5 Reasons For Shriveled Stalk Of Fiddle Leaf Fig [Control Measure]

Fiddle leaf figs are the plants that have been dominating the house decor sections of social media for more than several years. It is the new trend of styling one’s house with fiddle leaf figs on the corners in elegant pots. 

But they need some personal care to enlighten your house with beauty.  The shriveled stalk is one of the main issues with this plant that you have to deal with very frequently.

Too much water, Wrong pot size, Wrong climate and low temperature, Compact soil, and last but not least Too harsh sunlight are the main 5 reasons for the shriveled stalk. 

In this article, you will be able to explore all the possible reasons with explanations. Along with that, you will find their practical solutions and a watering guide that will cover the whole area of your problem. 

So, without making any delay, let’s fire away-

Why The Fiddle Leaf Fig Has Shriveled Stalks

Fiddle Leaf Fig Has Shriveled Stalk

1. Over Watering

One of the most prominent reasons for the shriveled stalk of your fiddle leaf fig plant is overwatering. Along with this symptom, it also shows up with brown spots and curled leaves as well. 

However, curling occurs only when the plant is too much overwatered and the stalks have dried beyond any chance of restoration.

Again, the brown spots start on the leaf edge and affect all of the leaves. Even though the lower leaves are more affected than the top ones.

Overwatering will also cause root rot. You can identify this by seeing yellow spots on the leaves. Moreover, the leaves will droop with shriveled stalks. 

Control Measure

The best way to avoid overwatering is by checking the soil beforehand.  Basically, fiddle leaf figs are native to an environment similar to rainforests. But they don’t survive when it’s watered too frequently. This is why you need to water them every  7 -10 days.

Before watering you need to see if the soil is dry enough to water. For checking, you can either use a moisture meter or you can just use your index finger to feel the soil upto 2-inch depth. 

The moisture meter will let you know how much water the soil needs (Our pick: Atree Soil Soil Tester Kits with Moisture, Light, and PH Test for Garden)

Be sure to facilitate good drainage to your plant. This is very important because with poor drainage even the least amount of water will damage your plants. After watering, always make sure 10-15 % of the extra water is seeping through-hole of the plant pot.

2. Wrong Pot Size

When we buy our fiddle leaf fig, it comes in a small plastic pot or polybag. As the plant grows its roots need more and more space. This is why keeping it in a small pot can be dangerous. 

Because this will definitely suffocate the root and as a result, the roots won’t be able to grow. And evidently, the root won’t be able to provide water and nutrients for the plant. And this will make the stalks shrivel and soon the plant will wilt.

Control Measure

After bringing the plant from the nursery, give it a few weeks to adjust with the new environment. Then plant your fiddle leaf fig in a pot that is adequate in size and as the plant keeps growing, replant it in a suitable sized pot.(Our pick: Fox & Fern Large Plant Pot

Carefully decide the size of your new pot because you repeat the potting process again and again the roots can get damaged.

3.Temperature & Climate

Fiddle leaf figs are a popular choice as ornamental plants in tropical and subtropical regions. However, it’s kept as a houseplant in temperate regions. It can tolerate upto 10 °C (50 °F) but not below this temperature.

Surprisingly, it does not react well when it’s moved to somewhere else with a different climate. And also it cannot tolerate cold temperatures at all.  Too much sunlight is also responsible for making shriveled stems and leaves.

Control Measure

The obvious thing would be not moving it from a place where it is thriving. Meanwhile, if you have it as a houseplant try to place it in a way where it can get indirect sunlight.

Most importantly you have to keep it away from air conditioning or heaters. These things tend to reduce the humidity that dehydrates all the leaves and weakens the plant.

During warm and sunny days you can keep it outside but be sure to keep it inside in the cold weather.  Sometimes you can mist the plant with water on hot days but do it in the morning so it can dry out quickly.

4. Compact Soil

Your fiddle leaf figs need a better-aerated soil for their healthy growth and proper nourishment.  One of the alarming reasons for their shriveled stalk is compact soil that hinders the root growth and its activities. 

Control Measure

Make sure the plant is not in soggy soil that is saturated with water. Because of their sensitivity to overwatering, the compact soil will do much more damage than usual. You can improve the soil drainage by mixing some sand with the potting soil. (Our pick: Large Bag Houseplant Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil Premium All-Purpose Blend

Earlier we talked about changing the pot. In addition to that, you can make a few holes in the soil with the help of sticks occasionally. These holes will let the better gaseous exchange of the soil with the atmosphere. 

5. Too Intensive Sunlight

Fiddle leaf figs are not very hardy plants when it comes to sunlight. Though they are tropical plants from their origin, they have adapted well in temperate areas. This is why long hours of sunlight is not suitable at all. It will show sunburnt  dried and brown spots on the leaves and shriveled stalks

However, it doesn’t mean we should just keep them away from sunlight. They still need a certain amount of sunlight to do photosynthesis and other activities.

Control Measure

Set it near a window and let it soak in a few hours of the morning sun. Because during this time the intensity of the light is not as strong as in the afternoon period.  If you notice they are receiving many hours of afternoon sunlight then change the position of your plant in the room.

After making these adjustments be patient with them, your fiddle leaf figs will recover on their own. 

How Much To Water Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Not all your plants need the same amount of watering. On that note, sadly we always assume otherwise and pour whatever amount our heart desires. And honestly, we get away with it mostly because plants have their own system of balancing the water.

However, in this process, we end up hurting our plant whereas we wish to do only good. Anyways this is not okay with the fiddle figs at all. They easily get overwatered and their stalk gets shriveled, leaves get yellow and droopy that eventually fall off.

So, in order to water them correctly you can follow a thumb rule discussed below:

  • Measure your plant from the soil to the uppermost leaves. If it’s less than two feet or half a meter then water one cup or 250 ml every week.
  • If it’s taller than 2 feet but below 3 feet tall then pour 2 cups of water or 500 ml of water on their base.
  • And lastly idf the height is between 3 – 6 feet then water them 3-4 cups.
  • Lastly, according to your plant height, keep watering them the exact same amount unless the weather is too hot. 
  • During very hot and dry spells add another half a cup of water.
  • And during winter cut back on watering just a little amount.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is the stem of my fiddle leaf fig Brown?

Overwatering is the most common reason for the brown stem of your fiddle leaf fig. Besides fungal problems can also cause the brown stem symptom.

How cold is too cold for a fiddle leaf fig?

They cannot do well when the temperature goes down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually, they thrive at temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can I put my fiddle leaf fig outside?

Aside from the frost season, you can put your fiddle leaf fig outside. However, before the winter season, you have to gradually move it inside because it doesn’t cope well with the chilly breeze.

Can I repot my fiddle leaf in winter?

The best time for repotting a fiddle leaf fig is in the summer and spring seasons. Repotting in the winter is not the best idea because it goes dormant during this period.


Fiddle leaf figs are pretty sensitive plants and sometimes it can be overwhelming to take care of them. Watering them and providing them with the right amount of sunlight can be tricky.  

But once you devote yourself to taking care of it you will get the hang of its sensitivity gradually. Because at the end of all the caring, its lush green foliage will surely attract everyone’s attention and you will get a lot of praise for this stylish piece of home decor.

I do hope all the information helped you to solve the shriveled stalk problem in your fiddle leaf fig for once and for all.  

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