Soil plays a vital role in the growth of your plant. Choosing the right kind of soil is essential but can be hard to determine. In this article, we will understand what potting soil is suitable for your fiddle leaf fig and how to pick the best one.
Fiddle leaf figs need a well-draining soil mix with enough aeration to keep their roots healthy. The soil must be nutrient-rich and have a pH level between 5.5-7.0. It should also hold enough moisture for the roots to grow, but at the same time, it should not remain wet at all times.
It would be best if you considered other factors as well while choosing the soil for your fiddle leaf fig. Let’s go through everything so that you have no problem in picking the best soil required by your fiddle leaf fig.
Table Of Contents
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Why is it important to make the right soil choice?
When the fiddle leaf fig is in their natural habitat, they get everything they need through mother nature. Nature deposits all the required elements in the soil essential for its healthy growth.
Therefore it becomes crucial that you give the plant the right kind of soil when you bring them indoors to remain healthy and keep growing.
So when selecting soil, you should keep in mind the following.
- The soil should be able to provide enough nutrients to the plant.
- The soil should support well drainage but at the same time hold the moisture long enough to let the plant absorb the same.
- It should be well aerated.
- It should deliver water to the entire plant with the help of the roots.
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Signs that show that you are using the wrong potting mix
If you are using the wrong soil mix for your fiddle leaf fig, the plant will show signs of problem through the following symptoms:
Usually, brown spots on the leaves of the plant are caused due to overwatering.
Sometimes this can happen even when you are watering the plant properly. That is when you know that you are using the wrong soil.
Soil mixes that don’t drain well can let the plants sit in water for days, and that can cause brown spots.
Drooping leaves can mean both overwatering and under-watering. If you are watering as per the schedule, you will notice drooping leaves if you are using the wrong soil mix.
If the soil doesn’t have the elements that support good drainage, your plant will sit on water for a long time, and that will lead to root rots.
On the other hand, if the soil mix can’t retain any water, the plant will not get sufficient water, and as a result, the leaves will start to droop.
When the soil retains water for days, the plant is prone to root rot, and falling leaves are a sign of root rot.
You need to check on the plant roots immediately and take the necessary steps to prevent this in the future.
What kind of soil is best for fiddle leaf fig?
If you are new to fiddle leaf figs, it can be difficult for you to understand the plant’s soil requirements.
It is crucial that you first understand your plant, making it easier for you to choose the right kind of soil for it.
Fiddle leaf figs don’t like to sit in water. Therefore the first factor is that you need a sound drainage system. Choosing soil with enough space to let the water flow out of the system is the wisest thing to do.
When you water your fiddle leaf fig, the excess water should drain out of the bottom of the pot. The soil should contain air pockets even when it is fully saturated.
Fiddle leaf figs thrive in soil with a slightly acidic pH level which is between 5.5-7.
Sometimes keeping the plant potted in the same soil for a longer period can increase the soil’s acidity, which might be harmful to the plant.
Also read: How often and how much water do fiddle leaf fig need?
Best soil mix for fiddle leaf figs
As you have already learned about the fiddle leaf fig’s soil requirements, now let’s go ahead and make a perfect mix for your plant.
Now there is no hard and fast rule to create a particular type of mix for your plant.
You can choose any one combination from the option I share below. The choice will depend upon the supply available with you and what supplies you can get quickly.
This recipe might be the best soil mix for your fiddle leaf fig. It will provide enough nutrients, sound drainage, and good aeration to your plant.
- Two parts potting soil (I prefer Miracle grow)
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part peat moss
Mix all the ingredients as per the mentioned ratio and add a little bit of water. The mixture can be moist but not wet. Mix everything well. Next, you can add this to the pot.
Let’s check out how these components can benefit the fiddle leaf fig.
Organic potting soil – This is great for the plant as it contains nutrients essential for the plants. It is usually made from compost, peat moss, bark, etc. The components can vary.
Perlite – This is a kind of volcanic glass that is heated until it expands. It is excellent for drainage and aeration of the soil mix.
