A Comprehensive Guide to Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
During Covid-19, indoor plants became popular to keep people busy amid the lockdown restrictions. The Fiddle Leaf Fig plant became a hit among plant lovers due to its large, heavily veined, and glossy violin-shaped leaves. But it is not the kind of plant that thrives and becomes unforgiving towards improper care. The rising trend of having an Instagram-worthy indoor jungle becomes frustrating when plants don’t grow happily. However, keeping Fiddle leaf figs alive and beautiful indoors is possible. Read this article to learn “How to Take Care of a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant?”
|Botanical Name||Ficus lyrata|
|Native Area||Tropical western Africa|
|Height||50 ft. tall (outdoors), 10 ft. tall (indoors)|
|Sun Exposure||Direct morning sun and bright indirect light|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-drained soil.|
|Hardiness Zones||10-12 (USDA)|
|Toxicity||Toxic to cats and dogs|
|Flowering||Rarely flowers outside of its native area|
2. How to Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Indoors?
Is fiddle leaf fig easy to care for? Fiddle leaf fig plant is originally from tropical Africa; therefore, they prefer warm and moist conditions. If you are growing them indoors, it becomes somewhat challenging to maintain such conditions. However, they are tough plants and can survive in less-than-perfect environments with the right growing conditions.
2.1. Lighting Requirements
Light is the primary source for photosynthesis in the fig plant, and giving the full spectrum of light is necessary for these plants. Yellowing and brown spots on leaves are common symptoms of fiddle leaf figs lacking sunlight. Choosing a location with ideal lighting should be your priority as a plant owner.
If you are getting a new plant, it is better to place it in the sunniest place you have. You should be rotating the places to let them acclimate according to your home environment.
The Best Place for a Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Fiddle leaf figs love the bright sunlight and grow much better in places with large windows with adequate light. So, always place the fiddle leaf fig near your home window.
Fiddle Leaf Fig can take up to 5 hours of direct sunlight, and if your plant is not getting the right light, you better think of an alternative like a grow light. The ideal grows light with the timer will set you free.
2.2. Watering Needs
Watering is the most common problem people have with Fiddle leaf figs. People tend to overwater plants when watering, resulting in brown edges or root rot. To avoid problems, you should learn the basics of watering a plant.
How to Water a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant?
There are different ways to water your plant, and one of the most reliable ones is the 1 Cup Watering Method. This method adds 1 cup of water weekly, which keeps the soil moist and prevents root rot.
The following method is the Soaking method, which involves soaking the completely dried soil with water and letting excess water drain. It is better to do this once in two weeks or a month. Furthermore, it also depends on the size of the plant and the light.
Note: It is better to add water all around the pot so that it will soak the whole soil of the pot and will reach the roots of the plant more efficiently.
When Should You Water Your Fig Plant?
Make sure to keep the watering schedule consistent and according to the need. It is better to water the Fiddle Leaf Fig 1-2 times a week. A few things to keep in mind: the size of the plant and pot, the temperature, and the age of the plant. It also depends on how much light the plant receives, the more light a plant gets, it will use water, and you have to water the plant often.
Tip: Always use a pot with a drainage system.
What to do and Not to Do While Watering?
- Filter water is the most reasonable watering option for the Fiddle leaf fig.
- Always leave the tap water out overnight to let impurities evaporate. After that, you can water the fig with a tap or regular water.
- Don’t add coffee or any such type of material as a water substitute.
- Don’t add too cold or too hot water, as it will shock the plant, so water it at room temperature.
Tip: Water at 70 degrees is reasonable to add.
- Do not overwater the plant.
- Keep checking the soil by soil meter to know the condition of the soil around the pot.
Note: Sometimes, when you see some brown spots – it indicates to change the water. If you are overwatering the fig plant, you will see the Fungus Gnats.
Every plant lover wants to thrive in the growth of their Fiddle Leaf Fig, and the most reliable growth rate is using suitable Fertilizers. The right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is critical when choosing a fertilizer for your fig tree, and each plant requires a different mix.
You can use either synthetic or organic fertilizers. If you overdo it, synthetic fertilizers can adversely affect your fig tree. However, organic fertilizers offer a more gentle solution and will not harm your tree.
Pro Tip: Always look at the fertilizer’s NPK Ratio before use.
It is vital to plant health that they have access to N-P-K nutrients. There is a strong connection between nitrogen and healthy growth, which is why fig leaves are so beautiful. Phosphorus and potassium are essential to the efficiency of the use of energy in the growing season.
Also Read: Do Indoor Plants Need Fertilizers?
2.4. Potting Soil
Providing your plants with the right soil mix is crucial to their growth. Before potting your fig plant, always look for soil with more drainage. You can rely on perlite and volcanic rock. Moreover, aeration and lava stones will dry the plant during watering sessions.
All these factors combined allow the roots to get all the oxygen they need, allowing the plant to grow without hindrances due to the excellent plant support and improved fertilizer absorption and nutrient uptake.
2.5. Cleaning Leaves
When did you clean your fig leaves last time? When you don’t clean the leaves, they will accumulate dust covering the broad leaves and blocking the leaves from getting enough light.
Use Soft Cloth
Wash the leaves with distilled water or dish soap and water, then wipe them clean with a soft cloth. Cleaning the leaves every fortnight or twice a month is the best way to keep your Fig plant intact to absorb most of the light.
Misting the Fiddle Leaf Fig is the best thing you can do after cleaning; it returns moisture to the leaves. Always focus on both sides of the plant leaves and moisten the foliage. Furthermore, ensure you use the same water for misting and watering the plant.
