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Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaf Loss, Recovery and Growth

7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago

Hi everyone, I'm new to this website/forum.

I came across this website when I was searching for solutions to my current problem with my newly acquired Fiddle Leaf Fig tree.

I've had the tree for about 3 wks. Within a week of having it home from the nursery a single leaf started yellowing and turning brown. I'd planned to hold off watering it for a week as I wasn't sure of the last time it had been watered by the nursery. But with the appearance of the yellowing leaf I decided to give it a thorough watering and frequent leaf spritzes - the leaf still yellowed and fell off. Then black spots started to appear on leaves that were once healthy.

After asking for some advice I was told that the tree was probably over-watered before I got it and that I'd probably added to it and to take it out of it's pot to check it's roots. I took the tree out of it's pot - it was waterlogged. There also were large swaths of white streaks on the sides of the rootball's soil and what I once thought were large chunks of perlite on the topsoil were probably moldy chunks of soil.

I went to a nearby nursery (not the one I originally bought the tree from) showed them pictures and asked their opinion. They confirmed the soil had mold and advised me to repot the tree removing as much of the moldy soil as possible.

After re-potting I didn't water it thinking I'd give it time to dry out. The next day it went drastically limp. I assumed it was replant shock and didn't want to over-water it again so I waited a few days to re-water, checking with a water meter to see if the soil was moist (which the reading indicated it was).

Withing those few days about 15-20 of the leaves dried up fell off. I decided to water the tree despite the water meter. it's doing better now but more than half the leaves have fallen off and only the top leaves remain.

I want the tree to re-bud where the leaves fell off but I know that the Fiddle Leaf tree's leaves tend to only make new buds at the top of branches. Is there a way that I can get it to re-bud where the leaves fell off? Will it ever make new leaves on it's lower branches again on it's own?

I read some assorted posts on the subject and there's mention of slitting the branches a fraction of an inch to encourage lower growth. There's mention of cutting off some of the top leaves, but I don't want to do that b/c they're the only ones that remain.

Some advice either way would be greatly appreciated. I've also included pictures

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