Houseplants

How to Grow and Care for Fiddle-Leaf Fig Indoors: The Ultimate Guide

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Looking for a guide on how to grow and care for Fiddle-Leaf Fig houseplants? You’ve come to the right place!

This blog post will discuss everything you need to know to have a healthy and thriving Fiddle-Leaf Fig Houseplant. 

I will discuss the fundamentals of indoor fiddle leaf fig tree care: how to fertilize fig trees, common fig tree pests and diseases, tips for planting fig trees. So whether you’re beginner or an experienced gardener, read on for all the information you need to grow your own Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree Houseplant!

Buy your first Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plant HERE on Etsy.

Types of Fiddle-Leaf Fig

The main species, Ficus lyrata, is the most common fiddle-leaf fig plant that gardeners grow. But there are several cultivars available as well, including:

  • Ficus lyrata ‘Bambino’: This is a dwarf variety that only reaches a few feet tall.
  • Ficus lyrata ‘Compacta’: This variety can reach up to 5 feet tall and features smaller, more bunched leaves than the main species.
  • Ficus lyrata ‘Variegata’: This is an uncommon variety with showy leaves that mix green and cream.
  • Buy Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant on Etsy

How to Grow and Care for Fiddle-Leaf Fig Indoors: The Ultimate Guide

Light

These plants can be very picky and need the right lighting conditions to thrive indoors. Fiddle-leaf figs thrive in bright, filtered light. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, especially during the summer. Plants that are grown under extremely low lighting will not flourish either. It is best to place them near a window with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight.

If you cannot provide adequate lighting indoors, consider growing your plant outdoors in a shady spot during the spring and summer months and supplement with grow light indoors during the winter. My favorite grow lights are the HausBright LED Bulbs. 

Soil

A fiddle-leaf fig should be kept in a container with a quality indoor plant potting mix. Make sure the soil drains properly.

RELATED: Fertilize Your Houseplants with Coffee

How Much Water for Fiddle-Leaf Fig Plants

Fiddle-leaf figs like a moderate amount of moisture in the soil. If the plant doesn’t get enough water, its leaves will wilt and lose their bright green color. Their root system must have good drainage, so the moist soil doesn’t become soggy for too long.

And if it gets too much water, the plant might drop its leaves and suffer from root rot, ultimately killing it.

As a good rule of thumb, during the growing season (spring to fall), water your fiddle-leaf fig plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. During the winter months, you will need to water it less frequently.

Fiddle Leaf Figs are sensitive to high salt levels in the soil. So it’s ideal to flush the soil until water comes out the bottom of the pot at least monthly to prevent salt build-up.

Use room temperature water instead of cold water to not shock your plant during waterings.

Temperature and Humidity for Fiddle-Leaf Fig Houseplants

Fiddle Leaf Fig trees originate in the tropical rainforest of West Africa. These plants thrive below the forest canopy in a humid environment. Their native environment gets plenty of light but is not super sunny, and the air is warm and humid.

Fiddle-leaf figs don’t like extreme swings in temperature. To match their natural habitat, keep the temperature between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Always keep your plant away from drafty areas and directly in front of air-conditioning and heating vents.

These plants love humidity; aim for a humidity level between 30 and 65 percent. To increase humidity for your plant, you can: mist with clean water in a spray bottle, place it on a tray of pebbles filled with water or place it in a room with a humidifier. I have blog post all about humidifiers for plants HERE. 

Fertilizer

Fiddle leaf fig plants need specific nutrients for growth, health, and strong root systems.

Fertilize fiddle leaf fig trees about once a month throughout the summer growing season with high-nitrogen plant food, for example, one with an NPK ratio of 3-1-2.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Fertilizers

Common Fiddle Leaf Fig Problems and How to Fix Them

Fiddle leaf figs are one of the most beautiful plants (in our opinion), but it’s not always the easiest to take care of. So, don’t feel bad if you haven’t quite mastered your fig tree care yet because you’re not alone! Keep reading for common fiddle leaf fig problems (and how to fix them). The good news is, most of these touch plant problems are easily fixed!

Because fiddle leaf figs are sensitive to light, watering, and humidity, there are a variety of common issues that can arise when owning these unique trees. Rogers Gardens note that many issues that people have when they bring their house plants home include:

1. Help! My Fiddle leaf fig is dropping leaves

Losing a leaf here is normal with trees. However, the number one problem that a fiddle leaf fig will have is dropping numerous leaves.

Your leaves are likely dropping because it’s located where there’s too much drastic temperature change. Drafts from a vent (whether it’s hot or cold air), window, or door will stress out your fig, causing it to drop its leaves.

