The fiddle leaf fig houseplant trend has been around for a bit. Caring for this plant, however, has proved to throw a wrench in the works for so many people who ran right out to buy this gorgeous, trendy and “particular” plant. Lucky us though, now we all can learn how to make a fiddle leaf fig thrive. (Mostly from learning from the mistakes of the ones who were eager to jump on the trend train.) So the good news is, there is no other houseplant that can update a space or add presence as can the fiddle leaf fig. Also good news? With a few easy to follow guidelines, your fiddle leaf fig tree can thrive in your home for years! (We are even going to tell you how to get baby fiddle leaf fig plants, for free!) Ok, so let’s learn some fiddle leaf fig care so we don’t kill the prettiest thing in the room! Photo below from ‘Houzz‘.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Care
Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Planting Tips
When you finally decide that you need to have one of these hot and trendy houseplants, make sure you buy it from a reputable place. Because these plants can be sensitive to less than ideal conditions, you don’t want to buy a plant that has been subjected to poor care before you got it. Otherwise, a week or a month down the line, your poor fig tree may just drop most of its leaves overnight, without a single reason why.
Plant your fiddle leaf fig in an all purpose potting soil, in a container with great drainage. Root rot is the number one killer of these houseplants, so make sure you choose a good pot.
Don’t over fertilize. Once a month during the growing season is plenty, and don’t fertilize in the winter at all as these plants go dormant. (It just means they don’t grow, so fertilizing them just taxes the plant when it has no way to utilize the nutrients.)
Avoid drafts. We had a ficus tree when I was a kid, and you could bet that any time Mom moved that plant into a new spot, half its’ leaves dropped. Usually it was because it was close to a drafty window, or got a direct hit from the heating vent. Find a spot for your plant that isn’t drafty. They hate drafts. Got the draft thing down? Because if your plant is dropping green leaves, that would be why. Have I said it enough? No drafts!
Keep the plant slightly root bound. This means don’t plant a tiny baby in huge pot for it to grow into. It likes to have its’ roots feel a little snug.
How to Water
When learning how to care for a fiddle leaf fig, one of the biggest mistakes newbies make is water. This is one of those plants that if you underwater, the leaves will turn brown and drop. If you overwater, the leaves will turn brown and drop. Water your fiddle leaf fig tree when the soil is dry about one inch below the surface. Make sure it drains well, and that it doesn’t sit in a puddle of water. Root rot will set in really fast if its sits in water. Consider watering it thoroughly in the shower and letting it drain for a couple of hours.
Fiddle leaf fig trees love good light. Bright, happy, fill the room kind of light. Don’t put them in a dark corner like a philodendron and expect them to “do fine”. On the other hand, no direct sun, either. It will burn the leaves. Photo by ‘Dana Frieling Interiors‘.
How to Save a Dying Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
So if you have already stepped into the world of fiddle leaf fig care because you already own one, good for you. If it’s dying, not so good. We found two really good articles for you on how to save your dying fiddle leaf fig at ‘Young House Love‘ and ‘Gardenista‘. It’s worth trying to save a plant if they aren’t too far gone.
How to Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig
Pruning a fiddle leaf fig actually keeps it healthier, directing its’ energy into upright growth. ‘I Spy DIY‘ has a great tutorial for how to prune this plant. She’s had hers a year and its still going strong, and it’s gorgeous too!
How Propagate a Fiddle Leaf Fig (make free babies!)
After pruning, you can place the pruned stem in water and wait for root growth, then plant in potting soil. (It needs to be a stem and not just a leaf) Don’t expect monster plants anytime soon though, fiddle leaf fig trees are pretty slow growers. Check out the propagation tips from ‘Gardenista‘. Photo via @ohiotropics.
Where to Buy Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants
It is probably best to buy these plants locally. Home Depot or Lowes usually carry them. We’ve seen them sold at Ikea as well, if you happen to live close enough to one. It might be a little risky ordering online, although we did find a 2 ft fiddle leaf fig for a great price from Costa Farms, sold thru Amazon and it got some pretty good reviews! Also, here is the general link for all fiddle leaf fig plants at Amazon.
If you don’t have time to care for a live fiddle leaf fig tree, there is always the option of an artificial one. They seem to be getting more and more realistic every year. We came across this one from (believe it or not) QVC online. You might want to check it out. The price is the lowest we’ve seen for an artificial fiddle leaf fig tree of that size (5 feet) and the reviews are quite good.
So hopefully now you have the knowledge to help your plant thrive with these tips on fiddle leaf fig care! (And, where to buy them!) We think you will also love our posts on How to Grow Tropical Plants Indoors, and Cool Cactus and Succulent Projects!