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Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Need Fertilizer? (How Often+Best Pick)

When the fiddle leaf fig is in their natural habitat, they get all the required nutrients that are naturally added to the soil. Whereas, when you have an indoor plant, it might not get all the nutrients. 

Therefore, adding fertilizers to your fiddle leaf fig is essential for its wellbeing. But how much fertilizer do fiddle leaf figs need? And how often should you fertilize them?

Fiddle leaf fig needs a lot of fertilizer as it grows big leaves quickly, which eats up a lot of nutrients from the soil. Consider fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig with a dilute dose at least once a month throughout spring and summer. A fertilizer with a 3:1:2 NPK ratio would be ideal for their growth.

Fiddle leaf figs are big plants with large leaves, and these plants require a lot of energy. In the wild, these plants can grow up to a height of 40 feet as they can draw a lot of nutrients with the help of their roots by going deep into the soil.

As an indoor plant, the fiddle leaf fig will not grow so tall, but providing it with the correct fertilizer dose will help the plant remain healthy and grow to its highest potential inside the house.

We are going to find out everything about fertilizing a fiddle leaf fig plant in this guide. We will cover what fertilizer is best, how often you should fertilize, and how to fertilize your fiddle leaf fig.

Also read: Do all indoor plants need fertilizer? How much? How often?


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Should I fertilize my fiddle leaf fig?

Fertilizing the houseplants is essential as these plants are not in their natural habitat. Instead, they are potted, and their roots don’t have a wide reach.

Also, the nutrients present in the soil get washed away every time you water the plant.

Therefore, it becomes crucial to restore the soil with a dose of fertilizer to get enough nutrients.

One more reason would be that the fiddle leaf figs don’t retain the nutrients that they absorb. The nutrients get used up very soon, and the plant is soon in need of more.

Keeping these in mind, you need to fertilize your fiddle leaf fig without failure if you want to see a healthy and growing plant.

Here are some of the problems you might find if your fiddle leaf fig doesn’t get sufficient fertilizer.

  • Slow growth
  • Droopy leaves
  • Yellowing or browning leaves

There might be other reasons that may play a role in this, but one reason is that the plant is not getting sufficient fertilizer.

When should I fertilize my fiddle leaf fig?

One of the primary things that you need to know is that you should not fertilize your fiddle leaf fig during the winter. That is the dormant period for the plant. During this time, the plant rests and doesn’t grow actively.

The plant will not need much nutrition, therefore don’t fertilize when the fiddle leaf fig is not growing.

The duration of the plant’s dormant period will depend on the severity of winter where you live. 

If you experience mild winter at your location, your plant will remain inactive for about 1-2 months. And then it will start growing again.

If you experience severe winters with shorter days, your fiddle leaf fig will remain dormant for a longer period.

So the idea is to fertilize your fiddle leaf fig during the growing period, which includes all the seasons except winter.



How often should you fertilize fiddle leaf fig?

Neglecting a fiddle leaf fig is one of the common problems. Neglecting often means not giving it enough nutrition. And this will lead to slow growth, which we as houseplant owners will not like to experience.

Fiddle leaf figs absorb a lot of nutrients from the soil when it is grown outdoors. Since your fiddle leaf fig can’t absorb the nutrients, you need to take care of its nutritional needs.

You should use a very gentle fertilizer on your fiddle leaf fig, and you should fertilize the plant once every week.

Fiddle leaf figs don’t save up nutrition like many other plants. Due to this, they need to be fertilized more often.

The easiest way to remember to fertilize the fiddle leaf fig is to remember that you need to fertilize the plant with a diluted dose every month.

What is the best fertilizer for fiddle leaf fig?

The Best Fertilizer for a Fiddle Leaf Fig | Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource Center

Using a high-quality liquid fertilizer works the best for fiddle leaf figs.
It is essential that you dilute the fertilizer and then use it on the plant; otherwise, you will end up overfeeding it.

N-P-K stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium when it comes to fertilizer terminology. Fertilizers are identified and differentiated as per the NPK ratio of the product.

Let us take a look at the various functions that the nutrients have and how they can help your fiddle leaf fig.

NutrientsFunctions
Nitrogen-Promotes new growth
-Helps in the formation of proteins
-Essential for photosynthesis
Phosphorous-Promotes cellular growth and division
-Promotes root growth
-Key element of photosynthesis
Potassium-Boosts immunity in plants
-Helps to regulate water

Fiddle leaf figs need an NPK ratio of 3:1:2. This formula works the best for these plants and allows the plant to grow more. Nitrogen promotes the growth of new leaves, and phosphorus helps with root growth.

