How To Treat Sunburn On Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Fig trees are one of the most popular plants that many people love to grow in their homes or offices. They come in a variety of sizes from small to large and fit into any space or corner of your home. The beauty of fig trees is their large, green, and vibrant leaves.

However, one of the most common problems with fig trees that you may encounter is sunburn. Sunburns cause fig leaves to become unsightly and wither afterward. In particular, if the sunburn is not treated in time and spreads, you will have to remove all those fig leaves. How to treat sunburn on fiddle leaf fig? How do fig trees avoid sunburn? To answer these questions, let’s learn about the treatment and prevention of leaf burn in fig trees.

How To Treat Sunburn On Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Before learning about ways to deal with leaf burn in fig trees, you need to learn about fig trees’ properties with sunlight, the signs of sunburn, and how to treat and prevent leaf burn. Because only when you have a clear understanding of the basic properties of fig trees can you come up with effective preventive methods.

Do Fig Trees Like Too Much Sun?

Fig trees are native to the tropical forests of Africa. So they get plenty of sunshine every day and thrive in that environment. Fig trees need at least 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight per day to grow and stay healthy. If you place fig trees in your home or a dimly lit area, they will tend to grow stunted and won’t produce large, green leaves.

However, direct sunlight for many hours will put a great deal of pressure on the leaves of fig trees. Sites that are constantly exposed to direct sunlight will burn and produce brown marks on the fig leaves. The scorched leaves will turn from light brown to dark brown depending on the intensity of the sunburn. Therefore, indirect sunlight with light intensity will be the most ideal environment for fig trees to grow and develop.

Where you place fig trees will also determine how much light they receive each day as well as how fast they grow. If you place a potted fig tree near an east-facing window, the plants will receive mild morning sunlight but not enough sunlight throughout the day.

Usually, a south-facing window will be the most ideal location for potted fig trees because the plants can receive full sun each day. However, you should place the potted plant about a meter away from the window or use a curtain to avoid direct sunlight with high intensity in the afternoon and afternoon.

How to treat sunburn on fiddle leaf fig

The Signs Of Burning Leaves In Fig Trees

When fig leaves are exposed to direct sunlight for many hours, they show some signs of leaf burn. Here are some early signs that you need to pay attention to for early detection and timely correction.

  • Burn-spotted leaves: If your fig leaves show signs of sunburn, they will develop brown, dry, and brittle spots on the leaves. These burn patches are often mottled and unevenly distributed on the leaves, especially leaves that tend to be exposed to a lot of suns.
  • Leaves are brown or purple: Intense ultraviolet radiation from the sun will prevent the development of pigments on fig leaves. These pigments not only convert sunlight into complex sugars but also give fig trees their lush green color. If fig trees lack these pigments, their leaves will wither and die.
  • Dry and wilted leaves: The heat of the rays can overwhelm fig trees’ food production. So the fig leaves will be dehydrated, dry, wilted, and brittle when you touch them. In particular, high-intensity direct sunlight will make the process of water evaporation through the stomata on fig leaves faster. So if fig trees are not given additional water afterward, the fig leaves will wither and burn.
  • Silver-white fig leaves: In the most severe cases, fig leaves will bleach when exposed to direct sunlight for many hours. Sunlight at noon can destroy the pigments as well as the structure of the leaves causing the structure of the fig leaf to be completely broken. The fig leaves will begin to turn from green to gray or white due to the loss of pigment.
  • Soil drying speed: When exposed to direct sunlight for many hours, the soil’s drying rate is also faster. Moisture in the soil will be reduced due to faster water evaporation. The soil appears small cracks and creates crevices in the soil surface. In addition, when you touch the soil, you will see that it is drying and crumbling. The severity of this situation has become alarming because fig trees are struggling to survive in these water shortage conditions.

How To Treat Sunburn In Fig Trees

Fixing sunburn in fig trees is quite simple. You just need to move the potted plant out of direct sunlight with high intensity to relieve pressure on fig trees. Find a cooler, less-lit location where your fig tree can rest. However, you should not move fig trees into the full shade or indoors because a sudden change in habitat will put more stress on the plants.

Then you need to provide the fig trees with water to maintain the ideal humidity for the plants. You need to thoroughly immerse plants in water to replenish water as quickly as possible in a situation where plants are severely thirsty. You can bathe plants based on some suggestions below:

  • Choose pots or tubs that are the right height for your fig tree.
  • Place the whole fig tree in a pot or tub.
  • Fill a pot or tub with water to cover the entire root system of fig trees. You should not use tap water directly because it can contain some chemicals and affect the growth of fig trees.
  • It is recommended to use rainwater, distilled or filtered water for bathing plants.
  • Soak the plants in water for about 30 minutes until the water has drained from the drainage holes.
  • Then let the pot dry naturally for 15 minutes.
  • Water continuously when the ground is 1-2 inches dry until the fig trees are fresh again.

