Posts in Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
How to Care for and Grow Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
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Fiddle Leaf Fig

AKA ficus lyrata

The Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, known for its sculptural shape and stick-thin trunk, is arguably the “it” plant of the moment. If you are not familiar yet, you will be soon: this incredibly gorgeous tree, which also comes in bush or columnar form, appears in magazines, design blogs, and all over Instagram. But despite the popularity, the Fiddle Leaf Fig is not necessarily the easiest of plants to take care of. It is notoriously finicky, and is known to drop leaves with even the most minimal change in its watering schedule, temperature, or environment. Worth it? We think so. Read on for simple tips on how to care for and grow the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree.

Light

Water

  • Water thoroughly when topsoil is dry, usually once every ten days or so. Avoid overwatering.

  • Watering schedule may be less frequent during winter months

Growth

  • In prime conditions, the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree is a fast grower and can grow up to 10 feet tall indoors

  • Most growth occurs during spring and summer

Common problems with Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

Yellow or brown leaves - overwatering

How to fix your fiddle leaf fig
  • Symptom - leaves turning yellow or brown, usually starting at the center of the leaf

  • Cause - overwatering and/or not enough sunlight

  • Remedy - allow soil to dry out completely, sometimes this can take 2-3 weeks. Check the soil’s moisture through the drainage holes at the bottom. Overwatering can lead to more severe ailments and that may eventually require you change the soil.  

Yellow or brown leaves - underwatering

  • Symptom - leaves turning yellow or brown, usually starting at the edge of the leaf

  • Cause - underwatering

  • Remedy - give your plant a full shower! Take it out of its decorative pot and put in a bathtub, shower or outdoor area and give it a thorough watering. You may even let it sit in water for a few hours so that the roots can drink from the bottom. Let it drain out completely before returning it to its decorative pot.

Leaf drop - overwatering or underwatering

  • Symptom - leaves dropping, either at the bottom of the plant or from all areas of the plant

  • Cause - usually overwatered fiddles will drop their bottom leaves, while underwatered fiddles will drop leaves from anywhere on the plant.

  • Remedy - follow instructions above for either overwatered or underwatered Fiddle Leaf Fig plants!

Leaf droop - underwatered or too warm

  • Symptom - leaves sagging or drooping

  • Cause - fiddles will sometimes begin to droop if it’s warm and they are thirsty

  • Remedy - adjust your watering schedule. During warm summer months, your plant may need more frequent waterings.

Is this all very confusing? Fiddles are known for that. Read more about how to tell the difference between overwatering and underwatering, where you should place your Fiddle for best results, and the ultimate guide to watering a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree.

How to maintain a beautiful and healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig

How to care for fiddle leaf fig

Take care of your Fiddle Leaf Fig and it will take care of you! Below are simple tips to continue caring for your Fiddle Leaf Fig over time.

  • Pruning - Remove dry or dead leaves all year round, but save any major pruning for the spring and summer months. It is not uncommon for fiddles to grow like crazy toward the light (especially if you don’t rotate them!), and if this is the case, you may want to prune it back. When pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, wear gloves and protect your floor with newspaper — the sap that leaks out can be sticky and damage floors. Use sharp, clean shears and cut just above the node at a 90 degree angle.

  • Cleaning - Take a damp cloth or sponge and gentle clean each leaf (this also helps the plant soak in more light!).

  • Repotting - Houseplants grow much slower than they would in the wild. Depending on the size of your plant and the density of the roots, this is nice to do every 2-3 years to provide fresh nutrients and encourage new growth.

    • When to repot - if the roots start to become visible outside the soil (i.e. circling around the grow pot), it is time to consider repotting your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree.

    • Pot sizing - if you want your plant to grow taller, find a nursery pot that’s 2” in diameter larger than the current pot. If you want your plant to stay the same height, you can reuse the same pot and simply change the soil.

    • Get your hands dirty - spread out newspaper on the floor, remove the plant from the pot and shake off as much of the old soil as possible so that you have clean roots. Place the plant in the center of the pot, add new soil and pat down firmly. Water the soil thoroughly and place the plant in an area with bright indirect light. Your plant will take 2-4 weeks to settle from the shock and adjust to its new home.

