Have you joined the emerging hype associated with the stunning Fiddle leaf fig houseplant? The gorgeous, lush, and incredible rainforest plant is a fantastic piece of interior décor. However, the entire vibe of the space can go wrong if the plant refuses to grow. Stunted growth or lack of it at all indicates that there is something wrong with the indoor plant. As Fiddle leaf figs are high-maintenance and need extensive care, you need to pay special attention in order to facilitate their growth.
In order to fix the problem of your Fiddle leaf fig not growing, you need to understand the underlying causes. That way, you can apply the right solution to resolve the issue. The best part is that most of these causes responsible for stunted growth are easy to fix. In this post, we will talk in detail about the reasons that prevent the development of your Fiddle leaf figs.
There are various reasons that can explain the inability of the fiddle leaf figs to grow. These include improper drainage, disturbance in the watering schedule, low humidity, lack of proper light, and pest attacks. You need to understand the causes and apply the best solutions in order to make sure that the plant has a healthy growth.
Causes Why Fiddle Leaf Fig Not Growing
There are various causes that can lead to your Fiddle leaf fig being unable to grow. Take a look at the reasons listed here –
Did you know that fungal infection caused due to root rot can interfere with the expected growth of the fiddle leaf figs? Improper drainage conditions and too much watering cause root rot. That ultimately causes fungal infection, which affects the plant leaves negatively, causing stunted growth. If not treated in time, the fungal infection can even lead to the death of the houseplant.
To re-confirm that the plant is suffering from root rot, take the plant out of the pot. Now, take a closer look at the roots and see if it’s black-brown and soft. If that is the case, you need to restrict watering and keep the plant in a place that receives a great deal of sunlight.
It is vital to ensure that the soil dries to resolve the problem. However, if the root rot is out of hand, consider pruning the inflicted roots. After that, repot the plant and keep it under inspection.
While Fiddle leaf figs are absolutely gorgeous, they are highly sensitive too. That is why it is essential to make sure that you give the plant ample time to acclimate to the new environment. It is advisable that you allow the plant to get comfortable in your indoor space.
In order to make sure that the plant is healthy, monitor the plant closely for a month. Do not disturb or shake the Fiddle leaf figs if not required.
Too much water in the roots of the fiddle leaf figs will lead to its stunted growth. That is why you need to ensure that there is proper drainage. Make sure that the soil is well aerated so that the water doesn’t collect at the bottom of the pot. If that happens, you can expect root rot to take place after some time.
In order to combat the problem, the best solution is to add gravel or rocks to the soil mixture. That will enhance the drainage power of the soil significantly. However, you need to make sure that the gravel layer is thin. Too much of it can lead to a perched water table.
Another alternative is to add perlite to the potting soil mixture. In that case, using gravel or rocks is not necessary.
Improper Watering Schedule
One of the primary causes that can affect the growth of the Fiddle leaf figs is lack of water. It is a universally known fact that water is essential for plants to survive. Fiddle leaf figs are no exception. You need to maintain a consistent watering schedule to ensure the growth of the houseplant.
With the right amount of water, the plant can use it to prepare food by the process of photosynthesis. It will lead to its growth. That is why it is essential to understand if the plant is dry or has a water crisis.
For that, you need to check the soil of the plant. Place your finger two or three inches below the soil and see if it’s moist. If it is wet, there is no need to water. However, if it’s dry, you must water it immediately.
Another alternate way to determine if the plant needs water is to use the moisture meter. Keep in mind that too much watering can lead to root rot and other issues, making the plant sick. There is no particular watering schedule that will guarantee the proper growth of the plant.
Firstly, water the plant once every week. After that, you need to check the soil condition and space the watering schedule. However, keep in mind that the pot in which the plant is kept must have holes so that excess water can seep out. Too much water can cause considerable damage to the pant. These include softened leaves, the presence of dark brown spots, etc.
Have you recently bought a Fiddle leaf fig? in that case, acclimatization is a topic that needs serious consideration. You need to compare the conditions of the store and your indoor space. If the environmental conditions are similar, you don’t have to worry about acclimatization.
