Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaf Curling (Reasons and ways to fix leaf curling)

Simply bringing and growing any plant may seem easy, but this approach often leads to disappointment. That’s exactly what happened when I bought a fiddle leaf fig for my home. Initially, it bloomed beautifully, but after some time, I noticed its leaves curling. Trust me, it’s foolishness to buy a plant without knowing the basic requirements because without proper care your plant does die. 

If you want to avoid this situation, I recommend knowing first every detail of the plant’s requirements to prevent fiddle leaf fig leaf curling. Let’s learn together and ensure our plants thrive.

Reasons and ways to fix leaf curling:

Here are some common reasons behind fiddle leaf fig leaf curling with the right way to fix it:

Watering causes Leaf Curling

Signs of Overwatering:

  • When the plant is being overwatered resulting in the drowning of Fiddle Leaf Fig’s roots, leading to have soggy soil problem. 
  • The common symptoms you can find due to overwatering are yellowing leaves, appearing to be unwell and soil will be more swamp than substrate.
  • In case the leaves of the plant are not looking fresh it means you have to provide them with an overdose of H2O

Signs of Underwatering:

  • Talking about underwatering, here the leaves of plant-like being kept on a desert trek where there is no canteen. 
  • The common symptoms due to underwatering are droopy leaves, dry and crispy when you touch them, the soil looks like pulling away from the pot’s edge. In short, the plant looks like crying out for hydration. 

Strategies for watering Fiddle leaf fig:

Well, I must say, watering a fiddle leaf fig is not rocket science but there is a need to know the right quantity of watering fiddle leaf fig. Yes, both underwatering and overwatering are reasons for fiddle leaf fig leave curling. So, you require to have information like “How much water is too much? How little is too little?” So let’s get the answer:

Test the Soil:

Before watering you need to stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If you find it dry, it is time to water and if the finger is down it means just wait to water the plant. Trust me, this method is simple, yet effective for testing soil moisture.

Perils of Overwatering:

Overwatering the plant feels like forcing the plant to live in a swamp area due to which roots get waterlogged, unable to breathe, and result in rotting. Overwatering will cause leaves to curl, and yellow, slow growing and the plant will look miserable. 

Struggles of Underwatering:

Underwatering plants make you feel like a plant in a desert. Less quantity of plants makes it dehydrated, leaves to curl and brown hence looking like begging for a water drink.

Balancing Act:

To maintain plant health keep soil moist but not waterlogged. Maintaining the environment like a tropical rainforest which is not a swamp or a desert.

Role of Humidity:

Humidity does play an important role in water needs. I will suggest you place a humidifier near the pant or to a group of plants that will help in creating a microclimate with higher humidity. Always keep checking, if the pot isn’t sitting in water.   

Magic of Moisture Meters:

Yet not having the watering skills, I suggest you use a moisture meter which feels like having a plant whisperer in your pocket. 

Importance of Drainage:

Maintaining proper drainage of plants is very important which will help in avoiding salt saturation and make sure that the roots get to breathe because when roots don’t get to absorb water and nutrients, that will result in the curling of leaves.

Cure for Overwatering:

In case of overwatering the plant, just stop watering it for a few days so that the plant gets drained. You can resume watering by doing drip irrigation.

Cure for Underwatering:

In the case of underwatering the plant, just increase watering frequency. Ensure the soil remains moist not getting waterlogged. I will suggest you add materials like coco coir, peat moss, or vermiculite that will retain the moisture of the soil.


Watering a plant is a balancing act in which too much or too little watering leads to leaf curling. Always make decisions after listening to your plant like checking the soil and making adjustments accordingly. 

Environmental Factors Causing Leaves Curling:

Light and Shadow Play:

  • The fiddle leaf fig plant thrives best in bright, indirect light.
  • Providing the plant with too little light will result in the curling of leaves, just like a yoga mat.
  • Providing the plant with too much amount of light will cause leaves to scorch, turn yellow, and drop off whereas too little light will cause leaves to shrivel and drop off.


  • Talking about humidity, yes it’s like invisible watering for Fiddle Leaf Fig.
  • Providing the plant with humidity of 40%-60% is the perfect spot for having a healthy plant. 
  • You can use a humidifier or a pebble tray around the plant but remember not to create your room into a steam room.
  • The Fiddle Leaf Fig is considered a tropical divas that demand moderate humidity to prevent any suffering from diseases but providing the plant with low humidity will result in leaf curling.

The Impact of Temperature:

  • Maintaining plant Temperature, humidity, and light is crucial to have a best-blooming plant.
  • Keeping the plant at extreme temperatures will cause leaf curling and brown spots so you need to react quickly to any cold draft or sweltering heat wave.

Strategies for Environmental Conditions:

  • To maintain the light requirement of the plant, you can place a fiddle leaf fig near an east-facing window, where it will get bright, indirect light.
  • You need to keep rotating the plant periodically to maintain the symmetry.
  • to maintain the humidity around the plant, consider getting a humidifier and keep it near the plant or you can mist the leaves of the plant regularly.
  • Creating a micro-climate by grouping, the plant will also be helpful and feels like throwing a party for plants in which everyone is invited.
  • Make sure to avoid extreme conditions around the plant and keep it away from cold drafts and direct sunlight. You need to find a place for a plant which is not too cold, not too hot. Just a perfect combination of both.