2.7. Pruning And Shaping
Physically controlling the species involves pruning to prevent them from becoming woody shrubs or trees. It is recommended to prune the old wood, as it is the wood that produces fruit for fig trees after one year. When fig trees are young, pruning is a different process than when they are mature.
You may see a fig tree of about 4 meters in height with significant width, so pruning makes it possible to keep it in an elegant shape. You should remove any branch that crosses except fruiting trunks and prune away the rest to give proper shape to the fig tree.
Pro Tip: Winter or the first few weeks of spring, when Fiddle leaf figs are dormant, are the ideal times to trim them.
You must have thought of repotting your fig plant and how often to do this. It is better to analyze the size of the fig plant first and then repot 1 to 2 years. When is the best time to repot your fiddle leaf fig? What kind of soil should go in the new pot?
The best way to know is that you will see that new leaves are growing and popping out at the top, and also, there will be older leaves dropping off. Seeing these signs of equal growth and death shows that your roots have no place to grow further, and you need a bigger pot to keep them in good shape.
3. How to Care for Fiddle Leaf Fig in Winter?
In the winter, the Fiddle Leaf Fig plant gets dry and doesn’t use much energy, resulting in less growth in this weather. The Fiddle leaf fig doesn’t require many nutrients, as there is not much sunlight in this weather if you are not using any Grow Light or heater.
To care Fiddle Leaf Fig:
- Don’t water the plant often.
- You can group your house plants to adjust the humidity level.
- You can also use a mist humidifier to keep them moist.
4. Common Problem with Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
To grow a Fiddle Leaf Fig plant, you must provide immense care and regularly monitor it. It is possible to encounter different problems if anything does not go according to the measures. Some of them are the following.
It is always advised to keep the water level optimum, but if you overwater the Fiddle Leaf Fig, it will end up with different problems like Root Rot, Edema( moisture stress), and leaf drops. Moreover, the drainage flaw will end up in infections and, in some severe cases, killing the plant.
Don’t water your plant so often; keep the moisture checked regularly to track the humidity.
Pro Tip: Check the dampness by Poking your finger in the dirt.
Many insects may attack fiddle leaf fig plants, such as beetles, fruit flies, scales, nematodes, and spider mites, causing different diseases or causing the leaves to drop off. Additionally, pests are mainly responsible for tiny leaf spots, chewed foliage, and stunted growth.
You can use insecticide or any pest control sprays to prevent it from spreading.
4.3. Brown Edges of Leaves
When the pot’s soil is too acidic, and you overwater or underwater the plant, it will end up with brown/yellow, crisp edges. When there are brown edges specifically, then the reason is that the soil is dry.
To solve this problem, cutting the brown edges with scissors is better. Then, make sure the pH level is suitable for fig. In addition, follow the optimum light and watering schedule to avoid further damage.
4.4. Discoloration in Leaves
One of the most apparent problems you will see is the yellow leaves. The most common reason is not enough light and not enough growth nutrients like N-P-K fertilizer. You can determine the cause of these by putting the plant in the sunlight to see if it improves or not. The other key reason is overwatering the plant, which will keep the roots rot and end up with yellow or dull leaves.
The quickest solution is to place it in the sunlight and check for the pot’s drainage first, removing unnecessary water. Add the necessary fertilizer and also keep good observation.
4.5. Root Rot
If you ask me what the most dangerous problem for fig plants is, I will say that Root Rot often occurs due to less draining soil. It kills the plant so quickly and is the cause of most of the problems like big fiddle leaf fig brown spots, yellow leaves, and other spots.
The quick solution is to stop overwatering the plant, place it in the sunlight or any full spectrum light source, and check the drainage. Additionally, cut the already dead leaves to avoid further damage.
4.6. White Spots
When you see the white spots on the leaves of the plant, the reasons are the mineral accumulation and hard water that evaporates from the plant.
The quick solution is regularly cleaning the leaves with a soft and damp cloth to clean all types of hard water white spots.
One of the common problems is sunburn due to excessive sunlight on the leaves. Usually, it stays on the upper leaf, and there is no way of returning from this phase.
The best way to deal with such a situation is to do the pruning and cut the damaged leaves.
5. Propagation of Fiddle-Leaf Fig | 7 Easy Steps
Propagation involves creating new plants from parent plants using the Cutting method(one of three types of propagation). Propagation of Fiddle Leaf Fig is fun; you need to follow these steps to get a new Fig plant.
- Take a healthy small stem with nodes/ or a leaf with stem nodes or buds by cutting with sharp pruning shears.
- Ready your water jar – use filter water or make it chlorine free by placing it overnight.
- Now place the tiny stem or leaf in it and leave it in the sunlight – not direct.
- Start monitoring it for 6 weeks until you see the growth stages.
- When you see the roots growing, it is ready to repot.
- Repot in the beautiful pot with soil consists of necessary nutrients.
- Hurrah! You are there.
Keeping Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant is like fostering a child; you have to take care of minor things from watering to pruning and fertilizing to repotting. We have illustrated the right ways to take care of a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant and all possible common problems with their solutions for my readers. Have an insight and keep them healthy and nourished.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How often should you water a fiddle leaf fig?
If you want your Fiddle Fig plant to grow and bring fruit, then you must water your plant once a week and about 4 times a month. With proper watering, you will see the leaves rigid and upright. The general rule is that a cup per two feet will do the job.
Do fiddle leaf figs need direct sun?
Fiddle leaf Figs can bear up to 5 hours of direct sun, but placing them in direct sunlight may result in sunburn. So, it is better to keep them flourishing and often place them in direct and indirect sunlight.
How long do fiddle leaf figs live?
The oldest fig plant in Sri Lanka was planted in 288 BC, which shows the lifespan of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant. But nowadays, as a houseplant, the Fiddle Leaf Fig has an average life of about 5 years.