You recently bought or already have a fiddle leaf fig. What’s next?
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.
How much sun is required by a fiddle leaf fig?
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.
Where in the house should fig trees be placed?
In USDA zones 7–10, the majority of fig tree cultivars can be planted outside (check your zone). A fully dormant fig tree can withstand temperatures as low as 10 to 15 °F (and has roots that have been mulched) (-12o to -9oC).
You can grow fig trees in containers outside in a sunny position throughout summer if you live somewhere with harsh winter temperatures that reach colder than that (hardiness zones 6 and lower). Then, before it gets too cold, relocate the container to a warmer location, such inside or in a garage. You can put your fig tree back outside whenever the weather is warm enough.
For growing fig trees indoors, the Petit Negra is the best option. The dwarf fig variety “Petite Negra,” which grows about 3 to 8 feet tall in containers and typically preserves its leaves through the winter, is the exception to the “no indoor figs rule. Beginning when the tree is barely a foot or two tall, Ficus carica Petite Negra yields figs that are of average size. It demands a window facing south and at least eight hours per day of direct sunlight. Watch this sampling of the best fig variety for container cultivation, the Petite Negra, in the video below! The breba crop will produce fruit based on growth from the previous year.
Here are few tips for how to grow fig trees in containers:
These large, portable containers are ideal for growing in regions with severe winters because they can be moved indoors during the chilly months.
- In the largest lightweight container you are able to handle, plant your fig tree. Moving around will be simpler with one on wheels. (You can start with a smaller container and increase the size of the pot as the tree grows.)
- To increase drainage, use a soil-based potting mix and add bark chips or light-weight perlite. To retain moisture and minimize the amount of watering required, keep a healthy layer of mulch around your plants. As potting soil, Perfect Plants’ specifically formulated Fruit Tree Planting Mix will be fantastic!
- Keep the potting soil from becoming overly dry. We advise using a drip irrigation tube controlled by an affordable battery-operated timer, which is easily found at garden supply stores, to water a containerized tree for 15 minutes each morning. A treegator is a fantastic choice!
If you don’t have a yard or space where you can plant figs in the ground, growing them in containers is a terrific alternative. They will continue to produce tons of delicious figs!
Can a fiddle leaf fig be planted in a bedroom?
Given how frequently it appears in home publications, television shows, and blogs, the fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is one of the most popular houseplants right now. The appropriate lighting is crucial to keeping your plant healthy in a bedroom environment because its huge leaves are its focus point.
The gloomy understory of the jungle is ideal for fiddle leaf figs, but indirect light from an east-facing window also promotes their growth. To improve the humidity around the plant, place your fiddle leaf fig on a plate of stones with water in it. In conclusion, the fiddle leaf fig prefers everything in moderation, including temperature, water, and light. Your plant will suffer if there is an imbalance between these components.
How can I tell if the light reaching my fiddle leaf fig is adequate?
Measuring the space between the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig tree is another proven way to determine whether it needs more sunlight.
The leaves of a fiddle will grow more closely together than those of a fiddle that must reach for its solar energy.
Here is an illustration of a fiddle leaf fig that displayed these precise signs. Just two years ago, I gave my mother this beautiful plant:
As you can see, the leaves were able to remain near to one another without suffocating one another due to the abundance of sunlight offered by the greenhouse environment. It was flawless.
I sent it over to my mother without checking for a bright spot in her home. The greatest spot she could locate in her house was close to a window, although it received little natural light.
After a year, she was able to move the large plant outside for some summer heat and humidity, but as you can see, the branches had already started to spread:
This fiddle leaf fig tree had a terrific summer, but when winter arrived, it had to return indoors.
It is now as follows:
Watch for this lanky, “reaching” appearance and address it right away by moving your plant steadily closer to the sun.
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.
How is a fiddle leaf fig plant cared for indoors?
PRO TIP: Rinse the leaves of your plant with room temperature water every three months. This makes sure they can absorb and photosynthesize sunlight more effectively by clearing away any dust that has accumulated.
Always evaluate your plant’s watering requirements as soon as you get one. It is important to check the soil’s moisture content first to make sure it isn’t wet directly under the surface before giving your plant a drink. Additionally, think about aerating your plant’s soil before to the first watering. Aerating can help with drainage, let the soil breathe, and let moisture escape because many farmers compact the soil to prevent it from shifting while being transported.
As it originates from a region of the world where it gets extremely dry in between rainstorms, the fiddle leaf fig like its soil to be kept continuously, uniformly moist with a brief drying out interval between waterings. When the top two inches of soil have dried, thoroughly water the plant. Check the soil frequently until you establish a habit with your plant. If you allow the soil to dry deeply to the lower root system, leaf loss will result. On the other hand, excessive soil moisture can induce leaf drop and root rot.
A soil probe, which enables you to check your plant’s moisture level at the root level and may also be used to aerate the soil if ever overwatered, is the finest method we have found to obtain an accurate moisture reading throughout the soil. Choosing our Monitor Brass Soil Probe is a classy move.
We strongly advise potting your fiddle leaf because it is difficult to keep it alive for a long time in its nursery container. Just be sure to use a permanent planter with sufficient of soil mass and, most importantly, drainage. You must be extremely careful not to overwater your Fiddle Leaf Fig if it was planted in a container without a drainage hole. In this situation, we advise giving your Fiddle Leaf Fig a little extra time to dry out in between waterings and checking the soil’s moisture content at the roots with a soil probe before watering. Particularly in our self-watering containers, these plants thrive!