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Complete Fiddle Leaf Fig Guide + FAQs

Types of Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant

Fiddle Leaf Fig plants have proved to be popular with interior design enthusiasts who highly prize its broad, eye-catching glossy leaves and ability to withstand cooler indoor temperatures. The plant is native to West African lowland tropical rainforests, where it can grow up to 50 feet tall. It won’t grow anywhere near that height when grown indoors. Still, this plant commands a great deal of space in a living room and makes for an attractive focal point in any room.

Find out more about how each Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant differs below, as well as tips on where to position them, how to care for Fiddle Lead Figs and other useful facts.

Ficus Lyrata

The Fiddle Lea Fig plant can be found in far-flung destinations such as Cameroon and Sierra Leone, where it’s known to grow in excess of 30m tall.

When grown indoors in the UK however, this variety is unlikely to exceed 3m. The plants usually arrive as one stem with leaves branching off, you can ‘top’ the stem to encourage bushy growth, or let it soar upwards instead.

Ficus lyrata 'Bambino'

The smaller brother of the Fiddle Leaf Fig will only reach a height of 1 metre, making it an ideal choice for someone who doesn’t want the plant to become the focal point of the room.

This plant also differs by having a more branching nature, lending itself to a bushy shape, rather than a tree, and it also tends to have thicker leaves.

How to Care for Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants

Why are the bottom leaves of my fiddle leaf fig turning yellow?

If the bottom leaves (or any other leaves) of your fiddle leaf fig are turning yellow, then the plant is likely not getting enough sun and is also being overwatered. Find a place where the plant gets more indirect light and allow it to dry out more between waterings, to let it recover.

Why are my fiddle leaf fig leaves curling?

Fiddle leaf fig leaves curling can be a sign that your plant is either over-watered or under-watered. Assess the potting medium’s moisture and adjust your watering schedule if you feel that it’s either too damp or dry to the touch. Allow overly damp medium to dry out before watering again.

Do fiddle leaf figs like self-watering pots?

Fiddle leaf figs like self-watering pots, as this gives them all the hydration they need without the risk of over-watering and developing root rot. Normal pots are still fine to use, just make sure you keep a healthy watering schedule to prevent over or under-watering.

Should I mist my fiddle leaf fig?

You can mist your fiddle leaf fig every one to three days to give it some added humidity, however, this is not a necessary part of its care. It’s more important to ensure that it's being watered properly and given chance to dry out slightly between waterings.

How do you revive a dead fiddle leaf fig tree?

There is no reviving a truly dead fiddle leaf fig tree. However, if you’re not certain that it has died you should give it the optimum conditions to recover. Put it in a warm spot with plenty of indirect sunlight. Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing the medium to dry a little, and wait to see if it comes back.

How can you tell if a fiddle leaf fig has root rot?

Your fiddle leaf fig has root rot if you discover:

  1. An unpleasant odour around the plant, or near the roots.
  2. Brown, mushy roots that are soggy.
  3. Waterlogged soil that is accompanied by a saturated root system.

How do you save an overwatered fiddle leaf fig?

Save an overwatered fiddle leaf fig by placing it in a spot with plenty of indirect light and allowing it to dry completely. When you resume watering make sure allow any excess water to drain off before being placed back on its saucer or tray.

How do you encourage fiddle leaf figs to grow?

Encourage your fiddle leaf fig to grow by:

  1. Giving it the right sized pot to grow in. Bigger pots mean more room to grow roots and encourage growth.
  2. Ensuring proper drainage. Make sure the pot can drain out water, or layer the bottom with pebbles to keep roots away from excess moisture.
  3. Water properly, regularly. Water every 1-2 weeks depending on your size pot. All potting medium should be watered when you do this.
  4. Check for soil aeration. Don’t let the soil get compacted. If this happens, use chop-sticks to gently loosen up the soil around the plant.
  5. Change soil annually. Swap out your medium with fresh soil once a year in early spring to benefit from longer daylight hours. 
  6. Fertilise during the growing season. Feed when the weather is warmest and the sun is brightest to encourage maximum growth.
  7. Expose to more indirect light. Your fiddle leaf fig needs plenty of indirect light to grow to its full potential, this could mean sacrificing your current arrangement.

