fig tree leavesFig leaves turning yellow can shock you as you may be doing your best to grow the plants.

Some reasons why this can happen are transplanting stress, insufficient light, and nutrient deficiency.

However, do not get worried as you can quickly fix this problem. Read this article to find out how.

Why Are Your Fig Leaves Turning Yellow?

There are so many reasons why fig leaves can turn yellow. However, the most common of all the reasons such as insufficient light, discomfort in the new location, deficiency in nutrients, the stress of watering, fertilizer burn, and even a pest attack.

– When You Transfer the Plants to a Different Location

Transplanting shock is a thing for fig trees. While transplanting the fig, you may hurt the roots or even stress the plant during transportation. These stresses can affect the leaves, causing them to turn yellow. If you recently transferred your figs to a new location and the leaves are turning yellow, this could likely be the cause.

Another reason why transplanting figs can stress them is the difference in environmental factors. Suppose the light exposure, humidity, and temperature conditions in the new place are not the same as those in the previous place.

In that case, your fig trees will need time to adjust to their new environment and their leaves can turn yellow before you finally adapt.

– Insufficient Light

One of the most common reasons your fig leaves can turn yellow is a lack of sufficient light. Like other plants, fig-trees use sunlight for energy and can only do so through their chlorophyll, which is the green pigmentation of their leaves. When there is not sufficient sunlight, the chlorophyll weakens and it can lead to chlorosis which makes the leaves go pale or yellow.

You want to keep your fig trees in a place where they can get sufficient light. If your fig trees are indoors and are in a place without direct sunlight, this is most likely the reason why the leaves are turning yellow.

– Watering Stress

Fig leaves becoming yellow can also indicate the problem of watering stress. Remember that fig trees adapt to a certain environment. You should also know that these trees adapt to your watering schedule and feeding culture as well. This means that if you do not water them regularly, they can be stressed.

Giving your fig trees a lot of water at one time and very little water at another time can cause watering stress. You want to water the plants consistently so that the soil is not dry and oversaturated but always consistently moist. If your fig tree leaves are turning yellow after you abandoned them for a long time, this is likely the cause.

– Deficiency of Nutrients

The lack of certain nutrients also leads to chlorosis or yellowing of leaves. For example, plants lacking nitrogen and magnesium can produce yellow leaves as these nutrients are very key in the formation of chlorophyll. Plants lacking in phosphorus and potassium can also develop yellow leaves, but they should also look very frail and start dying.

When last did you feed your fig plants? If you are growing your figs in a loose potting mix and you have not fed them for more than four weeks, their leaves might be turning yellow because they are lacking nutrients. You want to make sure that you grow your figs on a nutrient-rich substrate.

– Organic Fertilizer Burns

A nutrient-rich substrate is one with a lot of nutrients. However, you want to make sure that the nutrients are not too much. If the nutrients are too much, they can burn your plants. Most inorganic fertilizers, especially the slow-release ones do not burn plants because they have specific instructions to follow when using them.

As for organic fertilizer, you may get carried away when mixing them with the potting mix or soil and they can burn your figs. Organic fertilizer can release a lot of nutrients into the soil and too many nutrients in the soil can prevent the figs from collecting water and the leaves will start to wilt. Examples of such fertilizers are fresh cow dung and chicken poop.

– Pest Attack

While you love fig trees, you want to remember that other creatures love them as well. Pests such as aphids and mealybugs as well as many insect caterpillars love munching on fig leaves, so each leaf can turn yellow after it is destroyed by the pests. Carefully inspect your fig trees for pests and remove them as soon as you can find them.

The yellowing of your fig leaves is not the only way to tell if there are pests on the tree. Other signs are sick or weak plants, cut and bite marks on the leaves, and the presence of the pests themselves. Take note that pests usually go for weak plants, so their presence on your plants can signify that the plants are not so healthy.

– Plant Disease or Root Rot

Have you considered if your fig plants are diseased? The yellowing of their leaves can indicate that your plants may have diseases.

However, you must know that it is easy to tell if a plant is diseased. While the leaves will turn yellow, you will notice under good observation that there are spots or holes in the leaves. 

