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Fiddle-leaf fig - Interior design

How to Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig

One of my favorite ways to decorate my home is to incorporate plants + greenery into a space by adding a plant or two, bringing the room to life with lush colors courtesy of Mother Nature. 

My favorite plant + garden supplies in my home here. Having a variety of plants around me just makes me feel so serene and cozy, in addition to the obvious fact that they’re very aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.

I love the Ficus Audrey (here’s why.) But today I’m sharing a few thoughts about a tree that is so popular even your dad knows her. The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a beautiful plant that’s super popular (and has been for a while now). 

I just love their large dramatic leaves and the way they add so much depth and dimension to any corner of a room. These popular houseplants also get super tall. The best part? They’re not too hard to take care of if ya just keep a few things in mind. 

I know some of ya have trouble with them. So here’s a quick rundown on how to take care of a fiddle leaf fig with ease:

Repot your plant with drainage

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As soon as you bring your precious fiddle home, it’s important that you repot them with fresh potting soil immediately. 

Although the plastic growing pot that the fiddle leaf fig comes in when you purchase it is designed to reduce the plant’s risk of getting root rot, it increases the plant’s risk of drying out and suffering enormously. These roots of these indoor trees grow fast. 

Just be sure to provide drainage in the pot either by ensuring your pot has holes in the bottom, or by placing big stones or debris at the bottom so the roots don’t sit in water at the bottom. This is really important – make sure you transplant into a large enough pit with drainage.

Opt for a pot size that is wider by 2 inches and add stones (around 3 inches) to the bottom, thus preventing rot by allowing drainage. Then you can start adding potting soil, pushing it to the edges but making sure to leave a hole in the middle of the fresh soil (where you’ll place the root ball).

Once you remove the plant from its original pot, be sure to check for any rotten roots so you can cut them off swiftly. Then, place the root ball in the center of the new pot where you left the empty crater, and proceed to add inches of soil until the pot is filled.

For the last step, add water as you would to any other houseplant.

Choose the right container

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This is a very important aspect of fiddle leaf fig care to consider if you want to take care of a fiddle leaf fig long-term. 

To ensure that your plant never sits in water for too long, and has plenty of opportunity to root out, choose a container—at least two inches larger than the plant itself—that provides lots of opportunity for growth.

For example, this Mayon Planter! I love it so, because its got a lovely refined cement silhouette but with a wonderful texture that adds a ton of visual interest. Something about the verticality of this planter makes my heart sing. I love her and so does my fiddle.

Water your plant properly

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The fastest way to RIP your beloved fiddle (or any other plant really) is to overwater it. Try not to. The last thing you want is for your pretty green leaves to develop brown spots—or even turn into brown leaves—due to an overbearing watering schedule! 

This is why allowing proper drainage is one hundred percent necessary to keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy and flourishing. If you overwater, the excess water will drain out. Fortunately, the water requirements are quite simple. 

Watering once a week will do, and it’s best if you do it slowly and wait until you see water coming out of the drainage holes. Don’t dump it all at once – take your time with it.

Mist + Wipe Leaves

Fiddles love a good spray bottle mist once a week, so include this as part of your fiddle leaf fig care routine. Don’t forget, especially where the leaves are budding. This will help them grow and prevent leaves with holes. I love misting with room temperature water. 

Then later in the day, I will wipe each leaf with a damp cloth to remove any dust so each leaf can breathe. They will love you for this. I promise.

Fertilize after one month

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Wait for about a month to give your fiddle leaf fig ample time to recover, and then you can start fertilizing! Feed your plant with Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food every time you water it and I promise you, new leaves will start growing in no time!

Light is necessary, but not too much

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Place your plant in a location where it gets plenty of indirect light. Fiddle leaf figs need light, but harsh direct sunlight can prove to be too harsh and could even burn the plant’s leaves. Avoid direct light at all costs! 

Consider a corner where the light is strong in the morning but wains in the afternoon. My Fiddle loves being near the living room window but with a bit of shielding from the TV console.

Patience in pruning

It’s best to wait until springtime before getting rid of dead leaves and pruning, as this will give the plant enough time to regrow. The most important thing here is patience. It takes some time for a fiddle leaf fig to regrow to an ideal state.

When pruning, be sure to cut at an angle using pruning shears where leaves are dead, and remember not to cut off too many leaves at once to prevent causing trauma and shock to the plant.

Avoid Drafts

Do NOT place your fiddle lead directly in front of a cold drafty window. They hate it. They prefer to be in the light, but not in a drafty location. 

Lots of people place it in front of a window and then open it. You will see leaves drop quickly if you do that.

FAQ

Is a fiddle leaf fig high maintenance?

Not particularly, so long as you follow the basic fiddle leaf fig care outlined above (following the watering schedule, providing appropriately humid conditions, etc.). However, there is one thing you’ll want to watch out for: pests!

What is the lifespan of a fiddle leaf fig?

The fiddle leaf fig tree (Ficus Lyrata) can live up to 50 years in non-natural conditions. However, an improperly cared for fig may only live for 1-5 years.

Should I bottom water my fiddle leaf fig?

Bottom watering can be a helpful part of your fiddle leaf fig care routine, especially if you have a tendency to overwater your plants. However, you should still water it from the top occasionally. Otherwise, excess salt and minerals build up in the soil. hurting your plant.

Do fiddle figs need full sun?

No. Direct, bright light doesn’t offer the right light conditions for your fiddle figs. While natural light is great, opt for indirect sunlight instead. Also, don’t forget to provide a humid environment—ideally 30-50% humidity—if you want your plant to truly prosper!

Do fiddle leaf figs attract bugs?

Improperly maintained fiddle leaf figs (such as those with brown spots) are prone to bugs. However, if you notice any, you can easily remove them from this indoor plant using a wet, soapy rag.

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That’s basically it! Easy, right? Also, be patient if you notice your fiddle isn’t loving the light, move it up. Just give a good two weeks to see how things are going. Of course, since it’s a live plant, a fiddle leaf fig requires some form of care and maintenance. 

However, compared to other indoor house plants, it’s pretty straight-forward and hassle-free. Just be sure to give it a light cleaning ever so often with a clean cloth to remove any excess dust and dirt.

Believe me, it’s so nice to have a fiddle leaf fig inside your home! It’s a known fact that having plants in your vicinity can do wonders in improving indoor air quality as well as uplifting one’s mood. You see, they’re not only pretty to look at, they’re also very beneficial to one’s health and overall well-being.

If you don’t consider yourself as a plant person, I suggest you at least give it a try! Taking care of plants is a huge responsibility but it is also quite satisfying and productive. Xoxo

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