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.
Is direct sunshine required for fiddle leaf figs?
Fiddle Leaf Figs need to be thoroughly watered about once a week to match their love of natural light. You should modify the amount of watering based on the size of the plant and, consequently, the size of the roots. As a general rule, water the plant thoroughly only after the top 2 to 3 inches of soil have dried up. This entails watering it till water drips out the bottom if it’s in a planter with a drainage hole. However, avoid letting the drip tray fill up with water for too long because root rot can readily develop in this situation. Remember to water the plant slowly and in a circular motion around it, making sure to wet all of the soil. Water will then reach all of the roots rather than just some.
A Sustee Aqua-meter is one of the greatest instruments for determining how frequently your Fiddle Leaf Fig requires water (available for purchase in our shops). We have discovered that there are particular seasons of the year when our plants are significantly more thirsty than usual since we started using these in our stores. The Sustee changes color from blue to white when the soil is sufficiently dry to prevent overwatering from occurring after it has become saturated with water.
You should water all tropical plants with water that is room temperature. A plant will undoubtedly experience shock if exposed to hot or extremely cold water, just as it would if the same conditions existed outside.
Prior to watering, aerate and break up the soil to improve water absorption. In order to ensure that water reaches all of the plant’s roots rather than draining out along the planter’s edges, we also advise watering very slowly around the top of the soil.
Fiddle Leaf Figs need some routine care, just like most other plants. One crucial maintenance procedure for your fiddle leaf coincidentally involves its leaves, which are also its most noticeable feature. Wonderful duty in the shape of routine dusting comes with great leaves. Fiddle Leaf Figs require frequent dusting due to the size of their leaves. As dust builds up on plant leaves, dust particles interfere with the plant’s ability to absorb sunlight and carry out photosynthesis. Given how much Fiddle Leaf Figs adore light, giving your plant a frequent dusting will go a long way toward keeping it healthy.
Rotating your plant monthly or biweekly is a good idea in addition to dusting the leaves. By rotating your plant, you’ll ensure that it receives an equal distribution of light, preventing one side from growing much faster than the other and resulting in a solid, symmetrical Fiddle Leaf Fig.
There are a few things you can do to encourage your Fiddle Leaf Fig (or any tree, for that matter) to start developing branches. First, try providing your plant with additional light. Trees naturally sprout branches, and if they have a lot of natural light, they may have more energy to devote to doing so. Cutting off your plant’s highest point of growth is another approach to promote branching. As a result, the plant will be forced to start branching out from the sides rather than continuing to grow vertically. Visit our pruning journal entry to find out more about pruning and branching.
Aerating the soil once every few months prevents the soil from being compacted for people who don’t already do so. The ability of your plant to absorb water is one of many factors that can be badly impacted by compacted soil, which eventually forms tiny pockets of soil where water never penetrates. It is possible to aerate using a variety of tools, including chopsticks and official soil aerators that are of a similar size and shape. To avoid destroying too many roots, gently press the aerator deeper into the earth as you go. By breaking up any areas where the soil has clumped together, do this a variety of times around the soil to keep your plant healthy and happy.
Last but not least, we advise using a “less is more” philosophy when it comes to fertilizing your Fiddle Leaf Fig and other indoor plants. It’s advisable to avoid providing your plants with too many extra nutrients at once. In the spring and summer, we strongly advise adding a slow release pellet fertilizer, such as the Osmocote Plus Indoor Smart-Release Plant Food, into the top layer of the plant’s soil. These pellet fertilizers typically last for a few months.
Winter is a challenging season for indoor plants, including Fiddle Leaf Figs, because of the obvious lack of natural light and the cooler temperatures. As indicated above, keeping an eye out for cold windows is a smart place to start, but there are other things you can do to keep your Fiddle Leaf content throughout the chilly months.
People frequently experience problems with heating vents during the winter, but since they aren’t used for more than half the year, it’s simple to forget about them. Plan to relocate all of your plants away from any heating vents when it is time for them to turn on. Repeated hot air bursts have the potential to scorch leaves and quickly dry out your plants.
Break up the dirt a little with your fingertips before watering your plant in the winter. Soil is easily clumped and compacted in winter due to the dry indoor air. By lightly breaking it up with your fingertips, you can prevent water from dripping through the soil and out the sides of the planter.
It’s also important to note that a humidifier can benefit Fiddle Leaf Figs and other tropical plants all year long, but particularly during the winter when the indoor air turns dry. Your plants are able to flourish as they would in a rainforest thanks to the continuous increase in moisture circulating in the air, which prevents browning leaf tips.
Fiddle Leaf Figs thrive when put immediately in front of windows since they require a lot of natural light.
Once a week, thoroughly water the soil, allowing the top few inches to dry out before watering again.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about caring for fiddle leaf figs below, in person at one of our stores, or by contacting us.
A fiddle leaf fig needs what kind of sun?
The optimal growth conditions for your ficus bonsai are constant, bright, filtered light. Once it starts to slant toward the light, rotate the plant every several months. As the midday sun from south or west-facing windows will be too powerful and could burn the leaves, it will prefer an east-facing, sunny window.
When the soil is seventy-five percent dry, water, fully soaking the area until the water drains into the saucer. If the water level is high, empty the saucer to prevent drowning the roots. The leaves of your plant will get limp and floppy if it does not receive enough water, eventually becoming brown or yellow before dropping off.
Fiddle Leaf Figs are tropical plants that prefer warm, humid climates. To enhance humidity surrounding your plant, mist the leaves, especially during the drier winter months.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig prefers warmer climates, but it can quickly adjust to the environment in your home or place of business. However, it won’t accept chilly drafts, so before placing your fig there, make sure the area is sealed up.
Feed your plant once in the spring and once a month through the summer for the greatest results. The Fiddle Leaf Fig can become lanky and even die from overfertilization. To promote growth and root health, a little food will go a long way. During the winter, when plant development naturally slows, fertilizer is not required.
Floppy Leaf Fig leaves are barely harmful to both people and animals. Ingestion frequently results in tongue and stomach discomfort, as well as potential vomiting.
As a bonsai, this plant needs frequent pruning to maintain its tight shape. Cut back the leaves as they expand to limit growth.
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!
What qualifies as “indirect sunlight”?
The two types of light—direct sunlight and indirect sunlight—are the first topic we’ll cover in our indoor plant light guide. Both of these types of light are probably present in your home; the trick is to arrange your houseplants to take advantage of each type of light.
Direct sunlight is defined as light that travels in a direct line from the sun to the plant. For instance, the majority of window sills receive direct sunshine. If your house doesn’t receive enough direct sunshine to feed your plant collection, you can also create direct light with LED grow lights.
When something blocks the sun’s path and diffuses or filters the light before it reaches your plants, this is known as indirect sunlight. Sheer curtains, furniture, a tree outside your window, or even a different indoor plant placed in front to shield the lower-light plant are some examples.
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.