These yellow or brown spots which may look irregular are a great way to know that your plant might have a disease. Another reason why your fig leaves can turn yellow can be root rot.

Root rot is a fungal disease that will not give your fig leaves irregular spots, but will surely turn them yellow. Root rot usually attacks fig plants that you grow in a substrate that is too wet.

– Soil and Environmental Factors

What are the growth requirements of fig trees? As you already know, fig-trees adapt to an environment. However, if you are growing them in an environment with factors outside your figs’ preferred range, the plants will be stressed or might even die. They show that they are stressed when their leaves turn yellow.

You must grow your fig trees in their preferred environment. While you may prefer a particular fig variety because of its beauty and other desirable qualities, you must also consider the temperature, light, humidity, soil acidity, and other needs.

Now you know some reasons for your figs turning yellow. Continue reading to learn how to fix it.

How To Fix Your Fig Tree Yellowing Leaves

– Expose Your Figs to the Right Amount of Sunlight

Chlorosis is the major sign of insufficient light, so the first thing that you want to do is to expose your figs to a lot of sunlight. The figs should get up to six to eight hours of sunlight daily so that they can start producing green leaves once again. Just make sure that they do not get below six hours of light per day.

If you are growing potted figs, it would help if you can rotate them occasionally so that sunlight can reach every part of the plant. After exposing them to more light, you should see green leaves in less than a week.

– Wait for the Figs To Adapt

If your figs had chlorosis because of transplant shock, you just need to wait for them to adapt to their new environment. Also, it is very likely that they are growing more roots, so you have to wait for a few days or weeks before you can see progress on the leaves. You only need to wait.

However, if the leaves are not turning green, it could be that transplant shock was not the reason for the chlorosis. Try checking the temperature, humidity, light exposure, and substrate if they match the needs of your specific fig variety. If they do not match, you want to adjust them until they do.

– Inspect and Treat Your Fig Leaves and Roots

Inspect the leaves and the roots for possible symptoms that you may have missed. On the leaves, check for pests and symptoms of diseases. At the root level, check for dying roots and underground pests. If you can find anything strange, you just might have found the exact reason why the fig leaves were turning yellow.

After finding the problem, you can treat the plant by reading how to fix a specific disease. If the problem is pest infestation, you can use pesticides to drive off and kill the pests.

– Prune off or Remove Yellow Leaves From Your Figs

Some problems that can lead to chlorosis in your fig plants may have gone away, but the leaves will remain yellow. To help bring back the beauty of your plants, you want to prune off the yellow, brown and weak leaves.

– Water the Figs Regularly

You want to water your fig trees two or three times weekly. Make sure that their substrate is consistently moist so that they can continue to collect as much water as they need. However, this does not mean that you should overwater the plants. Overwatering your figs will only cause root rot and kill them.

How can you regularly water your figs without overwatering them? Well, you can wait until the top two inches of their substrate is dry before you water again.

Most importantly, you must make sure that their pot and substrate drain excess water quickly. If water drains quickly from the fig substrate, your plants will not suffer from root rot.


Do fig leaves turn yellow in summer?

Fig leaves may turn yellow in summer due to heat or stress. Adequate watering and providing shade can help prevent yellowing.

Can I pinch off yellowing leaves from my fig?

Yes, you can pinch off yellowing leaves from your fig tree. It promotes healthier growth and redirects energy to new leaves.

Should I prune a fig tree with yellow leaves?

Pruning a fig tree with yellow leaves can be beneficial. Remove dead or diseased branches and thin out crowded areas for better air circulation.


Yellow fig tree leavesWhile there are so many reasons why your fig leaves can turn yellow, you can always fix them.

Remember the following points:

  • The most likely reason why your fig leaves are turning yellow is due to insufficient light. Increase their exposure to light.
  • If you recently transplanted your figs, wait until they adapt and you will see their leaves turning green again.
  • Search for and remove pests from your figs.
  • Make sure that the fig substrate is nutritious. However, do not overfeed them
  • After treating your figs, you can prune off the yellow leaves.

Now you are ready to fix your fig trees so they can turn green, right?

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