How to propagate a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Whether you want to recycle your Fiddle Leaf Fig Cuttings cuttings or you simply want to create a new plant, propagating the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree is relatively simple. Though there are many ways to do this, water propagation is generally the easiest way to go about it. Follow these instructions to propagate your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree:

How to propagate a fiddle leaf fig
  • Select a small branch to propagate - Using sharp, clean scissors or shears, cut a two to three inch branch just above a node (a leaf joint). Do not cut a branch off with more than three leaves— it will require too much energy to grow roots.

  • Place in water - Find a clear glass and fill with water. Make sure only the stem of the branch is submerged, and no leaves are sitting in the water. You may like to use a rooting hormone to increase your chances of rooting.

  • Place in a bright area and wait! - Avoid any direct sun. You may need to change the water out every few days to keep it fresh. It could take up to several weeks for your cutting to form roots.

  • Transfer to soil - After some time, you will start to see tiny white roots emerging from the cutting. Give it a few more days until the roots have grown, and then transfer to indoor potting soil. A small pot is best — no larger than 6” in diameter.

  • Keep hydrated - During the first few weeks, or until your plant feels firmly rooted in its soil, regularly water and drain your plant. The soil should be just barely moist to the touch at all times.


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Diagnosing and Treating Root Rot in Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants
Diagnosing and treating root rot in fiddle leaf fig plants.

A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.

It typically starts as brown spots on the leaves that begin spreading, before the leaves drop. Root rot is a serious problem in fiddle leaf figs that will kill the plant if it’s not treated quickly, so it’s important to act fast before your plant has suffered too much damage.

What Causes Root Rot

Root rot is caused by too much moisture in the soil due to overwatering. Fiddle leaf fig roots need oxygen to live, they should be kept slightly moist but never wet. Many plant owners who are anxious to take good care of their new plants water them too often, causing the roots to sit in water and drown.

How to Diagnose Root Root in a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Even a fiddle leaf fig that appears to be relatively dry on the surface can be suffering from root rot underneath, depending on the type of soil, the size of the container, and the drainage. The only way to know for sure is to remove the root ball from the pot to inspect.

In this case, when we inspected the root ball of a fiddle leaf fig with signs of root rot, we found a soggy wet mess. You can see from these photos the classic symptoms of root rot on the leaves. The plant’s owner had also noticed the plant dropping several leaves. She wasn’t sure what was going on beneath the surface, so she took the plant out of its pot and inspected the roots.


The root ball was completely wet, dripping water when she removed it from the pot. The drainage that she thought was adequate was not, even with a week between waterings, the soil was not drying out at all. Sections of the roots were brown and mushy, as the infection spread through the roots and up to the leaves of the plant.

How to Save Your Fiddle Leaf Fig from Root Rot

The best way to save your fiddle leaf fig from root rot is to recognize the signs quickly and act fast. Remove your plant from its pot and take a look at the root ball. Is it wet? Are the roots sitting in moisture? Are they turning brown and mushy? If so, you’ll want to take action.

Rinse off the root ball and inspect the roots. Remove any that are brown or mushy with a sharp pair of pruning shears. Then, start from scratch with a container with excellent drainage and a fast-draining soil. Consider adding some gravel or packing peanuts to the bottom of your container to improve the drainage and act as a ballast to keep your plant’s root ball dry.

Be sure to choose a container that isn’t too large for your plant. Large containers can retain too much water and take too long to dry out between waterings. The ideal container is just 4 to 6 inches larger in diameter than the container your plant arrived in.

You’ll also want to make sure that your plant is getting enough light. Even fiddle leaf figs that have adequate drainage can suffer from root rot if they’re not getting enough light.

Repot your fiddle leaf fig with fresh potting soil in the well-draining container. Then, water once and make sure the excess water is draining out of the bottom of the container. After that, wait. Do not water again until you’re sure the roots have had a chance to dry out.

It may be more than a week before the roots have a chance to dry, depending on the size of your plant, how much sunlight it gets, and the configuration of your container. You can use a moisture meter to check the bottom of the root ball to see how wet it is. Don’t water until you get a reading of 4 or lower at the root level.

Resume watering once a week or less and your plant should stabilize. You can remove the damaged leaves with sharp pruning shears, taking care not to remove more than 10% of the total leaves at once. Given enough time and TLC, your plant can make a full recovery.


