ficus lyrata new leaf bud

Fiddle Leaf Fig growth update

Fiddle Leaf Fig update

This Fiddle Leaf Fig has been featured on the blog previously, and it has been on quite a journey since the last update.  The tree has had a near death experience – and has gone from having around 20 leaves to just three.  There have been a number of factors contributing to this, including extreme cold weather and a soil fungus.

June 2017

fiddle leaf fig growth
June 2017: New leaves are appearing with purple/brown veins – these seem to be common and disappear as the leaves mature

September 2017

how to care for fiddle leaf fig
10th September 2017: The plant is extremely healthy and thriving.  The new leaves which appeared in June have now matured into large dark green leaves

Also included in the above image is a sedum burrito – click here for a post on this incredibly unique succulent!

December 2017

fiddle leaf fig new leaves
15th December 2017: Two new leaves appearing despite the onset of winter. As you can see the next leaves down now have fully matured, and are around 6 months old

January 2018

greengrow blog fiddle leaf fig
7th January 2018: The new leaves are maturing and the purple/brown veins and spots are fading

Then things went downhill – March 2018

In the UK, the “beast from the east” came and the result was abnormal freezing temperatures for about a week or so.  Even though this fiddle leaf fig was kept indoors, it didn’t look very happy over this time.  Shortly after the extremely cold weather, the leaves started to drop – almost one a day.  The leaves turned brown on the edges, curled up, and dropped.  Sometimes the leaves dropped with almost no brown on them, just like the plant was giving up on them.  Overwatering seemed like the natural culprit, although this leaf drop was far worse than the last leaf drop incident (see part one of this plant’s story).  The soil continually appeared to be dry, so as a last ditch effort, it was decided that a repot might be necessary – and the results were shocking!!

 

pot plant fungus
11th March 2018: Some kind of fungus growth in fiddle leaf fig soil

 

root ball fungus
11th March 2018: The growth was spread around the entire plant – as you can also see, the soil was well and truly dry and definitely not being over watered!
fiddle leaf fig root ball
11th March 2018: Fiddle leaf fig root ball after removing the soil – I was surprised to find a lot less roots than I expected and wonder if this was due to the fungus?

 

The plant was carefully repotted into a slightly larger pot with fresh soil, and watered underneath the shower.  Then the plant was left in the bathroom for what I like to call “plant rehab” – the bathroom lights are left on all day, and the plants benefit from guaranteed bright light and a bit more warmth and humidity than in the rest of the house.  This was to give the best opportunity for adjustment to the new soil and also ongoing survival.

 

ficus lyrata leaf drop
18th March 2018: Only four leaves are left on the tree

May 2018

As the weather warmed and the days grew longer the leaves began growing once again – promising signs that the plant has now recovered from its struggles earlier in the year.  The plant dropped down to just three leaves during April but was back to five by the end of May.

Fiddle leaf fig new growth
13th May 2018: New leaf growth finally coming out after repotting. The first leaf appears to be somewhat curled up but seems otherwise healthy
fiddle leaf fig growth rate
17th May 2018: The new leaf continues to grow and the bud is about to sprout another new leaf
fiddle leaf fig new leaf
25th May 2018: The second leaf appears to also be coming out with uneven edges
fiddle leaf fig new leaf
25th May 2018: View from above showing new leaf growth
fiddle leaf fig leaf drop
26th May 2018: While not quite matching it’s former glory, the tree now is back to four leaves and thriving once again
ficus lyrata new leaf bud
26th May 2018: New leaf growth profile showing another leaf bud on it’s way

June 2018

fiddle leaf fig stunted growth
11th June 2018: There are now five leaves with another on the way. The curled leaf appears to have somewhat stunted growth as the newest leaf is more than triple it’s size
fiddle leaf fig growth
11th June 2018: Another view showing the curled small leaf compared to the younger and larger leaf (foreground)

If you want to try caring for your own fiddle leaf fig tree, they are available on Amazon in both small (35cm tall)  and larger (65cm tall).

If you liked this photo story, you might want to see Fiddle Leaf Fig – part one.

You will also enjoy Fiddle Leaf Fig Propagation and  Fiddle Leaf Fig Rescue

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