Why do fig leaves curl?

Updated February 21, 2017

Fig trees are thriving growers under the right conditions, but can show signs of distress--like leaf curl--from neglect or fungus.

The Facts

Fig tree leaves can grow up to 1 foot in length, and are generally bright green, with coarse hair on top and fine hair on the undersides.

Growing Requirements

Fig trees need full sun, loamy soil and plenty of moisture. A tree that isn't getting enough water will display yellow, curling and wilting leaves.

Leaf Curl

Along with lack of moisture, fig leaves can curl as a reaction to the fungus Taphrina deformans. This fungus affects many fruit and ornamental trees.

Treaments for Leaf Curl

Taphrina deformans, commonly known as peach leaf curl, is treated with fungicide. Fungicide is sprayed on the tree in the fall, once the diseased leaves have fallen off.


Fig trees do come with some other drawbacks. The wood, which is weak, can succumb to rot and breakage. The milky sap of fig trees can cause allergic reactions in some people.

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