Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Drooping? 9 Key Reasons

Common culprits for drooping fiddle leaf Fig plants include improper care, like incorrect watering, lighting, feeding, humidity, or temperature. Fiddle leaf Figs are popular houseplants because of their ease of growing, attractive look, and versatile uses. But they’re also sensitive to indoor growing, which frequently leads to problems with drooping Fiddle leaf fig leaves. Most causes of fiddle leaf Fig drooping are easy to fix, with a high probability of your plant making a quick full recovery.

Table of Contents

fiddle leaf fig in brown wicker basket on beige floor

Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Drooping?

A useful thing about how fiddle leaf fig leaves droop is that it’s a symptom you can use to figure out the issue. Once you know the problem and make the necessary changes, fiddle leaf figs rebound and perk back up. By adjusting your care routine, you can easily reverse fiddle leaf fig drooping leaves.  

Fiddle Fig Leaves Will Droop Without Enough Water

One of the biggest reasons that fiddle leaf figs experience drooping is a lack of watering. When the leaves become dehydrated, they start to lose the ability to hold their upright shape. So along with drooping, you may also notice the leaves starting to look dried out.

You can test the wetness of your soil by inserting your index finger into the dirt. It should not feel dry past the one-inch top layer. If you notice the ground is dry to the touch, the leaves droop due to insufficient water. 

Fiddle Leaf Figs Hate Too Much Water

Fiddle leaf figs are fickle plants that show signs of wilt or drooping if they encounter watering irregularities. You might even confuse the symptoms of underwatering with over watering since both cause leaves to turn brown and droop with a lackluster look. 

Giving your fiddle leaf plants too much water will prevent the roots from getting the proper oxygen out of the soil. The leaves cannot absorb moisture if they can’t get enough oxygen. They then become limp as a response.

You can tell that you’ve overwatered your plants by testing how the soil feels. If the dirt is dense, saturated with water, or appears waterlogged, your fiddle leaf is drooping because you’ve added too much water.

fiddle leaf fig close up with water droplets

The best fix is to let the soil dry out before rewatering your plant again. The dirt should dry out to the first one to two inches. But you have to be sure the soil can drain properly. If the soil takes too long to dry out, fungi can develop, leading to root rot. 

If you’re worried that your plant has gotten root rot, you’ll need to repot your plant. And be sure to rinse the root to remove any infected soil before putting the plant into a new pot with fresh soil. 

Incorrect Humidity Can Cause Drooping of Fiddle Fig Leaves

To keep fiddle leaf figs happy, monitoring and controlling all aspects of moisture is necessary. Not only do you have to keep your plants from being over or underwater, but you also need to provide the proper humidity levels. 

Signs of improper humidity levels include leaves that are drooping or wilting. But the leaves will also have a bubbled texture. 

Poor Sun Exposure Will Make Fiddle Fig Leaves Saggy

Fiddle-leaf figs have large leaves that require abundant sunlight, so the stomata they contain can convert moisture through photosynthesizing. 

If your fig leaves don’t get enough sunlight to dry up the water and turn it into energy, you’ll notice them drooping. They also start to turn yellow.

Too Much Fertilization Can Stun Fiddle Leaf Figs

fiddle leaf fig in front of decorative white window

Using too much fertilizer on your fiddle leaf plants is a less rare yet potentially serious issue that can result in drooping leaves. 

When this problem happens, it’s usually due to a buildup of nitrogen or salt that prevents water from getting to the tissues and cells, resulting in soft, droopy leaves. 

Other signs of over fertilized fiddle leaf figs include a visible residue on the soil, yellowing leaves, and brown spots. Severe cases can cause the leaves to fall off the plant. 

Chemical Reactions Also Make Leaves Droop

There are several ways that fiddle leaf figs can droop due to chemical burns. One reason could be that you’re overfertilizing your plant. Another reason could be if you’re trying to rid your fiddle leaf fig of pesky insect infestations using insecticides, detergent, or fungicides. 

Your plants will most likely experience chemical burns if exposed to extended sunlight shortly after applying a chemical product. 

Is Transplanting Stressful?

If you’ve recently repotted your fiddle leaf fig plant, it’s normal to see signs of drooping leaves. It can take your plants for a few weeks after you’ve put them into a new pot as the plants adjust to the new home. 

