Originally from West Africa, the humble, yet hearty Fiddle Leaf Fig is the rockstar of houseplants. Thanks to curated photoshoots and trending Instagram posts, the Ficus Lyrata can now be found in most lounge rooms, hallways and offices.
While traditionally a sizeable outdoor plant, this good-looking greenery has made its way indoors and taken up residence in homes Australia-wide.
Here’s how to care for your hardy and reliable Fiddle Leaf Fig.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a tropical plant which likes lots of sunlight, and thrives in warm, bright areas. Featuring large, lush, deep green foliage, its name is reflective of its violin-shaped leaves. Because their leaves are so large, they need more sunlight to flourish. Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will want to be the centre of attention, so avoid dark and dingy corners. Directly in front of, or close by a bright window is ideal. It can tolerate direct sunlight but avoid the strong rays in the afternoon, as it can burn the leaves. If growing on a balcony or porch it will also need protection from gusts of winds and the cold.
When it comes to water, you’ll find your Fiddle Leaf doesn’t have a raging thirst. For optimum hydration, allow the soil to dry out between drenchings. Do a moisture check by dipping your finger into the soil; if the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. Soak the soil thoroughly and wait for the water to drain through, then empty any excess water sitting in the saucer to avoid root rot.
Temperature & Humidity
The Fiddle Leaf Fig prefers a warm, humid environment, so it will enjoy a good misting, especially in winter to increase humidity levels.
Like all living, breathing things, fresh is best, so don’t put your Fiddle Leaf Fig under an air conditioner where gusts of hot or cold air can harm it.
Like any semi-permanent fixture in your house, plants need occasional dusting. To keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig looking green and shiny, give its leaves some love; an occasional wipe with a cloth and lukewarm water.
Feed your Fiddle Leaf Fig once a month throughout the growing season (spring and summer) with a liquid fertiliser to keep your Ficus in fabulous shape.
Rotate your Fiddle Leaf Fig so it grows evenly as it will naturally reach towards the light.
Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves are turning yellow
Yellow leaves on your Fiddle Leaf Fig are commonly caused by lack of sunlight or overwatering. Make sure your Fiddle Leaf Fig is receiving plenty of bright indirect light, and allow the soil dry out between waterings. If you are still having problems, perhaps it needs fertilising. Fiddle Leaf Figs require a lot of nutrients to promote strong root development and new green growth. Feed your Fiddle Leaf Fig fortnightly during spring and summer with a houseplant liquid fertiliser.
Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves are turning brown
Brown spots on your Fiddle Leaf Fig are commonly caused by inadequate drainage or overwatering.
It’s important to have adequate drainage, which allows the plant’s root system to breathe and stay healthy. Use well-draining soil and a pot with a drainage hole to ensure water is free-flowing. It’s also important to let the soil dry out between waterings, and empty any excess water if the plant is sitting in a saucer as it doesn’t like wet feet. Without adequate drainage and proper watering, your Fiddle Leaf Fig is more susceptible to root rot and plant disease.
Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves are dropping
Improper watering or extreme temperatures are the main cause of leaf drop in Fiddle Leaf Figs. Remember, Fiddle Leaf Figs thrive in warm, tropical environments. We need to mimic their natural environment as closely as possible to ensure their needs are being met. Place your Fiddle Leaf Fig in a bright location, and away from drafts of hot and cold air that can harm the plant. Water your plant thoroughly when the top 3-5cm of soil is dry, and mist regularly to increase humidity.