Top 13 Causes Of Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling Up

The fig tree is one of the ornamental plants that many people love to decorate their homes or offices. The beauty of this plant is its large, strong, dark green, and sturdy leaves. Therefore, any abnormality on the leaves is also an early sign of disease or other dangerous problems.

During the process of growing fig trees, one of the most common problems that you face frequently is fiddle leaf fig leaves curling up. The condition of leaves curled and irregularly shaped is related to pests and care. To find out what causes the fig leaves to curl up and how to deal with it, let’s dive into the details in this article.

Why Are My Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling Up? 13 Most Common Reasons

Fig trees are a type of plant that can easily survive a variety of extreme conditions. You may not need to spend too much time taking care of this plant. However, if you ignore them for too long, they will also encounter many serious problems.

One of the problems that you may face is fiddle leaf fig leaves curling up. This phenomenon can be related to many different reasons such as dry soil, leaf burn, pests and diseases, lack of nutrients, over-watering, extreme temperatures, poor water quality, root rot, leaf spot disease, humidity, etc. low humidity, and poor soil quality.

Soil Is Too Dry Due To A Lack Of Water

The fig leaves will roll in because the soil is too dry and there is not enough moisture in the soil. Lack of water is one of the leading causes of dry soil. Dry soil due to lack of water will also cause fig leaves to curl, become brittle and crumble. The fig tree will grow stunted, with stems and leaves wilted. If you do not water in time, plants will slowly die from dehydration.

fiddle leaf fig leaves curling up

Burning Leaves Due To Sunlight

As you know, a fig tree needs a lot of suns to photosynthesize and stimulate growth. However, too much direct sunlight for many hours will cause serious damage to fig leaves. If the fig leaves are curled up and brown at the edges, they may have leaf burn from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.


Curled fig leaves can also be associated with some fungal diseases. Spores from the fungus can survive in the air when prolonged wet temperatures will create conditions for the fungus to grow and attack fig leaves. The fungus will attack the leaves directly, disrupting the cell structure and causing them to warp and warp. Fungal diseases are difficult to treat and spread easily from leaf to leaf. Therefore, early detection to kill the fungus and prevent it is an effective way.

Lack Of Nutrients

Lack of nutrients in the soil also causes fig leaves to curl up or lose their original shape. Even, a lack of nutrition for a long time will make plants stunted, with small leaves, shriveled and unable to thrive.

Nutrients in the soil will gradually disappear and cannot be produced on their own if you do not fertilize, especially if you grow a fig tree indoors. The soil outside can synthesize nutrients from compost or from the soil in many different stages.

Watering Too Much

Over-watering will also cause fig leaves to curl due to excessive wetness and swelling. Too much water causes the cells to swell and droop due to the inability to transpire. In addition to fig leaves curling, plants will be stunted, mold growth leaves wilting and drooping, blisters on the foliage, weak stems, and an unpleasant odor from over-watering.

Related post: Bottom Watering Fiddle Leaf Fig: Should Or Should Not?

Unsuitable Temperature

The fig tree is native to Africa, so it needs a steady temperature of 60 to 80 degrees F. Lower or too high temperatures will also cause the fig leaves to curl and lose their original shape. If fig trees are subjected to extreme temperatures for long periods of time, they will go into shock, grow stunted, and slowly die.

Insect Destructive

Pests and insects are important factors affecting the shape of fig leaves. Some signs of insect attack such as curling of leaves, brown spots, or small holes appear on the leaves. Worms and insects will attack directly on the leaves, sucking the sap and causing serious damage to the cells. From there, the cell structure is broken, and the fig leaves are rolled up.

Too Much Fertilizer

Fertilizer is a compound that contains nutrients necessary for plant growth. However, over-fertilizing fig trees in a short period of time will cause severe stress and damage to the plants. Too much fertilizer can also stimulate the root system to develop suddenly, from which the whole natural process will be changed unexpectedly and lead to consequences later.

Poor Water Quality

Watering frequency and water quality both seriously affect the growth and development of fig trees. Poor water quality or pollution will also affect fig leaves and cause them to curl. Normally, we often use tap water to irrigate plants. However, tap water often contains chlorine and many other chemicals and minerals that can have an adverse effect on fig leaves. Furthermore, the pH of tap water is usually 6.5 which is not ideal for fig trees.

Root Rot

Root rot is also one of the causes of fig leaves curling. Root rot allows pathogenic fungi and bacteria to attack the root system, stems, and entire leaves. Not only does it cause curling, but it also creates water blisters on leaves, weak, soggy stems, and plant death if the condition persists. The degree of the resurgence of this disease depends on the condition of the root branches. If they are completely rotten, they cannot be revived.

Leaf Spot Disease

Leaf spot disease caused by fungal attacks is also the cause of distorted and curled fig leaves. Some common signs are brown spots or black dots on the foliage, as well as curled or discolored leaves. Leaf spot disease is not too difficult to overcome and prevent. Usually, plants will respawn after a few weeks or months.

Low Humidity Level

The fig tree is a moisture-loving plant and thrives in an environment with a constant humidity of 40 to 60%. When the humidity is too low due to high temperatures or hot dry climates, fig leaves will curl up due to the loss of water vapor in the leaves. It is a warning sign of a lack of water and a lack of moisture that makes the stomata in the leaves unable to exchange air with the outside environment.

Bad Soil Quality

Soil is an important part of plant growth. Soil quality affects fig tree growth and development. In addition to adding nutrients to the soil, soil with porosity, good moisture retention, and drainage will create favorable conditions for plant growth. If the soil quality is bad, poor nutrition and waterlogging will destroy the shape of the fig leaves.

How To Solve The Rolled-Up Fig Leaves?