The technical term for this syndrome is transplant shock, which frequently happens in sensitive plants like the fiddle fig. You need to do nothing to rebound the plant’s growth. Once it adjusts, the leaves will perk back up.

repotting a fiddle leaf fig from brown pot into wicker pot

Are Your Fiddle Leaf Figs in Distress?

Fiddle leaf figs can start to show signs of drooping due to distress because of any unexpected changes they encounter. Even something as simple as moving your plant to a new room or a stray air draft can create anxiety.

If you’ve ruled out other causes of leaf fig drooping, consider if there are new changes to the plant’s environment. For example, an ambient temperature, humidity level, or watering difference can temporarily cause fiddle leaf fig plants to droop. 

Will Dirty or Clogged Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Droop?

Finally, your fiddle leaf plant could be experiencing drooping fig leaves because the foliage has become dirty. 

If the leaves become clogged and covered with dirt or dust, it can cause issues with the plants having the right airflow, which can cause leaves to droop.

How to Reverse Fiddle Leaf Drooping?

ariel view of fiddle leaf fig on brown table

Most cases of drooping fig leaves are easy fixes that you can reverse with simple care changes. Once you know the problem causing your leaves to droop, take these steps to fix it.

Stop Fig Leaf Drooping by Creating a Watering Schedule

Establishing a regular watering schedule is one of the best ways to fix leaf drooping and prevent future episodes. In addition, by watering your plants on a consistent schedule, they will become used to the time and frequency, so they don’t experience shock. 

A normal watering schedule for fiddle leaf figs is every seven to ten days. The soil should be kept evenly moist and well-draining. The size of the plant, the pot, the humidity and temperature, and the time of year are all factors that affect when and how often to water your plants. 

You should also address the plant’s humidity needs to make an environment with levels between 40 and 60 percent. Increasing the moisture can be done with a mister, a plant humidifier, or by creating a DIY humidity tray.

Get the Lighting Right to Keep Fiddle Leaf Figs From Drooping

fiddle leaf fig with white background

If your fiddle leaf fig is experiencing drooping due to improper sunlight exposure, you should notice instant changes when you fix the light situation. However, don’t be surprised if it takes a bit of trial and error as you experiment with different settings to find the ideal bright, direct sunlight space.

Your fiddle leaf figs will have lower light needs when it’s small and has fewer leaves. However, as the foliage grows denser, you’ll need to provide direct sunlight for extended periods. Variegated figs will also require more natural light than typical ficus figs. And the larger the plant, the more light it will need.

You can position your fiddle leaf fig so that it gets six hours of bright direct sunlight from windows facing west, east, or south. But be cautious of the natural light exposure from the intense rays of the late afternoon sun. Indoor fiddle leaf fig leaves can get sun blisters and scorch from the direct afternoon sun. 

Keep Your Plants Clean and Properly Fed to Fix Fiddle Fig Droop

The showy, large leaves in a fiddle shape aren’t just for show. These leaves contain chlorophyll, which is how Fiddle Leaf fig plants convert food using photosynthesis. To be able to perform the conversion process, leaves must be able to absorb sunlight. 

When the leaves get dirty or dusty, they cannot produce the energy levels to appear healthy. The first thing to go is the leaves’ ability to stay erect and attractive. Performing regular cleanings can keep your plants healthy and looking good. You may clean your plants once a week or not dust them for several months. There are several ways to clean Fiddle leaf figs.

If you need to perform a routine dusting to remove lightly soiled or dusty leaves, the easiest way is with a feather duster. I love the Swiffer Heavy-Duty because the strips are softer and fuzzier for more thorough cleaning without harming the sensitive leaves. A soft washable, microfiber duster can also keep your plants clean. 

propagating fiddle leaf fig in clear jar on brown table

You can also clean the leaves with a soft cloth you’ve dampened with water. Or you could also create a plant wash solution out of a quarter teaspoon of dish soap (Dawn works best and can help prevent insect infestations) with one quart of water. Use care when handling the leaves as you give them a gentle wipe. 

Some home gardeners prefer to give their small to medium fiddle fig plants a quick rinse in the sink. You can rinse the leaves with your sprayer with the water set at a lukewarm temperature. Give each leaf a gentle spray to eliminate dirt and dust. You can even dip the leaves of small plants into a bowl filled with soapy solution water.

