Fiddle leaf figs have gained popularity due to their aesthetic presence that can brighten up any area. In addition, their large green leaves have attracted many houseplant lovers, but understanding the plant requirements can be daunting, especially if you are a beginner with fiddle leaf fig.
This guide will help all those who want to learn the basic care routine for fiddle leaf fig, the common problems, and the dos and don’ts and ace at growing a healthy fiddle leaf fig.
Fiddle leaf figs need ample indirect light and enough humidity to thrive. Therefore, water them whenever the soil feels dry and keep the plant at a spot where the temperature ranges between 60 – 75°F. Also, Fertilize the plant during the growing season to provide them with ample nutrients to thrive.
Fiddle leaf figs require some care and attention to remain healthy. In addition, there can be issues such as overwatering or pest infestation, but this guide will prepare you for everything.
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Fiddle leaf fig Overview
Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is native to the African tropical rainforests and does well in a warm and humid climate.
The main highlight of fiddle leaf figs is their large leaves that resemble a fiddle or a violin. Unfortunately, the leaves tend to collect a lot of dust on the leaves, so dusting or wiping the leaves is a good idea to keep them clean.
An indoor fiddle leaf fig can grow up to a height of 10 feet. You can adjust the length as per your requirement by pruning the plant from time to time.
Are fiddle leaf figs easy to grow?
Fiddle leaf figs are known as fussy plants that love consistency. But caring for these plants is not as difficult as many people think.
If you can take care of the basic requirements of the plant, you can grow a healthy fiddle leaf fig that has lush green leaves.
Is fiddle leaf fig indoor or outdoor?
Fiddle leaf figs are both indoor and outdoor plants, but they will do better as indoor plants, especially when the winter gets harsh.
Fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants that generally thrive in warm temperatures, so the cold drafts of winter and the frost can be hazardous for the plant.
The fiddle leaf figs are also sensitive to the direct light of the sun that scorches its leaves. So indoor is the ideal place for the fiddle leaf figs.
Also read: Can fiddle leaf fig be placed outside?
Fiddle leaf fig care
Fiddle leaf figs are plants that need attention and consistency. Even the slightest change can make the plant stressed.
These plants need sufficient ideal temperature and humidity, indirect light, the right amount of water, a nutritious fertilizer, and well-draining soil.
Read on to find out about the soil, water, light, and all the other requirements of the fiddle leaf fig and the points that you need to keep in mind.
Fiddle leaf fig light requirements
Fiddle leaf figs thrive in a bright and sunny area but, these plants should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
In their native land, the African rainforests, the fiddle leaf figs get a lot of direct sunlight. But for the indoor plants, the natural sunlight becomes too harsh and scorches the leaves.
Fiddle leaf figs need 6-8 hours of indirect light every day. So place the fiddle leaf fig in the brightest area of your house that gets a lot of consistent indirect light.
Also read: How much light do fiddle leaf fig need?
Fiddle leaf fig water requirements
The water requirement of the fiddle leaf fig depends upon the height of the plant and some other factors.
If you are a beginner, start by giving the plant one cup of water every week.
Always check the moisture of the soil before watering the plant. You can stick your finger inside the soil or use a moisture meter to examine the humidity.
If the soil feels moist, you can water the plant but never water if the soil is still wet. This is because fiddle leaf figs hate sitting on the water.
During the winter season, the water requirements of the plant reduce. Therefore, the watering schedule of the fiddle leaf fig will change in the winter.
If your fiddle leaf fig doesn’t get enough light or the soil takes more time to get dry, then the plant will need less water than usual.
Also read: How often should I water my fiddle leaf fig?
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Fiddle leaf fig soil mix
Fiddle leaf figs need nutritious and well-draining soil that doesn’t retain water. So you need to choose a well-draining soil or prepare a potting soil by adding chunky particles that will allow excess water to pass out of the system.
A soil that has a pH level between 5.5-7 is ideal for the fiddle leaf figs. Any pH level below five will become too acidic for the plant.
You can prepare a soil mix that is both well-draining and provides proper aeration so that the roots remain healthy.
