant is in arid conditions, it will use transpiration to try and raise the humidity around it.
This is one of the reasons watering on a schedule is a poor idea since the plant may be using more or less water at any given time.
When your Ficus is dehydrated, the leaves will lose their sturdiness and become limp.
You can also tell if the humidity is too low if this limpness is accompanied by bubbling along the leaf’s edges.
The humidity is usually fine for an indoor plant, as a range of 35% to 60% percent is perfect for this plant, but grouping other plants can help boost the humidity if you notice the air is too dry indoors or outdoors.
On the flip side, overwatering can also lead to drooping, and the symptoms are almost identical.
This is because soggy soil can clog your plant’s roots, making it difficult for the plant to absorb water and nutrients, causing it to dehydrate while sitting in water.
You can tell if a plant is getting too much or too little water by simply sticking your finger into the soil.
A fiddle leaf fig will need to be watered when the soil feels dry 1″ to 2″ inches down (to the first or second knuckle). Use either the soak-and-dry method or the bottom-up method for the best results.
While some plants thrive in low light or even darkness, this plant is not among them. The fiddle leaf fig plant needs plenty of bright, indirect light (or direct morning or evening light with some shade in the afternoon).
If it’s not getting enough light, the leaves will lose some stability and begin to wilt, gaining a yellow tinge.
Solving this problem with a potted plant is fairly easy, as you can move it to a slightly sunnier spot.
Outdoor specimens may require you to find what is obstructing the light and (if it can’t be easily fixed) may require transplanting the Ficus somewhere else.
Now this one might sound quite peculiar, but we assure you, it’s an actual cause of drooping.
When new leaf buds first begin opening, they can be somewhat awkward. In fact, the larger the new leaf, the more likely it will be to have an awkward droop for the first few days.
This particular cause will generally right itself within a week and shouldn’t be cause for alarm.
Sudden Environmental Changes
This is where the fiddle leaf fig gets its reputation for being a drama queen, as this plant absolutely hates being moved.
Likewise, any sudden change to its routine can leave it visibly sulking.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about this poor behavior, especially if you’re trying to shift the fiddle leaf into better lighting.
The good news is that it will perk up again once you return from its usual routine.
Finally, we have an issue that usually affects only potted plants (but may extend to an outdoor plant if it needs to be relocated) – transplant shock.
Plants have evolved to remain in one spot for most or all of their lives, so when you have to repot one, it will suffer from shock.
This isn’t as noticeable in some plants as in others, but your Ficus tends to be very vocal about disliking being repotted.
The cure for this is simple, yet annoying since it just needs some time to get used to the change.
It will generally take a month or two for a ficus to recover fully from transplant shock, at which point it will once again perk up and be happy.
Ensure you don’t mess around with it during this time, or you’ll stress it further.