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Why are my fiddle leaf fig leaves turning yellow?

Wondering why your Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves are turning yellow? Let’s troubleshoot this common problem and get your plant healthy again!

Fiddle leaf fig plants are beautiful – but finicky.

Sometimes it seems like you can sneeze at them and their leaves fall off.

However, yellowing leaves are a warning sign from the plant that something is going wrong.

It’s your chance to fix it and make it happy again to keep your plant alive!

How do you fix yellow leaves on a fiddle leaf fig?

Once a leaf turns yellow, it’s not going back green. The plant is abandoning the leaf. Time for you to work to save it’s friends while you still can!

Should I remove yellow leaves from fiddle leaf fig?

You can let yellow leaves fall off naturally or gently remove them. Some people prefer the natural method, while others aesthetically don’t like the sick looking leaves. Read my complete guide to trimming dead plant leaves here.

Why are my fiddle leaf fig leaves turning yellow?

why are my fiddle leaf fig leaves yellowing

Here are a few common reasons that you might get yellowing leaves on your fiddle leaf fig.

  • Overwatering
  • Low humidity
  • Inconsistant watering
  • Insufficient light
  • Root bound plant
  • Bacterial Leaf Spot
  • Pests
  • Old age

Overwatering

Overwatering is the #1 cause of yellowing leaves on most indoor house plants. In general, plants don’t like to sit in excess water. Pooling water can lead to root rot which will kill your plant.

If you suspect overwatering, stick your finger about 2 inches into the soil. Does it feel wet? Don’t water again until it dries out.

If your plant is way over watered, take it out of the pot. Dump out any excess water and wet soil and re-pot with fresh potting mix.

Be sure that your pot has drainage holes to prevent excess water from pooling in the future.

yellow leaf fell off a fiddle leaf fig plant

Low humidity

I find this to be MUCH less frequent than over watering, but low humidity can cause leaf drop. Usually the leaves will get brown, crispy spots on them (often on the tips). Then, the leaves might turn yellow.

Under watered plants look sad and wilted, with crispy brown spots. The soil often dries up and shrinks, leaving a gap between the soil and the rim of the pot.

These symptoms indicate that the plant is drying out. If it’s being watered well, misting the leaves can help to improve humidity in the air.

Inconsistant watering

Fiddle leaf fig plants are pretty picky about watering. They like to be watered on a schedule.

Going from bone dry to soaking wet at random intervals could stress out your plant and lead to yellowing leaves.

If in doubt, establish a regular watering schedule and try to stick to it.

yellow leaf fell off a fiddle leaf fig plant

Insufficient light

Fiddle Leaf fig needs bright indirect light. It will die without it.

If your plant isn’t getting enough light, the leaves can start to turn yellow and drop. This will especially happen to older leaves towards the base of the plant.

The cure to this is to move your plant into bright, indirect light. It will be much happier.

I also sometimes get yellow leaves on my fiddle leaf on the side of the pot furthest from the window. It’s a great reminder to rotate your plant for balanced growth!

Root Bound Plant

It is possible that your fiddle leaf fig plant has become root bound. Basically, the roots are too big for the pot.

Pull it out of the pot and see! If it’s been there a while – this is a real possibility.

If the roots are tightly packed or even poking out the drainage hole – time for a bigger pot. Add fresh potting soil while you are at it for a happier plant!

Bacterial Leaf Spot

Soft, brown, mushy spots on a leaf are called Bacterial Leaf Spots. This come from water sitting on the leaves and rotting them.

Remove all effected leaves and avoid getting the leaves wet when you water it!

yellow leaf on a fiddle leaf fig plant

Pests

Spider mites, scale, and mealy bugs can get on the underside of leaves and suck the nutrients out of your plant.

If you suspect pests, isolate your plant to help prevent it from spreading to other plants.

Old age

As plants get older, it is natural for some of the older leaves to yellow and fall off, making room for new growth. Keeping a leaf green takes energy, and some plants decide to allocate that energy to new plants.

Think of it as the plant needing energy for the new leaves and taking it from old growth. It’s lived a good life and time to pass it on to the new generation 🙂

If this is the case, you will have yellowing of older leaves – near the base of the plant – only, and not new growth.

This can also be a sign that you need to fertilize – there isn’t enough nutrients to go around as is!

Any more questions about fiddle leaf fig leaves yellowing?

Thanks for reading!

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