This is a method of timely overcoming leaf burn to provide enough water for plants. Bathing fig trees will create a favorable opportunity for all the stomata in the leaves, stems, and roots to absorb a large amount of water for timely refreshment. For small-sized fig trees, you can water the base of the tree. However, if the fig trees are large and tall, you need to water them from top to bottom to make sure the fig leaves can absorb enough water.

How To Prevent Leaf Burn In Fig Trees?

To prevent leaf burn in fig trees, you can apply some of the following measures. You must give plants time to acclimate to their environment so that they can survive and stay healthy.

Train Fig Trees In Direct Sunlight

If the area you live in always has a hot climate, with constant high sun exposure, you need to let fig trees get used to that environment for a while. This process is called “fig hardening” or training plants to adapt to harsh environments.

To train fig trees to survive in direct sunlight, you need to move the fig trees from locations with indirect sunlight, direct sunlight with shade, and then an area with shade. direct sunlight every day.

This process can take several weeks for fig trees to get used to their new environment. You can move the potted plants to different positions for a few hours each day to avoid overstressing the fig trees. Only when your plants are hardy and used to the intensity of direct sunlight should you place them in a permanent location during the day.

Fertilizing Early Fig Trees

To enhance the vitality of fig trees, you should fertilize fig leaves every month from fall to spring. You should use liquid or slow-release fertilizers to fertilize. Specialized fertilizers for fig trees would be a better choice. At the same time, you should not apply too much fertilizer because it will also cause leaf burn due to excessive stress.

If fig trees have enough energy and good health, they can better resist the negative effects of the weather. If there is a lack of nutrients, the growth of fig trees will be much slower. In particular, young figs are also susceptible to sunburn, wither and fall to the ground.

Adjust The Frequency Of Watering According To The Season

Proper watering is one of the most important factors in combating leaf blight. Therefore, you need to water the fig trees according to the actual needs of the plants and the actual temperature in each area or each season. You should maintain watering twice a week to ensure that the ideal humidity for plants is maintained.

In the summer, fig trees need a larger amount of water to ensure metabolism, photosynthesis and the production of pigments to keep the leaves green. In winter, fig trees need less water as they enter hibernation and stop growing activities.

Some Notes When Watering Fig Trees

  • Water only when the ground is 1-2 inches dry by testing the soil moisture. Use your finger or a moisture meter to check the moisture in the soil.
  • Water when the soil is cracked creates small openings that dry and crumble to the touch.
  • Water once thoroughly and carefully until excess water comes out of the vent.
  • Make sure the soil has good drainage to avoid waterlogging.
  • Do not water fig leaves at night because dampness will create favorable conditions for fungus to grow and attack.
  • Use rainwater, distilled or filtered water to irrigate fig trees to avoid chemicals. Or you can drain the water into the pot and leave it overnight, then remove the residue on the surface of the water and water the plants.

Provide Shade For Fig Trees To Rest

No plant species can live completely in the sun. Plants also need shade to have rest periods during the day. On hot days, you need to create shade for fig trees such as using curtains and placing them next to a bookcase, statue, or hidden corner to create shade during the day.

In addition, you also need to rotate the fig pot continuously to ensure that all the leaves can be exposed to the sun. From there, fig trees will have better health and adapt quickly to different habitats.

Should I Completely Remove Burnt Fig Leaves?

As you know, fig leaves are the source of energy for the growth and development of plants. Burnt fig leaves can be unsightly for ornamental plants, but they still have certain values. Whether to remove sunburned leaves will depend on the severity of the burn.

The leaves are damaged by no more than a third, you can keep them to ensure the metabolic activity of fig trees. You can remove brown spots or burnt areas with clean scissors. Do not remove too much of the green leaves because the sap can leak out and the fig leaves will quickly wilt.

Also, you should not remove all sunburned leaves in one pruning session. Because fig trees will be stressed from multiple open wounds at once. In particular, harmful fungi and bacteria will attack in unison and plants are not strong enough to resist. Divide into small batches to remove sunburned leaves and treat sunburn based on the extent of damage to each fig leaf.

Pruning a few leaves at a time will not affect the health of fig trees because it resembles the natural process of defoliation in plants. Old leaves and pests will fall off so that the plants can focus their energy on new leaves.


Fig trees are plants that prefer indirect sunlight instead of direct sunlight for many hours. When exposed to intense direct sunlight, fig leaves will burn and wilt. Some signs of sunburn include brown spots, silvery white or brown leaves, loss of pigment, wilted and dry plants, etc.

To overcome this leaf burn, you need to move fig trees out of direct sunlight every day. Find a cooler and shaded location to give the plants time to rest. Soak fig trees in water to provide enough moisture for plants for about 30 minutes.

To prevent leaf burn, you need to add fertilizer to fig trees to promote overall health. Train plants to adapt to new environments within a few weeks, from the time the plant is young. Make sure to water regularly and keep fig trees moist during hot days. 

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