The Ultimate Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Guide

Last Updated March 14, 2024 By Bella Zinti

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The Ficus lyrata, commonly referred to as the Fiddle Leaf Fig, has gained iconic status in the realm of indoor plants. With its broad, violin-shaped leaves and an air of tropical elegance, this botanical beauty has found its way into countless homes and interior design schemes. But while the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is celebrated for its aesthetic appeal, it's not without its care challenges.

In this care guide, we will delve into the techniques of nurturing and ensuring the flourishing of your Fiddle Leaf Fig. From light and water requirements to troubleshooting common issues, we'll equip you with the knowledge and tips you need to ensure your Fiddle Leaf Fig not only survives but thrives, becoming a lush and vibrant centerpiece in your indoor garden.

Botanical Name

Common Name

Plant Type

Mature Size

Sun Requirement

Soil Type

Hardiness Zone

Pet Friendly

Ficus lyrata

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Broadleaf evergreen

Up to 10 feet indoors

Bright, filtered light

Well-draining, loamy soil

10-12 USDA 


What is Fiddle Leaf Fig

The Fiddle Leaf Fig, scientifically identified as Ficus lyrata, is a well-loved and aesthetically pleasing indoor plant admired for its remarkable foliage. Originating from western Africa, specifically in areas such as Sierra Leone, this tropical gem is distinguished by its sizable, glossy, violin-shaped leaves that can attain dimensions of up to 15 inches in width and 18 inches in length. These leaves feature prominent veining, giving the plant an elegant and sculptural appearance. Fiddle Leaf Figs have become a favorite interior decoration choice, adding lush greenery to homes and offices. They thrive in bright, indirect light and can grow into impressive, tree-like specimens when well cared for.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Care


The Fiddle Leaf Fig requires indirect, bright light to thrive indoors. Position it near a window with filtered sunlight to promote healthy growth and foliage development. Avoid direct sunlight, particularly in the afternoon, to prevent potential harm to the leaves. To maintain its healthy appearance, it's advisable to rotate the plant periodically to promote balanced growth. Monitor its reaction to light conditions and adjust its placement accordingly to prevent issues such as leaf yellowing or dropping. Adequate, indirect light is crucial for the overall well-being of the Fiddle Leaf Fig as an indoor plant.


The Fiddle Leaf Fig has distinct water requirements crucial for maintaining its health. It prefers moderately moist soil but does not tolerate overwatering. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.

For proper watering, permit the soil's top 1-2 inches to dry out between waterings. When it's time to water, saturate the soil thoroughly until water drains from the bottom of the pot. Empty the saucer beneath the pot to prevent the plant from sitting in standing water. Since overwatering can result in root rot, it is crucial to avoid letting the plant's roots remain consistently wet. Regularly monitor the soil's moisture level and adjust the watering frequency accordingly to ensure its well-being.

Fiddle Leaf Fig indoor


The Fiddle Leaf Fig has specific temperature requirements to thrive indoors. It thrives in an environment that is consistently warm and stable. Ideally, maintain a temperature range between 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C). Prevent exposure to drafts, cold air, or abrupt temperature fluctuations, as these can stress the plant and result in issues such as leaf drop. Additionally, safeguard the plant from temperatures below 50°F (10°C), as prolonged exposure to colder conditions can be detrimental.


The Fiddle Leaf Fig plants are tropical plants native to regions with naturally high humidity levels. To replicate its native environment indoors, maintaining appropriate humidity levels is crucial for its health and vitality.

Ideally, the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree thrives in moderate to high humidity, with a range of 30% to 65% being ideal. The plant may face challenges in areas with lower humidity, particularly during the winter months when indoor heating systems can significantly reduce moisture levels.

Insufficient humidity can lead to problems such as dry and brown leaf edges, as the plant loses moisture through transpiration faster than it can absorb it from the surrounding air. To address this, several methods can be employed.

A practical method to enhance humidity is by regularly misting the plant's leaves with water at room temperature. This helps raise the humidity immediately around the plant. Additionally, placing a humidity tray filled with water and pebbles near the plant can serve as a more continuous source of moisture, gradually increasing humidity levels.