FiddleLady.jpg

About Claire

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

 

fiddleleaffigbush.jpg

Indoor plants, potted & delivered.

Premium plants paired with stylish ceramic pots, plus lifetime plant care support. Order online at leonandgeorge.com

How Can You Tell the Difference Between a Dry and Over Watered Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant?
How can you tell the difference between a dry and overwatered fiddle leaf fig

A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.

The two most common problems for fiddle leaf fig plants are ironically the opposite: too much and too little water. But what’s worse is that it’s actually tough to tell which is which. Over watering leads to root rot, a fungal condition that kills the plant’s roots and leaves. Under watering leads to a dry plant with leaf damage.

First, one clarification. Over watering and lack of sunlight work together to produce root rot, so if your fiddle leaf fig doesn’t get enough sun (and they like lots of light), the symptoms may mimic those of too much water. Under watering and too much sun work together to dry out and burn your plant, so you’ll want to treat those issues together.

But how do you know for sure if your plant is too wet or too dry? At first look, brown spots, dropping leaves, and curled edges can be a symptom of both conditions. Here are the subtle differences between an over watered and under watered fiddle leaf fig plant.

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Symptoms of a Dry Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant

There are a few ways you can discern a dry plant from an over watered plant. First, chronically dry plants will always have brown spots and curled leaves. You can see this extreme example of leaf curling for a plant that was completely dried beyond repair.

But what’s different about the brown spots of a dry plant is that they’ll typically start at the edge of the leaf, not in the middle. They’ll also affect leaves all over the plant, from top to bottom, where root rot will usually affect the lower leaves more than the top leaves.

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Finally, the leaves of your dry fiddle leaf fig may look otherwise healthy, whereas the leaves of a plant with root rot will begin to look sickly, yellow, or have tiny brown spots. Both cases will drop leaves, but dry plants will drop leaves throughout the plant, not just the bottom leaves.

 

 

 

Symptoms of Root Rot in a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant

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The telltale sign of too much water and not enough sunlight is that your plant will start to get brown spots in the middle of the leaf, as well as at the edges. You may also see a yellowing of the leaves before they fall off. Yellow almost always means too much water and not enough sun or fertilizer.

Overwatered plants will get tiny brown spots or brown shaded areas on their leaves before they turn to brown spots, like you can see in this example.

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You will also notice that with root rot, the plant will drop its lowest leaves first. A plant’s instinct is to protect the newest growth (which has more access to sunlight in the wild) and drop the older leaves that it doesn’t need as much. You can see in this image a plant with root rot that has lost many of its lower leaves.

At first glance, it may be tough to determine whether you are giving your plant too much or too little water, but the things to look out for to diagnose root rot are yellowing leaves, brown spots in the middle of the leaf, and dropping the lowest leaves.

If you’re still not sure, try using a moisture meter to check the water in your plant. Read how to use a moisture meter with your fiddle leaf fig here.

Could it Be Erratic Watering?

Does your plant have symptoms of both over and underwatering? There’s a chance it could be both, or a condition called erratic watering.

The trick to solving this problem is to remove all of the leaves damaged by root rot (you can leave mildly damaged dry leaves), then setting a schedule and watering your plant only once a week. Water until 10% to 15% of the water comes out your pot’s drainage holes. Wait a full week and check to make sure the top inch of soil is dry before you water again.

For more information on how to water your fiddle leaf fig, read the ultimate watering guide for fiddle leaf figs here. Best of luck in solving your plant’s problems!


About Claire

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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

 

 

 

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Fiddle leaf fig fertilizer

Plant food specially formulated for the fiddle leaf fig, encouraging new growth, strong roots, and a healthy shine.

$20

Fiddle Leaf Fig Care: Six Ways to Tell if Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree is Healthy
Photo by  Gardenista

Photo by Gardenista

A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.

Brown spots. Dropping leaves. Slow growth. There are a few common ailments of your fiddle leaf figs tree that can sicken or kill your prize plant. The good news is that most of these problems are easily cured if you know what to look for. Here are six ways to tell if your fiddle leaf fig tree is healthy and what to do if it’s not.

1. Are there brown spots on the leaves?

One of the most common problems with fiddle leaf fig trees is brown spots on the leaves. The cause can seem tricky to diagnose since there are two main culprits that are opposites: over and under watering. But it’s pretty easy to tell which sin is harming your plant if you take a closer look.

