Every two years, fiddle leaf figs typically require repotting, and spring is an excellent time to do it because the weather can help your tree recover from any root shock.
Additionally, the warmer weather makes it possible to repot your fiddle outside, which is advantageous if your tree is big.
Find a pot with drainage that is 1-2 times larger than your fiddle’s root ball if it is time for an upgrade (but no larger). Use a quick-draining soil, such as our Premium Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil or cactus mix.
After repotting your fiddle, the roots are particularly fragile, so wait a month before fertilizing. Chemical burns on your roots or leaves are not what you want!
Now is a wonderful time to prune your fiddle’s leaves if they are getting crowded or if the lower leaves are drooping.
To get rid of those leaves, just use a clean, sharp knife or a set of pruning shears. To prevent shock, be careful not to remove more than 10% of your fiddle’s leaves at once.
Bonus advice: You can reproduce any healthy branches or leaves that you prune! To encourage root growth, dip the cut end in some rooting hormone and place it in a glass of water. When the roots are one length, place in soil and change the water every day.
Clean your fiddle’s leaves
You should consider doing some spring cleaning on your instrument. It’s crucial to maintain the leaves of your plant clean because dust and grime can clog pores and hinder photosynthesis and respiration in addition to making them look ugly.
Use a hose, shower your plant, or mist it with warm water in a spray bottle to clean it. Then, gently wipe the leaves with a towel.
We advise using our Leaf Amor spray, which assists with leaf cleaning and also shields leaves against dust, dirt, bacteria, and fungus.
Adjust your watering routine
With the weather getting warmer, you may have become used to watering your instrument less frequently than you formerly did throughout the winter when it was chilly.
Observe the root ball of your plant using a moisture meter, and record how long it takes the soil to dry out. As the temps rise, you might notice that your plant needs a little bit more water.
Now is a wonderful time to start fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig if you haven’t already.
Like a multivitamin for your plant, fertilizer gives it the nutrients it needs to encourage the growth of its stems and leaves as well as give it a gorgeous, glossy green hue.
Find a 3-1-2 NPK liquid fertilizer, and make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle. Carefully adhere to the suggested fertilizer plan. I use Fiddle Leaf Fig Food since I can never remember to fertilize on a schedule, and it’s gentle enough to use with every watering. Every time I water my fiddles, I simply add a little to my watering can, and my plants absolutely adore it!
Adjust your light
Keep an eye on the type of light your fiddle is receiving because the angle of the sun’s rays changes in the spring. You might want to move your plant a few inches to prevent direct sunlight that could scorch it if the sun is suddenly shining squarely on its leaves.
You should foster the growth of new branches on your fiddle during the spring. Try pinching or notching your fiddle if you want new branches.
Try pinching if you want the tree to sprout branches from the top: Get some pruning shears, look for the top of the tree’s freshest growth, and cut it off. (Beware of the sap!) Within two to three weeks, new branches ought to start to form.
Try notching if you want your tree to branch deeper down the trunk: decide where you want a branch to go, identify the closest node, then make a 1/8 cut in the trunk with a sharp knife. With a towel, remove the sap.
Although notching has a roughly 50/50 success rate, if it does, you’ll soon notice new branch buds!
A caveat: don’t make too many changes at once.
The spring is a great time to increase Fiddle Leaf Fig maintenance and benefit from growth spurts, but keep in mind that fiddles don’t appreciate too much change at once. Don’t repot, prune, notch, and fertilize all in the same day, to put it another way.
To give your tree time to heal, space large procedures like this out by at least a few weeks. And keep in mind to start with the fundamentals: light, water, fertilizer, and climate.
When should you repotted a fiddle leaf fig?
For good reason, fiddle leaf figs are popular in the design world. They are a terrific modern accent in homes and businesses thanks to their enormous, architectural leaves, which create a striking statement. Despite the fig’s image as a bit of a prima donna, if you and your fig abide by a few simple rules, you and your fig can enjoy a long-lasting and fruitful relationship.
Here are some fundamental instructions for taking care of a fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata). Keep in mind that if you ever need assistance troubleshooting plant concerns, feel free to stop by our store or use the hashtag #heyswansons to share your queries on social media.
Fiddle Leaf Figs are native to the rainforest and prefer rich, porous soil. When repotting your fig, we advise using E.B. Stone Organics “Edna’s Best” Potting Soil.
