The fiddle-leaf fig will not withstand situations with both low light and high light, in contrast to other plants (looking at you, monsteras!). It must be placed in an area with lots of bright, indirect light. Furthermore, it requires a few hours of direct sunlight each day.
“Lighting is the first and most crucial factor you should take into account before purchasing a fiddle. Little did I know that by placing my fiddle in a room with a north-facing window when I first took it home, I was sort of setting myself up for failure “Greene explains. “Fiddle-leaf figs like lots of light, and they frequently need up to five hours of direct light each day,” says the author. It thrives “near to south- or west-facing windows, or directly in an east-facing window,” according to Greenery Unlimited, and nothing can be anything blocking that light (like a building or trees). Additionally, because it grows toward the sun, you must rotate it once a month.
In addition to these lighting requirements, you also need to gradually introduce sunshine; you cannot expose it to too much sunlight at once. Otherwise, the lovely green leaves of the fiddle-leaf fig can burn and get brown spots. On the other side, too little sunlight will cause its leaves to become brown or yellow, or even worse, fall off. It also hates being moved around a lot since it could lose its leaves. Most likely out of spite. Even if your plant sustains some combat wounds in the process, you’ll finally locate the best location for it, even if it takes some trial and error.
“Adding a grow lamp ($23) is one of the things you can do to supplement that light if you already have a fiddle-leaf fig but feel like it’s not getting enough,” advises Greene. They’re fantastic since you can automatically control how much light it receives each day, especially if they include a timer.
Do fiddle leaf figs require strong lighting?
The light that most homes and apartments naturally provide—not too much, not too little, nothing too bright, nothing too dark—is what the fiddle-leaf fig needs to thrive. An east-facing window is suggested by Harnek Singh, a gardener at Wave Hill Public Garden in New York City. According to him, fiddle leaf figs require both direct sunlight and a lot of indirect light. “South or west-facing windows will receive too much afternoon sun.
So keep in mind that your fig requires adequate sunlight in your home just like the nourishing rays that come through the deep canopy of the jungle. Cacti and succulents that live in the desert should be placed in the south-facing window.
Singh also advises buying fiddle-leaf figs from reliable sellers to prevent encountering the opposite issue. He claims that many of these plants are frequently already declining as a result of spending too much time in the dark. Foliage that is flagging and leaves that are pale, spotted, or wan-looking are indicators of improper light exposure. If your plant displays these signs, try shifting it to a different location for a week or two.
When you consider how tall fiddle leaf figs may go, one of the biggest problems with growing them becomes apparent. They can reach heights of up to 50 feet when living in their natural habitat, the West African rainforests. You should count yourself fortunate that they typically do not reach those heights outside of their natural habitats, given that you most likely do not have 50-foot-tall ceilings in all of your rooms. Even a potted plant has a 10-foot height limit. Small fiddle leaf fig plants may be purchased for under $40 at places like Home Depot! A good place to start is with these little plants.
You have to put in effort if you want good results, as is true for the majority of things in life. This is also true of the fiddle leaf fig tree. It will take some time and work to make your plant into the focal point you want because it is one of the more difficult plants to grow. Plants that make fiddle leaf figs dislike:
- Frosty drafts
- too moist soil
- Arid soil
- Overly bright
- inadequate lighting
- Dry air
They are highly particular, as you can see, so you will need to spend a lot of time observing and responding to your plant to locate the sweet spot it needs. The majority of plants will tell you something is wrong by the way they look. Leaning in one direction typically means that is where the light is. Yellow leaves can be a sign of a variety of plant problems, but if you take the time to listen to your plant and provide it with the greatest environment possible, you will see the benefits.
The light may be the most crucial factor in plant growth. Using carbon dioxide, water, and light to perform photosynthesis, which enables them to produce additional plant mass, is how plants develop. A plant’s growth will be stunted by insufficient light. Your plant’s leaves will burn if there is too much light. About 6 to 8 hours per day of moderately bright light are needed for fiddle leaf figs. We advise using a plant light to help your plant get adequate light if you don’t have a window big enough or live in a place where it doesn’t get continuous sunshine.
How can I tell if the light reaching my fiddle leaf fig is adequate?
The thriving Facebook community known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig Resource Group is by far the best resource for anyone who care for fiddle leaf figs. Owners of this extraordinary plant can upload images there and receive prompt assistance from other fiddle fans. (Side note: You should come with us there if you haven’t already.)
Surprisingly, increasing the original poster’s plant’s regular exposure to intense sunlight could solve about 90% of the issues raised in the group.
Contrary to what many people think, these plants are full-sun organisms that absorb as much sunlight energy as any plant.
How can I tell if the sun is getting too much of my fiddle leaf?
Your fiddle is probably sunburned if the leaves have a light-brown dusting to them rather than brown stains or patches, especially if it has been in indirect sunlight. This frequently occurs when fiddles are left outside by their owners or when they are placed in windows that face the south or west. This is the most visible symptom of too much sun exposure or excessively close-set or strong plant lights.
Your fiddle may be a touch sun-stressed if its leaves are pale green rather than yellow (we’ll deal about this later). Consider moving your plant a few feet back if it is in a particularly bright window to see if that helps.
Next Step: Acclimation
Use this post to adapt your fiddle leaf fig to direct sunlight rather than cutting back on the light permanently if you find that it is receiving more light than it can manage. Fiddles actually thrive in bright light, but not if they’re accustomed to cooler surroundings!
Where in a house should a fiddle leaf fig be placed?