Are your brown spots starting in the middle of the leaf and spreading? This is likely caused by a fungal disorder due to overwatering. Keeping the roots too wet can lead to root rot, a fungus that will spread to the leaves and eventually kill your plant. If your plant has root rot, stop watering now, repot with proper drainage, and cut off the affected leaves.

If your plant’s brown spots are starting on the edge of the leaves and spreading inward, the cause is likely dry air, drafts, and underwatering; basically a dry plant. Set a reminder to water your plant every single week and try to move it to a more humid area and away from dry air or heater vents.

Brown spots can also be caused by leaf trauma, which is common during shipping, so if your new plant arrives with injured leaves, cut them off at the stem and wait for your plant to recover.

2. Are the new leaves smaller than the older leaves?

If your fiddle leaf fig tree has new growth, that’s a good sign. If the newest leaves are larger than the older leaves, that’s a great sign! This means that your plant is healthy enough to invest resources toward new growth.

If the new leaves are smaller than the existing leaves, it may be a sign that your plant doesn’t have the right nutrients to grow well. Focus on the fundamentals of watering properly, providing adequate sunlight, and feeding your plant with liquid fertilizer.

3. Is your fiddle leaf fig tree dropping leaves?

One common and serious problem is a plant that drops its leaves. This means you need to act fast to save your plant before it’s too late. There are a few causes to consider, basically underwatering and overwatering. How can you tell? If the oldest leaves towards the bottom of your plant are falling off first, it’s likely overwatering. If the leaves are falling off throughout the plant, it’s likely underwatering or too dry of an environment. Refer to the ultimate watering guide to fix your plant in a hurry.

4. Are the leaves turning yellow?

Yellow leaves on a fiddle leaf fig plant have three probable causes. The most likely is lack of sunlight, followed by poor nutrition. A third cause is an insect problem, but this is much less likely. If you suspect insects, look for small brown spots where the insects will attach to your plant and bleed the sap, causing the leaves to turn yellow and fall off.

More likely is too little sun and too much water, which will cause the yellowing of your plant’s leaves. Let your plant dry out and make sure it’s getting enough light. If you still have problems, make sure you are feeding your plant with liquid fertilizer at least every other time you water it so it has the nutrients it needs for dark green growth.

5. Does your fiddle leaf fig tree have stunted growth?

A healthy fiddle leaf fig tree should be putting out new leaves every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season. Growth tends to be in spurts, where the plant will grow 2 to 4 new leaves in a matter of a few days. In the winter, it’s normal not to have any new growth. If your plant seems to have stunted growth, that’s a clue that it doesn’t have the resources it needs to thrive. Make sure it gets adequate sunlight and proper watering, then invest in a good plant fertilizer to give it the nutrients it needs for new growth.

6. Is your plant dirty or dusty?

In order to efficiently perform photosynthesis, your plant needs to absorb light through its leaves and breathe in carbon dioxide. If your plant is too dirty or dusty, it can have trouble breathing and absorbing light. Make sure you shower your plant every three to six months to keep it clean and healthy, or read about other ways to clean your fiddle leaf fig.

Once you figure out what is wrong with your fiddle leaf fig plant, it’s easy to correct your problem and put your plant on the fast track to health. Be consistent with your plant’s care and be patient while it recovers. Look for consistent new growth of large, dark green leaves as signs of a healthy fiddle leaf fig tree.


FiddleLady.jpg

About Claire

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


fiddle-bush-white-stand-nude-leather-chair.jpg

Indoor plants, potted & delivered

Premium plants paired with stylish pots, plus lifetime plant care support. Order online at leonandgeorge.com

Why you should rotate your plants
Photo credit:  General Store

Photo credit: General Store

The latest in plant care tips for keeping your foliage happy and healthy, brought to you by premium plant delivery service Léon & George.

Just like humans, plants have good and bad sides! Unlike us, plants need to show both on an equal basis for balanced growth. And if you’ve ever seen a heavily leaning indoor plant, you can bet it wasn’t getting a regular rotation.