Heavily soiled fig leaves might require removing the buildup with a sprayer in your shower using lukewarm water. Use the sprayer to rinse every side of the leaves and plant, giving the pot small turns to cover all areas. Let your plant dry in the shower and remove it back to its growing site once the plants are through dripping. And empty the plate or tray that rests below the pot to keep your plants from absorbing additional water.

Several commercial leaf shine products exist that you can use to give your fiddle leaf fig plants a shinier, glossy bright appearance. Homemade remedies include mayonnaise, olive, or coconut oil. These products should only go on the top of the plant leaves. 

Blowing on the leaf surface is the best way to decide when to dust your plants. If debris floats off, you need to clean the plants. While you’re cleaning the plants, you can also fertilize them. From spring to fall, fiddle fig leaves require monthly fertilizing. You can decrease the frequency to a quarterly schedule from fall to spring.

Create a Good Environment and Watch Fiddle Leaf Fig Droop Disappear

Getting the right growing conditions will help your fiddle leaf fig grow healthy. They do best in warm temperatures and medium relative humidity, typical requirements for most homes. 

Your fiddle figs will do best with a humidity level of 35 to 60 percent. Need to add to the humidity of your space? Invest in a plant humidifier or create a humidity tray with a plastic platter under the pot filled with rocks.

When Will Fiddle Leaf Fig Drooping Stop?

In most cases, drooping fiddle leaf figs will reverse back to their normal perky selves shortly after you’ve addressed the cause of the droop. 

You’ll see faster rebounding from plants drooping from minor issues like underwatering. But it can take longer for plants to show recovery signs if the drooping problem is due to health issues or environmental factors. 

Should Droopy Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Be Removed?

side view fiddle leaf tree dark green and light green leaves

Most causes of droopy fiddle leaf fig plants are easily reversible, so there is little reason to prune away drooping leaves. In addition, removing leaves without the need can cause your plant to experience distress or shock.

It’s not uncommon to see young small leaves have a natural drooping, curled look. And it’s also a frequent sight to see drooping of older, lower-hanging leaves. So it is safe to prune these older leaves – up to 10% – to give your plants better aesthetic views. But they will also fall off eventually, so there’s no essential need to cut them back.

But it’s best to leave the shiny, large dark green middle fig leaves alone unless you notice signs of disease or brown spots. The only time to trim these leaves is if you’re trying to shape your fig. 

FAQ About Droopy Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves

How do you fix a droopy fiddle leaf fig?

The best way to fix a droopy fiddle leaf fig is to identify the issue causing the drooping. Once you know the problem, making changes to correct the condition should result in a reversed droopy fiddle leaf fig.

What does it mean when my fiddle leaf fig is droopy?

Drooping fiddle leaf fig plants are usually a sign that your plant is unhappy due to improper care. Next, examine how you water your plant, if there’s enough sun and humidity, if the temperature is warm enough and if your plant is in shock or distress from relocation, illness, or infestations.

How do I get my fiddle leaf fig to stand up straight?

If your fiddle leaf fig is leaning, the first thing to do is check that the plant isn’t too heavy for the planter and is not root bound. If everything is okay, you may need to tie your plant to a bamboo stake. 

How often should you water a fiddle leaf fig?

Fiddle leaf figs require watering every seven to ten days.

Fiddle Leaf Figs Don’t Have to Droop

If you create the right growing environment and nail all other areas of plant care, you should not have a drooping fiddle leaf fig. But mistakes happen, and that’s why we gave you all the reasons why your fiddle leaf fig plant is drooping and how to fix it. 

The nine reasons your fig leaves droop include improper watering – overwatered, underwatered, or incorrect humidity; incorrect sun exposure; overfertilization; chemical burns; transplant shock; distress; or dirty, clogged leaves. In most cases, your plant should perk up immediately once you address the cause of drooping.

We hope you enjoyed this guide to answer your fiddle leaf fig questions.

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Sara Trimble
Sara Trimble was the lady who could kill a cactus. Today, she’s the fun and fabulous expert plant mom who rocks at growing the coolest, trickiest plants. Her favorites to grow are orchids, roses, succulents, and luscious vines. Sara has grown – and killed – hundreds of plants and she shares her green-thumb successes and failures to help other plant murderers discover correct plant care. In her spare time, she raises four kids, two dogs, and a husband.

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