To overcome the situation of curled fig leaves, you need to have a careful and preventive care plan to avoid serious damage. Provide adequate water, light, and fertilizer as well as regular soil improvement, leaf cleaning, and pest removal to create the most favorable living environment.

fiddle leaf fig leaves curling up

Make Sure The Right Amount Of Water For The Fig Tree

Watering too little or too much can cause serious problems for fig leaves such as dryness, brittleness, or swelling and drooping. So, watering properly with the right amount of water will help the fig tree grow and develop better.

So, before watering, you need to check the moisture in the soil using your finger or a soil moisture meter. You should only water when the ground is 2-3 inches dry and every 10 to 14 days. In particular, the frequency of watering plants can also be influenced by factors such as temperature, humidity, and their active growth period.

Avoid Direct Sunlight For Many Hours

Fig trees love warm sunshine from the sun. However, long hours of direct sunlight will cause leaf burn, leaf curl, or curled fig leaves. Therefore, you should look for a suitable location to place the potted plant in a place with indirect sunlight instead of direct sunlight for many hours.

A location near a window and with a curtain will be ideal for placing a pot of figs. This position will help the fig tree to absorb indirect sunlight and avoid direct sunlight for many hours. Another ideal location is to place figs near an east-facing window as they usually receive indirect sunlight throughout the day.

Prevent Fungal Diseases

Preventing fungal diseases is an effective way to prevent fig leaves from curling or losing their original shape. To avoid creating favorable conditions for fungus to grow, you need to keep the space dry and have good air circulation. Regularly clean both surfaces of leaves to remove white or brown stains on leaves.

Use neem oil to clean the leaves and stems to prevent harmful fungi and bacteria from attacking the fig tree. In addition, providing adequate water and sunshine will also help the fig tree stay healthy and resistant to attack from fungi and bacteria.

Fertilizing During Fig Tree Growth

Fertilizers are a source of essential nutrients for plants to keep them healthy and resistant to pests. In particular, if you fertilize during the growing period of the plants, it will help them to resist diseases of leaf blight, leaf spot, or leaf roll. You can use an all-purpose fertilizer for fig trees or a specialized fertilizer for this plant. Remember that you should only fertilize at the amount recommended by the manufacturer on the product packaging.

Maintain Ideal Temperature

Fig trees can also withstand extreme temperatures from the environment, but they still need the ideal temperature to grow and develop best. Maintain an ideal temperature between 60 and 80 degrees F. In addition, you need to avoid sudden temperature changes for plants because they can experience unexpected shock and stress. In winter or on low-temperature days, you can put the potted plant in a small, closed room to keep it warm and easily maintain the ideal temperature for plants.

Eliminate Insects And Pests

Insects and insects are one of the common causes of fig leaves curling due to the destruction of the cellular structure. The most common insects that attack fig leaves are spider mites, mealybugs, and thrips. They suck the sap directly on the leaves and cause the leaves to dry and curl. Some common signs are small holes, brown spots, wilted leaves, drooping, and curling. The best way to help fig trees fight pests is to have good health.

If you spot insect and vermin attacks, use insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soaps are a safer alternative to chemical pesticides. Especially, it can be used around people and pets, with no harm to fish, birds, wildlife, and beneficial insects like bees.

Do Not Apply Too Much Fertilizer

Avoid over-fertilizing during fig tree growth because fig leaves can burn or curl. Choose inorganic fertilizers that are composted from leaves or plants to avoid overdose. Some materials such as coffee grounds, egg shells, and banana peels can be composted and then used to fertilize the fig tree.

In addition, you can also use specialized fertilizer for fig trees and fertilize them according to the dosage recommended by the manufacturer on the package. Do not fertilize in winter as the fig tree will hibernate and not use up the nutrients in the soil.

Use The Right Kind Of Water

The fig tree will grow and develop best when irrigated with rain or spring water. Because these two types of water have a pH of about 6.5 and are very suitable for plants. Therefore, you can take advantage of rainwater and accumulate it in the tank to water plants every day. You should not water the fig tree with cold water because it can cause serious damage. Let the water warm to room temperature and then water the plants.

Treatment Of Leaf Spot Disease

Leaf spot disease is relatively easy to treat and prevent. You only need to remove the diseased fig leaves to avoid spreading to other leaves. If the leaves are all affected by fungal leaf spot disease, it is difficult to fully recover. Use clean scissors to cut off diseased leaves and avoid wetting the leaves, which can lead to fungal growth.

Keep Humidity Levels High

Increasing humidity and maintaining indoor humidity is one way to help maintain healthy plant growth. Using a humidifier is an effective method to increase or decrease the humidity in a room. A humidifier is a small device that introduces moisture into the air to increase humidity. In addition, you can also use pebble trays, fish tanks, and water trays for water to evaporate naturally and create moisture for plants.

Soil Improvement And Regular Cleaning

Fig trees prefer loose, well-drained soil that is not compacted. Compacted soil results in poor drainage, waterlogging, and root rot. You should use a potting mix with a high organic matter content, peat, and a little perlite mix. Perlite will work to create gaps for ventilation and drainage. The soil should also have a mild and acidic pH with a pH balance between 5.3. to 6.7.

The Last Word

Curled fig leaves can be related to various reasons due to weather conditions, environment, or care. Some common causes include improper watering, exposure to direct sunlight, pests, fungi, and bacteria, fertilizing, or poor soil and water quality.

To fix the curled fig leaves, you need to create the best habitat for the fig tree. Please control the amount of watering, and fertilizer, regularly clean leaves, and soil, and kill insects periodically. Use specialized products to prevent and destroy pests when there are early warning signs.

Leave a Comment