Maintaining the proper humidity for your Fiddle Leaf Fig enhances its lush and vibrant appearance and aids in preventing common issues associated with dry indoor environments.


The Fiddle Leaf Fig flourishes in well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. The ideal potting mix for this plant should consist of a combination of potting soil, perlite or orchid bark for added aeration and drainage, and organic matter like peat moss to retain moisture without causing waterlogging. This soil blend promotes healthy root development and prevents overwatering, a common issue with Fiddle Leaf Figs. Verifying that the soil is well-aerated is crucial, allowing excess water to drain freely from the pot. Regularly repotting the plant with fresh, suitable soil helps maintain its vitality and ensures it has the necessary nutrients for robust growth.


To ensure a healthy and thriving plant, it is advisable to fertilize during the growing season, usually from spring through early autumn. A balanced liquid fertilizer with a formulation like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 is suitable for Fiddle Leaf Figs. Diluting the fertilizer to half or even a quarter of the recommended strength is crucial, as these plants are sensitive to over-fertilization. Apply the diluted fertilizer approximately every four to six weeks. During the dormant winter months, reducing or altogether suspending fertilization is advisable, allowing the plant to rest. Regular and cautious fertilization provides the necessary nutrients for robust foliage growth without risking fertilizer burn or other related issues.


Propagating a Fiddle Leaf Fig can be accomplished through stem cuttings. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to propagate your Fiddle Leaf Fig:

Materials You'll Need

Pruning shears or a sharp knife

A clean, sharp blade (for multiple cuttings)

Small pots with drainage holes

Well-draining potting mix

A plastic bag or plastic wrap

Rubber bands or twist ties

Propagation Steps

  1. Select a healthy, mature Fiddle Leaf Fig plant with branches you intend to propagate. Choose branches with a few leaves and ensure there are no signs of disease or stress.

  2. Use pruning shears or a sharp knife to cut a stem section with at least one node (the bump on the stem where leaves and roots grow). Each cutting should measure approximately 6-12 inches long and have 1-2 leaves attached. Create clean, diagonal cuts just below a node.

  3. Trim away the lower leaves from each cutting, leaving only a few leaves at the top. This helps minimize moisture loss and stimulates root growth. Although not essential, you may choose to dip the cut end of each cutting in the rooting hormone to facilitate root development.

  4. Fill small pots with a well-draining potting mix, ensuring it is evenly moist but not saturated. Create a hole in the center to insert the cuttings.

  5. Insert each cutting into the prepared hole in the potting mix, ensuring the node (where roots will grow) is below the surface.

  6. Enclose the pots with a plastic bag or wrap to establish a mini-greenhouse effect, securing it in place with rubber bands or twist ties. This method assists in maintaining humidity around the cuttings.

  7. Place the pots in an area with bright, indirect light. If needed, you can also use a plant stand. Steer clear of direct sunlight, as it may scorch the cuttings. Maintain a consistently warm temperature between 70-75°F (21-24°C).

  8. Inspect the cuttings to ensure the potting mix stays slightly moist. If the humidity inside the plastic starts to drop, mist the cuttings and replace the plastic cover.

  9. Over several weeks to a few months, the cuttings will develop roots. You can assess by gently tugging on the cuttings; if they offer resistance, roots have developed.

  10. Once the cuttings have established well-developed roots, typically when they reach a few inches long, transplant them into larger pots using a regular potting mix. Continue caring for them as mature Fiddle Leaf Figs.

Pot And Repot

Potting and repotting a Fiddle Leaf Fig is critical to its care regimen to ensure robust growth and health. When repotting, selecting a container slightly larger than the current one is vital, complete with a proper drainage hole to prevent waterlogging. A well-draining potting mix, supplemented with perlite or orchid bark, establishes an ideal environment for the plant's roots. Gently transferring the plant to the new pot, maintaining its previous depth, and thorough watering help settle the soil and remove air pockets.

Repotting is recommended every 2-3 years or when the roots begin to encircle the pot. The process mirrors potting, with attention to root health and careful trimming if required. Spring or early summer is the optimal time for repotting, allowing the plant to acclimate to its new environment. Adequate potting and repotting practices contribute to the Fiddle Leaf Fig's well-being by providing space for root growth and nutrient access.

