In a well-lit space, the fiddle leaf fig tree creates a striking living sculpture with its tall, columnar structure and large, gangly leaves. Fiddle-leafs are a bright, eye-catching indoor plant that may be grown outdoors in USDA Zones 10 and 11.
The ficus lyrata, sometimes known as the fiddle-leaf fig, is known for being picky. It is true that fiddle-leaves suffer when the soil is either too dry or too wet, when there is either too much or too little sunlight, when the air is either too dry or too humid, and when the region is cool and drafty. But if we take care of a fiddle leaf fig plant properly, it can live for many years indoors. Fiddle leaf fig maintenance is simple and enjoyable!
Best Soil for Fiddle Leaf Figs
Your fiddle-leaf plant should be planted in a loose, humus-rich, well-drained potting medium. Use our Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil or an indoor potting mix. To increase the drainage and aeration around the roots, we advise adding one-third to one-half of a cactus potting mix, such as the one created especially by Perfect Plants for succulents and cacti, to the soil of indoor houseplants.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Watering
Carefully water your indoor fiddle leaf fig tree. Watering the violin-shaped leaves too much or too little has a similar affects, causing them to wilt and eventually drop. Water deeply with tepid water till water drains out the bottom after waiting until the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch down to approximately an inch deep.
Your fig will require less watering in the winter and more watering in the summer (perhaps once a week) (maybe once a month). Overwatering is the most frequent reason for early death in fiddle-leaf figs. You can tell when your fiddle leaf needs a drink by paying attention to it. You don’t want water at the bottom of the pot, damp feet, warm, humid temperatures, or root rot.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Light Requirements
The fiddle-leaf fig prefers filtered indirect light to direct sunlight. A fig’s leaves will scorch, become yellow, and fall off in full sun; in an overly dark location, the green leaves will shrivel and fall off. A window facing east that provides intense indirect light and is not too close to the sun so that the sun’s rays touch the leaves is the ideal location. Dropped leaves are a warning sign that something is amiss with your plant, so keep an eye on it.
Keep in mind that the amount of sunshine that enters a sunny window changes with the seasons. When the sun is higher in the sky during the summer, its direct rays do not reach as far into the room as they do in winter when it is closer to the horizon. As the indoor plant grows and leans toward the indirect light, rotate it occasionally. Our goal is to keep its symmetry. For a large houseplant, a rolling plant stand can be quite helpful.
Other Plant Requirements
To stop fungus diseases from taking root, there should be a moderate air flow surrounding the plant. A ceiling fan works wonders for this. Avoid chilly drafts from the air conditioner in the summer or from drafty windows in the winter. Cold drafts can cause leaves to drop, dry down, turn yellow, or brown with patches. If you think your plant might become cold or have leaf drop, move it.
Warm up your fig. Fiddle-leaves require a minimum temperature of about 50F during the winter. The ideal summertime temperature range is 60 to 75 F, with the cooler nighttime lows.
Because it is a native of the tropics, the fiddle-leaf fig needs a warm, humid climate, particularly in the winter when most homes have extremely dry air. In contrast to most homes, which have relative humidity levels of around 10% in the winter, fiddle-leaf figs thrive in environments between 30% and 60% RH. The ideal location for a local-use humidifier is close to the tropical plant to ensure appropriate humidity.
Regular misting of the fig’s leaves is a nice backup option. Grow numerous more indoor plants close by to increase the humidity in the area. Place the grow or container of the fig over a tray of water: In a big saucer, spread a layer of gravel, then add water until it is just below the gravel. Over the gravel, place the fig’s container. The humidity around the plant will increase when evaporation from this “humidity tray” occurs.
Best Fertilizer for Fiddle Leaf Fig
For best results, use slow-release fertilizer on fiddle leaves. Use Perfect Plants Fiddle Leaf Fig Fertilizer on your fiddle-leaf roughly every six months throughout the spring and summer growth period. Follow the label’s instructions for adding fertilizer to the current pot’s top layer of soil. It will specify how much to use for each pot size.
Fertilize not during the winter. This fertilizer is also available on Amazon Prime for no shipping fees. To maintain the flow of vital nutrients, ficus lyrata needs fiddle leaf fig plant food. A 16-5-11 NPK ratio is used.
When to Repot Fiddle Leaf Fig
Each year to three years, repot your fiddle leaf fig. We don’t want the roots to get root bound and obstruct the drainage openings in the container. Untie root systems that are confined to pots and cut off any that are overly lengthy. Repot the plant in a container that is only slightly bigger than the original after shaking out part of the old potting soil.
