Feb 27, 2022
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How to save fig tree

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It’s a good thing houseplants don’t have hands because they can’t type. My fiddle-leaf Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree would have been writing a blog post right now, asking for help. Can this dying plant still be saved?

Perhaps I should tell you how the fig got in this dire situation. I was fascinated with a four-foot fiddle-leaf Fiddle-Leaf Fig tree at Green Jeans Garden Supply in Mill Valley. It was my favourite local plant shop. I brought it home on an impulse and promised to take care of it properly. To please the West African lowlands native, I did everything to care for it. I chose a spot in indirect sunlight, let the soil dry between waterings, and placed it in a tight container so it wouldn’t get “freaked out,” according to Kevin Sadlier, Green Jeans Garden Supply owner.

This could have been the first sign that a poor houseplant wasn’t the right fit for a neglectful household. The Tillandsias are known to crawl to the sink and turn on the faucet after a few weeks without water.

For four months, everything was fine. Precious was given a name, and Precious got its rolling plant stand. We invited Precious’s little houseplant friends to play with it, so it didn’t feel lonely. I even carried the fiddle-leaf fig tree to the front porch to wave at neighbours as they passed by on sunny afternoons.

What if it happened? The unimaginable happened in northern California one night. The temperature dropped below 30 degrees due to a freezing storm. I woke up the following day and realized that Precious had been outside all night.

The rest of this story is tragic. The fiddle-leaf-fig was brought indoors, and its leaves began to turn brown almost immediately. All the buds furled at the base of the mature leaves became crispy and shrivelled. It was like a black crispy. It was not good. Now, one month later, the plant looks worse. In desperate times, I returned to Green Jeans this week and asked: Is it too late?” Can my fiddle-leaf fiddle-leaf tree be saved?

There are seven ways to revive a fiddle-leaf tree.

Secret No. Secret No. 1: Do not prune brown, bare branches unless you see them as mouldy. It would help if you also left any brown husks alone. They could be protecting new growth. Spring will bring new development.

A healthy fiddle leaf fig tree is more beautiful than anything else. See 5 Glamorous Fiddle-Leaf Fig Trees.)

Secret No. 2: Be patient. Fiddle-leaf fig trees are slow growers. In winter, they go dormant. You shouldn’t expect any improvement to your tree before April (and warmer weather). Don’t expect miracles to happen immediately. A recovering fiddle-leaf tree fig tree could take up to a year to start looking good.

Secret No. Secret No. 3: A shrivelled stalk can be too dangerous to save. It can still recover if it is strong and hardy. Give it time.

Secret No. Secret No. 4: Do not pull the leaves off. You can remove the brown outer edges of the plant without causing any damage.

Secret No. Secret No. 5: Find the damaged areas on the stalk. Don’t pull the tips off, but be aware of these areas. Here you will see new growth.

Are you looking for low-maintenance houseplants? See 5 Houseplants that will simplify your life.

Secret No. Secret No. 6: Don’t allow an ailing fiddle leaf fig tree to dry completely. It should be watered once a week and let any excess water drain out of the bottom. I drown mine in the bathtub and let it drain for a while before putting it back in its pot saucer.

Secret No. Secret No. 7: Do not transplant until you see new growth, even if the pot is tight enough to see the roots on the surface.

The best thing that you can do for your fiddle-leaf fig tree is to let it recover naturally. It will thrive in indirect sunlight, warm temperatures, and water every week. If the temperature drops below freezing, don’t leave it outside.

Do you want to make sure your fiddle-leaf fig is healthy? The Fiddle-leaf fig has more information. You can also find more information about growing, caring, and designing Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees. A Field Guide.

Get more information on how to plant, grow and care for a creeping fruit with our CreepingFig: A Field Guide.

You can also find more information on how to plant, grow and care for fiddle leaf fig trees with our Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree: A Field guide.

Our Houseplants Field Guide provides more plant information, care for, and grow various houseplants.

Are you looking for other tropical plants to plant in your garden? Our Tropical Plants A Field Guide gives you more information on planting, caring for, and growing tropical plants.

Our Vines and Climbers: A Field Guide provides more plant information, care for, and grow various vines, climbers, and other gardening tips.

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Save Tree · How to

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