The Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is a popular houseplant native to Western and Central Africa, well-loved for its stunning appearance and large, glossy leaves. They’re known to be high maintenance and sensitive, so expect them to require regular attention and care. Nothing you can’t handle, though. Simply mimic its natural environment and follow our care guide below.
Maintenance: High | Climate: Tropical | Light: Bright+Indirect | Water: Consistent | Pet Safe: No
The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a plant that grows on a main stem, sporting large, violin-shaped leaves in green gloss. Their growth branches off as they gain more height. Under proper indoor conditions, they can grow over 6 feet tall.
Fiddle Leaf Figs require lots of bright light and prefer to be near a window. However, direct sunlight will quickly scorch and dry the leaves out, so indirect placement or filtered light through sheer curtains is recommended. Review our 411 on light types here. Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will benefit from regular dusting so that the leaves can properly absorb light.
To keep your Fiddle Leaf healthy, water on a consistent schedule once the soil is about 50% dry. Depending on the pot size and your home, this may be about every week to week-and-a-half. Always use non-tap water that is lukewarm or room temperature.
It’s important to water fully and slowly around the soil’s entire surface until water drains from the pot. On occasion, it will enjoy being double-watered using what collects in the saucer. Just don’t allow the roots to sit in water for more than a few minutes.
Fiddle Leaf figs prefer a warm, humid environment free from drafts. Keep the air moist by placing a pebble tray underneath the pot, adding a humidifier nearby, or misting the leaves 2-4 times per week.
While Fiddle Leaf Figs do not like to be moved from place to place, they can benefit from having their trunk “shaken”. Occasionally swaying them from side to side will imitate natural strong winds and build strength in the main trunk.
Since Fiddle Leafs require bright light, they’ll enjoy proximity to a South or East-facing window. If you notice leaf burn, move them a few feet away. Rotating them biweekly or monthly will ensure even growth and a beautiful shape.
These stunning plants symbolize freedom, good luck, and fertility. Consider placing them with intention in your home by pairing this symbolism with its care requirements.
POTTING & SOIL
These plants require great stability and can go about 2 years before needing to be repotted. A deep ceramic pot with a drainage hole is essential to both maintain moisture and prevent water-logged roots on your Fiddle.
Proper soil for the Fiddle Leaf Fig is well-draining, with organic matter, perlite, and sand. Apply a fertilizer treatment about once per month during the growing season when you water. You can also make some DIY natural fertilizers with a few at-home recipes.
When the plant goes into rest at the start of Fall, cease fertilizing and maintain temperatures above 65º. As winter temperatures creep in, your Fiddle Leaf may need to be moved away from the window to avoid cold drafts. Likewise, they will not do well near air vents or extreme heat.
Reduce your watering frequency during winter, using your finger or a moisture meter to assess the soil. Maintaining humidity levels throughout Fall and Winter is also key.
Pruning a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is a great way to maintain its size and shape. As it grows taller and reaches towards the light, you may see imbalanced growth. Pruning the branch with the highest growth will allow your Fiddle to grow branches in new directions.
Pruning a fast-growing stem will help balance the size of your Fiddle and prevent it from leaning over. Additionally, rotating it regularly will allow for even growth.
Given how sensitive Fiddle Leaf Figs can be, be patient with yourself and the learning process when you see signs of stress. Troubleshoot and bring your Fiddle back to health using some pointers below:
Leaves bleaching on a Fiddle Leaf Fig is caused by direct sunlight that is too harsh for the plant. Move your Fiddle Leaf Fig a few away from the window to avoid scorched leaves. It likely will need a thorough watering, too.
Red Spots on Leaves
A Fiddle leaf with red spots is caused by cells in the leaf bursting due to excess moisture. They’ll often disappear as the leaf continues to grow, though you’ll want to be mindful of watering habits going forward to avoid bigger issues.
Additionally, red spots can be caused by pests like spider mites. Be sure to rule this out by applying a natural insecticide, using water and a few drops of liquid soap. Wipe the leaves and stems well using a cloth or paper towel.
If leaves are falling off of your Fiddle Leaf Fig, it may be thirsty, in need of brighter light, or suffering from an infection. It’s also common for the Fiddle to drop leaves in response to a change in environment and other stressors.
Brown and Crispy Leaves
Dried and brown leaves on a Fiddle Leaf Fig can be due to many things. Some distinct differences are:
- Brown edges and curling leaves are often from dry soil
- Brown spots that start in the center or are accompanied by yellowing may be from overwatering, or an infection caused by bacteria or fungus
- A green leaf with very dark brown spots is typically a sign of root rot
Fully removing damaged leaves is the best practice so the plant can direct energy towards healthy growth. To treat root rot, bacteria, or fungus infections, it’s vital that the soil is allowed to dry. Use a diluted hydrogen peroxide treatment in the soil and on the leaves. Repotting with sterile soil may be necessary, and your plant will need time to recover.
Need more help caring for your Fiddle Leaf Fig? We offer free Office Hour consultations for all Grounded customers. Schedule a call with our in-house Plant Specialist here.