Can I cut the top off my fiddle leaf fig?

Cutting the top off your fiddle leaf fig is a good way to control the overall height of the plant, but should only be done with plants that are at least 5 foot tall during the summer growing season. Use clean secateurs and make a cut just above the closest node at your chosen height. Sap will ooze from the plant, but this should crust over in time.

Useful fact about Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant

Do fiddle leaf figs like coffee grounds?

Fiddle leaf figs do not like coffee grounds thrown into their potting medium. Coffee grounds are acidic and can impair the pH balance of your potting medium which will then impact the health of your fiddle leaf fig plant. Coffee grounds could also cause excessive moisture retention which might then lead to root rot or mould forming.

Are fiddle leaf figs hard to keep alive?

Fiddle leaf figs are not hard to keep alive, although they do have a reputation that suggests otherwise. This plant’s basic needs can be met by a novice plant owner, given they have the right conditions for it to thrive in. The plant can go dormant and shed leaves during colder months, which often misleads new owners to believe that they have killed their plant.

Are fiddle leaf figs toxic to dogs?

Fiddle leaf figs are toxic to cats and dogs. If they chew through a stem and eat the sap then they may have oral irritation, excessive drooling, and vomiting as a result. Either keep your fiddle leaf fig plant out of reach of your pets or look for a pet-friendly house plant instead.

How poisonous are fiddle leaf figs?

Fiddle leaf fig sap is toxic, as opposed to poisonous. The sap of this plant can irritate the eyes and the skin. For this reason, it should be kept out of reach of children or pets who are likely to chew it.

Do fiddle leaf figs smell?

Fiddle leaf figs don’t have a particular smell. If the plant has been overwatered and allowed to sit in too much moisture then it may develop an unpleasant odour. This can be treated by allowing the plant to dry out or replacing the potting medium.

Do fiddle leaf figs purify air?

Fiddle leaf figs purify the air in much the same way as other plants, taking carbon dioxide in and releasing oxygen into their immediate surroundings. Although ficus lyrata wasn’t part of the NASA Clean Air Study, two relations of the ficus genus were proven to clean the air of certain toxins, so it’s possible that fiddle leaf figs might also share this trait.

Will a fiddle leaf fig regrow leaves?

A fiddle leaf fig will regrow leaves after dropping off. Fiddle leaf fig plants can enter states of dormancy if they are subjected to cold or draught conditions, they usually return to a growing state when their conditions improve during the growing season. If your fiddle leaf fig is dropping leaves during the growing season, then this is a sign that you are not giving it the right balance of light and moisture.

Where to position a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant

Does a fiddle leaf fig need sunlight?

Fiddle leaf figs need plenty of indirect sunlight in order to thrive. Emulate the plant’s West African lowland rainforest habitats by placing it in a spot that receives dappled sunlight throughout the day. The more sun it receives and the warmer it’s kept, the taller it will grow.

Is fiddle leaf fig a good indoor plant?

The fiddle leaf fig is a good indoor plant, especially if you are looking for a plant to become a feature or focal point in the room you place it in. The plant can be encouraged to grow in a bush or tree shape, depending on your space requirements, making it suitable for a variety of places in the home.

Can a fiddle leaf fig live in low light?

Fiddle leaf figs can live in low light conditions, however, it’s not likely to thrive or grow to its full potential if this is the case. This plant can live in homes without plentiful indirect light and warmth, however, it does require a minimum temperature of at least 10°C for it to stay healthy.

Can I put my fiddle leaf fig in the rain?

You can put your fiddle leaf fig in the rain but only do so as part of its watering schedule and during the warmer months of the year.

Can a fiddle leaf fig get too much sun?

Fiddle leaf figs can suffer if given too much direct sun. Although the plant is native to West Africa, it grows in conditions where it receives dappled light, as opposed to direct sunlight. Whilst it’s possible to harden fiddle leaf figs to adapt to direct sunlight, they need a temperate, humid environment in order to thrive in these conditions.

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