After carefully pruning the root ball and adding fresh potting soil, you can put your fiddle-leaf back in the same container if it has already grown to the desired size. Don’t remove more than 20% of the root ball when trimming. By trimming the roots, you can prevent the plant from growing too large. Spring is the ideal season for repotting. sturdy trunk to support the slender plant stem. The light may pull a plant in any direction, allowing it to grow. When the huge fiddle leaf fig tree is the desired height, pinch off the top of the main stem. A stronger and more tightly packed houseplant will result from this. Repotting and trimming should be done in the spring to give the fig a full growing season to recover.
Pests on Fiddle Leaf Fig Indoors
Pest insects including aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites, or whiteflies occasionally affect figs. Regularly check the large leaves and young stems for signs of infection, and if any appear, spray or clean the leaves with an insecticidal soap. You can make your own bug killing solution by adding two teaspoons of a mild liquid soap such as Dawn or Castile to one quart of water.
Wipe your fig leaves occasionally with a moist towel to keep them bright and clean. By removing the covering of dust, which can obstruct vital metabolic activities including transpiration, CO2 intake, and photosynthesis, the fig not only looks better.
What kind of soil is best for fig trees?
Now is the time to begin digging! To begin, dig a hole that is exactly the same depth as the root ball and three times wider than the pot. Figs tolerate soils with a moderate amount of alkalinity but do best in slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5–6.5). Most typical garden soils have a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. A pre-plant soil test should always be part of soil preparation. Use dolomitic limestone to raise the pH of your soil if it is too low. Till the soil after equally distributing the limestone across the entire area where the figs will be planted. Till a minimum 6-foot-by-6-foot area if you can so that each shrub may be planted at least 8 inches deep.
However, they will grow on many other soil types and are tolerant of heavy clay soils if drainage is excellent. Fig trees grow best in well-drained, organically rich soils. It will be worthwhile to add some organic compost to the native soil in poor fertility or dense clay soil. When the fruits are growing in the summer, they prefer the soil to hold a sufficient amount of water, but not so much water that the soil is continually soggy or damp.
In a row, bush-grown figs can be spaced as closely as 10 feet apart, and between rows, 15 feet. Figs grown as trees need to be spaced out 20 feet between rows and 15 to 20 feet between each row. Plants grown in containers don’t require pruning to be transplanted; simply take them out of the container, spread their roots, and place them in the planting hole. After adding soil to the hole, water it deeply enough to help the earth settle around the roots. When planting, avoid placing fertilizer in the hole.
Figs respond favorably to organic mulching. Mulch may mitigate nematode issues’ consequences.
Can I grow fiddle leaf figs in garden soil?
The fiddle leaf fig prefers a soil mixture with sufficient structural strength to hold the plant’s roots firmly in place but won’t compress or pack down. If the mixture is too light, the plant may tip as it grows taller and its root ball may come out of the ground. The dirt may become dense if it is excessively heavy. The deep dirt may prevent air from reaching the roots, stunting the plant’s growth, or may obstruct water drainage, causing root rot.
Types of Soil for Fiddle Leaf Figs
This plant can be grown in a variety of all-purpose potting mixtures made for indoor houseplants. However, a growing mix created especially for the plant is frequently the finest soil mixture for fiddle leaf figs. It should not be planted in garden soil since it is usually too dense.
Plant-specific blends are structured similarly to all-purpose blends, but they have been modified to meet the unique requirements of the fiddle leaf fig. One or more of the following are probably present in the ideal soil for fiddle leaf fig plants grown indoors:
- Bark: Adding chunks of fir or pine bark to the mixture can help it drain better and prevent it from compacting.
- Sphagnum peat moss has two benefits: It drains efficiently and also absorbs water and releases it gradually to prevent root evaporation.
- Perlite: This light-weight byproduct of volcanic glass aids in aerating the soil and allowing oxygen to reach the roots. Additionally, it stores water to keep the soil just moist enough.
- Coconut coir, a fibrous layer that lies between the coconut’s fruit and shell, keeps the growing medium light and airy. Additionally, it takes in water and slowly releases it.
- Charcoal, a byproduct of burned wood or peat, helps sustain the roots of fiddle leaf figs by absorbing salts and other impurities from the soil and strengthening the soil’s structure.
- Sand: Coarse sand promotes drainage and provides stability in potting soil.
Utilizing a soil that drains effectively is the most crucial factor to take into account when selecting soil for fiddle leaf fig plants. Wet feet are not good for this plant. Its roots could decay if they are submerged in water. Brown stains or drooping leaves may be the result of poor soil drainage. If the plant’s leaves start to fall off, it might already be too late to save it from root rot. The greater the likelihood of saving the plant, the earlier it is discovered to have inadequate drainage and is repotted.
