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Nov 6, 2013

sick figgy -- SOS!

remember the glory days of our fiddle leaf fig?

after a couple of weeks, he started dropping a leaf or two every couple of days -- we thought maybe he needed more light. so we tried moving him closer to the window...

see how much he had thinned out? :(

when we first brought big figgy home, i misted his leaves lightly every two to three days. i stopped when we moved him closer to the window, thinking maybe i was overmisting.

then...his leaves started turning brown and dropping at a faster rate.

i investigated further and read that fig trees are very sensitive to environment change -- maybe he was just distressed from us moving him?

after a week or so, he looked much worse. all...droopy and sad.
oh yes, and he still doesn't have a proper pot...

with the onset of a midwestern fall, maybe he was a bit cold? so i added old-fashioned twinkle lights to provide a little warmth.

i didn't have enough to snake up one of the main offshoots -- which may work to my benefit for comparison reasons. i could swear the shoots that have lights already look a little less droopy than the one branch that doesn't have lights...fish thinks i'm imagining it.

throughout this whole saga, we've been watering anywhere from once every one to two weeks. we tried a couple of different watering schedules because brown leaves are apparently a sign of both under- and over-watering. blerg.

now, we're opening it up to you:
we are accepting any and all suggestions to help our poor fig tree.
more water? less water?
more light? less light?
fertilizer?
a bigger pot?
mozart?

* mari
Land Of Nod: Design for Kids and People That Used to be Kids

9 comments:

  1. maybe a bigger pot? do they need certain nutrients (like pine trees or tomato plants?) i'd contact the nursery you got him from. good luck!

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    1. I'm a little embarrassed to go crawling back to the nursery or advice, but that's probably exactly what we'll end up doing! :)

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  2. I don't have any experience with fig trees, but I've some experience with sensitive plants.
    I'd worry a little bit about a potential draft from the window, but, some plants are /very/very/ sensitive to environmental changes . . . It can take them much longer than a month to adjust to any environmental change. I've killed many with "too much love". I'd find a good spot, water regularly, and wait a couple months before I changed anything else. If you're really worried about something else being the issue, repot him, washing out his root well and using a good quality tropical potting soil. Then ignore him for at least a couple months. (also expect him to drop a lot of leaves and look terrible after from the stress).
    Although sensitive plants often cause me the most stress and anxiety, especially in the beginning, they often become my favorite plants in the end, because they are so low maintenance - with them less is always more.

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    1. I would also add, I do live in a dry climate but I do find that I cannot over-mist a tropical plant. Unless you find your house soo muggy the soil gets moldy, I'd keep misting, plants seem to love it more than anything. And it makes sense to me; most plants come from environments with higher humidity than the average house. I've never walked into a greenhouse that didn't have wonderful wet humid air.

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    2. WoWoWoW seabrooksr, THANK YOU for all the support and advice!! I'm feeling much more hopeful that we can revive this poor fig tree!

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  3. How much are you watering when you water it? At the end of each day you water there shouldn't be any leftover water at the bottom of the pot. I nursed mine back to health, my pot looks to be about the same size as yours but my plant is smaller (started out as a baby.) I've learned that over watering is far worse than underwatering for these plants.

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    1. i've probably been overwatering because i feel so guilty that i can't keep him alive. i just need to neglect him, i think -- and hope he springs back to life one day. :(

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  4. Mari, I'm not sure how your tree is treating you now, but I thought I might tell you what I've been doing with my fig to see if it could help you in any way.

    One thing I made sure to do early on was to make sure no hot or cold air was blowing on it. I see you have a vent low on the wall next to your fig. Can you either shut that vent off or cover the side that blows towards the tree?

    What direction does your window face? I actually water mine 1-2x a week. It seems if I let it go longer than that, it starts to drop leaves. The more sun it gets, the more water it needs.

    I'm by no means an expert, but the Christmas lights actually make me a bit nervous. Those suckers get hot. I can't imagine a fig being comfortable with it.

    In addition to those things, I would also get yourself a proper pot (I just used a basket) to help insulate the plastic container. I would not repot it until it shows long term signs of life. I would also highly recommend buying some florist moss to lay on top of the soil, it will help your soil stay moist.

    I hope all the tips you've received help your poor guy!

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    1. THANK YOU for all the tips! i think our fig is beyond help at the moment. we moved him back away from the window and i'm trying very hard not to mess with him AT ALL and hoping for some signs of life.

      i kept meaning to get a basket and then never did -- maybe i'll learn from my laziness this time, sigh.

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