So why is it a good idea to rotate indoor plants? Unlike the sun, which moves across the sky throughout the day, windows and artificial light limit the amount of light exposure our plants are getting, and where they’re getting it. And because all plants grow towards the light, this can often lead to uneven growth patterns. Rotating them essentially ensures that our plants are getting an even amount of light, reducing the lean and also promoting new growth in areas that might otherwise stagnate.

So how often should you rotate your indoor plants? For plants that prefer lots of light, rotating them once every few months should do the trick. However, for a plant placed in a medium to low light area, you may need to rotate them more often, up to once every few weeks or once a month.

And as a helpful reminder: if it’s been a while since you’ve rotated your plant, you may need to give the side that’s been hiding a bit of a clean up! Wipe the leaves clean of dust build-up, and don’t be afraid to remove any dried out foliage while you’re at it.
 


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FIDDLE LEAF FIG TREE

A lush and sculptural plant with elegant violin-shaped leaves.

6ft tall with ceramic pot: $499
Delivery included in SF & LA

Creating Perfect Drainage for a Fiddle Leaf Fig
Photo by  Léon & George

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.

 


FiddleLady.jpg

About Claire

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


fiddle-bush-white-stand-nude-leather-chair.jpg

Indoor plants, potted & delivered

Premium plants paired with stylish pots, plus lifetime plant care support. Order online at leonandgeorge.com

Choosing the Best Soil for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Photo by Léon & George

Photo by Léon & George

A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.

The soil you choose may be one of the most important decisions you make for the health of your fiddle leaf fig plant. Fast draining, well aerated soils are the best choices for a fiddle leaf fig, which prefers relatively dry soil to keep its roots moist but not wet.

Poor soil can cause problems with root aeration, bring fungus or bacteria into your plant’s root system, or harm your plant with salts or other chemicals.

Soil for indoor plants provides four basic functions:

  1. As a place to anchor roots to provide support to the plant

  2. To provide nutrients for growth and photosynthesis

  3. To allow oxygen to access the root system

  4. To deliver ample water to the roots

Which Soil is Best for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig?

To do all four of these functions well, you’ll need a versatile soil designed for house plants. Be sure to choose a fast draining soil when possible to reduce your risk of root rot. Most houseplant soil blends combine perlite to aid with faster drainage and peat moss to retain moisture. Any good houseplant soil mix will work for your fiddle leaf fig.

Some house plant enthusiasts get into mixing their own soil, but I’ve found that purchasing a top-quality commercial soil provides equal results. MiracleGro indoor potting mix is specifically designed to provide aeration, fast drainage, and nutrition for your plants, while being resistant to fungus and gnats.

Make Sure You Have Proper Drainage

The best soil in the world won’t provide a healthy environment for your plant with inadequate drainage. Make sure that your plant has appropriate drainage and that the roots can breathe.

Don’t Forget to Fertilize in a Few Months

Keep in mind that soil will only provide nutrition for your fiddle leaf fig for the first three to six months, so you will need to fertilize your plant to make sure it gets adequate nutrition. If your plant stops producing new growth or its leaves begin to yellow, it may be a sign that it’s lacking nutrients.


FiddleLady.jpg

About Claire

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

 

fiddleleaffigbush.jpg

Indoor plants, potted & delivered.

Premium plants paired with stylish ceramic pots. Order online at leonandgeorge.com

The Ten Commandments of Fiddle Leaf Fig Care
The ten commandments of fiddle leaf fig care

A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.

What does your fiddle leaf fig need to thrive?

Caring for your fiddle leaf fig can be complex and overwhelming, especially if you are a first time plant owner. Good care makes your plant stronger and more resistant to disease. But poor care creates a downward spiral of sickness and problems. Luckily, there are ten critical components to successfully caring for your fiddle leaf fig plant. Follow these ten commandments of fiddle leaf fig care for a happy and healthy plant.

1. Provide Proper Drainage
Your plant’s root system is the basis of its health. Many people are not aware, but to work properly, roots need both water and oxygen. Proper drainage allows your plant’s root system to breathe and stay healthy. Without adequate drainage, root rot can set in and kill your plant.

2. Don’t Drown Them
In addition to providing proper drainage, it’s important to let your plant’s soil dry out a bit between waterings. Too much water is one of the most common mistakes fiddle leaf fig owners make. Be aware of your plant’s water requirements and make sure you aren’t drowning your plant.

