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Fixing a Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig! [Bona Fide Tips]

Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig is not always considered a sign of showing respect by the plant. So, I knew something was wrong when my Fiddle Leaf Fig started bending out of nowhere!

Generally, Fiddle Leaf Fig lean to one side because of improper light and watering, lack of support, and under-fertilization. To fix a leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig, provide ample sunlight, and proper watering with weekly fertilizer application.

It’s heartwrenching to see Fiddle Leaf Figs lose their composure and appear leaning. So let’s delve deep and find what caused your plant to droop and tips to fix your plant.

How to Fix Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Judging by their tree habit, Fiddle Leaf Figs are supposed to stand strong.

But, leaning Fiddle Leaf Figs are agonizing to witness, both for you and the plant.

Read along for the possible culprits behind the leaning issue and some simple tips to help your Fiddle Leaf Fig stand straight again.

1. Improper Watering

Fiddle Leaf Figs are tropical plants that need sufficient water to thrive well.

They are native to environments like rainforests, where they get a flood of water with a dry spell between the waterings.

So it would be best if you try and emulate a tropical environment for your Fiddle Leaf Figs.

Depending on the plant size, Fiddle Leaf Figs require 2-3 cups of water every week to prevent underwatering. In fall and winter, reduce the watering!
Image showcases browning of leaf tips in Fiddle Leaf Figs due to underwatering
One of the major reasons for leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig is underwatering, resulting in brown leaf tips.

Leaning and droopy leaves are most certainly a case of underwatering. A lack of water causes a stunted plant with dry, crunchy leaves.

Similarly, growing this plant in soggy soil may not get it the required oxygen, causing it to lean.

Unethical watering schedules are the main reason for Fiddle Leaf Figs to drop their leaves in distress. So, learn the methods to quickly recover their verdure!

Tips to Water Fiddle Leaf Fig Properly

  • Let the soil dry out completely before watering the plant again. Allow the top 3-4 inches of the soil to dry.
  • Ensure your pot has a good number of drainage holes to prevent pooling.
  • Check the moisture of the soil occasionally using a moisture meter.
  • In winter, reduce watering to avoid the issues of overwatering the plant.

2. Inadequate Sunlight

Enough light always proves to be instrumental in promoting the growth of Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Fiddle Leaf Fig prefers 6-8 hours of medium to bright light daily. Place the plant near a window that receives eastern sun exposure in spring and summer mornings.

If your plant gets less sunlight, it will search for a light source and bend toward it. This phenomenon is phototropism.

Brown patches, yellow, and fallen leaves are other symptoms of insufficient light.

Image represents the placement of Fiddle Leaf Fig near an east facing window
East-facing window welcomes dappled sunlight, which is crucial to prevent leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Tips to Provide Ample Light

  • Rotate the potted plant occasionally to ensure that all the sides of the plant receive enough light.
  • If your plant starts leaning during winter, place it near a south-facing window, but ensure direct sunlight doesn’t distress the foliage.
  • Use drapes or curtains to protect the leaves from blazing sunlight.
  • When the sunshine is scarce, use artificial grow lights for 10-12 hours, alternating with equal light and dark regimes.

The more adequate light a plant gets, the better it grows, but the light intensity shouldn’t harm the plant.

3. Inadequate Fertilizer

Improper fertilization results in nutrient deficiency and a weaker, leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Even if you timely fertilize your plant, the soil loses the nutrients if you have forgone repotting.

Image shows the production of new leaves in Fiddle Leaf Fig
An optimum amount of soil nutrients helps the Fiddle Leaf Fig to promote new leaves and keeps the plant upright.

Furthermore, less fertilizer equals fewer nutrients for the plants. Lack of fertilizers will make the plant slant as Figs depend on nutrients from the soil to stay upright.

Large and dense leaves of Fiddle Leaf Figs need fertilizer for extra nutrients.

Fiddle Leaf Figs do best with NPK 3-1-2 fertilizer. Fertilize your plant with a weak liquid fertilizer every week during watering bouts.

You can also use granular fertilizer, but liquid fertilizers work best as the soil absorb them easily, taking them to the roots.

Amazon has some great fertilizer recommendations that you can choose for this plant.

4. Heavy and Root Bound Plant

Another common reason for Fiddle Leaf Fig leaning is its heavy size.

The main stem and branches of your Fiddle Leaf Fig may be bending beneath the weight of the plant.

Additionally, Fiddle Leaf Figs are speedy growers, quickly becoming root-bound.

If you haven’t repotted your fiddle leaf fig in a while, the plant may get root-bound.

Fiddle Leaf Figs need repotting every 2-3 years or when their roots start popping out from drainage holes. Similarly, prune the plant annually in spring to reduce its load.

Root-bound Fiddle Leaf Figs cannot intake water effectively when the roots are closely packed.

If you see the plant leaning, you should either prune it or repot it.

Image represents the process of repotting Fiddle Leaf Figs
Use wider and deeper containers to repot Fiddle Leaf Figs and ensure that the pots have drainage holes at the bottom.

Tips to Properly Prune Fiddle Leaf Fig

  • Select unhealthy leaves or stems with brown or dark patches.
  • Cut half-inch below the germy leaves using sterilized tools to help your plant recuperate without putting the main trunk or remaining leaves at risk of infection.
  • Remove a handful of around 10 leaves per pruning session.
  • If lots of canopy leaves are brown or diseased, snip the entire stem from below at 45°, offering a smoother cut.

Tips to Repot Fiddle Leaf Fig

  • Select a suitable container (6 inches wider than the current pot) with drainage holes and potting soil.
  • Afterward, fill the pot with 4 inches of potting mix to provide the bed for the rootball.
  • Ensure the root ball does not sit too high on the soil.
  • Remove the plant from the old container by clearing the soil or breaking/ cutting the container.
  • Fill the sides of the container surrounding the root ball with soil while holding the plant upright.
  • Compact the soil around the root ball after filling halfway through, prevent overcrowding, and water thoroughly.
  • Avoid fertilizing immediately after repotting, and allow a month for your plant to recover from the change.

Likewise, you can learn more about the pruning process from the video below.

Tips to Prevent Leaning Fiddle Leaf Figs

If you take proper care of your Fiddle Leaf Fig from the beginning, you can deal with the leaning issue.

  • Expose your Fiddle Leaf Fig to strong wind gusts invoking them to naturally stand strong.
  • Also, you can aerate the potting soil by poking holes in it to allow airflow.
  • Use zip ties to attach your plant to the stakes to keep it upright.
  • Avoid pruning the lower leaves to balance the top and the bottom part of Fig.
Image illustrates the importance of staking Fiddle Leaf Figs to prevent them from leaning
Staking helps to hold the Fiddle Leaf Figs from leaning and supports the upright growth of the plant.

FAQs About Leaning Fiddle Leaf Figs

Why is my Fiddle Leaf Fig Lopsided?

The most common reason for a leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig is less sunlight.

Why is my Fiddle Leaf Fig Falling Over?

Fiddle Leaf Figs may fall over due to underwatering or when the plant is exposed to the dry summer air.

How Often Should you Rotate your Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Rotate your Fiddle Leaf Figs weekly or bi-weekly, ensuring proper distribution of light and air throughout their foliage. 

From Editorial Team

Wiggle Your Fiddle!
Wiggling Fiddle Leaf Figs occasionally ensure a flaring erect growth and prevents leaning due to proper air circulation between the leaves. However, don’t wiggle your plant too much, or it may start to drop its green leaves!

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