Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Guide!


What’s up, plant peeps? Today we’re talking about one of my all-time favorite houseplants: the fiddle leaf fig (FLF for short). This tropical beauty from West Africa has exploded in popularity over the past decade, appearing in stylish homes and Instagram feeds everywhere. No wonder why – those big glossy leaves add a touch of drama and elegance to any space.

However, FLFs can be finicky creatures that demand some TLC from their human keepers. Fear not, though – with this care guide, you’ll learn how to give your FLF the love it deserves and watch it thrive under your care. Let’s go!

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Light Exposure

The amount and quality of light are critical factors for FLFs’ growth and health. They originate from rainforests where they grow under tall trees but still receive bright filtered light. Therefore, they prefer bright indirect sunlight or dappled shade in most indoor settings.

However, don’t expose them directly to strong sunbeams that can scorch their delicate foliage or intense darkness that can stunt their growth. If you notice your FLF leaning towards a window or dropping leaves, it could mean it craves more light or needs to rotate regularly.

Watering

Proper watering is perhaps the trickiest part of FLF care since both overwatering and underwatering can harm them. Their roots like to stay consistently moist but not waterlogged or bone dry; otherwise, they suffocate or desiccate.

To strike a balance, water your FLF when the top inch of soil feels slightly dry to the touch but not crunchy nor wet. Give enough water until it drains out from the bottom holes but avoid leaving standing water in saucers as it may cause root rot or attract insects.

Temperature

Since FLFs are tropical plants, they thrive in warm temperatures between 60°F (15°C) and 90°F (32°C). They can tolerate some fluctuations in temperature but not sudden drops below 50°F (10°C) or drafts that may shock their system.

Therefore, keep your FLF away from doors, windows, AC units, or heat sources that emit dry air. You can also mist its leaves with distilled water to increase humidity around it and prevent dust build-up.

Soil Type

FLFs prefer soil that’s well-draining, nutrient-rich, and slightly acidic. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and sand is ideal for mimicking their natural environment while preventing waterlogging or compaction.

Repotting

As FLFs grow taller and wider over time, they may outgrow their pots and need repotting. This means transferring them into a bigger container with fresh soil while removing any dead roots or dirt clumps.

You should only do this once every two years at most during spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. Otherwise, repotting can stress your FLF out and make it lose leaves temporarily.

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Fertilizing

To sustain their lush foliage and promote new growth, FLFs benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season (spring/summer). You can use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted in water every other week or a slow-release granular one applied according to package instructions.

Avoid fertilizing during fall/winter since your FLF enters a dormant phase where it doesn’t require as many nutrients. Overfertilization can burn its roots and cause toxicity issues later on.

Propagation

If you want to expand your FLF collection without buying additional plants, you can propagate them using stem cuttings. However, note that propagation requires patience and attention to detail since FLFs don’t reproduce quickly nor easily compared to other plants like pothos or spider plants.

The best time to propagate an FLF is during spring/summer when the plant is actively growing. Take a stem cutting with a few leaves and nodes, let it dry out for a day, then dip it in rooting hormone and plant it in moist soil. Keep the cutting warm and humid but not waterlogged, and wait for roots and new growth to appear.

Pests

Like any houseplant, FLFs can attract unwanted pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects. These creatures suck sap from the leaves or stems of your FLF while secreting sticky honeydew that attracts other insects or fungi.

To prevent or treat infestations of these pests, you can use a natural solution like neem oil or insecticidal soap sprayed on all parts of the FLF as directed. You may need to repeat the treatment several times depending on how severe the problem is.

Diseases

FLFs can also suffer from diseases caused by environmental factors like high humidity, low light exposure, overwatering/underwatering, poor drainage or lack of nutrients. Some common symptoms include yellowing leaves, brown spots/streaks, wilting/drooping foliage.

To diagnose and fix your plant’s disease issues quickly before they spread out, check its growing conditions first and adjust them if needed (e.g., move to brighter location; reduce watering frequency). If the damage is too extensive or irreversible despite your efforts, you may consider propagating a healthy stem cutting instead of trying to save the whole plant.

Toxicity

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that FLFs are slightly toxic if ingested by humans or animals due to their high concentration of calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves. These crystals cause irritation and swelling in the mouth/throat when chewed/swallowed.

Therefore, keep your FLF out of reach from pets and children who might be tempted to snack on its glossy greenery. If accidental ingestion occurs or more severe allergic reactions happen (e.g., difficulty breathing), seek medical attention immediately.

FAQ:

Q: Why are my fiddle leaf fig leaves yellow?
A: Your plant may not be receiving enough light, overwatered, or in a too cool environment which inhibits photosynthesis.

Q: When should I repot my fiddle leaf fig?
A: Consider doing so if roots start appearing out of the drainage holes or when plants gets root bound for healthy growth.

Q: How often should I fertilize my fiddle leaf fig?
A: Twice a month during growing seasons-diluted at half strength.

Q: What’s the best temperature range for Ficus Lyrata
A: The ideal range is between 60-75°F (15-24°C), keep them off cold blasts/transitory windows but also avoid areas next to radiators.

Sandy

I’m just a plant lover from Central Florida with a passion for sharing knowledgeable facts about all things plants.

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