Tips for keeping your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree happy.
Posted on Friday, March 06 2015 04:20:00 PM in Featured by Little Fig Co
If your heart wants a fiddle leaf fig tree but your black thumb is standing in the way, then we have put this information together to help make your decision easier.
While we consider the Fiddle Leaf Fig trees to be reasonably low-maintenance, we insist on tried-and-true methods for keeping the Fiddle Leaf Fig healthy and beautiful. See the tips for fiddle leaf fig tree success!
Q: What should people consider when finding a location to place their fiddle leaf fig tree?
A: Fiddle Leaf Fig trees like it bright, so try to find a spot where there will be plenty of light for as much of the day as possible. Remember direct sunlight can damage leaves, so avoid positioning your plant outside or in a space that is not protected.
Q: What do brown spots on leaves signify? Is there a way to stop the brown spots from spreading?
A: Brown spots can indicate a number of problems, however generally its caused by too much or too little watering, and either of those could lead to disease. You'd need to troubleshoot, starting with making sure you're watering with the right frequency. Once you've resolved the source, which is most often water-related, the brown spots should stop on your Fiddle Leaf Fig.
Q: If the large leaves begin to collect dust, is it important to wipe them? Does that really keep them from getting enough sun?
A: Keeping your tree's leaves clean is important. Dusty leaves may not impact your plant's ability to absorb light, however the main concern is dust that could interfere with the plant's "breathing." This could also invite fungus and bacteria that may lead to pests and disease.
We recommend wiping your large-leaved plants with a soft, damp cloth or and old clothing, like a tshirt. It is also a great idea to wash down your plants in the shower or hose them off a couple of times a year. If you do this, be sure you use lukewarm water — plants don't like cold showers any more than we do! If you're rinsing outside, do it on a warm day and dry the plants in indirect sunlight.
Q: How often should these trees be watered?
A: The biggest question in gardening - how much do I water? The answer is: it depends, is it indoors or out?. As a general rule for a Fiddle Leaf Fig in an 200, 250, 300, or 400mm diameter pot (these are common sizes for this plant), you'll want to water when the top inch or so of soil is dry, but the soil directly below that is moist. The easiest way to tell if it's dry is to stick your finger in the soil.
The temperature in your home will affect how quickly the soil will dry. You'll have a sense of how often that happens, and after a few weeks should be able to work out a schedule. Remember to water consistently, and pay extra attention if it gets hot in the Summer, or if you have the heater on in the Winter, as you may need to adjust your schedule.
Q: Is there a way to ensure that the tree grows multiple branches instead of forming a top-heavy silhouette?
A: Fiddle Leaf Fig trees are typically sold as a single-branched tree (with evenly spaced branches up and down the trunk)a multi-branched tree (with two trunks, with evenly spaced branches up and down the trunk) or a standard (with a single trunk and a leafy top), so look for the form you prefer when you buy one. They grow quickly — in average environments, usually be 30sm per year. Prune annually to maintain the size you want, and pot into a larger pot if you want it to grow larger — early Spring is the best time for pruning. These trees will also lean towards the light, so rotate your tree every few weeks to keep a uniform shape.
Q: If a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is dropping leaves, what does that mean?
A: If your Fiddle Leaf Fig is dropping leaves, it is generally caused by too much or too little water, or by being exposed to cold air (from a draft) or excessive warm air (from a heater). If your tree is dropping its leaves, first check its location and move if necessary. Remember that these trees are native to warm, humid, tropical places where they get consistent moisture and even temperatures. Fiddle leaf figs are pretty easy to grow and don't need special pampering, but the more you can mimic their natural environment, the happier they'll be.
Q: Will moving the tree around the house or even outside harm it?
A: You can move your Fiddle Leaf Fig around your home, providing you can give it bright light wherever you place it — it's not touchy like some of the other ficus trees that often drop their leaves when moved. They can't handle cold weather, but in warm climates, you can grow these trees outdoors for part or all of the year.
Q: What if the roots of the Fiddle Leaf Fig start to push through the bottom of the pot?
A: It's time to either repot into a larger container or root prune. Both of which are quite simple.
To repot your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree, take your plant outside. Gently lay the Fiddle Leaf Fig on its side, then ease it out of the pot. Do not yank or force the Fiddle Leaf Fig from its container; if it doesn't come out easily, firmly tap the container all around to help release the root ball. Then, replant your Fiddle Leaf Fig into a pot that is slightly bigger than the one it came from, and fill in with fresh potting soil.