If you’ve been keeping up with the latest houseplant trends, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the fabulous foliage of the fiddle leaf fig. Its classic style and graceful appearance add an elegant touch to any contemporary home with luscious, deep green leaves that command attention. Plus, their tropical flair makes it easy to transform any well-lit space into an oasis, no matter the time of year—even in Maryland and Virginia—with the right care, of course!
Fiddle Leaf Fig Care
Much like a dry-clean-only designer dress, a fiddle leaf fig does need some fairly specific care to look its best. But, the results are well worth the effort! Here’s what you need to know.
Get the Light Right
Getting the right light is crucial in maintaining a flawless fiddle leaf fig. If you’re looking to spruce up the dark corners in the basement, keep on looking. Knowing how to arrange your plant relative to its needs will make all the difference, and with start quality like this with a south or west-facing window that will capture their good side—which is, of course, all of them! But always keep in mind that, while your new fiddle leaf fig may love the light, its luscious leaves are quite susceptible to burning, and will get scorched with too much direct sunlight.
If your fiddle leaf fig isn’t getting all the light it needs, it will be sure to tell you by dropping its leaves, seemingly out of nowhere. If you’re not expecting it, it can be quite alarming to see your beloved fig suddenly balding without warning, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Simply move your fiddle to where it can get more light, and it will begin perking up in no time!
Once you find the perfect spot for your fiddle leaf fig, do your best not to move it anymore. We know that every few months it’s hard to resist the urge to rearrange and redecorate, especially in the midst of a Virginia winter. Still, these plants are definitely ones that prefer consistency once they’re settled into their spot. One exception to keep in mind, though, is rotating it if it’s only getting light on one side. If that’s the case, very gently turn it every couple of months if you notice it stretching toward the sun.
Feeding and Watering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
How often you’ll need to water depends entirely on how much light your fiddle leaf fig is getting. Fiddle leaf figs do best when watered from below, which involves placing the pot in a bathtub filled up 4-6” with water and allowing it to sit for 30-45 minutes. This “soaking time” lets the roots and soil slowly soak up water into the lower layers of the soil. Once the soak time is up, drain the tub and let excess water escape through the pot’s drainage holes for another 10 minutes. You can then move the plant back to its original location.
If your tree has grown too cumbersome to move around the house, slowly watering from the top is your second-best option. Keep the soil evenly, consistently moist and avoid waiting too long between waterings if you use this method. If the water flows right through the container, the soil is too dry and it will need to be bottom-watered to regain the correct moisture levels.
Fiddle leaf figs aren’t big feeders, but a little treat every once in a while will help in keeping them at peak performance. During the growing season—spring to fall—your fiddle leaf fig will love a monthly pick-me-up of all-purpose fertilizer at half strength. During the dormant season in winter, you can leave it be.
Transplanting Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
A fiddle leaf fig that is happy and well-cared-for can grow quite quickly, given enough space, so growing out of its pot is inevitable. You’ll know when the time has come when your fig’s roots start to wrap around the inside of the pot.
To make the transition as smooth and painless as possible, try your best to wait until spring when your fiddle leaf fig will be ready to get growing to fill out the new container. If time is of the essence, though, and the roots have started to grow out the drainage holes, it’s better to get things moving straight away.
Only move up one pot size at a time, adding only about 2″ in diameter. Trying to move up more than that may leave your fiddle unable to fill its new shoes, leading to waterlogged soil and rotting roots in no time.
Other Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Tips
One of the best features of the fiddle leaf fig is its large and luscious tropical leaves, which are notorious for catching dust. Not only does this leave a sloppy appearance, but it can also keep your plant from photosynthesizing properly. Be sure to wipe down leaves with a damp cloth every once in a while to keep your fiddle looking glossy and green.
If your fiddle leaf fig starts looking pale and spotty, that could be a sign that it’s not getting enough light. Or, it could be an indication of a much peskier problem: pests. First, carefully inspect your fiddle leaf fig for any signs of pests. Then, if you don’t see anything, try moving it to a brighter location to clear things up.
As captivating as they look, it’s no wonder fiddle leaf figs are stealing spaces in homes and hearts across the country. With its luxurious, tropical appeal and deeply-colored foliage, they’re the perfect way to accent your home with style and life. To bring home your own, visit our garden centers in Alexandria or Lothian to browse our selection and find your perfect fit today!