Peat moss – This lets the plant absorb the water that it needs and also provides aeration. It helps both in water retention and drainage.
If you already have some cactus or succulent mix, you can use those as well. This soil is already well-draining, so you just need to add something to hold on to the moisture.
- Two-part of cactus or succulent mix
- One part of compost/peat moss.
This mix works well for fiddle leaf fig as the soil is well-drained and aerated, so adding some elements to hold the moisture just long enough for the plant to absorb works like a charm.
I would recommend you not to use garden soil as it holds the moisture for too long and is not well aerated. You can learn more about why you should avoid garden soil for indoor plants from our article on it.
When should I repot my fiddle leaf fig?
Fiddle leaf figs get root bound easily, and that is the right time to repot these plants. Once you notice that the plant roots are coming out of the bottom of the pot, it is time to report the plant.
If you want to check the roots, you can hold the trunk base and lift the plant out of the pot. The plant should easily slip out of the pot, and you need to check how the roots look.
It is best to report the plant every 2-3 years, even if it is not root-bound. This way, the plant will get fresh nutrients which will enhance its growth.
You can even use the same pot while doing this. You can shake off as much soil as possible from the plant’s roots and repot it with fresh soil.
However, if the plant has outgrown the pot, pick a pot that is one size larger than the current one.
What kind of pot to use for fiddle leaf figs?
If you have a root-bound fiddle leaf fig, you will need to get a larger pot to repot your fiddle leaf fig in. Choosing a pot that is 1-2 inches wider than the old one should work well.
As a rule of thumb, you must always go with a pot one size larger than the current one. For example, if your plant is in an 8″ pot, you must go with a 10″ pot when you report them.
It would be best if you never went with a bigger pot, say 4″ larger than the current one, because the plant will focus on holding the soil first. It will use all energy to grow roots rather than the foliage.
The most important thing is that the pot should have suitable drainage holes. If excess water doesn’t drain out, the plant will sit on the water then it will be prone to root rot.
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How to repot a fiddle leaf fig?
Repotting is essential as it provides the plant with extra space to grow and get all the nutrients that old soil cannot provide.
It would be best if you did not repot the fiddle leaf fig during the winter as the plant is dormant at that period.
Thus, repotting the plant can stress the plant out, resulting in wilting of the foliage. Now let us see how to repot a fiddle leaf fig:
- Take a fresh pot that is one size bigger than the current one.
- Prepare a fresh soil mix for the plant.
- It would be best if you started by preparing a new soil mix by mixing all the ingredients in a large container.
- Try to take the plant out of the pot.
- It would be best if you lay the container down and gently hold the trunk of the plant to pull it out.
- If the plant doesn’t come out, you can use a knife to run around the pot’s sides to loosen the soil.
- Gently remove the old soil from the root ball.
- Try to get as much soil out of the roots as possible. Do it gently as you don’t want to harm the roots.
- If you have a root-bound plant, you can trim the roots a bit. It would be best if you cut away extra long roots. This will stimulate new growth in the plant.
- Fill up the planter with 1/3rd of the new soil. Place the fiddle leaf fig back in the pot. Cover the sides with fresh soil.
- You can ask someone to hold the plant upright while you fill the sides of the pot with fresh soil. Gently pat it around the roots to provide support to the plant.
- Finally, water the plant well. This will also help the plant to recover from the stress of repotting.
- Fiddle leaf figs prefer soil that supports well-drainage.
- When choosing a pot, make sure it has proper drainage holes and is not too large.
- Consider repotting when the plant grows root-bound.
- You should repot at least every 2-3 years so that the plant keeps getting enough nutrients.
- Take care of the plant and keep a check on the soil so that nothing goes wrong.
Sources: CABI.ORG, New York Botanical garden, University of Florida.
I really appreciated all of this information and its very well explained guidance. Thank you so much. I have always wanted an indoor fiddle leaf fig tree and just got one. It’s only 2 feet tall now, looks healthy, but definitely needs to be repotted. Your well articulated advice is just what I was looking for. I feel confident now in my new tree’s thriving. Thank you so much!