Treat the plant not just as a plant, but as a living being, that has some needs and wants. So make sure to provide every care that the plant deserves to avoid the fiddle leaf fig leaves curling.

Pest Infestations and Leaf Curling:

Identifying the Culprits:

  • Yes, pests feel like an uninvited guest who will eat all the food and result in creating a mess behind. Commonly Spider Mites and mealybugs are spotted on the plant when it comes to leaf curling. 
  • Talking about the appearance of spider mites, they are tiny, oval-shaped, having eight legs. It does feel like there are microscopic vampires on the plant, which are piercing the plant and sucking out the sap. The Spider mites are found mostly in interior decorating where they leave webs on the plant when they move from one leaf to another leaf.
  • Talking about the appearance of mealybugs, they are small, soft-body insects that, when infected with any plant, will leave a powdery trace on the plant leaves. They used to spell out their drinking everywhere, which resulted in Secreting a sticky substance called honeydew, they also feed on plant sap. 

Strategies for Pest Management and Prevention:

After Knowing the real cause behind fiddle leaf fig let’s understand the ways that will help to keep them away from the plant

  • You need to closely keep the plant for that giving use a magnifying glass or macro lens to find any spots of pests Because they are small but not invisible. 
  • To get rid of spider mites just use a strong stream of water which will dislodge them from the plant. Using a neem oil solution or insecticidal soap will also help in dealing with an infestation and you can repeat the same process a few times.
  • Removing mealybugs is possible using cotton swabs that are dipped in rubbing alcohol. You feel like playing a game of hide and seek because the bugs used to hide in plant crevices.


Maintaining their health and keeping them stress-free by providing them with proper light, watering practices, and soil management. The plant that is pest-free is happy.

Diseases, Nutritional Deficiencies, and Leaf Curling:


  • The plant suffering from root rot is a silent assassin that causes havoc.
  • Root rot can be caused because of overwatering or poor drainage that leads to a soggy and unhappy plant.
  • The few symptoms of root rot are yellowing leaves and brown spots in the middle of the leaf.

Fighting against Root Rot:

  • For healing root rot plays the role of both a detective and a surgeon which first identifies the affected leaves and removes all of them. 
  • You need to set a watering schedule and maintain the rule. 
  • Overwatering the plant feels like feeding candy to a baby which will be a good idea at first but will end with a problem.

Nutritional Deficiencies:

  • You need to provide the plant with a balanced diet but when they don’t get that will result in showing signs of distress like curling of leaves. 
  • In case the plant is suffering from nutrient deficiency will have signs like droopy leaves, wrinkles on leaves, and dry soil of about 2 to 4 inches. All these signs are like the plant giving a white flag so that you can provide them with nutrients. 

Strategies for Feeding Fiddle Leaf Fig:

  • To treat the plant with nutrient deficiencies you have to become a plant nutritionist.
  • The plant absorbs nutrients from roots so providing them with perfect soil is necessary. 
  • Fertilizing the plant feels like providing it with multivitamins which will help cover all the bases. 
  • Avoid overdoing fertilizers which will lead to the burning of plants that will cause damage or discoloring of leaves. 


Providing the plant with too much or too little fertilizer will cause fiddle leaf fig leaf curling. So, it’s necessary to take a close look at the plant.

Remedial Actions for Leaf Curling:

Pruning and Repotting:

  • Pruning the plant does feel like giving a fresh haircut which is not about aesthetics but it’s about maintaining the health of the plant.
  • In case of finding any leaves that you can’t save don’t even think twice before snipping them off.  I know is tough but this will allow the plant to focus its energy on new growth. 
  • Repotting fiddle leaf figs is another way of treating plants with leaf curling. In case you find rootbound it indicates the roots have taken over all the space in the pots and it’s time to shift the plant to a bigger space so that the roots get room to stretch out.  It is the same as not liking to live in a cramped apartment.

Adjusting Care Techniques:

  • Yes, overwatering and underwatering are culprits of fiddle leaf fig leaf curling. If the plant gets too much water it will lead to root rot and if too little will cause dehydration.
  • Maintaining temperature, light, and humidity is also important for healthy fiddle leaf fig plants. It’s like a diva that prefers specific conditions.
  • Avoid providing the plant with cold drafts and direct sunlight.
  • Use a humidifier or place a tray of water near to the plant to increase humidity.

Addressing Nutrient Deficiencies:

  • Plants suffering from nutrient deficiencies will cause leaf curling and especially when the plant lacks essential minerals like phosphorus it’s high time to provide the plant with fertilization. 

Pest Management:

  • The plant dealing with pests like spider mites and mealybugs will result in leaf curling.
  • Finding any of the signs mentioned above means it’s high time to take a step.

Promoting Healthy Growth:

  • Just a reminder the plant doesn’t heal overnight but with consistent care and attention the fiddle leaf fig will recover and start to bloom within no time.