Take organic soil, perlite, and peat moss in the ratio 2:1:1 and mix the ingredients with a bit of water. This soil mix will provide all the nutrition that the plant needs along with drainage and aeration.
Also read: What kind of soil do fiddle leaf fig need?
Fiddle leaf fig fertilizer requirement
Fiddle leaf figs have large leaves, and they need a lot of nutrition to grow these leaves. Hence the plant needs a lot of fertilizers.
Fertilizers that have an NPK ratio of 3:1:2 are ideal for the fiddle leaf figs. This encourages new growth and also helps the roots to grow. (I prefer this Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plant Food)
You can use a diluted fertilizer and give it to your plant during the growing season. For example, you can fertilize the fiddle leaf fig every time you water it.
Don’t fertilize during winter as the fiddle leaf fig doesn’t grow during that time of the year, and the unused fertilizer can burn the roots and make the plant dry.
Temperature tolerance of fiddle leaf figs
Fiddle leaf figs are native to the rainforests of Africa, where they get a warm climate. The ideal temperature for the fiddle leaf figs is between 60–75°F.
Temperatures below 50°F are not ideal for fiddle leaf figs. In addition, fiddle leaf figs don’t like harsh winters, so you need to keep the plants away from cold drafts and the windows to protect them from frosting.
Avoid placing the plant near fireplaces or heat sources as that will burn the leaves of the plant.
Fiddle leaf figs are sensitive to temperature changes, so use a thermometer to check the temperature and maintain a balanced temperature inside the house.
Also read: How to care for fiddle leaf fig in winter?
Humidity for fiddle leaf figs
Fiddle leaf figs are humidity lovers. In their native land, they get a lot of humidity, and they thrive in that.
However, as indoor plants, the humidity level requirement of the fiddle leaf fig ranges between 40-60%.
Along with temperature, we also see a fall in the temperature during the winter months. There are a lot of ways to increase the humidity level for the plant.
When the humidity level drops, use a humidifier or a pebble tray to increase the level. You can also group the fiddle leaf fig with other plants.
Also read: Should I mist my fiddle leaf fig?
Fiddle leaf fig pruning
Fiddle leaf figs can grow messy and uneven if you don’t prune them often.
Pruning is essential for a healthy fiddle leaf fig. Pruning eliminates leggy growth and damaged parts and also encourages new growth in the plant.
When the fiddle leaf fig grows bushy or tall, you can prune it to give it the shape you want. Leggy growth often looks terrible and unhealthy where the stem grows too tall and has only a few leaves. Pruning the leggy growth helps the plant to grow back normally.
In case of any issues such as pests or browning leaves, you can remove the damaged leaves by pruning. If there are more severe damages, you can prune the stems if required.
Always use sharp and sterilized pruners or scissors to trim the fiddle leaf figs. You can wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after pruning.
Fiddle leaf fig repotting
Repotting is done when the fiddle leaf fig has a root rot or has become rootbound.
Root rot is a disease that happens in plants due to overwatering and lack of light. If root rot is not treated at the right time, the plant dies.
A rootbound fiddle leaf fig means the plant has outgrown the pot, and the roots start to come out of the pot through the drainage holes.
Repotting is required in both these conditions to bring the plant back to health.
Use a correct-sized pot and a new soil mix. Prune all the damaged parts of the plant and add the soil mix to the pot. Place the plant in the pot and add more soil and adjust the plant in the soil.
After repotting, water the plant thoroughly so that the plant doesn’t become stressed. The pot should have proper drainage holes that allow excess water to drain out of the system.
Repot the fiddle leaf fig once every 2-3 years so that the plant doesn’t become rootbound.
The soil becomes acidic over time and is unable to retain nutrition. Repotting helps the plant to replenish all the lost nutrients from the fresh potting soil.
Fiddle leaf fig propagation
If you have a dying fiddle leaf fig, you can propagate it and get a new plant. And if you want to have more fiddle leaf figs, you can propagate the existing ones instead of getting new plants.
Cut a healthy stem out of your fiddle leaf fig using sharp and sterilized pruners. Make sure that the branch doesn’t have any fungus or bacteria, or damaged leaves.
