Learning to Fiddle: How to Care for the Fiddle Leaf Fig & Little Fiddle
Posted on September 14 2021
We’ve all seen it in magazines or online: The stately Fiddle Leaf Fig flanking the corner of a beautifully decorated room. Who doesn’t want that, right? But here’s a reality check… You aren’t Joanna Gaines (probably), and you don’t know how to care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig (probably). Let’s fix the second problem:
Fiddle Leaf Figs & Little Fiddles
Your traditional, towering Fiddle Leaf tree is a Ficus Lyrata, which can reach up to 10 feet tall indoors. Lacking space? Then the Little Fiddle, Ficus Lyrata ‘Bambino’ (aka Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Fig), is for you because it taps out at 3 feet tall.
Both the Ficus Lyrata and Ficus Lyrata ‘Bambino’ have identical care requirements. So, are you curious about how to care for your Fiddle Leaf Fig?
How to Care for Fiddle Leaf Fig
Sure, you’ve probably seen Fiddles in semi-dark conditions in magazines, but remember: They staged that room for a day. Your Fiddle needs to last a lifetime!
Are you wondering how to select the proper location to care for your Fiddle Leaf Fig? Your best bet is to place it directly in front of a bright window. These plants can withstand up to 6 hours of direct light without any adverse effects, so don’t shy away from sunny locations! Morning or evening sun is ideal.
The larger your Fiddle Leaf Fig or, the more leaves it has, the brighter light it needs to grow and thrive. The brighter the location, the more you will need to boost your plant’s humidity. To keep your plant perky and spot-free, invest in a humidifier.
Your Fiddle Leaf Fig requires well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. Want it in simpler terms? Add an extra handful of perlite to your favorite prepackaged potting mix. Why? This will allow the soil to dry out more evenly, preventing overwatering.
Allow the first 2-3 inches of your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s soil to dry out before rewatering. Looking for another clue? When your plant is satisfied, its leaves will stand erect. When it’s thirsty, they’ll droop. How should you water?
- Not on a set schedule. Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will dry out at different rates depending on your environment and the time of year. Regularly check the soil and observe the leaf posture.
- Use room-temperature water. Cold or hot water will shock your plant’s roots.
- Overhead watering is excellent for smaller Fiddles. Why? It dusts your plant for you!
- Drench your plant thoroughly, allowing the water to flow through the drainage holes for several minutes. Never let your plant sit in saucers filled with water.
Average household humidity will not make for a thriving Fiddle Leaf Fig. These plants require anywhere from 30-65% humidity. The standard, unsupplemented American household hovers around 30%. So, give your plants a humidity boost by clustering them or investing in a humidifier. As noted, larger plants or plants in extra-bright locations will need higher humidity.
You should fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig monthly throughout the Spring-Fall. Our recommendation? Use an organic, liquid fertilizer diluted according to package instructions. Remember, it’s unnecessary to fertilize plants that have been repotted in the last six months.
Contrary to what you may have heard (or seen online), you cannot successfully propagate a Fiddle Leaf Fig from a leaf. While it may grow showy roots, it will never produce an entire plant. What are the best methods?
- Tip Cutting: This involves a stem that is 6 inches or longer attached to a leaf.
- Air-Layering: Where you partially sever the stem, allowing it to produce roots before entirely cutting it. Learn more about this method here.