The resurrection of my dead fiddle leaf fig

This time last year I had this amazingly tall fiddle leaf fig… Look at how glorious he was!


I treated him like a baby, but then suddenly he started getting very very sick. Until this is what was left of him almost 12 months later… Ha!


I can’t even laugh. I know I should, but WOW look at him!

I know I killed him. I got silly with it, and I potted him in a bigger pot to try to encourage more growth and I moved him to a spot where he clearly wasn’t happy… I over-watered I am sure.

He was so sick and I was so over the ugly looking thing that I decided to chop him off. I hacked in to him and threw all the leaves in the bin. I cut him back with about 30cm of the stem sticking out of the bottom, then I put him outside around the side of my house under the eaves and forgot he even existed for about 6 weeks…


Then something crazy happened… I went to look at something else around the side of my house and noticed this!


Little buds poking out the side. There were about 5!

A few weeks later this is how he looks! All that new growth and he’s coming back to life. The second stem has a tiny bud on it so I hope that one comes back too. So now I am not over watering him and he clearly likes that spot. It’s protected, warm and doesn’t get full sun. I keep laughing to myself that I’ll end up with this amazing fiddle leaf fig again and won’t be able to move him from this spot because he’ll die again – he’ll permanently live around the side of house??! 😉

Below is a different fiddle leaf fig I have in my house which I have NOT killed. It’s beaming with new growth. I am not over-watering and he is near a window. I am not going to repot him or keep moving him around.


How’s your fiddle leaf fig looking??

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  • Tash Hansen says:

    Getting a new fiddle in the next week or two, very confident about not killing it this time as its fake! 180cm tall too.

    • Katrina says:

      That’s on my list!!

  • Penny barns says:

    Mine started to both look sick when they were sitting at either side in side my front door. I think they were getting to much sun. I have now put them on the back patio and they are thriving. Yes I think the key is to not love them to much…

  • Glamour Coastal Living says:

    I just caught mine before it went too far – have relocated it to another spot that is not so cool and we will see how it goes!!

  • Sarah Ward says:

    Shan Phillips just in case 😉

  • Shan Phillips says:

    Thanks hopefully I can keep it alive 😉

  • Tracy Scott says:

    I have noticed my new top leaves are a bit yellow spotty, am I doing something wrong??

    • Katrina says:

      I think they should outgrow that 🙂

  • Sarah Manning says:

    I got some advice this weekend about submerging in water to release air bubbles, instead of watering from the top.

    • Katrina says:

      Haven’t heard that one. Thanks!

  • Sheridan says:


    • Katrina says:

      Hahaha chop him back and see if he comes back!

  • Julia says:

    We call ours Fiddler and he was doing so well. He grew about three feet in 18 months but we recently made the mistake of repotting. Now he’s cracked it and is slowly growing new leaves covered in red capillaries. The new pot is also too heavy to lift, so we’ve been watering directly into it rather than taking him outside to drain. So now we also have an infestation of fruit flies and nothing, NOTHING will kill them. Gahhhhhhhhhhhhh! If I didn’t love Fiddler so much I’d chop his head off.

    • Katrina says:

      Haha!! Hopefully he comes good again! I chopped the head off mine because he was making me so angry!! Seems like he was still alive in there after all. Good luck.,X

  • Olivia says:

    Ours was doing brilliantly until hubby decided to pop it out in the sun for a few days. I came home from work one evening after a particularly warm day and all the leaves that had sun on them were brown and crispy. My heart broke. But now (fianally) she seems to be coming back again and so far I’ve just chopped the brown bits off.

    Sprayed all the leaves with white-oil over the weekend and she’s never looked better – super glossy and just as I always pictured 🙂

  • erika says:

    The base of my fiddle leaf fig is brown, but the top is green. Is it dead? Mine is looking so ugly right now too and i hate it! Should I wait until April to do anything with it? Any suggestions would be great!

  • Erica says:

    AH! This gives me hope. I had/have(?) a fiddle leaf fig but it cooked up in the texas heat. oops. full sun. It has two leaves seamingly all dried up but I haven’t convinced myself to toss it. I might just chop it and give it some time. *crossing fingers.

    Thank you for sharing! Everyone only shares the success green thumb versions and I needed a resurrection version.

  • Michelle says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve been trying to figure out if one of the buds on my fiddle leaf fig has died. It started out green but has since turned dark brown but has not dried up. The other buds seem to be growing nicely but this particular one is a different colour which leads me to believe it has died. I am wondering how I should best deal with it as it is at the tallest point of the tree and there is another bud growing right under it.


  • pauline says:

    Just was ‘gifted’ one… leafless & soil sodden. All I know is that it moved house 8 weeks ago and promptly lost all its leaves. The two leaves I was also given are (not attached) fully green no brown nor red. Not sure if there’s any sign of life, butwill talk with her and see what happens. Maybe chop the stem in half (its only 30cm)

  • Jessie says:

    How is your fiddle looking now? I just hacked mine down a few weeks ago and I am starting to see little buds! I’m hoping it will return to it’s former glory

  • Sally watson says:

    Will a fiddle come back with no leaves…I was attempting to make a notch in the trunk to stimulate new growth and ended up cutting it off completely ????

  • Vicki says:

    I’m sooo happy to come across your post! My Fido was so beautiful and little by littlehe began dropping his leaves. He was all mushy at the roots so we repotted him. Hope I can resurrect mine like you did!

  • CBA/Carole Boyajian + Associates says:

    I’m so sad to have come home Today to see my fiddleleaf has lost all its leaves

    I left two of them outdoors while away for 5 weeks for our gardener to water carefully and he left both in a full saucer of water

    They are both very upset as I am
    One has gone completely bare and the other still has her leaves but they are dropping quickly

    Any hope to have them get well again? I’m so very sad to have lost them. I love them

  • Katharine Johnson says:

    Because of this article, I didn’t chuck my “dead” fiddle. I have new growth (from the soil not the old trunk) and I’m super pumped! ?

  • Kelly says:

    I moved my fiddle, Vern the fern because he was getting burnt and I think my windows were to drafty. Got him in a new location but I think he was already to sick. He got dirt mites so I changed his pot and soil but he never made a turn for the better. He lost all his leaves and then his stalk shriveled. I’ve been holding out hope for him until I finally chopped off his dead stalk yesterday and it was very DRY. But now that I read this article and see your plant I have a little more hope. Any more advice?

    Also it looks like he is getting a sibling, seeing I bought a new Fiddle today as a second ditch effort! Wish me Luck!