Creating Perfect Drainage for a Fiddle Leaf Fig
A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.
Creating a healthy drainage situation may be the most important investment you make in the health of your fiddle leaf fig. Your plant will suffer serious damage with poor drainage and no soil or fertilizer can correct problems caused by lack of drainage. It’s important to get your drainage right to set your plant up for success.
What Type of Drainage Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Need?
Fiddle leaf fig plants prefer fast-draining soil and containers with plenty of room to drain so their roots can stay evenly moist but never wet and soggy. In the wild, their soil is constantly draining and the plant never sits in water. But in a container, those conditions are tough to replicate.
Without proper drainage, the roots cannot be healthy and the vitality of your plant will suffer. Perfect drainage allows you to fully water the plant, which means that the root ball is completely saturated and excess water runs out the drainage holes without the risk of soggy soil and root rot.
Creating Perfect Drainage for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
This means that your container will have drainage holes that allow excess water to escape the soil. Never attempt to grow a fiddle leaf fig in a container without drainage holes. My favorite type of pots for a fiddle leaf fig feature a large drainage hole at the bottom edge of the container, which allows for the water to escape without losing soil.
One way to reduce the likelihood of losing soil each time you water is to add a layer of gravel to the bottom of your container before you add soil. This can act as a screen to keep your soil from escaping with the excess water. Another option is to use a coffee filter to cover your drainage holes.
If you have a decorative container you’d like to use that lacks a drainage hole, double potting allows you to provide your plant with proper drainage and enjoy your decorative container. Place a well draining container within your decorative pot and be sure to check your drainage each week to make sure your plant can drain properly and that your decorative container isn’t getting water damage.
Claire Akin is a Fiddle Leaf Fig lover and created the Fiddle Leaf Fig Resource to share what she's learned about growing healthy and vibrant plants. She even created her own fertilizer specific to the needs of Fiddles! Learn all you'll ever need to know about these gorgeous plants at fiddleleaffigplant.com