Fiddle leaf fig is very sad

Plant Parent

I purchased the notoriously fickle Fiddle Leaf Fig about 1-1/2 years ago. Its been a rollercoaster of emotions taking care of it! Recently, its looking very sad and I’m about to give up hope.

The only thing that has kept me from totally giving up hope is that it sprouted 5 beautiful new leaves on the very bottom that appeared a few months ago. How do I care for the new growth without having my plant look like a giant stick coming out of a few leaves?

It is about 2-3 feet away from a NE facing window, in an overall bright apartment. I water it once a week. It is winter here, but I have been careful to shut the vent nearest to the tree since Day 1 and we don’t turn the heat on. It is is a pot with a drainage hole.


Could you please show me this plant’s location within the overall space and the windows? I’ll help you assess the lighting situation – doesn’t have to be during the day.

Did you ever use any fertilizer? If so, what kind. Please let me know and I’ll do my best to help!

Plant Parent

I had given it fertilizer pellets around mid fall. Here’s the overall space:



With that size of window, 3-4 leaves is exactly what I would expect to see of a fiddle leaf fig after 18 months. Do not water once a week because you think fiddle leaf figs require water at the specific frequency of once a week. Here’s a smarter way to approach watering:

The good news is you’re not to blame for the plant losing most of its leaves – plants will only hold onto the number of leaves it needs to balance the total amount of light it receives. The bad news is, if you like fiddle leaf figs, they’ll never be too densely foliated living in that room even right up next to the window. This is why I don’t have a fiddle leaf fig – I don’t have a large enough window to keep one “nice looking” for the long term.

Your window needs to provide at least 400-800 foot-candles during indirect light times of the day – learn more about plant light requirements HERE.

Want clarity on houseplant care? My approach to houseplant care is practical and realistic:

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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