Once you have cut the stem, prepare a jar of distilled water and place the stem inside the jar. The water should not have chlorine in it.
Keep changing the water of the jar at least once a week. The plant will get nutrients from the water, so changing the water is necessary.
Place the jar near a window where it gets indirect light.
Wait for three-four weeks for the roots to come out. Once the roots come out, let it grow for a week and then take it out of the jar. Repot the plant using fresh potting soil.
Fiddle leaf fig problems
Fiddle leaf figs can have many problems. That doesn’t mean that your plant is dying. If you are aware, you can fix the issues with ease.
Keeping a check on the fiddle leaf fig from time to time will help you detect the problems on time.
Common problems that affect the fiddle leaf figs are overwatering, low humidity, yellow leaves, etc.
Fiddle leaf fig pests
Pests such as spider mites, gnats, and mealybugs infest the fiddle leaf figs. Some of the signs of pest infestation are brown spots on the leaves, curling of leaves falling off the plant, etc.
The pests feed on the sap of the fiddle leaf fig and absorb all the nutrients that make the plant weak, and their growth slows down.
If you have a pest-infested fiddle leaf fig, keep it away from all the other plants and start the treatment immediately.
You can wipe the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig with soap water to get rid of the pests.
Neem oil spray works very well to get rid of pests. You can use other organic miticides. And if you want to use chemical pesticides, read the label to ensure that they will not be harmful to your plant.
Also read: How to get rid of bugs in fiddle leaf fig?
Fiddle leaf fig poisonous to pets
Fiddle leaf figs are mildly toxic for your pets. The sap of these plants contains calcium oxalate crystals that have sharp edges and cause irritation to the pets.
If your pet touches any part of the fiddle leaf fig, the sap will stick on its skin and cause skin irritation. Likewise, ingesting any part of the plant will show signs like drooling, oral irritation, vomiting, or diarrhea.
If you notice any symptom in your pet, take it to the vet immediately.
To prevent any contact between the fiddle leaf fig and your pet, keep the plant at a height where your pets can’t reach or spray citrus fruits around the plant that the cats and dogs can’t tolerate.
Fiddle leaf figs can affect humans if they have sensitive skin. So use gloves whenever you touch the plant or wash your hands thoroughly after touching it.
Also read: Is fiddle leaf fig poisonous to pets?
Brown leaves on fiddle leaf figs
When the beautiful green leaves of your fiddle leaf fig turn brown, you know it has some problem working behind it.
Reasons for brown leaves on your fiddle leaf fig can be overwatering, underwatering, low humidity, and pest infestations.
Overwatering leads to root rot, and one of the signs of root rot is brown leaves. If you suspect root rot, you need to take the plant out of the soil and check if the roots are brown and mushy.
Underwatering makes the soil dry, and the fiddle leaf fig is unable to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. As a result, there will be dry and crisp brown spots on the edges of the leaves in case of dehydrated plants.
Fiddle leaf figs need a lot of humidity, but when the humidity level drops during the winter months or in the colder regions, the plant can have brown leaves due to moisture loss.
If there are small brown spots on your fiddle leaf fig, there is a chance of pest infestation where pests such as mealybugs or spider mites can infest the plant.
Also read: Why does my fiddle leaf fig turning brown?
Yellow leaves on fiddle leaf fig
Overwatering can be a reason for the yellow leaves on your fiddle leaf fig.
When there is root rot due to overwatering, yellow leaves can be one of the initial signs.
Lack of light is another reason for the yellow leaves on the fiddle leaf fig. The plant cannot photosynthesize due to lack of light, and therefore, the leaves become yellow.
Insufficient fertilizers will lead to nutrition deficiency in your fiddle leaf fig. The nutrition deficiency can lead to yellow leaves.
If the plant has none of these problems but still shows yellow leaves, check if you have repotted the plant recently. Repotting can cause stress to the plant, and yellow leaves might be a sign of that.
Also read: Why does my fiddle leaf fig turning yellow?
Curling leaves on fiddle leaf fig
There can be two reasons behind the curling of leaves. First, fiddle leaf figs appreciate consistent temperature and humidity levels.
