Tips for growing Fiddle Leaf tress....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's no secret that I have a black thumb. I don't have the best track record for keeping house plants alive.
In my dreams I have a house full of happy healthy ones.
The truth is many orchids have died in my hands.

I am a big believe that with a good dose of effort you can do anything you want.
I want house plants.

Just like last time when I did a post on orchids tips available here.
My favorite florist Jeanette from Absolutely Perfect Gift has put together some tips to help us me turn over a new leaf.

via elle d├ęcor

Named for its large, fiddle-shaped leaves, the Fiddle Leaf Fig is a tropical tree.

It is an evergreen tree that can reach 40 to 50 feet, of course when it is planted as part of a landscape. It has large, coarse-textured leaves.

The fiddle leaf fig tree is a plant that can be grown outdoors in most areas of the country during the warm months. In the wintertime, in our area it can only be successfully grown inside.
The best soil for growing fig trees would be loamy soil that has plenty of organic matter cut through it. The perfect pH for growing fig trees is a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5. They prefer basic soils but manage to adapt very well in acid soils.

Use a good draining soil mix for containers. A basic mixture you can use is: 2 part pine bark mini nuggets, 2 part professional potting mix, 1 part perlite, 1 part coarse sand, then mix the ingredients together. A good size for a containerized fig is about 15-20 gallons. Repotting is necessary at least every 2- 3 years, and is best done in late winter or early spring. Cut up to half of the root system; also prune the branches at the same time to keep the tree in balance between roots and branches.
Place the potted fiddle leaf fig tree in a warm room where it receives a consistent amount of light, such as 4 hours of bright daily light.  Too little light and the fig tree could lose its lower leaves.It also tends to grow towards the light giving the impression that it is leaning. Rotate the plant every so often to keep it growing straight and to ensure bushiness.
Fig Trees like to get very dry between watering.  So, when you water, soak the soil thoroughly so that a good portion of the water you apply eventually exits the drain hole.
The frequency of watering depends on the amount of light the plant gets. One good way to determine how often you should water is to let the pot dry out until the new growth at the top begins to wilt slightly. Calculate the time that elapsed from the last watering and subtract a day or two to determine the ideal frequency of watering. This way you will be watering the plant just before it starts to wilt the next time.
Water that collects in the saucer and remains, leads to plant roots suffocating and becoming susceptible to rot.  So avoid overwatering.

Feed the fiddle leaf fig once a month during the growing season with an all-purpose 
according to package directions.

Do not fertilize during the cooler and weak sunlight fall and winter months.

The fiddle leaf fig needs pruning early in life to create a strong structure and prevent limb breakage as the tree matures.
The best time to undertake radical reductions in a (tropical) plant's mass is when it's strong & about to enter the peak of the growth cycle.  
It is recommended to do this in early spring before the new growth forms.

Prune to encourage branching and bushiness. The Fiddle leaf fig tends to grow a tall single stem when indoors. This long stem will normally not be able to keep itself upright and will require some sort of support. To encourage a more "tree like" form, prune the plant at a desirable height while the plant is still fairly young..
Be careful not to expose the plant to dry heat or drafts. Like other Ficus tree plants the Fiddle leaf fig has a tendency to drop its leaves when exposed to too much dry heat or drafts, and go into a sort of dormant recovery mode for a period of time.
Clean the dust off the leaves once in a while to allow the plant to absorb as much light as possible. Often in indoor settings a layer of dust builds up on the leaves without our being aware of it and reduces the effective light that the plant gets. Every so often gently clean the leaves of with a soft cloth. Do not try to do this with your hands as rubbing the leaves can damage them slightly and cause them to bleed little drops of white milky sap. Use latex gloves if you are allergic to this plant.

Move your plant to an outdoor setting during the summer so that it can get more sunlight. If you do this however, be sure to transition it back indoors gradually, at the end of the summer, to avoid shocking the plant.

Trim the roots every year or two. When roots grow in a small container they have little room to grow in and end up wrapping around the base of the container or growing out the bottom of the pot. Trimming the root system back during the dormant season will help keep the plant growth slow and will help maintain healthy roots.

There are a few things you should know about maintaining trees in containers over the long term. For best health and growth, light, soil choice, root maintenance, watering habits, and nutritional supplementation are the most important essentials, in no particular order.
Provide very bright light, but not direct sun.
Too much water or too little exposure to natural light is the main key for the successful growing of this fabulous tree.

     *This sums it up*

  • easy to care for 
  • loves a bright, sunny location
  • water thoroughly only when surface is dry to the touch, likes periods of drought 
  • groom by removing yellowed foliage
  • mist occasionally
  • every 2 years or so repot  to avoid becoming rootbound
  • occasionally dust leaves with  a soft cloth



  1. This is a great summary. Thank you! Is there a pre-packaged soil you would suggest getting or is it necessary to buy multiple ones and mix?

  2. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along.I'm impressed. You're truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the

    subject intriguing for everyone. I'm saving this for future use. Birmingham Tree Service


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