Q. What am I doing wrong with my fiddle leaf fig tree?
Fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is a beautiful and amazing plant but a bit of a fussy customer, particularly when grown indoors in cold winter regions.
There are a few reasons that your fig could be losing leaves. It is natural for some leaf drop to occur in the winter as a resting period occurs. This leaf aging process occurs with the lowest leaves which turn yellowish and then drop off.
If you are experiencing a more sudden leaf drop, over-watering is the most likely culprit. It is hard to say exactly how many cups of water you should provide as it varies dramatically from household to household. You need to let the soil dry out somewhat between waterings but not let the roots dry out completely. You can purchase an inexpensive water meter with a long probe to reach down to the root ball to make this calculation easier and more accurate than counting cups. In the winter, you will notice that the plant takes up less water and thus you will need to water it less.
Keep your plant away from draughts and low temperatures that can occur if placed too close to a window. Your plant likes light but slightly diffused. It will also suffer if it is too close to a heating or air conditioning vent and experiences rapid temperature changes.
Good luck with your plant!
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information