You can either gently remove the plant from its pot and search for roots that develop in a thick circle or check the bottom of the container to see whether the roots are emerging from the drainage holes.
You can repot your fig into a container that is up to a few inches larger if it has outgrown its current one. Fiddle leaf figs typically require repotting every one to two years.
Another choice is to carefully cut the root ball of a huge plant and repot it in its original container with fresh potting soil. Don’t forget to only remove 20% of the root ball.
When your plant has grown as big as your home or office will allow, you have the option of trimming the roots to prevent it from getting any bigger.
Give your fig a strong, indirect light source. The leaves might be burned by the afternoon sun if it is too intense. If your single window is facing South or West, try relocating the plant a little bit away from the window or put a sheer curtain in front of the window to block the sun’s rays.
Consistent watering helps fiddle leaf figs stay hydrated but not drenched. Water slowly and thoroughly until water drains out of the drainage holes in the pot, let the soil dry to about 1, and then water slowly and thoroughly one more. To prevent the plant from sitting in water, make sure to dump any remaining water from your caching pot or tray.
During the spring and summer growing seasons, water slightly more than in the winter.
If figs do not receive enough water, their leaves may start to turn brown or yellow around the margins before dropping. The roots could decay if the plant is kept too moist because they won’t be able to get oxygen. Yellowing, browning, and the dropping of the lower/older leaves are indications of overwatering, which are comparable to those of underwatering.
HUMIDITY & TEMPERATURE
The warm, muggy climate of the jungle is favorable to figs. You might put a shallow tray of water near or under your plant to boost the humidity in your house or place of business. In order to prevent the plant’s roots from sitting in standing water when the tray is placed under it, fill it with stones and maintain the water level below them.
To enhance the humidity surrounding the leaves, you might also wish to mist your plant a few times per week. In the winter, a humidifier can also work wonders to boost humidity and keep your plant content.
Floppy Leaf Figs don’t like drafts or unexpected temperature fluctuations very much. The leaves may fall from exposure to air conditioning or cold drafts from windows. When evening lows do not go below 60 degrees, they are happiest.
During the growing season, fertilize your houseplants using an all-purpose fertilizer. To avoid overfertilizing, you can either follow the instructions on the packaging or halve the recommended dosage. Additionally, if you are not repotting that year, you can add an inch or two of new potting soil each year.
A plant under stress may become more susceptible to pests. A contented plant that is misted and well-watered will be less likely to encounter pest problems!
Aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites can all harm figs. Always be sure to check your plant’s foliage on a frequent basis. Depending on the pest attacking the plant, if you find insects, send us a picture or bring a sample in so we can suggest a suitable natural insecticide.
The plant’s leaves turning yellow and falling off are another sign. However, problems with irrigation could also be to blame. If you don’t see any pests on your plant, experiment with different watering schedules to see if the problem goes away.
Those big, gorgeous leaves can be dust magnets! To keep your Fig gleaming and healthy, give it a once-over with a gentle, dry cloth.
Keep in mind to frequently rotate your plant to maintain uniform growth and avoid tilting!
Photos of your fiddle leaf figs are welcome! Show off your beauty by using the hashtag #heyswansons!
Don’t wait to repot your new plant.
Your plant most likely arrived in a plastic pot if you bought it from Home Depot or another supplier.
To keep the roots bone-dry, these pots incorporate drainage holes on the side. That’s because growers regularly moisten plants’ roots with water, and growing containers are made to allow water to drain quickly. This lessens (or completely eliminates) the chance of root rot, but once you get your plant home, it becomes hazardous.
Don’t put off repotting your plant because fiddle leaf figs can dry out and sustain severe harm in just a few days in these containers. If you have to wait a few days or weeks, make sure to water your plant every day while it is in the grower’s pot. Pour the water on the plant gently so it has time to soak in rather than simply draining out the side drainage holes.
Understand proper drainage.
Understanding correct drainage is the most crucial long-term investment you can make in the health of your fiddle leaf fig plant.
Because fiddle leaf fig trees are prone to root rot, you must ensure that your container has excellent drainage and that your plant never sits in water. To keep your root ball dry, you’ll need a container with a drainage hole and some cactus mix or other materials, such Smart Gravel.