You can also dilute a 10:10:10 fertilizer and use it as a replacement to the above one. I personally love this Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plant Food I got from Amazon as this is the balanced formula specially formulated for fiddle leaf figs.

This is the reason why it is advised not to fertilize the plant when it is not growing. In winter, you can concentrate on watering the plant right and not fertilizing it at all.

How do you fertilize fiddle figs?

Always fertilize the fiddle leaf figs when it is growing. The growing period for this plant is mainly during spring and summer.

Here are some simple steps with which you can fertilize your fiddle leaf fig.

  1. Take a bucket for mixing the fertilizer. You can also use a watering can.
  2. Use a fertilizer that has an NPK ratio of 3:1:2. Preferably Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plant Food.
  3. Use a suitable dosage by mixing 10 ML of fertilizer in 1 gallon of water. This might differ as per the fertilizer so read the instructions carefully before using it.
  4. Water the plant until the water drains out of the drainage holes.
  5. You can store this diluted mix and water your plant bi-monthly during the spring and summer.

Things to keep in mind while fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind while fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig plants:

  1. Use fertilizers created explicitly for fiddle leaf figs: You might be using general or traditional fertilizer. As a result, you are noticing that there is slow growth in your plant or it is showing signs of malnutrition. That is when you should consider switching to a fertilizer that is created explicitly for fiddle leaf figs.
  2. Add less fertilizer if you are not sure: If you are not sure of how much fertilizer you want to add or are afraid of over-fertilizing the plant, you should add less fertilizer. Adding less is much better than adding too much.
  3. Your pot should have drainage holes: Drainage holes will ensure that the soil doesn’t retain water and ensure that the fertilizer is not accumulating. The drainage will let the fertilizer wash away when you water the plant.
  4. Leach before changing conditions for the plant: If you are changing the external conditions for your fiddle leaf fig, for example, moving it to a drier climate or moving it to a brighter part of your house, it gets crucial to remove excess fertilizer from the pot.
    1. If you want to leach the plant, place the pot in a place like a bathtub or sink where all of the pot will sink so that it can drain.
  5. Add water: Next, add twice the amount of water that the pot can hold and let all that water drain from the bottom. This will help to flush away the excess fertilizer from the soil of your fiddle leaf fig,
  6. Double-check the measurement to avoid overfeeding: You may end up adding too much fertilizer. This can happen if you are in a hurry. Therefore you must double-check the amount.
  7. Don’t use slow-release fertilizers: Slow-release fertilizers take a lot of time to get absorbed. This is not recommended because you will not be able to figure how much your plant is absorbing. Don’t try using such fertilizers and use them only if you are experienced with using them.
  8. Don’t combine fertilizers: If you combine slow-release fertilizers with soluble fertilizers, like the previous point, you will not be able to guess how much fertilizer your plant is getting.

What to do if steaming goes wrong: Steaming is a method that is used to sterilize the potting mix, but if you are new to it, you might end up making the soil too hot, in which case you would need to leach the plant and let it rest for a few weeks.

Can you over-fertilize a fiddle leaf fig?

Over-fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig will cause the plant to burn out. It will also lead to chemical burns. If you apply too much fertilizer, you will see the following symptoms:

  • Weak stem
  • Wrinkled leaves
  • Stunted growth

The easiest way to deal with this problem is to wash your plant thoroughly with clean water and let it recover for a few weeks.

Once you notice that the plant has got back to health, you can start fertilizing it again. Be careful not to over-fertilize it this time.


If you are looking to buy a lot of houseplants to brighten up your space and that too on a budget, try out Cellardoorplants. They offer a wide variety of plants, delivered right to your doorstep, and that too for every budget. If you haven't checked them yet, Try them now!


Final Words

Fertilizing is essential if you want to have a healthy fiddle leaf fig that gets all the nourishment for growing.

It would be best if you fertilized your fiddle leaf fig once a week. The easiest way to remember this is to fertilize the plant every time you water it.

Use a fertilizer that has the NPK ratio of 3:1:2 and make sure to dilute it before giving it to the plant.

Remember to not give fertilizers to the plant in winter. And don’t under-fertilize or over-fertilize the plant. Always double-check the amount that you are using before giving it to the plant.

Also read: 13 reasons why your indoor plants keeps dying?


Sources: CABI.ORGNew York Botanical gardenUniversity of Florida.