3. Give Them a Rest in Winter
During the winter, your plant receives less sun and as a result, it has less energy to complete its metabolic functions. As a result, it uses less water and nutrients. Water less and suspend fertilization during the winter to give your plant a chance to rest.

4. Accept the Loss of Older Leaves
Plants are always growing and shedding older leaves in favor of new growth. Fiddle leaf fig plants will drop their lower leaves as they grow taller. Don’t worry if your plant regularly drops it’s lower leaves, so long as it has healthy new growth.

5. Give Them Humidity
The ideal humidity for a fiddle leaf fig is between 30 and 65 percent. If you live in a very dry climate, you may need to supplement your plant with extra humidity by misting it or providing a humidifier. Be sure not to put your fiddle leaf fig near a heater vent, which will dry out your plant.

6. Treat Problems Immediately
Fiddle leaf fig plants are relatively slow growers, since their large leaves require a lot of energy to build. This makes treating ailments quickly even more important, since it takes them so long to recover from problems. Be sure to act quickly if you see brown spots, leaf drop, or an insect infestation.

7. Repot When Needed
If your fiddle leaf fig is healthy, its root system will begin to outgrow its pot in a few years. If you see roots growing near the bottom or edges of the pot, it may be time to repot to give your plant more space to grow. If you’ve reached your maximum container size, top-dress instead of repotting, by removing the top four inches of soil and replacing with new soil.

8. Feed Them Properly
Fiddle leaf fig plants require a lot of nutrients to grow their large leaves. Feed them with a liquid fertilizer like Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food, which is specially formulated with a NPK ratio of 3-1-2.

9. Use the Proper Tools
To take proper care of your plant, it’s important to keep the proper tools including a watering can, moisture meter, sharp pruning shears, and even a rolling plant stand that allows you to move and rotate your fiddle leaf fig.

10. Check on Your Plant Every Week
The best way to take good care of your plant is to get to know it better. Take the time to check on your fiddle leaf fig every week. First, take a look a the soil to see if it’s wet or dry before you water. Look at the leaves for any signs of wilting or brown spots. Rotate your plant to make sure it gets even sunlight. Finally, take an overall assessment of your plant and make a note of any changes like new growth.


FiddleLady.jpg

About Claire

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

 

fiddle-bush-white-stand-nude-leather-chair.jpg

Indoor plants, potted & delivered.

Premium plants paired with stylish pots, plus lifetime plant care support. Order online at leonandgeorge.com

Where Should You Place Your Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Photo cred:  Claire Akin

Photo cred: Claire Akin

A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.

Perhaps one of the most important choices you can make for the health of your fiddle leaf fig plant is where you place it within your home. Your plant needs plenty of sunlight, but not too much strong sunlight on its leaves. Without enough sun, it will grow slowly, be susceptible to illness, and could drop its leaves.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants Love Sunlight

When considering how much light to give your fiddle leaf fig plant, remember that they grow in the wild in Africa, where they get tons of light each day. Make sure that you choose a location next to a large window, where your plant will get plenty of light.

You can actually grow a fiddle leaf fig plant outside in full sun in temperate areas like San Diego. Check out this 60-foot tall fiddle leaf fig at the San Diego Zoo. In general, the more sunlight you can give your plant, the better. However, fiddle leaf fig plants can do pretty well with moderate sunlight as well.

Choosing Where to Place Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Many fiddle leaf fig owners don’t think too much about the location of their plant in relation to the sun. They may choose the location based on the design of their home, their furniture, or where they have an empty space. Considering the direction of the sun and how much light your plant will get is important when deciding where to put your fiddle leaf fig.

If you’re not sure which direction your home faces, use your phone’s compass app to see which windows face north, south, east, and west. If you’re in North America, the below diagram describes the pros and cons of each direction in your home.

Which Direction is Best?

North-facing windows often have the least amount of total sunlight and may not provide enough sun for your fiddle leaf fig. This trend is exaggerated if you live farther from the equator. However, if you are in the southern United States, there may be enough light with a large north-facing window. Consider the size of your window and your location relative to the equator. I have a very healthy fiddle leaf fig plant that lives next to a north-facing sliding glass door here in San Diego.