If the leaves turn yellow before dropping, it’s likely due to being over-watered.

2. Help! My Fiddle leaf fig leaves are turning yellow

Your fiddle leaf fig leaves are most likely turning yellow due to overwatering. Figs like to be kept moist but don’t like to be kept soggy or waterlogged. Here are some steps you can take to fix this problem:

  1. Ensure your fig is in a well-draining pot
  2. Have a well-draining mix containing 2-parts peat-based media and 1 part perlite soil
  3. Use the one-cup watering method to water your fig
  4. Water every 7-10 days or when the top of the soil feels dried out

3. Help! My Fiddle leaf fig leaves are wilting

Just like fiddle leaf figs don’t like to be overwatered, they also don’t like to be underwatered. Like any other plant, a common sign that your fig isn’t getting enough water are wilting leaves. So, you may want to consider watering it with more water or watering it more often.

Maintaining a strict watering schedule will help your fiddle leaf fig adapt and thrive!

4. Help! My Fiddle leaf fig leaves are getting white or tan patches

Fiddle leaf figs aren’t generally a fan of direct lighting. So, if you start noticing patches of tan or white on its leaves, then you know it’s gotten sunburned! Fiddle leaf figs will do best in bright indirect sunlight, like in a north-facing window or out of the path of direct sunlight.

5. Help! My Fiddle leaf fig leaves are getting dark black patches or dark brown spots

Black or brown spots appearing on the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig are most likely due to a bacterial infection or root rot. These issues typically will arise because of too much water. While the outlook may not be good, you still have a chance at saving your fig if you start noticing the issue.

Start by removing your fiddle leaf fig from its pot. Gently massage its root ball to get the roots apart and remove any excess soil. Next, you can take a clean, sharp scissors and remove the mushy roots (the rotting roots) from the system. Replant in a well-draining pot with a well-draining, sterile soil mix and water only as necessary!

Other common causes include:

  • Not enough water (if the brown spots are dried out and crumbly)
  • Not enough humidity
  • Fertilizer burn (always apply the right amount of fertilizer after it’s been watered)

6. Help! My Fiddle leaf fig is infested with pests

As a plant expert, I advise thoroughly checking your plant before you leave your local plant shop or bring it into your home. All plants are susceptible to pest infestations, especially the ones that don’t like their soil to dry out between waterings. Common signs that your fiddle leaf fig is infested are things like “webbing, small holes, discolored ‘dots,’ or the actual insects themselves.” Common pests for fiddle leaf figs include mealy bugs, spider mites, and fungus gnats.

Checking your plant’s leaves and soil regularly for signs of infestation and acting quickly is the best way to save your fig! Cleaning the leaves or repotting and spraying with a Castile soap solution will kill the pests in no time!

FAQS

Are fiddle-leaf figs easy to care for?

Fiddle-leaf figs are one of the most difficult trees to grow. They may be picky at times but can thrive with the proper conditions and care. They require warmth, humidity, a lot of bright indirect light, some direct light, and plenty of water. Overwatering them is dangerous; observe caution when watering.

How fast do fiddle-leaf fig trees grow?

This houseplant can grow 2 feet a year, reaching about 6 to 10 feet in height.

Will a fiddle-leaf fig grow fruit?

An indoor fiddle-leaf fig houseplant will not produce fruit.

What pot size is best for a fiddle-leaf fig tree?

The plant prefers a pot with drainage holes to prevent root rot. A heavier pot will also help anchor the tree in case of high winds or drafty areas. Choose a size that will accommodate the roots and allow room for growth.

In Conclusion

Plant care doesn’t have to be intimidating! Fiddle-leaf figs (or “Ficus lyrata”) are one of the easiest houseplants to grow and maintain indoors. They can brighten up any room with their beautiful leaves and become a great conversation piece for visitors.

Following the Ultimate Guide for Growing and Caring for Fiddle-Leaf Fig Indoors, plant owners can gain all the tips and tricks they need to help keep these tropical beauties healthy and thriving. With some dedication and knowledge, plant owners can reap the rewards of growing their own fiddle-leaf fig plant in the ease and convenience of their own home – no matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced plant parent!

Following these growth requirements and giving it proper care will help your fiddle leaf fig thrive:

I hope you found this guide helpful. Be sure to give your fiddle-leaf fig the care it needs, with the right conditions, and enjoy its beauty for years to come!

Do you have a fiddle-leaf fig? What tips do you have for others? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ren Lenhof

View Comments

  • Yep, it's really hard to grow. I've shipped fiddle leaf fig variegated to the US, but many of them can't survive after a month. I suggest using perlite soil after importing the plants. It helps the roots not rot, over watering this plants can make the root rot.

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