Fiddle Leaf Fig Care + Tips

INSIDE : The best tips on how to care for Fiddle Leaf Figs! From Fig overall care, watering needs, best light amounts and even a checklist to help you identify if your Fiddle Leaf needs more water.

Fiddle Leaf Fig plant

Their technical name is Ficus lyrata or their more common name, Fiddle Leaf Figs may have had their highest trending time a few years ago, but they are a classic plant that I don’t think will ever lose it’s “cool” factor. 

If you look back in old home decor magazines, you will almost always find at least one Fiddle Fig in the photos – they are just a classic home staple plant.

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However, if you have been on Pinterest for long, you had probably seen the endless war stories about how fickle fiddle leaf figs can be.  I know when I got my first one (gifted by a dear friend), I was terrified he would die immediately!

Rest assured, that same fiddle fig survived, made a huge cross country move and grew a TON of new leaves.  Then, I almost killed it by means of root rot.  It then survived root rot and now is happily growing new leaves again.  In the meantime, I bought another larger fiddle fig and wow that guy, is massive and so stinking happy.

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Happy Houseplants talks about how to not kill all the plants, includes a deep dive on numerous trending “it” plants and has 5 fun plant printables to print and hang in your home.


I’ve learned a lot about fiddle figs in the three years I have had mine and I’m happy to be sharing some of the important care tips, but also dispelling some myths!

Are you in love with plants like I am?  You might like some of my other Plant Crafts.

What kind of light is best for growing Fiddle Leaf Figs?

Fiddle Leaf Fig leaf zoom

The main things to remember when growing fiddle leaf figs is giving them bright light and plenty of water.  Finding that perfect combination of both can often take a little just of trial and error.  I’m here today to share my tips, so you don’t have to have any errors, ha.

Just like all plants need sunlight, Fiddle Leaf leaves are giant compared to most other plants, so they need lots of sunlight.  

My living room has floor to ceiling windows and I put one of my Fiddle Leaf Figs FAR away from the window, thinking that the high brightness of the room was enough for it.  A few weeks later I noticed all his leaves were going straight down.  He was near death from lack of a combination of not enough light and keeping with my regular watering schedule = root rot.  

Fiddle Fig root rot

Generally, no plant should be farther than 5-7′ from a window.  Ideally windows should face either south or east. A west-facing window is okay, but don’t give your Fig too much  direct sunlight.  Give it bright consistent light, preferably near a sunny window. Turn the plant every few months once it begins to lean toward the light.

Getting your Fiddle Leaf on a regular watering schedule can really help to keep things consistent and take the guess work out of watering.  I always water or at least check on all my plants on Fridays.

How much water do Fiddle Leaf Figs need?

Fiddle Leaf Fig disco ball

Like for most other plants, when the soil dries out, add water to your Fiddle Fig. The rate you water will depend on the temperature of your home, but you can safely guess about every 5-10 days.  We live in very low humidity, so I have picked Fridays as my watering day and on Friday’s I water my Fiddle Figs.  However, if you are located in the tropics, you might need to water your Figs less.

Another good recommendation is to only water only when the top 2″ of soil is dry to the touch. Then water thoroughly (until the water drains into the saucer below) and allow to dry out again.  

A helpful Fig watering trick : If the plant doesn’t get enough water, the new leaves will turn brown and drop.  If the plant is getting too much water, the oldest leaves (toward the base of the plant) will turn brown and fall off.

If you still aren’t quite sure about your Fiddle Fig’s watering needs?  Check out my info graphic below for some helpful tips.

Fiddle Fig watering Diagnostic


Why is my Fiddle Leaf Fig dropping leaves?

If your Fig leaves are starting to drop, then be ready – you will probably need to do some investigating and be prepared for a long road back to recovery.  However, it is completely possible so don’t give up hope!

The most common cause of brown leaves on a fiddle leaf fig is due to too much water.  Too much over watering and poor drainage causes root rot, which spreads from the roots to the leaves of your plant. The roots of a fiddle leaf fig need to slightly dry out between waterings to function properly. Once root rot has set in, the leaves  they will slowly turn brown and then eventually fall off.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

The only way to be certain that your plant has root rot is to remove the pot and check out the roots. If the roots are brown and look kind of mushy, root rot is probably the issue. Using scissors, you can remove the damaged roots.  Then you can even remove the damaged leaves, cutting off portions of the leaves that are brown.  

If there are just a few brown spots on the leaves, you may not need to do anything too severe.  Let your plant dry out for two weeks, remove the affected leaves and make sure your plant has enough sunlight.

Can I do anything to make my Fiddle Fig branch?

My friend, Mandi from Vintage Revivals wrote a whole post about helping create branches on your plant.   She has three different methods, so you can pick which is best for your plant.

Do Fiddle Leaf Figs need fertilizer?

Although it is not required, during the warmer growing months, your Fiddle Leaf Fig loves a bit of extra tree food.

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Can I move my Fiddle Fig around the room?

Fiddle leaf Figs are typically not big fans of being moved around a lot indoors.  They love being in one place and moving it around your house can sometimes cause the leaves to drop.  You can take your Fig outside for a drink or to the kitchen sink to water it, but moving it for extended periods of time or to many different locations can cause problems (leaf drop).  Find his happy place and for the most part, just leave him there. 

Fiddle Fig Chair

Supplies needed in growing Fiddle Leaf Figs:

Digital Moisture Meter | Pruning Shears | 6″ Pot Fiddle Fig  | Fiddle Leaf Fig Fertilizer

Miscellaneous how to care for Fiddle Leaf Fig tips:

– Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves need to be handled carefully.  They can grow such large beautiful leaves, but a quick brush past them and you might get a big crack in your leaf.  This doesn’t harm the plant, but it doesn’t add to it’s attractive look, either.  When mine get holes or big cracks in them, I often will cut the leaf with sharp purners for a clean line.

Fiddle Fig Pot and chair

-Don’t plant your Fig in too big of a pot.  For a smaller plant, go with 8″-10″ diameter and for a larger plant, look for a 12″-14″ sized pot.

-Once a month, plan to dust off your leaves.  I often take my plant outdoors in the summer for a drink with the hose and clean off my leaves then.  Use a gentle cloth and get off that layer of dust.

-Fiddle leaf figs trees grow toward the light, so be sure to rotate the planter every few weeks.  I rotate mine after each watering (weekly).

-Figs can be grown mostly indoors but during warmer months they love being outside.  Be sure to slowly transition them to being outside.

-If you notice the soil in your pot is pulling away from the edges of the pot, your soil is staying too dry.  Take a stick or chopstick and poke holes into the soil to help with water soaking in and not just running off the edges.

You might be interested in some of my other Plant Care posts:

Pilea Care and Best Tips
Pilea Care and Best Tips
Marimo Moss Ball Care Tips
Marimo Moss Balls, Care Tips, Light Needs

Air Plant Care
Air Plant tips

How to Grow a Pineapple 
Pineapple plant

Monstera Plant Care
Monstera Plant

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