Fiddle leaf fig

10 Tips on How to Care for Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Infographic)

If you want to make a bold statement, Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) is a good plant to do it with. Fiddle-Leaf Fig’s regal leaves will enhance the drama in your interior space. It is a statement houseplant and makes a good centerpiece. 

Fiddle-Leaf Figs are big, evergreen indoor trees and can grow to 8 to 10 feet tall. You should know that Fiddle-Leaf Fig plants are not the easiest houseplants to take care of since it is very sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and gets finicky with inconsistent watering. However, once you have the right temperature, sunlight and water parameters, your Fiddle-Leaf Fig will thrive and will become somewhat low maintenance.

Here is are tips on how to take care of your Fiddle-Leaf Fig.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Infographic

Fiddle Leaf Fig Infograph
Fiddle Leaf Fig Infographic

10 Tips on How to Care for Fiddle-Leaf Fig

1. Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig is Happiest in Bright Indirect Light 

Fiddle-Leaf Figs will thrive in a bright area with indirect sunlight. Too much shade will result in poor growth. You can filter direct sunlight using sheer blinds or curtains.

Fiddle Leaf: East Facing Window

Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig can tolerate a few hours of direct morning sun so placing it in front of an East facing window will work.

Fiddle Leaf Fig: West Facing Window

West facing windows can be tricky for Fiddle-Leaf Fig. At a West facing window, the afternoon sun is too much for your Fiddle-Leaf Fig. In order to make a West facing window work for your Fiddle-Leaf Fig, you have to filter the sunlight. Use venetian blinds or white curtains to filter the sunlight reaching your Fiddle-Leaf Fig.

Fiddle Leaf Fig: South Facing Window

You have to careful when placing your Fiddle Leaf Fig in front of a South facing window. Having direct sunlight all day long from a South facing window can get too much for your Fiddle-Leaf Fig. In order to make a South facing window work for Fiddle-Leaf Fig, you have to filter the sunlight. Use venetian blinds or white curtains to filter the sunlight reaching your Fiddle-Leaf Fig.

2. Moderate Water is Best for Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Fiddle Leaf Fig is sensitive to overwatering. You should let the soil dry halfway before watering your Fiddle-Leaf Fig. Consistency is key when it comes to watering your Fiddle-Leaf Fig. It can get a little finicky when you are not consistent with watering. 

Water your Fiddle-Leaf Fig when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Fiddle-Leaf Fig is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your Fiddle-Leaf Fig. If the soil is wet, then don’t water your Fiddle-Leaf Fig. 

Also take into account the environment, if it’s in the middle of summer you can probably water your Fiddle-Leaf Fig more frequently. If it’s during winter you can err on the side of less frequent watering. 

3. Get the Soil Right for Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Fiddle-Leaf Fig needs a well-draining, organic potting mix. Only buy organic soil mix because the fertilizer is not as concentrated in organic soil. Non-organic soil should really only be used for outdoor plants. 

4. Fertilize Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Fiddle-Leaf Fig should be fertilized once every two weeks at half strength when it is actively growing. When it’s dormant, during the fall and winter, don’t fertilize. 

5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Repot your Fiddle-Leaf Fig every year. Buy a large, heavy pot, around 4 inches larger (diameter) than the current pot. If you have a big Fiddle-Leaf Fig plant, get a heavy pot so it doesn’t topple over. Make sure you buy a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom so water doesn’t accumulate and cause root rot.

Know that repotting your Fiddle-Leaf Fig will make it grow larger. When it reaches the size you want it to be at, you should stop repotting your Fiddle-Leaf Fig. 

Fiddle Leaf Fig repot
Fiddle Leaf Fig repotting

6. Drainage is Essential for Fiddle-Leaf Fig

After watering your Fiddle-Leaf Fig Plant and you see some water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Fiddle-Leaf Fig’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot! 

7. Get the Temperature Right for Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig is a tropical plant. It needs to have daytime temperatures of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). Nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C).

8. Keep Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig Dust Free

Dust accumulates on your Fiddle-Leaf Fig leaves overtime. The layer of dust decreases the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. Periodically wiping down the leaves of your Fiddle-Leaf Fig with a damp cloth will help keep your plant healthy. You can also use a duster or dry duster cloth to wipe off the layer of dust on leaves.  

9. Humidity is Vital for Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig 

Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig is a tropical plant from Africa and it thrives in rainforest-like conditions. It does well in a warm and humid environment. Indoor air can be drying for your Fiddle-leaf fig. Make sure you do your best to increase indoor humidity.

How to Increase Humidity for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

1. Mist your Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Mist Fiddle Leaf Fig twice a week with a spray bottle of water.

2. Run the humidifier in the room 

3. Keep Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig’s Pot in a Saucer Filled with Water

Keep your Fiddle-Leaf Fig’s pot in a saucer filled with water but make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so it’s not directly soaking in the water.

10. Periodically Rotate Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig

You should rotate Fiddle-Leaf Fig so all sides get the same amount of light exposure. If you don’t rotate, your Fiddle-Leaf Fig will start leaning over to one side.

Related Ficus Plants: How to Care for Ficus Audrey and How to Care for Your Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

3 Common Fiddle-Leaf Fig Problems 

Common problems that affects your Fiddle-Leaf Fig are spider mites, leaf drop and leaf spot fungus.

