This article was last updated by on

How To Fix a Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig? [Causes & Solutions]

Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig is not always considered a gesture of showing respect by the plant. Hence, I knew something was wrong when my Fiddle Leaf Fig lopsided out of nowhere!

Generally, a leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig results from improper light and watering, lack of support, and under-fertilization. To fix the plant, provide 6-8 hours of sunlight and weekly watering and fertilizer application.

It’s heartwrenching to see a sturdy Fiddle Leaf Fig leaning. So let’s find the causes and solutions behind it from the article below.

How to Fix a Leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Following are the possible reasons for bending Fiddle Leaf Fig problems and some simple tips to help your plant stand straight again.

1. Improper Watering

Fiddle Leaf Figs are native to tropical rainforests, where they get a water flood with dry spells between the waterings.

So it would be best to imitate a tropical watering schedule for your Fiddle Leaf Figs.

Hence, Fiddle Leaf Figs require 2-3 cups of weekly watering to prevent underwatering. In fall and winter, water only when the top 1-2 inches of soil!

Image showcases browning of leaf tips in Fiddle Leaf Figs due to underwatering
One of the significant reasons for leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig is underwatering, resulting in brown leaf tips.

However, leaning stems and branches, droopy leaves, and stunted plants with dry and crunchy leaves are most certainly an underwatering problem. 

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

Do You Know?

Unethical watering schedules are the main reason for Fiddle Leaf Figs to drop their leaves in distress.

However, if the leaves of your Fiddle Leaf Fig feel hard, tough, and brittle, it may either be a sign of abscission (natural leaf fall) or underwatering.

How to fix an underwatered Fiddle Leaf Fig?

  • 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

A few hours of direct light always proves to be beneficial for the tropical Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Fiddle Leaf Fig prefers daily 6-8 hours of medium to bright light. Place the plant near an open east-facing window in spring and summer mornings.

If your plant gets less sunlight, it will bend toward it in a phenomenon called positive phototropism.

Brown and yellow patches, leaf falls, leggy stems, and sparse leaf growth 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.

How to fix a leggy/ droopy Fiddle Leaf Fig?

  • Rotate the potted plant in quarter turns each week for a month for even light distribution.
  • Place it near a curtained south-facing window, but ensure direct sunlight doesn’t distress the leaves.
  • Employ drapes or curtains to protect the leaves from blazing sunlight.
  • Use artificial grow lights for 10-12 hours, with equal light and dark regimes during gloomy days.

3. Inadequate Fertilizer

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

Even if you fertilize your plant in time, the soil loses the nutrients if you forgo 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 making the plant slant.

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

Fiddle Leaf Figs need NPK 3-1-2 fertilizer. Feed your plant with a dilute liquid fertilizer every week during watering routines.

Here are some great fertilizer recommendations that you can choose from.

4. Heavy & Root Bound Plant

The main stem of your Fiddle Leaf Fig may bend due to the weight of the plant.

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

The plant may get root-bound if you haven’t yet repotted your Fiddle Leaf Fig.

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

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

However, Fiddle Leaf Figs cannot intake water effectively when the roots are closely packed.

How to prune a leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig?

  • Select leaves with insect infestations or stems with brown or dark patches.
  • Cut half-inch below the germy leaves using sterilized tools to help your plant recuperate.
  • Remember to remove only 10 leaves per pruning session.
  • If the canopy leaves are brown or diseased, snip the stem near the base at 45° for a smooth cut.

Pro Tip!

You can use coconut oil and a clean cotton ball to shine up the leaves of Fiddle Leaf Figs.

Do this monthly to keep the leaves shiny and dust-free.

How to repot a Fiddle Leaf Fig?

  • Select a suitable container (3-4 inches wider and 2 inches taller than the current pot) with drainage holes and potting soil.
  • Then, fill the pot with 4 inches of potting mix above a layer of pebbles to provide the bed for the rootball.
  • Ensure the root ball does not sit too high on the soil.
  • After, remove the plant from the old container by clearing the soil and breaking/ cutting the container.
  • Fill the sides of the container surrounding the root ball with soil while holding the plant at the center of the new pot.
  • Pack the soil around the root ball after filling halfway through, prevent overcrowding, and water thoroughly.
  • Avoid fertilizing immediately after repotting, and allow your plant to recover for a month.

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

How to Prevent Leaning Fiddle Leaf Figs?

If you properly care for 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 stand strong naturally.
  • Also, you can aerate the potting soil by poking holes in it to allow airflow.
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.
  • Use zip ties to attach your plant to the stakes to keep it upright.
  • Avoid pruning the lower leaves to balance the top and bottom of Fig.

From Editorial Team

Wiggle Your Fiddle!

Occasionally wiggling Fiddle Leaf Figs ensure an erect growth and prevent leaning due to proper air circulation between the leaves.

However, only wiggle your plant for 1-2 minutes per day, or it may start to drop its green leaves!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like