The fiddle leaf fig bud is a crucial part of the Ficus lyrata plant, considering that this is where new branches developWhat Are Some Fiddle Leaf Fig Bud Problems

However, many passionate plant owners who have this plant encounter various issues with the buds during the plant care process. This article explores some of the concerns that plant parents have with regards to the bud of the fiddle leaf fig. You will also get tips on how to address bud-related problems.

What Are Some Fiddle Leaf Fig Bud Problems?

Some problems that the fiddle leaf fig bud might encounter include apical growth, physical damage, abrupt weather changes, or even incorrect care patterns.

When you are parenting fiddle leaf figs, you might notice the buds on your plant turning brown. It is not always the case that this might be a problem; in some instances, this is quite normal. Some gardeners also complain about fiddle leaf fig dormant buds.

In this section, we will look at the reasons why you might encounter problems with the budding nature of your fig tree.

– Naturally Vigorous Apical Growth

The buds on your fiddle leaf fig plant are the ones that stimulate a lot of upward growth. This is only an issue if you want your plant to also grow laterally. The scenario whereby a plant grows more upright than lateral is referred to as apical dominance. This happens when the main shoot of your plant inhibits the growth and development of lateral buds.Naturally Vigorous Apical Growth

Your leaf fig tree resorts to apical dominance so that it encourages better access to sunlight, which it requires for producing plant food through photosynthesis. Apical dominance is spearheaded by a hormone called auxin. This hormone moves in a downward direction in the dominant shoots, thereby inhibiting the development of lateral buds in the process.

– Physical Damage

The fiddle leaf plant buds are susceptible to damage if not carefully taken care of. Factors that may cause such damage may include physical bruises and any other form of mishandling.

– Abrupt Weather Changes

Sudden changes in weather can have negative effects on the growth of your fig plant’s bud. This is especially true when the temperatures become so cold. Temperatures that drop below 28.4 F can have drastic impacts on young buds that are just emerging.Abrupt Weather Changes

Please note that the damage that may be caused by freezing temperatures depends on the fruit development stage of the fiddle leaf fig. As a matter of fact, early swollen buds are able to survive very low temperatures that are in the tens (in Fahrenheit). This might change as buds begin to open during fruit development, as they become more susceptible to temperature changes.

– Incorrect Care Patterns

Watering patterns and fertilizing requirements of the fiddle leaf plant need to be adhered to. Otherwise, you risk disrupting the growth and development of your buds. You could even completely damage them altogether. Overfertilizing your plant can cause the plant to fail to produce healthy leaves.

Other care efforts such as pruning also help to encourage the development of more buds on your plant. Neglecting such things, therefore, impacts the capacity of your plant to develop attractive foliage.

How to Fix Bud-Related Problems ?

Now that you have an idea of what might be causing the problems that you are facing with the buds of your leaf fig, let’s look at the available options for addressing them. You can choose what best applies to you, depending on the type of problem that you facing.

– Buds Producing Browning Leaves

In the event that the buds of your fiddle-leaf fig suddenly start to produce brown leaves that never survive, then it is possible that you might be faced with a case of overfertilizing your fiddle leaf plant. If that is the case and you have been using stick fertilizers, consider washing your plant under running water 一 a shower will do.Buds Producing Browning Leaves

It is not always the case that you have a problem when your plant’s buds are producing brown leaves, especially when there were no issues beforehand. There are instances when the fig buds form and hold it for some time, without growing.

Unless the buds of your plant are completely dried up, then this might be the case. You might just need to give your plant some space and leave it for, say, two months.

Also, consider being acquainted with how often to water fiddle leaf fig as too much frequency is a possible contributing factor to browning leaves coming through then buds Allow the soil of your plant to completely dry before you can give your fiddle leaf fig another drink and this rounds off to about once in 10 days. Apart from affecting the health of your fig’s buds, overwatering also makes the plant more vulnerable to root rot.

– Dormant Buds

At times, the buds on your fiddle fig leaf simply do not grow. You can keep the fiddle leaf fig dormant buds for years yet they will still not produce branches. If this relates to what you have been experiencing, there are a number of things that you might need to consider. Fig trees are light lovers so placing your plant in a spot where it can receive more light could be all you need to do to stimulate the development of branches from buds.

