3 Reasons For Fiddle Leaf Fig Shriveled Stalk – With Fixing Guide

Fiddle leaf figs ( Ficus lyrata) are very resilient and the best thing about them is that they make an eye-catching background for a perfect Instagram photo. But after all that care and attention, what if they have shriveled stalks and look like they are dying?

You see, there are some issues that can come up if they are not properly handled. Your precious plants need your help in this case because your little intervention can go a long way and save them from an untimely death. 

In this article, we are going to talk about what are the things that cause shriveled stalks of your fiddle leaf figs and how you can solve them. 

  • Too low humidity
  • Underwatering &
  • Root rot

These are the 3 major reasons that are behind the shriveling up and curling of your fiddle leaf figs. The good news is, with the right set of actions you can easily save your plants and they will continue to brighten your corner. 

So, without taking any more time let’s get straight down to business– 

Why Do My Fiddle Leaf Fig Have Shriveled Stalk?

1. Too Low Humidity

As we know that the fiddle leaf figs mostly come from tropical or subtropical regions. So, naturally, they grow better in a place where there is high humidity. 

This means that when the humidity inside of your home is low or has a lot of fluctuations then your fiddle leaf fig stalk will shrivel up along with the curling of leaves. 

Aside from that, the leaves will also turn brown at the edges and lose their lush green color and turn yellow due to lack of enough moisture. 

Control Measure

You need to try to keep the humidity at least above 40 % to keep your fiddle fig leaf healthy and strong. But it will be best if the humidity is near 60 % all the time. 

However, this can be a problem because inside our house sometimes the humidity drops below 60%, especially during the winter and if this condition continues for a long time the fiddle figs can have shriveled stalks and curled up leaves. 

In this case, it’s best if you get a humidifier installed near them and adjust the moisture percentage to their liking. The humidifier is not just for the fiddle leaf figs but it will help maintain the moisture for all of your houseplants. (Our Pick: XLUX Soil Moisture Meter)

Also, you can increase the humidity naturally by using a water-filled pebble tray under your fiddle leaf fig pot. Keep in mind that the water should not be fully drowning the pebbles rather the tray should be filled just enough to keep the pebbles underwater at half of their height. 

In this system whenever your plant needs water it can use it from the pebble tray through vaporized form and thus increase the humidity. 

Also, make sure to check the water level of the plant frequently and refill the water up to the mark whenever necessary. 

However, before watering your plant remove the pebble tray from the bottom otherwise, the extra water can overflow it. After watering when the extra water has flowed out of the pot, put the pebble tray back under it. 

2. Underwatering

If your fiddle fig leaves are underwatered, it can cause shriveling up of the stalks and also cause brown spots around the edges of the leaves along with curling of them.

Sometimes when they are in lack enough water for too long the leaves can drop off from the plant. Besides, you can detect underwatering by looking at the surface of the soil of your plant because it will be very dry in these conditions.

Control Measure

In my experience,  maintaining a proper watering schedule has worked the best. You can try watering them once a week but before that make sure to check if the top few inches of soil are dry to the touch.

When you have a feeling that the humidity is too low then you can mist your plant every 2 or 3 days to protect the plant from drying out too much

However, make sure you have made a proper drainage system otherwise your fiddle leaf figs can get fungal infections.

3. Root Rot

This is probably the most dangerous thing that can happen to your fiddle leaf fig. This is because it can even kill your plant. But before going to extreme conditions root rot always shows some symptoms first.

Now, root rot is a fungal attack that occurs when you overwater your plants and also when the roots of the plants stay in waterlogged condition for a long time. 

Again if the soil is compact and contains a good fraction of clay it will retain enough water to cause root rot.

Besides, if the drainage facility of your plant pot is not up to the mark then it will hold water as well and as a result, the roots of your fiddle leaf fig will suffocate and start to rot. 

To be sure about the root rot, check if the leaves are droopy, yellow, and wilting. Aside from that the stalk will become shriveled. And if you uproot your plant you will see that the roots look slimy and grayish with a bad smell. 

Since root rot is a very damaging disease of fiddle leaf figs we are going to talk about this below in more detail –

 How To Battle Root Rot In Your Fiddle Leaf Figs?[ A-Z Fixing Guide]

Once you suspect the root rot you have to be very quick in taking action because it kills the plant very fast. First, you have to pull it out of the soil and wash the roots to remove all the soil from the root surface. 

Then use a sterilized pruning shear and carefully cut the rotten part of the root. Wrap it in a plastic sheet and dispose of the rotten portion very cautiously and don’t let it get in contact with any other plant. 

Now treat your plant root with a good fungicide which is quite effective and safe as well to use inside the home as the fiddle leaf figs are mostly kept as houseplants. Apply the fungicide every 2 weeks as long as the problem doesn’t go away. (Our pick: Monterey LG 6145 70% Neem Oil Ready-To-Spray Insecticide, Miticide, & Fungicide)

When the fungicide application is done you need to repot the plant in fresh soil. Try to avoid the previous soil where you pulled your plant from because this soil may still contain the fungus. 

So for this, you need to get rid of the infected soil and clean the pot nicely and plant your fiddle leaf figs in a houseplant potting soil mixture that has a good drainage capacity. After planting, water them gently and place them in a location under indirect sunlight.

However, make sure you don’t use any fertilizer immediately because after pruning the roots they become very sensitive and will easily burn. So, let the plant take some time to regrow the roots and adjust. 

Once everything is settled out with them the shriveled stalks will improve within a few weeks and new leaves will start to grow.

If you are more inclined to use some home remedies on your houseplants then you can try this DIY homemade fungicide recipe that is very effective against many diseases and especially root rot–

#Recipe 1:- Cinnamon Spray Fungicide Recipe


  • Half a tablespoon of cinnamon powder 
  • 500 ml of water 


  • It’s pretty easy. Just mix them both 
  • Let the mixture sit overnight so the cinnamon can infuse with the water
  • Then strain it with a fine cheesecloth so that it won’t clog the sprayer
  • And store the mixture in an air-tight bottle
  • Use this to treat the roots of your plant after pruning
  • Whenever you need, pour some of it into the sprayer and spray it all over your fiddle leaf figs
  • You can also pour some of it on the soil too
  • Repeat up to twice a week

Note: Homemade fungicides are safe but still some of them can cause unwanted reactions in some plants. This is why you have to be sure before using it on your plant. So, take a little amount of the cinnamon fungicide and apply it on a small surface of a leaf. 

Wait for some time and see. If the leaf isn’t showing any negative reaction then you can continue with the recipe. But if it does, add some water to dilute the strength of the solution. 

But even after diluting if it still is making the same issue then it’s probably best if you leave this one out. 


When your fiddle leaf figs are shriveling up it’s a sign they are in distress and if you don’t take immediate action your precious plant can die within a few weeks.

Whereas low humidity and underwatering play a great role but still root rot is the most devastating for the fiddle leaf figs. So you have to take some quick actions before it damages your plant roots beyond repair.

The best thing you can do is help your fiddle leaf figs as soon as you can through some proper activities and your plants will revive themselves on their own. 

I hope this article has helped you to make your fiddle leaf figs recover from the shriveling stalks and droopy curled leaves back to their healthy form. 

You can follow the section on the root fixing guide for aloof your other houseplants & If you have any more questions about the fiddle leaf figs do share them with us in the comment section.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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