However, if the conditions are different, you will need to care for the plant. For instance, make sure that the plant gets adequate bright yet indirect sunlight. Besides, you need to water it regularly and ensure that the soil is aerated and filled with necessary nutrients.
Small Pot Size
You might not be aware that constricted breathing space can prevent the growth of the Fiddle leaf figs. While repotting is not recommended often for these gorgeous houseplants, you still need to be more aware. If the roots are sticking out of the pot, it’s time for a change.
Stagnant growth is one of the primary indications that the plant needs a bigger pot. However, you need to be extremely gentle while repotting the plant. If you are too hasty or quick, it can cause stress to the plant. Moreover, you also do not want to break the existing root ball. That can lead to extensive damage to the plant.
Another thing that you need to keep in mind is using new fresh soil. There is no use in adding the old soil as the nutrients have already been depleted.
Lack Of Fertilizers
Like other plants, Fiddle leaf figs too need fertilizer to thrive. Depending on the soil quality, you can determine the quantity of fertilizer the plant needs. Lack of specific nutrients can lead to stunted growth of your Fiddle leaf fig.
The potting soils that homeowners generally use have the necessary nutrients. However, with time, they can deplete. This is when you need to inject additional nutrients into the soil. For that, you must choose the ideal fertilizer.
The best fertilizer for Fiddle leaf figs is the one with a 3:1:2 NPK ratio. Fiddle leaf figs thrive when NPK fertilizers in this particular ratio are used. That is because phosphorus helps in fruit and flower production.
On the other hand, potassium aids in the overall growth of the plant, and nitrogen assists in ensuring that the leaves are healthy and green.
Are you wondering which fertilizer to choose? There are numerous fertilizers available in the market. You need to conduct extensive research in order to select the right one. Keep in mind that Fiddle leaf figs are sensitive, and any slight stress can induce shock, leading to negative consequences.
For starters, you can opt for liquid fertilizers. These are easy to use and work quickly. After you have acquired some expertise, you can choose the powder or granules version.
Absence Of Good Soil
The potting soil is one of the most crucial factors responsible for the healthy growth of the fiddle leaf figs. A lack of nutrients can cause stunted growth. That is why it is vital to ensure that the potting soil has the right mixture of nutrients. Moreover, you also need to make sure that proper drainage is available.
There are two options you have when it comes to potting soils. Firstly, you can make the soil mixture yourself at home. In that case, you will need the necessary ingredients and know the right quantities. Secondly, you can purchase the soil mixture from the market. If you are making the purchase from the store, make sure that the soil is top-quality and is manufactured by a reputed company.
Another essential factor that plays a significant role in the growth of the Fiddle leaf figs is sunlight. The plant needs adequate sunlight in order to thrive. There is a common misconception that the houseplant cannot survive direct sunlight. As per research, Fiddle leaf figs can tolerate a maximum of five hours of bright direct sunlight.
However, if the plant has been indoors for its entire lifetime, you need to give the plant time to adjust to direct sunlight. Exposing it to direct sunlight for long periods of time will cause sunburn and lead to other stress-related problems. The best solution is to let the plant adjust to bright sunlight.
In case your indoor Fiddle leaf fig doesn’t receive adequate sunlight, you need to take the help of external devices. For instance, you can use glow lights. However, you need to make sure that it is at the right height for the healthy growth of the plant.
Accumulation Of Dirt And Dust On The Leaves
Leaves can encounter breathing issues due to the accumulation of dirt and dust on the surface. It is essential to understand that leaves are utterly critical to plants for absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. The build-up of dust and grime can hinder this process with ease.
In order to ensure that the leaves are clean, you must wipe the leaves gently with water. For this, you need to use water at room temperature. If you are wondering when to clean the leaves, the answer is quite simple. Wash the leaves when you see a visible dust layer on the plant.
Apart from solving the breathing problem, you can also deal with pest attacks. The lack of dust and dirt layer will keep the Fiddle leaf fig in healthy condition. If the plant is healthy, it will be less susceptible to pest infestations.
