I get so many questions about my fig tree. I have lived with it for so long that I often forget how much of a show stopper it really is! So I wanted to dedicate a whole post to her and share some “tried and true” fiddle-leaf fig tips I have come across to help keep your tree thriving in the home.
Tip #1: Choose the right container
Some things to keep in mind when choosing a container is size, material, and drainage. You want to pick a pot that is 3 – 4 inches wider in diameter and 1 – 2 inches taller than the existing pot your fig tree came in. If you pick something too big, your plant will be susceptible to root rot. If you pick something too small, your plant won’t flourish.
The next thing to consider is material and drainage. Fiddle-leaf figs thrive best in a pot that allows for proper drainage. Look for an earthenware pot that has sufficient drainage holes. You can also add some gravel or pebbles beneath the soil to prevent any clogging.
Tip #2: Pick your location wisely
Fiddle-leaf figs are native to hot and humid Africa so they lend themselves well to bright, indirect light. They should be kept in a room that has plenty of sunshine, (east facing window if possible), but be careful not to place them in direct light or they can easily overheat. Also be sure to keep them away from any air vents or other sources of drafts. To help your fiddle-leaf fig absorb sunlight better, you can dust off the leaves gently using a soft microfiber cloth. Believe it or not, even just a small layer of dust can hinder your tree from absorbing sunlight and even stunt its growth.
Tip #3: Rarely move, rotate often
You really should avoid moving your tree if you don’t have to. Fiddle-leaf figs take a while to adjust to their environment so if you have found a place where it thrives, your’e better to leave it where it is. Moving your fig tree too much can lead to unwanted stress, and drooping, colorless leaves. Although moving your fig tree too often can be detrimental, rotating it is another story. Your tree will tend to grow toward the sun, so rotating it will help it grow more evenly leading to a more sturdy, symmetrical tree. You can rotate it as often as ever other week or as little as once a month.
Tip #4: Water regularly, but not too much
You can kill a fiddle-leaf fig by overwatering it just as quick as underwatering it. Underwatering a plant will lead to yellow leaves, while overwatering can lead to root rot and other diseases. You want to hydrate your tree but not drown it. A good tip is to check your soil weekly. Wait to water until 2-3 inches of your soil is dry. You can also purchase a soil meter if you want to eliminate any guesswork.
Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to prune
Pruning every so often is one of the best ways gain control over your growing plant. When pruning your fiddle-leaf fig tree, look for yellow or brown leaves. Trimming away yellow or dead leaves will prevent any unwanted pests from settling onto your plant. Pests are actually attracted more to dead and decaying leaves than healthy ones. Another thing to consider is pruning the topmost point of growth on your plant. This will force the plant to stop growing directly upwards, encouraging it to branch out from the sides, leading to a fuller looking tree.
I hope that these tips gave you some confidence in caring for your fiddle-leaf fig! We all know this plant has a finicky reputation but with these tips, and some hard work and dedication, there’s no doubt that your tree will reward you with its beauty. Let’s face it, these gorgeous houseplants are worth the extra tending to when you see the way they elevate your home!
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