Fiddle Leaf Fig on table

Common Problems And Troubleshoots

Brown Spots or Edges on Leaves

Brown spots or edges on the leaves of your Fiddle Leaf Fig are often a result of inadequate moisture. These symptoms typically indicate either under watering or inconsistent watering. Establishing a consistent watering schedule is crucial to address this issue. Make sure the upper 1-2 inches of the soil have dried out before proceeding with watering. Additionally, consider misting the leaves regularly to enhance humidity around the plant, preventing further browning.

Yellowing Leaves

When your Fiddle Leaf Fig's leaves turn yellow, it's usually a sign of overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Excessive watering can arise when the pot lacks proper drainage, leading to waterlogged soil. To address this issue, ensure your pot is equipped with adequate drainage holes, facilitating excess water drainage. Modify your watering schedule to avoid water accumulation in the soil. If you observe yellowing leaves, trim and remove them carefully to encourage new growth.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves can be a concerning sign, indicating both underwatering and overwatering. When the plant experiences stress, such as inconsistent watering, it drops its leaves. To address this concern, assess the soil's moisture level by inserting your finger into the top inch or two. Water the plant when the soil feels dry but not completely arid. Confirm that your pot has sufficient drainage to avoid water accumulation.

Leaf Drop

Sudden leaf drop may result from environmental changes, including moving the plant, exposing it to drafts, or subjecting it to stressful conditions. To troubleshoot this problem, gradually acclimate your Fiddle Leaf Fig to its new environment or light conditions. Protect the plant from cold drafts by placing it away from heaters, air conditioners, or open windows.


Pests such as spider mites and mealybugs have the potential to infest your Fiddle Leaf Fig, resulting in damage to the leaves. To mitigate this problem, regularly inspect your plant, with special attention to the undersides of the leaves where pests commonly hide. If you identify any pests, promptly address the issue by treating the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Isolate the infested plant to prevent the pests from spreading to other plants.

Root Rot

Root rot, a fungal disease, occurs when the plant's roots are consistently waterlogged due to overwatering or inadequate drainage. To address root rot issues, guarantee adequate drainage by utilizing a pot with drainage holes. Permit excess water to drain away, and water the plant only when the top layer of soil has dried out. In cases of severe root rot, trim away affected roots and contemplate repotting the plant.

Lack of Growth

If your Fiddle Leaf Fig isn't showing signs of growth, insufficient light could be the cause. These plants require bright, indirect light to flourish. To troubleshoot, position your plant in an area with ample bright, indirect sunlight. Rotate it periodically to promote uniform growth on all sides.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections can develop in high humidity conditions and poor air circulation, often appearing as mold or mildew on the leaves. To address this issue, improve air circulation by providing ample space around the plant and avoiding overcrowding with other plants. While watering, aim the water at the base of the plant to avoid wetting the leaves, as this can promote fungal growth.

Are Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Pet Friendly?

Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees are not considered pet-friendly plants. The leaves and sap of the Fiddle Leaf Fig contain a substance called ficin, which can be mildly toxic to pets if ingested. While the toxicity of ficin is generally low, and ingestion of small amounts may only lead to mild gastrointestinal upset in pets, it's still advisable to take precautions if you have curious pets at home.


Are fiddle leaf figs easy to care for?

Fiddle Leaf Figs are known for their stunning foliage and popularity as house plants, but they can be somewhat challenging to care for, especially for beginners.

How Tall Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Grow?

Fiddle Leaf Figs trees can grow quite tall when provided with the right conditions. In their natural habitat, they can reach heights of up to 50 to 60 feet tall (15 to 18 meters). However, when grown as indoor house plants, their growth is typically more limited due to factors such as container size and indoor conditions.

Indoor Fiddle Leaf Figs trees can vary in height, but they often reach between 3 to 10 feet tall (1 to 3 meters) over several years, depending on their care and environmental conditions. They can achieve impressive heights with proper care, including appropriate light, regular watering, and occasional pruning.

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About the author

Bella has a Bachelors degree in interior design, is a master gardener. She designs nourishing outdoor & indoor spaces guided by the practice of Feng Shui.