East-facing windows have plenty of early morning sun, but little to no afternoon sun, when the rays are stronger. Your fiddle leaf fig needs not only bright sunlight but also more than 6 hours of cumulative duration of sunlight. Because an east-facing window may get fewer than 6 hours of gentle sunlight per day, you may be better off placing your plant in a window with more hours of stronger sun.

West-facing windows get intense afternoon sunlight when the sun’s rays are the hottest. This puts your fiddle leaf fig at risk of burning. If you do place your plant in a west-facing window, take care to make sure it doesn’t get too much direct sunlight on its leaves. If you have an overhang on the outside of your window, your plant may be better protected. If not, you may want to pull your plant back a few feet from the window so that it doesn’t get direct sun.

South-facing windows get the longest duration of bright sunlight, so they make the ideal home for a fiddle leaf fig plant. Facing south, your plant will likely get over 8 hours per day of bright sun, but few direct harsh rays on its leaves.

Fiddle leaf figs can adjust and thrive in less than ideal sunlight conditions, but the rest of their care becomes more important. Water carefully, make sure to fertilize with fiddle leaf fig plant food, and rotate your plant once a week to make sure all of the leaves get access to light.


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About Claire

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

Three Ways to Clean Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves
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A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.

If you’ve had your plant for less than a year, you may not have needed to clean your fiddle leaf fig yet. But after a year, your fiddle leaf fig is likely suffocating with dirt and dust. To keep it alive and well, you’ll need to clean the leaves to remove any dust. But what is the best way to clean fiddle leaf fig leaves?

Why Do You Need to Clean Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves?

Photosynthesis, folks. Fiddle leaf fig trees consume light and carbon dioxide to live and when their leaves are covered in dust, they can’t get enough of either. The plant’s leaves act not only as its skin, but its lungs, so it’s critical that you keep them clean. Over time, if your tree is covered in dust, it will stop growing and eventually die.

Look how dirty this poor plant is after only 8 months since his last shower. You can see that the lower leaves are even dustier than the upper leaves.

What’s the Best Way to Clean Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves?

There are three common methods for cleaning your fiddle leaf fig tree leaves. The best method for you will depend on where you live, the size of your plant, and your access to the outdoors. Don’t use anything but water to clean your fiddle leaf fig plant because over time the residue can make it harder to keep clean and can clog your plant’s pores.

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1. Take Your Plant Outside and Spray it Off with the Hose

My favorite method of cleaning a fiddle leaf fig tree is to take it outside and spray it off with the hose. You’ll want to really give it a good soak to get all of the dust and residue removed. Then, you can leave it outside for an hour or two to let it dry, just make sure you don’t leave it in direct sunlight or forget about it overnight. An added bonus is that soaking the root ball can help refresh the soil distribution and correct any problems with soil shrinking back from the container.

Challenges of this method: If your plant is very large or heavy, it might be impossible to get it outside safely. It’s helpful to keep a large fiddle leaf fig on a rolling stand so you can roll it outside. Of course, you may not have access to an outdoor area and hose. Or, you may live in a place that’s too cold for this method to make sense.

2. Put Your Plant in the Shower and Spray it Off

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The second easiest method to clean your fiddle leaf fig is to put it in the shower and spray it off. First, you’ll want to remove any decorative containers. Be sure to use room temperature water; not too hot or too cold. Then, you may need to rotate your tree in the shower and slightly bend the plant sideways to reach the lowest leaves.

Once your plant is clean, you’ll want to allow it to drain for several hours. Be aware that your plant will be heavier after its shower since the soil will be well-soaked. You may need to wait until it dries out a bit to move it back to its home.

Cons of this method: If you have a water softener, you will want to avoid fully soaking your plant’s soil, since the salt from your softener can damage your plant. It may be tough to get your plant in and out of the shower, depending on the size of both. Finally, you’ll want to have a towel handy to wipe up any overspray after you shower your plant.

3. Wipe the Leaves with Water and a Soft Cloth

If your plant is too large to take outside or put in the shower, your best bet may be to spray the leaves and wipe them down with water and a soft cloth. It’s not good for your plant to put anything besides plain water on the leaves, so avoid the temptation to use any special ingredients or oils that can clog the plant’s pores.