1. Yellow and Brown Spots with Spider-Like Webs on Leaves and Stems

Problem: There are yellow and brown spots on the leaves of your Fiddle-Leaf Fig. You also see spider web-like webbing on the leaves and stem.

spider mites
Spider mites

Cause: The spider webbing and yellow and brown spots are signs of spider mites attacking your Fiddle-Leaf Fig. Spider mites are tiny pests that are too small to see with your bare eyes.

Solution: To treat spider mites on your Fiddle-Leaf Fig, spray off the leaves with water from a garden hose. The force will cause the little spider mites to wash off the leaves. You can also wash mites off with soapy water or rubbing alcohol. There are also horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps that you can use to kill off spider mites. 

Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap

2. Fiddle-Leaf Fig Leaves are Falling Off

Problem: Leaves are falling off your Fiddle-Leaf Fig. It’s normal to occasionally see one or two old leaves drop from your Fiddle-Leaf Fig but if a lot of leaves fall off all at once that is a sure sign that something is wrong.

Leaf drop
Leaf drop

Cause: Fiddle-Leaf Fig leaves dropping can be caused by overwatering. The leaves dropping can also be a result of being too cold.

Solution: Investigate to find out exactly what is causing your Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves to drop. Below is a list of things to look for.

  • Did you move your Fiddle-Leaf Fig to a new location? It may not be happy there causing the leaves to drop. Move your Fiddle-Leaf Fig to a different location.
  • Is your Fiddle-Leaf Fig too close to the HVAC vent? That fluctuation in temperature can be causing the leaves to drop. Move your Fiddle-Leaf Fig away from the HVAC vent.
  • Are you overwatering your Fiddle Leaf Fig? Overwatering can result in Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves to drop.
  • What is the daytime and nighttime temperature of the room, is it suitable for your Fiddle-Leaf Fig? Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig can also drop leaves if it’s too cold.

You will need to investigate using trial and error to pinpoint what is causing the leaves to drop from your Fiddle-Leaf Fig.

3. Black and Brown Spots on the Leaves of Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Problem: There are roundish black and brown spots on the leaves of your Fiddle-Leaf Fig.

Leaf spot fungus

Cause: This could be a sign of leaf spot fungus infection. Leaf spot fungus is contagious because the fungus spores can travel in the air to infect other plants in the room.

Solution: When you see these black and brown spots on the leaves of your Fiddle-Leaf Fig, immediately cut off the infected leaves and throw it away. You can also spray your Fiddle-Leaf Fig with a homemade baking soda spray to prevent new infections. To make the baking soda spray, simply mix 1 teaspoon baking soda to 1 quart water and put it in a spray bottle. Don’t overspray since it can get in the soil. The key is to remove the infected leaves and that should hopefully stop the spread.

Facts About Fiddle Leaf Fig 

NameFiddle Leaf Fig
Scientific NameFicus lyrata
LightBright Indirect Light
Daytime Temperature70 to 80 F (21-26C)
Night Time Temperature60 to 70 F (15-21C)
WaterMedium Water
HumidityHigh Humidity
PottingWell-draining, organic, all-purpose potting soil 
FertilizerOnce every 2 weeks at half strength but not in the Fall or Winter
Toxic to Pets and HumansToxic

Fiddle-Leaf Fig: Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Propagate Your Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Fiddle-Leaf Fig is difficult to propagate. One way to propagate Fiddle-Leaf Fig is by air layering. However, know that it is tricky to do.

How Do You Air Layer Your Fiddle Leaf Fig?

The purpose of air layering your Fiddle-Leaf Fig is to stimulate stem cuttings to grow new roots.

1. Cut a Stem 1/3 of the Way

Cut a stem 1/3 of the way, just below the node. Don’t cut more than a third of the stem. When you make the cut, wipe away any sap with a damp cloth.

2. Apply Rooting Hormone and Wrap with Sphagnum Moss

Prop open the cut with a toothpick and then apply rooting hormone on the cut and wrap it with moistened, sphagnum moss. Wrap the moss with plastic and tape it so it securely holds the moss but keep the top open so you have access to water the cutting.

3. Water to Keep Moss Moist

Keep up with the watering so the sphagnum moss is moist. In a month or so (or longer), there should be new roots. When the roots are around 2 inches or longer, you can cut off the stem from the parent plant and plant the cutting in a new pot.

Air layering your Fiddle-Leaf Fig is a long process. Be prepared to commit your time and be patient when air layering Fiddle-Leaf fig.

Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Fiddle Leaf Fig don’t like to be watered with cold water. It is a tropical plant after all! Don’t get cold water straight from the tap. Make sure you mix a bit of hot water to take off the chill. You can also fill a bottle of water or pitcher with tap water, leave it out overnight so the water adjusts to room temperature.

How Big Does Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Get?

Fiddle Leaf Fig are large plants that can grow to 8 to 10 feet tall. You will need a heavy pot for your Fiddle-Leaf Fig so it doesn’t topple over. 

What are Other Names of Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant?

Fiddle Leaf Fig is also called Banjo Fig.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Varieties

Ficus lyrata (Little Fiddle): Dwarf variety up to 6 feet tall

Ficus lyrata (Ivonne): Variegated variety with light green and white leaves

Are Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants Toxic to Pets?

Fiddle Leaf Figs are toxic to humans and pets. 

Fiddle Leaf Fig Toxic to Pets
Fiddle Leaf Fig Toxic to Pets

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