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Our Plant Care: Fiddle Leaf Fig

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (Ficus lyrata) is a stunning plant with huge green leaves and an even larger following of houseplant fans. Despite its popularity, it's certainly not the easiest houseplant to look after, but its visual impact in a space is unmatched when given proper conditions and care.

Basic Needs

The Fiddle Leaf Fig appreciates a warm, humid environment, a fair amount of water, and plenty of light. Choose a location away from air vents and drafts where the tree will receive plenty of bright ambient light.


Directly in front of, or close by a southern or western-facing window is ideal, and eastern exposure can also work as long as the plant is directly in the window and the space feels very bright.


A few hours of direct sun is also beneficial. If placed in a full-sun location (where the plant will receive over 6 hours of direct light daily), a humid environment will keep your Fiddle Leaf looking its best.


Food and Nutrience

In general, house plants will thrive when they are fertilised spring through fall. Fertilise once a month with Fabgardenmama Organic Fertiliser, following the package instructions for dilution and administration.


When to Repot

For larger floor plants, I suggest repotting every 18-24 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 5-8 cm larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous one as this could drown the plants' roots.


If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Remember... Spring or summer is the ideal time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.


Warning

Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees are particularly sensitive to environmental changes. They will likely take a little time to adjust to their new home.


My Fiddle Leaf Fig has brown spots and the leaves are dropping. What do I do?

  1. Overwatering! Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees prefer to dry out slightly between waterings, and while they take a good deal of water to keep healthy, soggy soil will drown the plant. If your leaves start to brown and fall and the soil is moist, let the plant dry out until the soil becomes completely dry.

  2. Not enough light! Fiddle Leafs need a lot of light to thrive and will start shedding their leaves if they’re not absorbing enough energy. If you’re unsure about where to put your plant, it’s best to place it by a window.

  3. Underwatering! Underwatering can also be a big killer of the fiddle leaf fig. When underwatered, the rim of the leaves will start to brown and curl in, which will eventually spread throughout the leaf. Underwatered leaves that have fallen will normally be either fully brown or mostly brown, and dry to the touch.

LEFT: An example of overwatering on a dropped leaf. Note the browning spreading through the leaf's veins from the central node (or midrib), a telltale sign that the plant has received excessive water. RIGHT: Brown spotting or holes in the leaves typically signal that the plant isn't receiving enough light. This is common on the lower leaves of the tree, which can become shaded out over time.


PRO TIPS

  • Every three months, rinse your plant’s leaves with room temperature water. This helps remove any dust that’s accumulated, ensuring they’re able to absorb and photosynthesize sunlight more efficiently.

  • A spindly fiddle-leaf fit tree can look as good as a bushy one. It’s all in the styling. Make a skinny fiddle-leaf fig tree look like a design statement rather than a mistake by pairing it with a slender euphorbia or other succulent plant.

  • To revive a dying fiddle-leaf fig, chop off the top of the trunk. A fiddle-leaf fig tree will sprout from the trunk if you cut it back.


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