The first question we get asked is how do I look after my fiddle leaf fig? So below we have provided some easy to follow information, tips and trouble shooting to help keep your fiddle happy and healthy in his new home.
A bit about your Fiddle Leaf Fig
The fiddle leaf fig is an evergreen tree from tropical Africa growing to around 30m (100’) tall. It has leathery, big and glossy fiddle-shaped leaves with wavy margins. It is a low maintenance plant, requiring watering once a week only. The fiddle leaf grows best in a well lit position. The growing season is in Spring and Summer and given the right conditions your fiddle wth thrive all year.
Tips for how to care for your fiddle leaf fig
Water – approx. once a week. Do not over water your fiddle leaf fig. Over watering can cause the roots to rot or what we call ‘wet feet’. This is the top tip in how to care for your fiddle leaf fig, so don’t get too water happy! We find our figs like more water in the warmer months in Summer or if they are in a well heated house in winter. Ensure you give it enough that the water drains out the bottom, remove from it's pot so the water can drain away and the roots are not sitting in water. The top inch or two of soil should be dry before watering again.
Clean the leaves - give your fiddle leaf leaves a gentle clean every now and then to help the plant absorb light and to avoid potential infection. A gentle wipe with a cloth is enough. This will also keep those big green leaves looking nice and glossy.
Soil – any good, fast draining potting soil. Good quality soil is essential, go for the higher quality over cheaper price.
Fertilizer – feed with a weak liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season, spring and summer. Don't over do it, once a month is enough. A slow releasing fertiliser can also be used by mixing into the soil.
Light - your fiddle leaf fig requires lots of indirect light. This means it needs to be in a well lit space, but does not need direct sunlight hitting the plant. You will notice that if your fiddle doesn’t have enough light it may cause the plant to lose it’s leaves and thin out. Your fiddle leave fig will also grow towards the light, so make sure you rotate it every so often to keep your fig growing straight.
Night time – Don't leave your fiddle leaf fig outside during the night in the colder months. Remember the fiddle's natural habitat is a warm climate.
Pruning - Prune your fiddle leaf fig to encourage branching and bushiness. If you want your fig to look more like a tree, prune from the top to encourage branching out. The best time to prune your fiddle leaf fig is in the spring time (September, October, November). Make sure you give your plant a prune every year or two.
If things go wrong
Mealy bugs and fungus infestation can be the common issue with the fiddle leaf figs. Fungal disorders, including root rot, develops when the fiddle leaf fig’s soil is constantly wet, this is why it is important to not overwater. The leaves may turn brown to black and curl up, eventually falling off. Root rot is best treated by withholding water until the soil is able to dry fully.
If your fiddle leaf fig has leaf spot remove the infected leaves and avoid wetting the foliage when you water. Your plant can recover from either disorder if damage isn’t severe. Spray with an organic fungicide to treat. You can also spray or wipe leaves with organic neem oil to help prevent fungal infections.
If your fiddle leaf fig is exposed to a draft or too much dry heat it may drop its leaves and can go into a dormant recovery mode. You might see this if there is browning of the fiddle leaf figs leaves beginning on the tips and edges of the fiddle leaf fig, and spreading into the rest of the leaf.
Winter – If you live in Melbourne where it is quite cold in winter, your fiddle leaf fig growth will be appear to slow or be dormant. This is ok! The fiddle's will resume growing more rapidly during Spring and Summer.
Remember – do not over water, and give your fiddle plenty of light!