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How Much Light Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Need? (+ Low Light Problems)

Light plays an essential role in the growth and health of the plant. It is crucial to understand the light requirements of the fiddle leaf fig if you want to see it thrive in your place.

Lack of sunlight gives rise to the yellowing of leaves, brown spots, and leaves dropping. But how much light do fiddle leaf figs need?

Fiddle leaf figs do exceptionally well under indirect bright lighting conditions. When kept near a southern window where they receive indirect bright sunlight, the plant grows exponentially. However, make sure to keep them away from the intense afternoon sun, else they may get sunburn.

I understand you have a lot of thought in your mind that you haven’t found the answer for. But don’t worry. We will cover everything in-depth for you.

Let’s understand the light requirements of Fiddle leaf figs within this article.

Fiddle leaf fig light

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Importance of good lighting for fiddle leaf figs

Plants need a lot of light for their basic living needs. Good lighting helps them to photosynthesize and perform all the activities required for them to thrive.

Being able to provide proper lighting is a challenge for many indoor plant owners. Fiddle leaf figs are native to African forests where they get plenty of sunlight.

Sufficient sunlight will help the fiddle leaf fig be healthy and grow fast. These plants are fast-growing, and enough light encourages growth.

Thus, make sure you provide your fiddle leaf fig with enough lighting.

Also read: Do Indoor Plants Need Sunlight? (With 25 Examples)

What kind of light does a fiddle leaf need?

How Much Light Does a Fiddle Leaf Fig Need | Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource Center

The more light you can give, the better it is for your fiddle leaf fig plant. However, Fiddle leaf fig plants can thrive in medium-bright light as well. But make sure you don’t keep them under low lighting as their growth gets really slow.

Fiddle leaf figs (Ficus lyrata) are native to Eastern Africa, and they are very adaptable when it comes to lighting. 

While growing in the tropical rainforests, they don’t get a lot of lighting, yet they adjust to their surroundings and thrive really well.

In your house, you should keep your fiddle leaf fig in the brightest spot available. However, there are some things that you should keep in mind if you want to provide the ideal lighting to your plant.



Exposure to Sun

Lighting requirement

You would want your fiddle leaf fig plant to get sunlight throughout the day and not just during a specific period of the day, so you should look for a spot that can provide enough sunlight to it all day long.

If you have a south-facing window, that should be the ideal spot for your fiddle leaf fig plant. If the plant is placed near a south-facing window, it will get light for the longest duration. 

However, make sure it doesn’t get direct sun, as intense afternoon sun can be detrimental to the plant’s health. Apart from that east window is also an ideal spot as the plant gets direct morning sun.

However, if you keep it in an east or west-facing window, it will get light only in the morning or the afternoon, and it will get even less light during the winter months. 

Thus, you will need to either move them to a new spot or provide an artificial light supplement so that they can survive through the winter months.

The direction of the sun 

If you want to understand the sun’s direction, you must first know the direction that your house faces.

If you place your fiddle leaf fig plant near an east-facing window, it will get great sunlight in the morning, but it will only be for a short duration.

If you place the plant in a west-facing window, it will receive the sun’s harsh rays during the afternoon, and that can burn its leaves. 

While growing in their natural habitat, these plants are saved from the afternoon rays with the help of the nearby canopy trees.

The windows that face south get the sunlight throughout the day. So, that can be an ideal spot.

The North facing windows will get enough light during the summer and spring months if you live in the southern part of the United States.

Keeping all the directions and the sun’s movement in mind, a south-facing window will be the ideal spot for your fiddle leaf fig plant.

Note: If your window gets direct sunlight, you may want to place the plant a few feet away from the window. This is because we don’t want the leaves to burn.

Be Consistent

In the case of fiddle leaf figs, consistency is a must. You might think that you would move the plant along with the light to different spots of the house, but that will cause stress in your plant.

Fiddle leaf figs don’t appreciate being moved around. In their natural habitat, they remain rooted in a spot, and nobody moves them around. 

That is precisely what they need even when indoor. 

So you need to find the brightest and sunniest spot of your house that doesn’t get very harsh sunlight and place the fiddle leaf fig on that spot.

If you need to move the plant, make very slow and consistent movements so that the plant can adjust to it.

A sudden move from a bright light spot to a low light spot can shock the plant. That might lead to wilting and other problems. Thus, make sure you keep your plant in a fixed place and rotate them occasionally.

Can a fiddle leaf fig live in low light?

Fiddle leaf figs can survive in low lighting conditions but don’t expect any plant growth if the lighting condition is extremely poor.