My preferred planters are those made of ceramic with drainage holes, such as this one or the following one, both of which are available at Home Depot.
Select the right container.
You’ll need to purchase a new container that is 3–4 inches wider in diameter (across the top) than the one your plant is now in. Grab a tape measure to make sure your new container is bigger than your old one in both width and height. Avoid going overboard because oversized pots might encourage root rot. The new pot should have a maximum diameter increase of 6 inches over the old one. A 16- or 18-inch pot will work as the majority of the large fiddle leaf fig trees at Home Depot are in 12- or 14-inch pots. Your new pot must have drainage holes at the bottom, otherwise, plant homicide will have occurred. A sizable ceramic pot like the one below works best for me as a container.
Get the right potting soil.
Your plant needs nutrients from the soil in order to grow, as well as for proper drainage and moisture management.
I always plant fiddle leaf figs in our premium potting soil. Don’t give in to the temptation of using soil or dirt from your garden for succulents or other plants. Houseplants require soil that is prepared to promote airflow and water retention.
Do fiddle leaf figs enjoy being confined by roots?
Fiddle leaf figs thrive well in the pot they were purchased in and are generally content as root-bound plants. Place it into a larger decorative container or basket and cover the plastic store-bought pot with some beautiful moss. We’ll discuss more about repotting later.
How can a fiddle leaf fig be replanted without dying?
The most crucial step in repotting your fiddle, regardless of whether it is root bound or simply needs new soil, is to remove as much old soil as you can and “fluff out” any roots that are bound.
Simply putting your Fiddle Leaf in a larger pot and adding dirt to the sides won’t help if it is root-bound. This is due to the roots’ training to encircle the pot; in order for them to develop normally once more, they must be fluffed out.
Additionally, adding new soil to the periphery will reduce the effectiveness of your irrigation. When watering a pot with two different soil types, the water will follow the shortest route to the bottom of the pot. This indicates that the roots are less likely to receive adequate watering.
Step One: Mix up your new Soil
Mix the new soil mix you want to use in a separate, sizable container or bucket. This step is unnecessary if you’re only using a bag of succulent and cactus mix.
Step Two: Lift the plant out of the Pot
Assemble the plant by its base. Gently wiggle and remove the plant out of the pot by turning the plant and pot on their side. This ought to be simple to accomplish. Squeeze the pot if necessary to aid in releasing it.
Step Three: Gently break away Old Soil
The goal is to get rid of as much of the old soil as you can without damaging the roots too much. A little breakage is inevitable, but remember the small roots are most importantthey’re the ones that carry nutrients! Stability is provided by the bigger roots.
To assist wash away the old dirt, you can either submerge the root ball in water or use a hose. When repotting, make sure the roots are not allowed to dry out. Additionally, be careful that the water you use is not almost frozen—this could shock the tropical plants.
Step Four: For Root bound plants, trim some of the longer, outer roots
Trimming the roots of plants that were root-bound can encourage new growth. Cut off any very long, outer roots. Think of it as a hair trim—you don’t need to take too much off—just an inch or two all around (depending on the size of your plant).
Step Five: Fill the planter with around a third new soil
You should add about a third new dirt to the planter you are using. Place your plant back into the pot after that, paying attention to how high it is sitting. You should plant it so that the soil covers all of the roots and comes up to the top of the pot within an inch.
Step Six: Place the root ball into the Pot & Fill
You might need assistance holding the plant upright while you add fresh soil to the sides. Remember that the earth will settle, so firm up the area surrounding the roots to help the plant stand.
Step seven: Water the plant
Avoid skipping this step! When the plant is watered, the soil will be able to move around and settle in between the roots, leaving none exposed. Make careful to water it until a lot of the extra runs off. If you see that the soil level has decreased as well, you can tap the pot or gently but firmly press the soil down with your hands to help it settle.
Once the top 1-2 inches of soil feel dry, wait to water your Fiddle Leaf Fig again (use your finger to test).
For about a month after repotting, avoid fertilizer because the roots have been disturbed and could become damaged. After the process, you can use a soil conditioner like Seasol to assist maintain the soil and plant robust and healthy without overpowering the plant.
After repotting, put your plant somewhere bright so it has time to acclimate. Fiddle Leafs typically dislike change, so it is best to let it acclimatize to its new container and soil at this point without making any additional modifications.
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