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Ultimate Guide to Growing and Caring for a Fiddle Leaf Fig

The fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is loved for its large, glossy leaves and elegant silhouette, the fiddle leaf fig has become a favorite among plant enthusiasts. We’ll cover everything you need to know about growing and caring for your own fiddle leaf fig.

Fiddle leaf fig plant in planter in living room

Choosing a Healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig

Here are some tips to help you choose a healthy fiddle leaf fig to bring home:

  • Size and Shape: Look for a fiddle leaf fig with a sturdy, well-balanced trunk and a symmetrical shape. The leaves should be vibrant and free from any discoloration or damage.
  • Roots: Check the plant’s roots by gently lifting it from its container. Healthy roots should be firm, white, and well-distributed throughout the root ball.
  • Multiple Stems: Opt for a fiddle leaf fig with multiple stems as it indicates a more mature and established plant.
  • Pests and Diseases: Inspect the plant for any signs of pests, such as spider mites or mealybugs. Also, check for common diseases like root rot or fungal infections.

Light Requirements

Every plant has different lighting needs. Here’s what you need to know about providing the right amount of light for your plant:

  • Indirect Sunlight: Fiddle leaf figs thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Place your plant near a north or east-facing window where it can receive bright, filtered light throughout the day. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight because it can scorch the leaves.
  • Rotate Regularly: To ensure even growth, rotate your fiddle leaf fig every few weeks so that all sides receive an equal amount of light.
  • Supplement with Artificial Light: If you don’t have access to sufficient natural light, you can supplement it with artificial grow lights. Use a full-spectrum LED light and keep it on for approximately 12-14 hours a day.

Temperature and Humidity

Your fiddle leaf fig also needs optimal temperature and humidity levels.

  • Temperature: Fiddle leaf figs prefer temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Don’t expose them to cold drafts or drastic temperature fluctuations.
  • Humidity: These plants prefer moderately humid conditions. If the air in your home is dry, consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the plant to increase humidity levels. Avoid misting the leaves directly, as it can lead to fungal issues.

Watering and Soil

Proper watering techniques and well-draining soil are essential for the fiddle leaf fig’s root health and overall growth. Follow these guidelines:

  • Watering Frequency: Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering your fiddle leaf fig. Stick your finger about an inch deep into the soil – if it feels dry, it’s time to water. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause leaf drooping and browning.
  • Watering Method: Water your fiddle leaf fig thoroughly until water drains out of the bottom of the pot. Discard any excess water to prevent waterlogging.
  • Soil Type: Fiddle leaf figs prefer well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged roots. Use a quality potting mix that includes ingredients like perlite or vermiculite for improved drainage.

Fertilizing and Pruning

To promote healthy growth and maintain the fiddle leaf fig’s beautiful appearance, it’ll need some regular fertilizing and pruning. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Fertilizing: Feed your fiddle leaf fig with a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper dilution and application.
  • Pruning: Pruning helps shape your fiddle leaf fig and encourages new growth. Trim any damaged or yellowing leaves, and consider removing any leggy or overcrowded branches. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to avoid tearing the leaves.

Pests and Common Problems

Like any houseplant, fiddle leaf figs can be susceptible to pests and common problems.

  • Pests: Common pests that affect fiddle leaf figs include spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Regularly inspect your plant for signs of pests, such as webbing, white cottony masses, or tiny crawling insects. Treat infestations with an appropriate insecticidal soap or neem oil spray.
  • Leaf Brown Spots: Brown spots on the leaves can indicate overwatering or fungal issues. Adjust your watering habits and ensure proper drainage. If the problem persists, consider treating the plant with a fungicide.
  • Leaf Drop: Leaf drop can occur due to overwatering, underwatering, or sudden changes in environmental conditions. Assess the plant’s watering needs and ensure it is not exposed to drafts or extreme temperatures.


If you want to expand your collection of fiddle leaf figs or share your plant with friends, propagation is an exciting option. Here’s how to propagate your fiddle leaf fig:

  • Stem Cutting: Take a 6-8 inch stem cutting from a healthy fiddle leaf fig just below a leaf node. Remove the bottom leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and plant it in a small pot filled with moistened soil. Keep the cutting in a warm and humid environment, and roots should develop within a few weeks.
  • Air Layering: Air layering is another method to propagate your fiddle leaf fig. Make a small incision in a healthy branch, wrap it with moist sphagnum moss, and cover it with plastic wrap. After a few months, roots should form, and you can cut the branch below the new root system and plant it in its own pot.

What is Rooting Hormone?

Rooting hormone is a powder or liquid used in gardening to stimulate root growth in cuttings or plants. It contains natural or synthetic plant hormones, such as auxins, which encourage the development of roots.

Apply it to the cut end of a stem or leaf before it is planted in soil or a rooting medium. It helps increase the success rate of root formation and promotes faster establishment of new plants.

Section 8: Repotting

As your fiddle leaf fig grows, you may need to repot it to provide enough space for its roots to expand. Follow these steps for successful repotting:

  • Timing: Repot your fiddle leaf fig every 1-2 years during the spring. Avoid repotting during the winter months when the plant is in a dormant phase.
  • Larger Pot: Choose a pot that is 2-4 inches larger in diameter than the current one. Ensure it has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  • Fresh Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix, preferably one specifically formulated for tropical plants. Gently remove the plant from its current pot, loosen the roots, and place it in the new pot. Fill the gaps with fresh soil, ensuring the plant is at the same depth as before.

Section 9: Enjoying Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Now that you have all the knowledge and tips on growing and caring for your fiddle leaf fig, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the beauty and benefits it brings to your home. With proper care, your fiddle leaf fig will thrive and become a stunning focal point in any room.


Growing and caring for a fiddle leaf fig requires a little bit of patience and attention, but the rewards are well worth it. With the right conditions, this majestic plant can bring a touch of nature and elegance into your home. Follow the tips and guidelines shared in this ultimate guide, and soon you’ll have a healthy, thriving fiddle leaf fig that will bring joy for years to come.