You might also need to check to see if the buds are really dormant, in which case being patient on them might work well for you.

If by any chance, you discover that the buds are dead, then there is no need for you to expect branches from them. If the sheath on the bud is dried up, then the probability that the bud might be dead is high.

If the rest of the plant is growing well and other buds are acting as expected, that is, developing branches, then your fiddle leaf plant might be fine the way it is. Just keep on supporting it by providing it with relevant growth conditions.

– Apical Dominance

While apical dominance is a natural process in fig care, it can be reversed so that you encourage more lateral branching.

If your desire is to increase lateral growth and do away with upward development, then you should consider pruning and pinching. Take note that when you use pinching, whereby you just take out the buds that are at the top of your plant, the lateral growth is much limited.

If you want more sideways branching, pruning is the way to go. The more you prune your leaf fig tree, the greater and more vigorous the lateral growth.

Ideally, you can prune off about 12 inches of the top shoot for more branching on your plant. This is because pruning allows budding to take place even on the lower parts of the stem, thereby promoting the fiddle leaf fig new branches.

Notching is another alternative for promoting more budding and hence, enhanced branching. Moreover, notching is good if you prefer to maintain the apical growth of your plant while also promoting lateral branching.

Hormones that regulate apical growth are also disrupted when you notch your plant, thereby encouraging the development of buds through which the lateral branches will emerge. Notching involves using a sharp object to create an incision on the stem of your plant, just above a node.

– Brown Fiddle Leaf Fig Buds

Are your fiddle leaf fig buds brown? If yes, this could be a normal casing that signifies that new growth is about to take place. So may owners of the fiddle leaf report noticing the brown casing on the buds of their plants, after which new branches later develop. Therefore, you might just need to exercise a little patience.

You might also need to revise your care patterns to make sure that the browning is not due to the discrepancies in your parenting style. Avoid shifting your plant from one position to another for no apparent reason. Harsh weather, such as winters that are too cold, is an exception because they require you to move your fig beauty so that you can grow them as indoor plants.

Make sure your substrate is well-draining and organic, without fertilizers whenever possible. The air circulation around your plant should always be on point so that you keep your fiddle fig leaf tree healthy as a whole.

These trees are tropical so they thrive best under higher levels of humidity. Pebble trays and humidifiers are some of the interventions that you can employ to keep humidity levels above 50 percent, which is good for the buds and the plant as a whole.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions that you fellow fiddle leaf fig lovers often ask.

– How Long Does It Take a Fiddle Leaf Fig To Grow a New Leaf?

During the growing season, you should expect new leaves after approximately four to six weeks. Three leaves, on average, grow within a few days. You may not have any new growth on your plant during the winter because your plant, together with the buds, might be in dormancy.

– Should I Cut Brown Spots off Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Yes, cut off any brown spots or sickly leaves that appear on your fiddle leaf fig plant.

The brown tiny spots on the leaves of your plant are alarms with regards to your watering patterns and frequency. First, it could be that you are underwatering your plant. Second, your plant can become brown spotted when you offer it too much water than it actually requires.

You can easily address water stress by reshuffling your watering schedule to ensure that your leaf fig only gets the amount of water that it requires for sustenance.

Be sure to also check if the soil is well-draining. If not, this is another possible contributor to the brown tiny spots on the leaves of your plant. Adding perlite to your soil mix can loosen the soil structure, thereby improving its drainage capacity. Also, make sure that the pot for your plant has enough drainage holes to allow excess water to drain out.


Assuming that you learned a lot from this article, you are more likely to deal with the buds on your fiddle leaf fig better than you would before.

To help you keep the information at your fingertips, here is a recap of the main points again:

  • The bud can be affected by physical damage, inconsistent care patterns and sudden weather changes.
  • Brown casings on the buds are not always a problem as they can be part of the natural process of producing new leaves.
  • You can enhance more budding through interventions such as pruning, pinching and notching.
  • Some dormant buds might just need you to be patient so that you give them more time to sprout.

With such a wealth of information that has been unleashed in this article, you are now better equipped to deal with bud-relate issues on your fiddle leaf figs. Enjoy applying your knowledge!

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