The Ficus lyrata, commonly known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig, is featured on the covers and in images of numerous design journals. Its tall stature and large, graceful leaves add drama and height and unify entire rooms. Despite where you’ve seen Fiddle Leaf Figs in pictures, some individuals don’t aware that they need to be placed just in front of a window. They can be challenging to care for until the plant adjusts to your environment and until you figure out when to water them. Continue reading to discover how to keep your fiddle leaf fig alive and healthy for many years to come.
The best setting for Fiddle Leaf Figs is in front of a window that gets direct morning or afternoon light. The ideal window to choose has a primarily unobstructed eastern, western, or southern exposure. You don’t want the window to be shaded by nearby trees or buildings. If your Fiddle Leaf is positioned right in front of the window, a north facing exposure can also work if there is enough room and nothing blocking your view of the sky. You should gradually adapt your tree to being in several hours of direct sunshine if you plan to set it in front of a southern exposure. The leaves could burn and develop brown scorch scars if they receive too much direct sunshine too rapidly. Over the course of 1 to 2 weeks, gradually increase the amount of time it spends in front of a southern window.
The amount of light your Fiddle Leaf Fig need to thrive depends in part on its size. The amount of light a plant needs will increase with its size. For instance, a window would need to be much taller to accommodate a 7′ tall tree than it would a 4′ tall tree.
In general, your fiddle leaf fig will require more light to preserve its existing leaves and spur the growth of new ones the more leaves it has. In order to tell us that it isn’t getting enough light to support all of its leaves, a plant will respond when it isn’t getting enough light by losing lower and interior leaves.
It’s crucial to maintain your plant in front of the window during the winter months when natural light isn’t as abundant but also ensuring sure it doesn’t catch any chilly air from drafts that blow in. If your windows are drafty, try moving your Fiddle Leaf 2 to 3 feet away from the window to observe how it reacts. In most cases, keeping plants at this distance allows them to avoid any sporadic cold air blasts while yet receiving an equivalent quantity of light. For more advice on winter maintenance, keep reading.
Do fiddle leaf figs need direct sunlight?
Although they can withstand moderate sunlight, it’s not their preferred environment. It’s a good idea to put the plant near a south or west-facing window, but not directly in the sun, as it prefers steady, ambient light. They can tolerate up to six hours a day of direct sunlight, if necessary.
Finding a location where the conditions are as consistent as possible throughout the day is the finest thing you can do for these plants as they are creatures of habit. Placing your plant in low light is one thing you must never do.
Can my plant go outside?
Of course, you can take care of your fiddle leaf fig outside given the correct circumstances. It might perhaps act and develop to a height of more than 40 feet if you locate it in the ideal location. Your garden should, however, be entirely frost-free and never drop below 50 degrees at night in order to prevent any issues.
On summer days, you should use caution as well. Keep your plant from getting too hot too quickly and water it frequently so the roots have access to moisture all the time. Similar to when you keep it as a house plant, you should be watchful of how much direct sunshine it gets.
Why do the leaves turn brown?
You have some homework to complete if the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig are starting to turn brown. There are several potential causes, but light and water are the most frequent ones.
In most cases, water is the culprit if the edges of the leaves are becoming brown. If just the lower leaves are impacted, overwatering has created root rot. The likelihood of the plant being thirsty increases if all of the leaves are going crispy. Unhappy leaves that are going brown in the middle show that the plant needs more humidity since it is receiving too much light.
What’s the difference between a fiddle leaf bush and a tree?
An established fiddle leaf tree can cost hundreds of dollars, so you’ll probably end up nurturing a smaller plant to grow tall. Ficus lyrata likes to grow straight up if left unattended, but you can encourage branching by either pruning the new growth or notching the stem.
To notch, choose where you want a new branch to grow and make a 1/8-inch cut into the stem just above a node using a clean knife. The node should produce a new branch. The lower leaves can then be removed when your plant appears very healthy.
Should I mist my plant?
When caring for any rainforest plant, especially in the winter, misting is a need. Fiddle leafs prefer a humidity level of 65 percent, which is substantially higher than that of most houses.
Filling a spray bottle and leaving it next to the plant is the ideal method for misting. You can regularly spritz it with room-temperature water in this manner. Misting your plant is very crucial after dusting its leaves. For your plant, a humidifier is ideal if you can afford one, but regular misting with a spray bottle should suffice.
How long does it take for the plant to grow?
Most fiddle leaves can grow up to 10 feet tall indoors. They might even outgrow your home if they’re truly content. However, that may take up to 15 years. Of course you two want to stay together for that long, but it can be difficult to wait for a plant straight out of a magazine.
These are not the quickest-growing plants, but with proper care and fertilization, the 18-inch bush you purchased from the garden center should mature into a respectable-sized tree in 34 years.
Should I cut off brown spots off the leaves?
Although brown stains on the leaves are unsightly, you shouldn’t immediately remove them. After all, in order to photosynthesize, the plant requires its leaves. Your plant won’t thrive if the leaves are pulled out as soon as spotting appears.
Your plant is attempting to tell you something when its leaves turn brown, whether it’s water, fertilizer, sunshine, or pest control. The best course of action is to try to identify the issue, fix it, and then postpone pinching off the damaged leaves until your plant has produced some healthy new growth.
Are fiddle leaf fig toxic?
Yes. We’re not talking about plants that are aesthetically pleasing but dangerous here, but if you have kids or animals in your house, you should be cautious of them around any Ficus family plant, including your fiddle leaf fig.
A healthy adult won’t suffer long-term consequences from ingesting the plant, but cats, dogs, and small people can get hurt from the calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves. A burning, irritated mouth, trouble swallowing, drooling, and vomiting are indications of an adverse response. Consult a doctor straight away if you believe that your child or pet may have consumed a portion of the plant.