Sunburn can ultimately lead to stunted growth of the fiddle leaf figs. It is true that the plant will acquire burns if placed in the path of direct sunlight for an extended period of time. Besides, the leaves will scorch if kept in the direct light.
While sunburn is a significant issue for Fiddle leaf figs, there is no doubt that the plant can tolerate direct sunlight if allowed to acclimatize. Expose the plant to short periods of direct sunlight each day. After a week, you can increase the duration of the direct sunlight. In the end, you will observe that the plant can handle five hours of bright and direct sunlight with ease.
It is a well-known fact that Fiddle leaf figs are temperature sensitive. That means only a specific set of temperature ranges can keep the plant healthy. The ideal temperature range is 60 – 75°F.
However, it is vital to note that if the temperature goes below 55°F, it can have a negative impact on the plant. In that case, you will need to use a dehumidifier. Moreover, you can also try misting. The primary aim is to make sure that the temperature range is maintained.
There are various pests that can attack Fiddle leaf figs. These include spider mites, mealybugs, etc. Pest infestations have tremendous potential to hinder the growth of the plant. In fact, if not treated quickly, it can even lead to death.
That is why it is vital to check out symptoms of pest attacks regularly. If you find holes or webs on the plant, you need to take active steps. The ideal solution is to apply pesticides and eliminate pest infestation.
There are several options when it comes to resolving the pest issue. For starters, you can opt for the organic route. The most common solution is to use neem oil. Apart from this, you can also use a solution of dish soap and water.
Besides, you can also use commercial insecticides available in the market. However, you need to excise caution while selecting one. Make sure that you read the ingredient list carefully and then use it on the fiddle leaf fig.
The ideal humidity range for Fiddle leaf figs is 30 – 65%. They are native to humid and hot environmental conditions. That is why it is vital to maintain the humidity levels in your home.
If you observe leaves with brownish edges, it means that the humidity levels are too low. It will further have a negative impact on the shoot growth of the plant. Here, you can use a humidifier or humidity tray.
Also Read: Can I Put My Fiddle Leaf Fig Outside?
FAQs Related To Why The Fiddle Leaf Fig Is Not Growing
How to know that my fiddle leaf fig is healthy?
Firstly, it is vital to understand that the size and shape of your Fiddle leaf fig don’t determine its health. That is why you need to concentrate on making sure that the plant is generating new leaves without issues. Another thing you can check out is the growth of 12-18 inches each year. The best way to keep a check on the health of the plant is to closely inspect the leaves. If they are green, uniform, and glossy, you have nothing to worry about.
Is the growth rate the same for all fiddle leaf figs?
No, the growth rate of the fiddle leaf figs is not similar. In fact, it depends on the environmental conditions of the plant. For instance, in the natural habitat of African rainforests, the plant can attain a height of about 40 feet. However, that cannot be expected when the plant grows indoors. Fiddle leaf figs placed within your home has a slow growth rate. They need 10-15 years to attain maturity. You can expect the plant to be 10-15 feet tall.
It is the stunning appearance of the fiddle leaf fig leaves that make it an aesthetic piece in your home. By placing it in a corner, you can uplift the entire vibe of the space. However, it is vital to note that these houseplants are susceptible to fluctuating environmental conditions. That means that the plants need specific conditions to thrive. Interference with any of them can lead to stunted or no growth.
In order to ensure that you have a healthy and gorgeous Fiddle leaf fig, you need to pay attention to its maintenance. Inspect it often and make sure that the plant doesn’t undergo stress. That way, it can grow naturally. Have you encountered such a scenario? Share with us your tips and tricks to encourage the growth of the fiddle leaf figs in the comment section!
From childhood, I have been extremely fascinated with plants and gardening. That has eventually led me to pursue BSc and then MSc in botany from the University of Calcutta. My deep love for plants has probably stemmed from the gorgeous terrace garden that I have seen my father nurture as long as I can remember.