Why does my FLF (Fiddle leaf fig or ficus) hate me?

FLF Plant Care

Ficus Lyrata, or Fiddle Leaf Ficus (or Fig) has become one of the most popular houseplants and people are really excited to own one. One of the most common questions we get from our clients that we help with plant care is: Why does my FLF hate me? Well, first lets start by saying - mostly, they hate everyone. But the more that you can mimic their natural environment - the LESS they'll hate you. They love well-drained tropical and coastal areas with consistent temps and humid air. 

why does my fiddle leaf ficus have brown spots

Here is another list of things they hate: 

  1. Being moved. They really, really, REALLY hate being moved. Most lyrata (or FLF) will misbehave when moved around. They'll drop leaves, The leaves will get brown spots, and they'll look sad if you move them. Find him a nice south-facing window and LEAVE HIM BE. 
  2. Over watering - this is a common problem with these guys. Any time that you LOVE a plant, you can tend to over water it. His leaves will get brown spots, and eventually crisp up and fall off. The consistent overwatering can cause root-rot. If this happens, pull him out of his pot, rinse the roots, repot in medium that's well-drained, and be careful with watering. He might recover. 
  3. Under watering - His leaves will look limp and feel soft, rather than crisp. 
  4. They HATE heating and AC ducts. Put them far from dry airflow. (they love humidity in the air - they're tropicals after all! - get a humidity tray or spray bottle and give them a mist.) Here is one of our favorite spray bottle trios! If you like glass better - HERE you go. 
  5. Fungus. They get fungus easily. Specifically Brown Leaf spot fungus. A good way to tell if your FLF has this is brown spots on the leaf surrounded by yellow. If you suspect this, use a fungicide to treat it. HERE is a great one we use in the shop. 
  6. Over trimming - They hate this. Never remove more than 10% of the leaves at a time (even if they have spots) to avoid shock. 


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