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Browning fig tree leaves

January 11, 2019

I'm new to gardening, so I'm sorry if the answer is really obvious - but why are my fig tree leaves turning brown like this? I'm not sure if I'm over watering, underwatering or if the leaves are getting burnt by the sun (it's about 40°C in the sun according to my thermometer, but cooler at night) I've been watering it every day as the soil dries out super quick in this heat. What can I do to keep my fig tree healthy?

Comments (7)

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Old leaves do that. Stress does too. Plant it in the next size up pot. It will be easier to keep up with watering. What variety is it? Will it eventually be planted in the ground?


    Rosie thanked Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA
  • Jason (Zone 10b, San Diego)

    Out of curiosity, where are you that you are having 40C weather? Australia?

    If your plant has always been in the sun and is aclimatized to the heat, then it's probably older leaves stressed from a lack of water. This last summer I had some weather like yours for a week or so and my in-ground trees drooped a bit from the sun. I made sure to provide lots of supplemental water, usually daily during that heat. My potted figs were much smaller (like about your size) and I kept them out of the direct afternoon sun for this period. They made it fine without any problems.

  • Rosie

    Moses it's a Brown Turkey Fig. It's fairly new from the garden centre, so I'm not sure how old the leaves are or how acclimatised it is to full sun.

    Jason, I'm in Hawea, New Zealand - 40°C was peak temperature taken in the sun, not the shade. Otherwise it might have been about 30ish? And gets down to maybe 15 at night. I had been watering everyday as I have been with my other plants, they almost need twice daily watering! But fig trees dont need so much right? My gut feeling is it is sun scald, but it could be that im not getting the watering right

  • bluemoonlight

    Your fig tree looks like its going dormant Rosie

    More info needed.

    Can you comment on your fig a little, like how old is it, how big container is it in, how long is it in that container.

  • dieseler

    Recent purchase from nursery you mentioned . Plant should not be placed in direct sun but slowly acclimated to it.That being said sun scald will eventually give whitish patches and too much water which will start to show blackening on leaves .

    Yours is one or the other and possibly combination of both.

    Young juvenile fig plant such as yours (can see skinny trunk in pictures shadow) will not like a lot of water as roots are tender and will easily rot.

    Also would get the plant out of the sun to help relieve the stress it is now going through.

    Eventually some of those leaves will drop and new leaves on plant will come out depending on how much season is left in your part of the world which i think is midsummer now.

    Good Luck


  • Jason (Zone 10b, San Diego)

    I have to agree with Martin, if it's a new tree, it's probably sun scald. The tree will drop all of the old leaves and then produce new ones which should be fine in the direct sunlight. However, with the temperatures that you have, I would still give it some shade in the hottest part of the afternoon.

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