What does root rot look like in a fiddle leaf fig?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

Root rot in a fiddle leaf fig can manifest in various ways, but there are some common signs to look out for. One of the initial indicators of root rot is the appearance of brown spots on the leaves. These spots may start small and gradually enlarge, resembling the spots on a dalmatian dog. The affected areas may turn crispy and eventually lead to leaf drop.

When examining the roots of a fiddle leaf fig affected by root rot, you will notice a significant difference compared to healthy roots. The roots affected by rot will appear dark, almost black, and feel mushy to the touch. In contrast, the roots of a healthy plant should be firm and pliable. This change in texture and color is a clear indication that the roots are not functioning properly and are being damaged by the fungal infection causing the rot.

In addition to the visual cues, other symptoms may also be present in a fiddle leaf fig suffering from root rot. These can include stunted growth, wilting leaves, and an overall decline in the plant’s health. The affected plant may also exhibit signs of nutrient deficiencies, such as yellowing or browning of the leaves, as the damaged roots are unable to absorb and transport nutrients effectively.

It’s important to note that root rot can be caused by various factors, including overwatering, poor drainage, or using contaminated soil or pots. Therefore, it is crucial to assess the overall growing conditions and address any underlying issues to prevent future occurrences of root rot.

If you suspect root rot in your fiddle leaf fig, it’s advisable to take immediate action to save the plant. Start by gently removing the plant from its pot and carefully inspecting the roots. Trim away any mushy or blackened roots using sterilized pruning shears. It’s essential to disinfect the shears between each cut to prevent spreading the infection further.

After trimming, allow the roots to dry out slightly before repotting the plant in fresh, well-draining soil. You may also consider adding a root rot treatment or fungicide to the soil to combat the fungal infection. Ensure that the pot has sufficient drainage holes and avoid overwatering in the future to prevent recurrence of root rot.

In my personal experience with fiddle leaf figs, I have encountered root rot issues a few times. The brown spots on the leaves were initially a cause for concern, and upon inspection of the roots, I found them to be dark, soft, and unhealthy. It was disheartening to see the plant’s decline, but with prompt action and proper care, I was able to save a few of my fiddle leaf figs from root rot.

To summarize, root rot in a fiddle leaf fig is characterized by brown spots on the leaves, accompanied by dark, mushy roots. Additional symptoms may include stunted growth, wilting leaves, and nutrient deficiencies. Taking immediate action, such as trimming affected roots and repotting in well-draining soil, can help save the plant and prevent further spread of the fungal infection.