When watering the plant, check to see if any water is dripping from the drainage holes on the pot’s base. The majority of the water can pass through well-draining soil, but some is absorbed and held to maintain a mildly wet environment.
It may seem paradoxical, but a soil’s ability to hold water while yet having good drainage is ideal for a fiddle leaf fig. Sand and huge pieces of bark are components that give the mixture air gaps and aid in drainage. Peat moss and other elements soak up some of the water before gently releasing it. Still other substances, like perlite and coco coir, serve these dual purposes.
Additionally, some producers could include tiny clay pellets that gently release water after absorbing it. This helps hold the roots firmly in the pot and is advantageous when producing larger fiddle leaf figs.
The pH Level
Fiddle leaf figs prefer soil that is close to their natural growing habitat, with a pH range of 5.3 to 6.7 and a near-neutral acid/alkaline balance. Lower than 5.3 pH levels may be overly acidic, which can cause feeble, yellowing leaves. On the other side, a pH of above 6.7 may be overly alkaline, causing the plant to become stunted and have red blotches on its leaves.
Repotting the plant in new soil that is better suited to its requirements is preferable to trying to balance out existing fiddle leaf fig soil that has a pH that is either too high or too low. If pH is a concern, low-cost pH test kits are available to check the acidity and alkalinity of soil.
Does fiddle leaf fig potting soil from Miracle Gro work well?
Managing soil moisture is essential for fiddle leaf fig success. Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix is ideal for growing plants because it contains coconut coir, which stores and releases water while facilitating simple soil rewetting. It should be placed in a container with multiple drainage holes that is 1/3 broader than the plant’s root ball. Place the plant so that the top of the root ball is approximately an inch below the top of the pot and fill the bottom third of the pot with potting soil. More potting soil should be added around the root ball, and once the plant has been fully watered and allowed to drain, it should be placed.
When you notice roots poking through the bottom of the container, repot fiddle leaf figs using the instructions above. These plants don’t want to be disturbed, so don’t repot them more frequently than required. Depending on how quickly the plant is growing when it is still little, you might need to repot it every year.
In cactus soil, can fiddle leaf figs grow?
It’s time to repot your fiddle leaf fig into the soil you’ve chosen for it, whether you manufactured it yourself or purchased it.
First, carefully coax your fiddle out of the pot by tipping it on its side. If the grower’s pot is made of plastic, you can squeeze the pot to release the root ball. If necessary, you can additionally agitate the interior of the pot with a trowel or even a butter knife.
Massage the root ball of your fiddle after removing it from its original pot to get rid of as much of the old soil as you can.
After that, add a few inches of your new soil to a clean pot’s base. You can either buy a new pot or wash and disinfect an old one. Make sure your pot has openings for drainage.
You should leave about two inches of headroom at the top for watering. Set your tree straight in the pot and fill in the sides with your new potting soil.
Once your tree is in its new container, water it well and top it up with a bit more potting soil to account for settling.
I’m done now! Although repotting is quite simple, some fiddle leaf fig owners find the week or two that follows to be difficult. This is why.
A fiddle leaf fig may experience root shock, which can cause droopy or even lost leaves for about a week after a significant change in its environment, such as moving or being replanted.
At this point, many owners of fiddle leaf figs become panicked and begin to make even more alterations in an effort to lessen the effects of root shock, but this is actually the WORST thing you can do at this time.
After repotting your plant, put it in a location where it will receive plenty of bright, indirect sunshine and then leave it alone because fiddles thrive on constancy. Don’t plant it once again. Stop watering more. Additionally, wait at least a month before fertilizing after repotting.
Ensure that your tree receives lots of light, then give it some room. It will get well in a week or two and return to being its gorgeous, vivacious self!
Owners of fiddle leaf figs typically live in fear of root rot because fiddles are typically susceptible to this illness and can swiftly perish if it isn’t treated soon once it sets in.
This is one of the main justifications for why soil drainage and aeration are so important! The roots of your fiddle may begin to decay if they are left in water for too long.
Repot your plant into new, quick-draining soil and temporarily reduce watering if you do discover symptoms of root rot, which are typically mushy stems or dark-brown blotches on the lower leaves. Use our Root Rot Treatment when you do water to aid the roots’ recovery.
This is a typical query! The nutritional level of cactus soils is often not suitable for a ficus, but they can function rather well for a fiddle leaf fig. In the event that you decide to repot your fiddle in cactus mix, start fertilizing it with Fiddle Leaf Fig Food around a month after the initial repotting.