If there is a sudden rise or fall in those conditions, the leaves will start curling.
Dehydrated fiddle leaf fig will also have curling leaves and brown spots on the edges that move towards the center.
Try to understand the water requirements of the plant and start watering a little more.
Also read: Why is my fiddle leaf fig curling?
White spots on fiddle leaf figs
If your fiddle leaf fig gets direct sunlight, it will have white and discolored leaves. Fiddle leaf figs do well when they get indirect light. Direct sunlight scorches the leaves, due to which the leaves become white.
If you have a sunburnt fiddle leaf fig, the leaves on the top will get scorched. However, the leaves that are under the shade of the upper leaves will remain unaffected.
If you have sunburnt leaves, you will need to prune the leaves as these leaves don’t recover. Place the fiddle leaf fig in an area where it gets indirect sunlight and not the direct harsh rays of the sun.
If you notice a white and powdery substance on the leaves and stem of your fiddle leaf fig, it is a fungal infection that’s called mildew infection.
This happens when your plant is in a damp area where it doesn’t get enough light or air.
You can use neem oil to get rid of mildew infection on your fiddle leaf fig and place it in an area that receives enough light and airflow.
Loss of leaves on fiddle leaf fig
Excess loss of leaves is a sign of a problem for the fiddle leaf fig. Don’t expose the plant to dry conditions as that causes the leaves to fall off the plant.
Not watering the plant enough will make it dry and dehydrated, which will lead to falling leaves. In addition, if the plant is exposed to cold drafts, AC, or any heating source, the plant will become dry.
Water the fiddle leaf fig at least once a week and water when the soil feels cold. The soil should not become completely dry.
Any significant change can also be harmful to the fiddle leaf figs as these plants appreciate consistency. Relocating or repotting the plant can cause stress or shock to the plant. This can lead to excessive shedding of leaves.
Water the plant and give it some time to recover. Try to avoid any sudden change that might shock the plant and maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level.
Droopy leaves on fiddle leaf fig
Underwatered plants will show droopy leaves as they are dehydrated and unhappy.
It is easy to treat droopy leaves as you need to water the fiddle leaf fig thoroughly, and you might see a change in the leaves within some time.
But you should not skip watering the plant and understand the water requirements and water your fiddle leaf fig as per that.
Leggy fiddle leaf figs
Legginess is seen in plants due to lack of light, insufficient fertilization, and not pruning the plant frequently.
When the stems of your fiddle leaf fig start looking weak and long and have little growth of leaves on them, you have a leggy fiddle leaf fig.
Fiddle leaf figs need light for healthy and robust growth. If it doesn’t get enough light, it will probably become weak and show leggy growth.
Place the fiddle leaf fig in the brightest spot of your house, where it gets 6-8 hours of indirect light daily.
Fiddle leaf figs need a lot of fertilizers for their growth, and if they don’t get a sufficient amount, the plant will become weak and leggy.
Give the plant enough fertilizer during the growing season so that it gets sufficient nutrition.
Pruning is essential for fiddle leaf figs as, without proper pruning, the plant will look messy and out of shape and can become leggy.
Also read: Why is my fiddle leaf fig leggy?
Root rot in fiddle leaf figs
Root rot is a serious condition that happens due to overwatering.
Overwatering leads to water retention in the soil that keeps the roots wet for too long. When the roots remain wet for too long, they become brown and mushy instead of white and crisp.
Root rot damages the root system, and the plant cannot absorb nutrition and water from the soil that makes it weak and causes other problems in the plant.
You need to prune the damaged parts of the plant and repot the plant in fresh potting soil to ensure that there is no chance of fungal or bacterial infection.
If the condition is severe and repotting will not help, you can propagate the plant.
Also read: How to fix root rot in fiddle leaf figs?
My fiddle leaf fig is not growing
Fiddle leaf figs don’t grow very fast, but if you feel that you cannot see any growth or very little growth, you can check if there is any problem with the plant.
Lack of light can make the growth slow in fiddle leaf figs. Therefore, you need to give it indirect light so that it can show healthy growth.
Add sufficient fertilizers to your fiddle leaf fig to ensure that the plant is getting enough nutrition.
