Plants

How to Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

When it comes to indoor plants, I have to admit, my thumbs aren’t the greenest. I do much better with outdoor potted plants. So a few months back when I ordered two Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees, I didn’t have very high hopes for them staying alive very long.

If you own this plant, you probably already know that it is not the easiest to care for. Even if I would have known this going in, I think I still would have ordered them anyway. I had a couple of spots in the house that needed some greenery, and a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree was the perfect choice due to their height and big green leaves.

So in the past three months I’ve learned a lot about how to care for a Fiddle Leaf, and in this article I’m going to share with you the dos and don’ts to save you some time and possibly a headache or two.

Watering Your Fiddle Leaf

Rule number one of Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree ownership is “Do Not Over Water!” They are not like most plants that need water every couple of days. In fact, you should wait at least a full week in between waterings. The top few inches of soil in the pot should be dry before giving it more water.

You can check the moisture level by sticking your finger one to two inches into the dirt. If it feels damp or moist, that means it is too soon to give your plant more water. It should feel dry to the touch.

If you want to get fancy, you can buy a moisture meter. All you have to do is stick it into the soil and it will display how much moisture it contains. A moisture meter isn’t required by any means, but it does give you a bit more confidence in determining if your Fiddle Leaf needs watering or not.

So how much water should you give your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree?

These plants are used to living in the rain forests of Africa, where there is heavy rainfall, and then long periods of no rain. This means that when you do water your plant, it needs to be a deep watering.

This table will help you know how much water to use based your plant’s height.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Height Amount of Water
Less than 2 ft1 cup
Between 2 – 3 ft2 cups
Taller than 3 ft 3 cups

After some time, the condition of the plant’s leaves will tell you if you are giving it too much water or not enough. Here’s what healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree leaves should look like.

Leaves of a healthy plant.

Signs of Too Much Water

  • Leaves turning yellowish-brown starting at the bottom of the plant
  • Brown or dark spots forming in the middle of the leaf
  • Leaves falling off
  • Musty smell coming from the soil and roots indicating root rot

Signs of Not Enough Water

  • Brown or dark spots form on the edges of the leaves
  • Brown spots on leaves all over the plant, not just near the bottom

Here’s a look at a leaf of one of our plants when we weren’t giving it enough water.

Leaves of a plant that needs more water.

Find the Right Spot in Your House

Remember that Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees are from the rain forest. This means that they do not like full sunlight. Find a place in your home that gets some gentle rays coming through a window part of the day.

Once you find the perfect place for your plant, try to keep it in that spot. Fiddle Leafs like a consistent environment. You can however rotate the pot from time to time. Since these plants grow toward the sunlight, this will encourage it to grow straight up instead of leaning to one side.

Remember that your Fiddle Leaf likes a consistent environment. This also applies to temperature and humidity. So don’t place your tree too close to a vent. I made this mistake and as a result one of my plants dropped a few leaves.

Feed Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

So now that you’re giving your plant just enough water and the right amount of sunlight, there is one more important thing it needs. Food!

In their natural environment, Fiddle Leafs can grow over 30 feet tall. That’s because they get tons of rich nutrients from the rain forest soil. Now don’t expect your tree to get quite that tall, but if you give it the right fertilizer, it will turn into a tall and healthy plant.

There are plenty of products out there, but I use this one and it has been great so far. Each time I water, I mix one cap full for each cup of H2O. This way I know that my plants are getting all of the nutrients they need.

I hope these tips will help you grow big, healthy, and beautiful Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees. Taking care of these plants is definitely a learning process, but if you make sure and cover the three bases I mentioned in this article, you should be good!

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