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Fiddle Leaf Ficus Lyrata Help w/ Brown Edges, dying before my eyes

Bernard Peng
5 years ago

Hi all, I've been reading a lot on these forums but haven't been able to solve my own Fiddle Leaf brown spot problem. Hoping the vast knowledge on these forums can save my tree!

I purchased this Fiddle Leaf fig from one of the many stores in NYC's flower district in early July. Since then, I've repotted in the original 10" grow pot using 5-1-1 mix w/ bark fines from Home Depot. During the repot process, I cleaned off the original soil, dipping the root bed in a large pot of water, both to keep the roots moist but I found the soil was easier to remove when submerged in water.

Currently the plant sits about 5' away from a West facing window in Brooklyn. The plant looks a little leggy but I did lose a few leaves in the middle in the repotting process. My apt is fairly high up so there are no trees/outdoor foilage outside my window. Since repotting about 2 weeks ago in 5-1-1 mix, I've noticed the leaves starting to droop about every 3-4 days despite the dowel test showing some moisture at the bottom of the pot. I'd like to wait a little longer but the leaves just look so limp after 3 days.

When this happens, I water with about 2-3 gallons of tap water in the bathtub. The water drains a light brown/yellow at the start but eventually clears up. Finally, I tilt the planter 45 degrees to minimize any water that could be retained at the bottom. The plant perks right back up the next day!

As for fertilizing, I've purchased dyna-gro 9-3-6 but I am holding off until new growth forms.

I've only had the plant for about 3 weeks but I've noticed these dry brown spots radiating from edges of the leaves. One plant seems to be suffering more than the other. I know patience is key with plants but I am afraid it might be too late if I wait to make a change. I don't know whether it's water problem (using tap water/overwatering) or possibly a fungal infection.

FYI, I also purchased a small philodendron selloum that is also starting to exhibit same pattern of brown spotting.

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