Preventative Measures for Leaf Curling

There is a saying that prevention is better than cure, and I think it’s true in the case of fiddle leaf fig leaf curling. So let’s learn some preventive measures for leaf curling.

Regular Monitoring:

  • Regular monitoring of the plant is considered the uppermost defense against leaf curling in which you need to look out for any changes in leaf color, texture, or shape because seeing the sign early will make a lot of difference.

Environment Control:

  • When you control the environment around the plant, there will be control of the leaf girl. The diva plant wants perfect conditions for perfect bloom. It should not be too hot, not too cold. Just need to provide the right amount of light and humidity.
  • Maintain the temperature between 65 to 75°F.
  • The humidity level should be moderate around 40 to 50% and don’t forget the indirect sunlight.

Watering and Moisture Management:

  • Always water the plant wisely because over-watering or underwater will lead to leaf curling. 
  • Ensure to use soil after checking the moisture meter so that you can find out if the soil is moist, but not waterlogged.
  • Just let the top inches of this soil dry out before watering the plant again. Although it is not just about quantity, it’s about consistency.

Pest Management:

  • Pests are considered like a party popper for which regular checking underside. The leaves of the plant are very important.
  • The common pests get infested like spider mites and mealybugs.
  • In case of finding any spot of the bugs, you need to treat the plant with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.
  • Make sure to improve the air regulation around the plant, which will help to keep the pests away.

Nutrient Management:

  • Remember to feed the plant, but don’t overfeed it.
  • The plant undergrowing with nutrient deficiency or over-fertilization will cause the fiddle leaf fig leaf curling.
  • In case you find any symptoms of over-fertilization, remember to wash the roots with water that will clear out excessive nutrients.

Light Management:

  • provide the plant with light, but avoid too much light. 
  • The position where you keep the grow light matter.
  • Always keep the plant at a safe distance from the grow light to avoid scrolling of leaves. 
  • The plant is used to adjust the height provided. 
  • Make sure to have balance in the water, feeding lightning, and care that will help the plant leaves not to get curled and maintain their happiness and calmness. 

Adjusting Care Routines:

  • In order to maintain the health of the plant, you need to follow all the caring routines, which will feel like precision is key.
  • Just make sure about the watering schedule to ensure that the plant is not drowning or parching.
  • Keeping the plant in light exposure will lead to scratches on leaves.

Types of Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant:

Fiddle leaf fig plants are getting famous all over the world with their highly prized eye-catching glossy leaves and the ability of the plant to bloom perfectly in cooler indoor temp. It is native to the West African lowland tropical rainforest where it used to grow upto 50 feet tall. Growing the plant in a living room is a great deal which makes an attractive point in the room.

Here are some different types of fiddle leaf fig plants with some tips on where to keep them and care for their plant:

Ficus Lyrata:

  • The fiddle leaf fig plant is the common name of ficus lyrata that is found in far-flung destinations like Cameroon and Sierra Leone where it grows upto the height of 30m tall.
  • In case you grow them indoors in the UK it used to grow 3m. In which it grows as one stem with leaves branching off.
  • I suggest you prune the stem to encourage bushy growth or make it soar upwards.

Ficus lyrata ‘Bambino’:

  • The bambino is considered a smaller cultivar of fiddle leaf fig that grows upto the height of 1m which makes it a perfect plant that doesn’t want a plant to become the center of attraction in the room.
  • They are different from others because of having more branching, which leads to a bushy shape having thicker leaves rather than growing into a tree. 

Final Thoughts:

After reading the article, you know how to treat the most common causes of fiddle leaf fig leaf curling and prevent it. Talking about indoor plant care prevention is the best way to have healthy plants with treatment as soon as you identify any issue. However, curling of leaves is a common issue that can be overcome with strict action, and within no time your house plant will be back in good health.


Is Misting Fiddle Leaf the right option?

Misting of plants cannot be considered an adequate replacement for maintaining atmospheric moisture levels. In case you are dealing with humidity I will recommend you to keep the plant in a place where it’s humid already like a bathroom or kitchen as long as it’s adequate lighting.

How to revive a dead  Fiddle Leaf plant?

Well, there is no condition for reviving a dead plant but in case you are not sure if the plant dies you can provide them with optimum conditions which will help in recovering. Try putting the plant in a warm spot where it gets plenty of indirect sunlight, water it every 1-2 weeks by allowing the soil to dry at a medium level, and then just wait for the plant to recover. 

How to identify plants that are suffering from root rot? 

The following are some signs for plants when suffering from root rot:
Having an odor around the plant and its roots.
Finding brown, mushy roots that are soggy.
Having a saturated root system due to waterlogged soil.
Finding an increasing presence of fungus or white mould all around and in the soil.
The fungus flies roaming all around the plant.

Do Fiddle Leaf plants have a smell?

You will not find any particular smell of the plant but if the plant has been over Water or you have kept it to sit in moisture it will start having an unpleasant odor. It is possible to treat the plant by drying out the soil or replacing the potting soil.

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