Learn how to care for a fiddle leaf fig tree. This super popular house plant is a favorite for designers and is seen all over the home decor space. I’m sharing my best tips for keeping my fiddle leaf fig tree alive and thriving!
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The fiddle leaf fig tree is probably a plant you’ve seen everywhere! It’s been in tons of design magazines, all over Instagram, and you can find a faux version in just about every store. This house plant is here to stay in the home decor world!
It’s popular for a good reason – because it’s beautiful! But did you know that the fiddle leaf fig tree has a reputation for being a difficult house plant? I didn’t!
Back when I bought my fiddle leaf fig tree, I had no idea it would be hard to take care of! I just knew that I’d seen them before in beautiful homes and I wanted a house plant too!
Now, I probably have the worst experience with keeping plants alive. Ben will tell you that I basically have a black thumb. But somehow with my fiddle leaf fig tree, I have the magic touch!
It’s the only plant I’ve managed to keep alive for more than a few months. Yes, I’m amazed as much as you are!
I think I’ve had luck with this particular plant because I don’t obsess over it. My lack of attention to gardening norms has actually helped out when it comes to the fiddle leaf fig tree. Go figure!
If you are looking to add your own fiddle leaf fig tree to your home, don’t worry! Today I thought I would share some of my best tips and tricks for taking care of this house plant.
My Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Story
The tree that you see in our home was actually purchased about 2 years ago. While we were visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, we stopped at one of our favorite local plant nurseries. There were tons of beautiful fiddle leaf fig trees just begging me to buy them!
Now, I have never ever had a houseplant for more than a few months. And I sort of gave up on the idea because of my black thumb tendencies. But the fiddle leaf figs were so beautiful! I really wanted one for our home.
They had a variety of sized trees, but I decided to get a medium-sized one. It had already grown to a decent size that it wasn’t a desk plant, but it also wasn’t so massive that it was going to cost a ton of money. The one I picked cost about $65.
At the time, I was terrified that I was going to kill this plant. Remember my record with plants in general? So $65 wasn’t necessarily cheap. But, some larger trees can cost hundreds of dollars. Even the faux ones can be a few hundred dollars too. So I thought I would try my luck with the medium-sized tree.
After we got home, I named my new tree “Figgy.” He was still pretty small back then but I was determined to keep him alive.
Looking back at the photos, I’m amazed at how large Figgy has grown! He’s the prettiest plant I’ve ever been able to grow.
I want you to be able to grow one of these beautiful trees in your home too! Here are my best tips and tricks!
PS: You can buy real fiddle leaf fig trees online from Home Depot! They have a few different sizes available.
The one that most closely resembles my fiddle leaf fig tree when I bought it is the “large” Home Depot size. That’s a great starting tree size because it already has a sturdy stem and some growth. But if you are looking for something a little smaller to start, they have some smaller and cheaper options too.
How to Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
My 4 Best Tips
Choose a Good Home
When you bring your plant home for the first time, you want to make sure it’s set up for success. There are a few things right off the bat that you should do to make sure your new plant has a good home.
First, you’ll need to choose the right planter based on the size of your plant. Find a planter that is about 6” in diameter larger than the planter that the tree comes in from the store.
The planter should also have proper drainage. Fiddle leaf fig trees should never be soaking and sitting in lots of water, so proper drainage is a must.
I think that a layer of rocks or gravel at the bottom of the planter also helps to keep the water draining properly and away from the roots.
The first planter I had for my tree already had drainage holes and a system built into the bottom of the pot. But the new planter that I bought for my tree didn’t have the best drainage, so we actually drilled holes in the bottom. Then we used a layer of gravel before we put potting soil down.
Keep Things Consistent
Next, you’ll need to choose a good location in your house for your plant to live in. Fiddle leaf fig trees need bright and consistent light. Try to place your plant near a window that gets a lot of sun.
I started Figgy off on one side of our living room. I kept him there for a long time, but once I moved him to his current location, he really started to thrive!
Fiddle leaf fig trees don’t like drafty air or wind. So choose a spot that isn’t near a door that’s constantly being opened or even near air vents. You want a place that has consistent air.
Fiddle leaf fig trees really love consistency and stability. They don’t like to be moved around your house. So find a good location and stick with it. The only movement I would recommend is rotating the tree so that it grows evenly and doesn’t start to lean too much towards the sunlight.
This is probably the most important tip for taking care of your fiddle leaf fig tree. Do not overwater this plant!
I think this is where my lack of green thumb skills come in handy. I cannot ever seem to water plants every day to begin with. So when I got “Figgy” I would just water him when it seemed like he needed water. Which, in normal plant terms, was probably too long to go between watering. But for the fiddle leaf fig tree, it’s perfect!
Fiddle leaf fig trees do best when you water them once the soil is dry. They are prone to root rot which is something that can kill your plant.
When you water the plant too much, the roots sit in water and that moisture causes fungus and bacteria to grow.
You can tell this is happening if the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig tree are starting to turn brown.
I’ve found that the sweet spot for my tree is to water it every 7-10 days. At that point, the soil is dry to the touch and slightly dry below the surface.
When I water my tree, I get the soil really wet. The fiddle leaf fig tree is native to rainforest areas, so lots of water at once is normal. But then be sure to let it drain properly and dry out.
Again, if you are like me and forget to water your plants, this might be the right houseplant for you. That’s because it really only needs to be watered every week or so to stay healthy. I have a recurring reminder on my phone that pops up when it’s watering time so I don’t forget.
Show Your Plant some Love
The best way to make sure your plant is thriving is to show it some love. Take care of it and pay attention to it.
And give it a name too!
Ok, that last part is just optional, but it’s still fun! If you take good care of your plant, it will grow well and you’ll have a beautiful house plant in your home.
The leaves on a fiddle leaf fig are pretty large. And in my opinion, that’s what makes it so beautiful. But those leaves also have to soak up the sunlight so it can grow bigger. When your plant lives inside, the leaves can get dusty and it’s harder for them to absorb the light.
Spend some time every few months wiping down the leaves. All you need is a wet rag and a little bit of time. Get all of that dust off so that the leaves are nice and shiny again.
Every once in a while you may need to prune your plant. If you see dead leaves at the bottom or ones that are blocking the other leaves from growing, cut those off.
At some point, you might also want your tree to grow fuller. To make that happen, you’re going to have to prune it slightly.
This can be a little scary because you’ll be cutting off sections that took a while to grow and look good. And your fiddle leaf fig might look a little “naked” for a while. But I promise it will be worth it.
If you cut back a few leaves or one of the branches, this will encourage new growth. Two new branches will sprout from your cutting spot if your tree is healthy.
This is how I got my tree to start looking fuller. I pruned Figgy and cut off part of the top of his growth to get his branches to split. Now, I have different branches at the top and a lot of new growth!
Finally, if your plant has outgrown its planter, you will need to re-pot it.
My tree’s growth was stunted slightly because I left it in a pot that was too small for its size. When we finally pulled it out of its first planter, we noticed that the roots had grown in circles all around. That’s because they had nowhere else to go.
As your tree grows, be sure you are upgrading the planter accordingly. I have only repotted my plant once. But since then, I feel like it’s grown a ton! It finally has room to spread out and keep growing taller.
I hope these tips help you as you take care of your own fiddle leaf fig tree! They seem intimidating, but with the right care, you can have a gorgeous houseplant for your home!