There is no denying that the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is an attractive addition to any interior space. Its lush, large, waxy leaves look fabulous against soft, neutral furnishings. But despite its popularity with interior styling enthusiasts, it can be a challenging houseplant to look after. We’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree.
Soil: Rich, well drained peaty soil.
Water: As a guide half a litre once a week. Fiddle Leaf Figs are highly sensitive to over and underwatering so it’s key you figure out what works best for your plant.
Light: Bright consistent light but avoid direct sunlight. Keep leaves clean to encourage photosynthesis.
Temperature: Requires consistent temperatures so avoid placing in areas that are exposed to drafts.
Fertilizer: Control release fertilizer in spring. Or water soluble fertilizer every month in growing season.
Pruning: Use secateurs or sharp scissors to remove brown or discoloured leaves.
Propagation: Tip cuttings during growing season.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig plant has large waxy leaves that are shaped as violins, and, it is this distinguishing feature from which it takes its name.
It originates in Central and West Africa low-land rainforest. It’s for this reason that it loves tropical, warm temperate climates.
The upright plant can grow exceedingly tall indoors – up to 6ft high.
While the Fiddle Leaf Fig plant is an adaptable houseplant, it is super sensitive to water, exposure to cold air and the correct light
As soon as you bring your plant home, you’ll want to get it out of its plastic planter and set up in a sturdy plant pot. We recommend doing this indoors to avoid exposing your plant to a drastic change in temperature. Ideally your chosen planter should be a few inches in diameter bigger to allow your plant to grow.
Drainage is key when potting or repotting a Fiddle Leaf Fig plant. Consider filling the bottom of your planter with large rocks and stones to prevent its roots from sitting in water.
Ensure that you choose a soil mix that is formulated for indoor plants. We recommend a rich, well drained peaty soil.
You’ll want to repot your fiddle leaf fig plant about once a year. This prevents the roots becoming overcrowded. You’ll find that if this occurs they will start to grow out of the drainage hole. This can lead to circulation problems and worse, root rot.
To repot a fiddle leaf fig plant: Fill the new planter with 4 inches of potting mix. Gently remove the plant from its original pot to avoid damaging its roots. Place the plant in its new pot and fill the sides with soil. Water the plant and let it drain.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree requires just the right amount of water. Over do it and you’ll know. Don’t water it enough and you’ll know. As a guide we recommend watering once a week with about a half litre of water. You’ll want to test this to make sure this works for your plant. Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will require less watering in the winter months as opposed to its growing season in spring and summer.
If the soil is dry to the touch then it’s time your plant had a drink. You should water thoroughly until the water leaks through to the saucer. Wait until it dries out again before watering.
If plant is under-watered, leaves will turn brown and drop.
If plant is over-watered, the oldest leaves towards the base of the plant will turn brown and fall off
You may also want to incorporate spraying the leaves with water into your routine. This replicates the humid atmosphere that the Fiddle leaf fig tree is accustomed to.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig tree needs bright, consistent light by a window. However it’s important to avoid direct sunlight. This may scorch the leaves. We recommend to try a position that gets early morning sun or an eastern facing window. Every month or so, turn your plant to allow the light to nourish each part of the plant and encourage it to grow straight.
If your plant isn’t happy, try moving it to a better position. Limit moving the plant often as this can upset them.
If your plant’s leaves are dusty, it won’t be able to photosynthesise as effectively as it could. We recommend dusting leaves or wiping them down with water to ensure that they can absorb nutrients as easy as possible.
As Fiddle leaf fig plants are native to the topics, they are used to consistent temperatures. If you place your plant near a window or door, check that it is not exposed to any drafts. Windows and doors should be sealed. The same goes for exposure to air conditioning drafts.
Exposure to varying and cold temperature may cause leaves to dry out and drop.
It is worth feeding your plant with fertilizer. There are two routes you can opt:
Use a controlled release fertilizer in spring. These usually last around 6 months
Feed with a water soluble plant fertilizer every month from spring to late summer
Always follow the directions from fertilizer.
Any leaves that are brown or discoloured should be removed using secateurs or scissors.
You can propagate the fiddle leaf fig by taking tip cuttings in spring or early summer.
Take a firm tip growth with two leaves that are between 10 and 12cm long.
Place in water in a well lit area
Change the water every week
Keep step upright
It will take around 6 weeks for roots to develop. Once this happens you can plant your cutting in moist well drained soil.
Brown spots on the tips of fiddle leave fig leaves are a sign that the leaves are stressed. Ensure that the plant isn’t being exposed to dry air or is being brushed by people or animals walking past. Move to a more protected area and mist the leaves to increase humidity. It may also be a sign that the plant has been overwatered.
Leaves are often dropping due to issues with temperature and watering.
Your plant may develop drooping leaves if it has been moved to a new spot or if it is severely dehydrated.
Aphids, mealy bugs, scale, mites and whiteflies all love fiddle leaf fig plants. When they attack your plant, you’ll see your fiddle leaf fig leaves turn yellow and drop. You’ll need to inspect your plants regularly. At the first sign of pests, wipe down leaves with a solution of ½ teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to one gallon of water.
Yellow leaves are also a sign of stress. This could be a sign that the plant is over or under watered. It could also be its response from being repotted or moved to a new position.
Fiddle leaf figs are susceptible to root rot. Make sure your pot has proper drainage holes and pot in fast-draining soil otherwise the root system will get too soggy.
Fiddle leaf plants hardly grow at all during winter months. During the warmer months you’ll see it grow quite quickly with some plants growing between 2-3ft a year.
Some growers plant two or three young plants together then wind or braid the stems together as they grow to encourage an interesting trunk.
Fiddle leaf fig plants are toxic for cats and dogs.
A fiddle leaf fig tree can live outdoors and will thrive in the right conditions. It favours a moist, well drained soil with a pH of 6-7. We recommended that it has partial shade outdoors until it is established after which it can be in full sun. It likes tropical and warm temperate climates to live happily outside.