If you have very hard water or a water softener, you may want to use a spray bottle of distilled water to avoid harming your plant. I use this small spray bottle from Amazon and a clean washcloth. Spray each one of the leaves, then gently wipe, then repeat until your plant is clean. You may need to do each leaf two or three times.

Downsides of this method: Wiping each leaf can cause trauma to your plant, so this is my least favorite method. It’s also impossible to get the undersides of your plant’s leaves clean and this method is time-consuming. Finally, I find it cumbersome and messy, since the dirty spray water will drip down around your plant. You may want to put a towel beneath your plant to protect your floor.

Take a look at your fiddle leaf fig plant’s leaves to see if it has gotten dusty or dirty over time. If it has, the spring is the perfect time to clean your plant so it can breathe easy and grow tall during the rest of the year! The size of your plant and access to the outdoors will affect the best method of cleaning for your fiddle leaf fig.


About Claire

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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

 

 

Three Simple Secrets to a Healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
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A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.

It’s not that fiddle leaf fig trees are hard to keep healthy, it’s more that many fiddle leaf fig tree owners are houseplant beginners. They don’t have the confidence of a houseplant veteran and they may second guess their decisions when caring for their new plant.

Novices may water their tree too often and inadvertently cause root rot. Or, they may forget about their tree completely and kill it with draught. Caring for their fiddle leaf fig tree may be confusing or overwhelming. 

Over and under watering are the two most common killers of a fiddle leaf fig tree. As a new plant owner, the best thing you can do for your tree is master the art of watering. Luckily, there’s one simple secret to water your plant the right amount and keep it healthy.

The Secrets to Watering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

First, commit to watering your plant once a week. No more, no less. Set a reminder to water your plant at the same time each week. I prefer watering my tree on a Friday.

Then, water your plant the same amount each time you water. For fiddle leaf fig trees less than three feet tall, use only one cup of water. For trees more than three feet tall, water with two cups of water.

Finally, fertilize your plant each time you water (except in winter) with diluted houseplant food or Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food. Your plant will need nutrients for growth from March through October, which it can’t get from potting soil alone. Fertilizing with a diluted liquid fertilizer provides consistent nutrients without the risk of burning your plant.

That’s it, it’s as easy as one, two, three! Water your plant with 1-2 cups of water and fertilizer every Friday. That’s the secret to a healthy fiddle leaf fig tree!


About Claire

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

Are You Starving Your Fiddle Leaf Fig?
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A post by resident plant expert Claire Akin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource.

How Often Should You Fertilize a Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Fiddle leaf fig plants need fertilizer for proper growth because their leaves are large and dense. One common mistake people is neglecting to fertilize a fiddle leaf fig plant. This will result in slow growth and poor overall health for your plant.

Unlike plants growing outdoors in the wild, where nutrients are naturally being added to the soil and roots can search deeper for more nutrition, potted fiddle leaf figs depend on their potting soil for all nutrients. If you haven’t repotted your plant in over a year, chances are that your fiddle leaf fig is in desperate need of fertilizer.

How Should You Fertilize a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant?

You should fertilize your plant every time you water, except in the winter. During the winter months (the length varies depending on where you live), the plant will go dormant and rest. While it’s not actively growing, it will not have the need for additional nutrients.

If you live in a place with severe winters where the days get very short, fiddle leaf fig plants will stay dormant longer. However, in locations with mild winters, your plant may only stay dormant for a month or two before it resumes growth.

This indoor fiddle leaf fig plant in sunny San Diego, California only stopped new growth in November and started growing large healthy leaves again in early January! As soon as the days begin getting longer and you see signs of new growth, resume fertilizing your plant every time you water with diluted plant food.

Fiddle leaf fig plant with new growth in January.

Fiddle leaf fig plant with new growth in January.

What is the Best Fertilizer for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant?

The easiest and safest way to fertilize a fiddle leaf fig plant is by feeding with diluted liquid plant food each time you water your plant. Be sure to read the directions to avoid burning your plant with too much fertilizer.

Plant fertilizers have a specific N-P-K ratio, which tells you the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (chemical symbol K). The best NPK ratio for a fiddle leaf fig plant is 3-1-2. The nitrogen helps with new leaf growth and phosphorus encourages root growth.

You can purchase Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food, a special formulation designed to be used at every watering. Dilute 1 teaspoon of Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food in one cup of water and water your plant as you normally would.


About Claire

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