Your plant may get leggy and suffer from stunted growth when enough lighting is not provided to the plant.

I prefer a medium-brightly lit spot for the fiddle leaf fig to thrive.

Fiddle Leaf Fig not getting enough light

To combat lack of light, you need to move the fiddle leaf fig to a South facing window of the house. 

Now, if you don’t have a south-facing window at all, and wherever you are keeping the plant, it’s not getting enough light, what should you do?

You need to place the plant in the sunniest part of your house and make sure that you do not overwater it.

You can also add supplementary artificial lighting to support the growth.

But one major problem that plant owners face is they don’t understand if their fiddle leaf fig is getting enough light or not. As a result, their plant suffers a lot and starts wilting at the end.

How do I know if my fiddle leaf fig is not getting enough light?

Inadequate light will give birth to various problems, some of which are mentioned below.

  • Yellow leaves

Lack of light can cause yellowing leaves. It can also happen due to a lack of nutrients. The easiest way to deal with this is to give it more light and more nutrition.

  • Leaves that point towards the light source

If you have a healthy fiddle leaf fig plant, the leaves will stick up and be relaxed. 

But if you notice that the leaves are pointing towards the light source, it means that the plant is not getting sufficient light.

  • Thin and floppy leaves

The fiddle leaf figs will have thin leaves when it’s a new plant, but the leaves should become thick as it grows old.

If the leaves are still thin and flimsy, it means that your plant is not getting enough light. Due to lack of light, it is not getting the required energy to grow normally.

  • Slow and leggy growth

If your plant is growing slower than usual, the chances are that you are not giving it enough sunlight to grow.

Leggy growth is another sign of lack of light. Due to low light, the stems become leggy, and the leaves become lesser in number.

If you see any of the symptoms mentioned above in your plant, know that you still have plenty of time to treat it and fix the issues.

What to do if fiddle leaf fig is not getting enough light?

If your fiddle leaf fig is not getting enough lighting, you need to take additional steps to ensure that the plant remains healthy. Some of the major things you need to take care of includes:

Use grow lights

Grow lights are designed to give energy to your plant and are an excellent substitute for sunlight.

You need to put the lights toward the plant and turn them on. These run with electricity. 

These can really help your plant stay put during the winter months or give it enough light if your house lacks sufficient light.

I really like this SANSI 15W LED Grow Light Bulb, which I got from amazon.

Adaptable plants

Fiddle leaf figs adapt really well. So the best thing to do is put the plant in a spot where you want it to live and leave it there.

Please don’t move it around a lot. Even turning the plant can stress it. You can rotate your plant one quarter each month so that it gets adequate light on all sides and doesn’t get stressed.

If you have a plant that has been growing towards the window for a long time, and if you turn that side away from the window, that can be very stressful for the plant.

Let the plant adjust to its surroundings and try to provide them with a stable and balanced environment.

Watering

Overwatering is a common problem for all plants, including fiddle leaf figs. The watering can depend on the lighting.

If the plant is in a low-light area, you can water it a little less. If it is a high light area, you should give it a little more water.

Fertilize

If you want your fiddle leaf plant to thrive in low light conditions, you would need to give it adequate nutrition.

Along with watering the plant, keep in mind to provide the right amount of fertilizer at the right time. 

These plants crave nitrogen, so you can opt for a fertilizer that is high on nitrogen.

Can fiddle leaf figs get sunburned?

Fiddle leaf figs love sunlight, but too much direct afternoon sunlight can cause problems such as sunburn.

Direct sunlight can cause sunburn to the leaves. You will notice light brown spots on top of the leaves, and sometimes you can also see red or yellow coloring on the leaves.

Symptoms: Tan and whitish spots on the top of leaves

The easiest way to get rid of this is to prune the sunburned leaves with a pair of sharp and sterilized scissors or pruning shears. 

You need to find a new spot for your plant that is protected from the harsh and direct rays of the sun, or else you need to use a shade or sheer curtain to filter the bright sunlight.

Also read: Can indoor plants get too much sun?


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

Fiddle leaf figs love bright light. However, it would be best if you didn’t place it near the window where it gets intense afternoon sun. The morning sun is perfect for the plant, but at the same time afternoon, the sun can burn the leaves.

Thus, if you place the plant at the southern or western window, keep them a few feet away so that the plant doesn’t get direct sun. Else use a curtain or shade to filter the sun.

Alternatively, keeping the plant at the eastern window might be a good option. However, you need to provide some light supplement during the winters as light duration goes down significantly at that time.

Also read: 13 reasons why your houseplants keeps dying.


Sources: CABI.ORG, New York Botanical garden, University of Florida.