Don’t worry if you don’t see much growth during the winter season, as that is the dormant period for the plant.
Also read: Why is my fiddle leaf fig not growing?
My fiddle leaf fig is leaning
Fiddle leaf fig should grow upwards, but there is a problem if it leans towards one side.
The stems lean towards the light source due to a lack of light that leads to a leaning plant.
You should make sure that the plant is getting sufficient light and rotate the plant slowly every 1-2 weeks to ensure it gets light on all sides.
Lack of fertilizers and root rot can also lead to a leaning fiddle leaf fig.
Also read: Why is my fiddle leaf fig leaning?
My fiddle leaf fig is dying
Plants can have many problems but, that doesn’t mean that your fiddle leaf fig is dying.
If you can detect the problem on time, you can fix it. And if you take care of the plant, you can even prevent these problems.
Try to avoid overwatering or underwatering your fiddle leaf fig, give the right amount of fertilizer to the plant, don’t make any sudden change, and give ample indirect light to your fiddle leaf fig to see it healthy and happy.
Also read: How to tell if my fiddle leaf fig is dying?
Fiddle leaf fig care tips
Fiddle leaf figs require a little effort and care to result in a beautiful and healthy fiddle leaf adding life to your home.
Let’s look at an overview of the ideal conditions for the fiddle leaf figs.
Light: Fiddle leaf figs need 6-8 hours of consistent, indirect, and daily light. You can place it near a window that gets enough light or use artificial light if your home doesn’t get sufficient natural light.
Water: Start by watering the fiddle leaf fig once a week. It will vary depending on the size of the plant and other external factors. Avoid watering if the soil feels moist or wet.
Soil: A well-draining soil that allows air circulation and has enough nutrition is ideal for the fiddle leaf figs.
Temperature: The ideal temperature for fiddle leaf figs is between 60–75°F. Try to maintain a consistent temperature around the plant, as any sudden change can cause stress or shock.
Humidity: Fiddle leaf figs enjoy a lot of moisture. During the winter months, the humidity level drops, but you can use a humidifier or a pebble tray to increase the humidity level for the plant.
Fertilizer: Fiddle leaf figs need a lot of fertilizers to be able to grow well. You can give diluted fertilizers frequently during the growing months. However, avoid giving the plant fertilizers during winter as the plant remains dormant during that time.
Pruning: Don’t avoid pruning the fiddle leaf fig whenever you see any damaged leaf or leggy growth. Pruning helps to keep the plant in shape and encourages new growth.
Repotting: The fiddle leaf fig can outgrow the pot and become rootbound. Repotting becomes necessary so that the roots can grow freely and absorb the nutrition from the soil. Repotting every 2-3 years helps to keep the plant healthy. The fiddle leaf fig requires a lot of care after repotting, without which it can have stress.
Propagation: If you have a dying fiddle leaf fig or want a new one from your existing fiddle leaf fig, you can propagate the plant and get a new fiddle leaf fig.
You can cut a healthy stem and place it in a jar of water and wait for three to four weeks to see the roots grow. Then, once you see the roots coming out, let them grow a bit more for a week.
How much light does a fiddle leaf fig need?
Fiddle leaf figs need ample indirect light for healthy growth. You can place your plant near a window that gets 6-8 hours of light and turn the plant slowly so that it gets light on all sides.
Don’t keep fiddle leaf figs under direct sunlight as that will scorch the leaves.
Can fiddle leaf figs cause allergies?
Fiddle leaf figs contain calcium oxalate that can cause skin irritation if it comes in contact. Use gloves or wash your hands properly after touching them.
If your pet ingests any part of the plant, it can have oral irritation, vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, etc. Take your pet to the vet in that case.
How do I make my fiddle leaf fig shiny?
Fiddle leaf figs are famous for their green and shiny leaves. But the leaves can lose the shine over time and if you don’t look after them.
Wipe the leaves with a wet cloth whenever the leaves seem dull and dusty leaves. If you maintain the correct humidity level, it will help the fiddle leaf fig leaves to remain shiny.
Also read: How to clean fiddle leaf fig leaves?