Hello again plant lovers! It looks like there are more than a few of you out there who are just as obsessed with growing a healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig tree as I am! I’ve already written a few posts on caring for Fiddle Leaf Figs which have been some of my most popular posts.
Whenever I discover something new about my FLF, I like to share it with you and keep you up to date with everything I’ve learnt about looking after these house plants.
I have touched on the one thing that doubled my Fiddle Leaf Fig growth in a previous post. But I realised I may not have put enough emphasis on it, and it really deserves a post all of its own!
This one thing may not be ground-breaking. But what may be new to you is how and when to do it, and which type is best. Yep, you guessed it, it’s to fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig!
Double its Growth – How to Fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Firstly let me tell you… From when I first started fertilizing my Fiddle Leaf Fig, the growth has been AMAZING! The new leaves literally more than doubled in size, and my FLF tree grew twice its height in just one growth season. It grew more than it ever had before! This may seem like the greatest growth hack, but in fact, fertilizers for plants are kind of like multivitamins to humans. They make sure the plant is topped up on all the nutrients it needs for the best possible growth and health. And who wouldn’t want to give their FLF the best conditions for it to thrive!
So let’s talk about the best type to fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig with. Did you know that different plants have different nutrient needs? That’s why some plants do well in acidic vs alkaline soil, for example. And all fertilizers are specifically made for different types of plants and their needs. No wonder there’s so many options in the fertilizer aisle! It can be a little confusing, especially if you’re fairly new to plants.
Which Fertilizer is Best?
For FLFs, try to look for a fertilizer that has an NPK ratio (Nitrogen – Phosphorous – Potassium) as close to 3:1:2 as possible. This is the ratio that is best for a FLF’s needs. Fertilizers that have an NPK ratio of 9:3:6 are also good – this is the same ratio but in a different concentration. The instructions for use on the bottle should reflect how concentrated the fertilizer is.
Alternatively, check out this Botanicare GROW Fertilizer, which already has the perfect ratio required for your FLF’s needs! Its also designed for lush and leafy growth. I like it because not only does it have the correct NPK ratio, it also contains all 17 micronutrients that Fiddle Leaf Figs need. There are a few different bottle sizes available, depending on how much you’ll want.
Note: If you are outside of the US, the above fertilizer may not be available in your area. That’s where the NPK formula comes in handy! Search your local area (or ask at the local nursery) for a fertilizer recommendation that has an NPK ratio as close to 9:3:6 as possible! In Australia, there’s one called Nitrosol (available at Bunnings) which works quite well.
How & When to Fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Its best to fertilize your FLF mainly in the growth season, which is Spring and Summer. Typically I water my FLF weekly. Then once a month (or every 4 weeks) I’ll take it outside to fertilize as I water it. This is also a good time to give the leaves a hose-down to get any dust off. Then I give it a watering with the liquid fertilizer mix. You can also fertilize weekly or bi-weekly with a more diluted mix for maintenance, if you prefer.
Make the mix up according to the instructions. If you’re using the one I’ve recommended, a good regular dosage is to mix 10mL per gallon (nearly 4 litres). If you’re using a different fertilizer, remember to always read the instructions and use it accordingly, as the dosage may differ depending on the concentration of the fertilizer.
Then water the plant until the excess pours out the bottom of the pot. For mine, this is generally about 3-5 litres worth – make sure it’s saturated! For this step, it is SO important to make sure your FLF pot has a drainage hole in the bottom. If it doesn’t, it can cause root rot, it may drop leaves or have other problems! I then leave it outside for a couple hours until it has stopped dripping before I bring it back inside. I don’t often fertilize mine during winter, and if so I use a weaker mix. During winter, your FLF generally slows down growth so fertilizing isn’t as necessary.
I post lots of plant tips and FLF updates on Instagram – come follow along!
FLFs prefer a lot of water but less often, which is why it’s best to fully saturate them when watering and fertilizing. This makes sure all the roots receive nutrients evenly. Generally it’s best to water them once the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry. Feel the soil or use a reliable moisture meter to check if the soil is dry enough to re-water.
Once you start to fully saturate your plant when you water, you may find you need to water it less often. This is because it will take longer for the soil to dry out between waterings. This is totally normal!
When you fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig it also has other health benefits for the plant. The distance between the leaves on the stem can shorten (making your FLF more lush-looking) and it will help the plant grow a strong root system and trunk. This is great for FLFs, as their trunks are naturally thin and leaves so enormous, which means they are prone to leaning.
So there you have the details on how to Fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig! FLF’s may be renowned for being slow-growing. But if you provide the best conditions for them, including the right fertilizer, you can have your Ficus Lyrata growing in lush leaps and bounds. There are a few other factors that can affect your FLF’s growth, so make sure you address all of them to see your Ficus turn into a Frankenstein plant.
Fertilizing my Fiddle Leaf Fig is now something I’ll never go without! I can’t wait to see the amazing growth it gets in just one more season. Would you like more tips and info on Fiddle Leaf Figs? Check out my other popular posts here.
I can’t thank you enough for all the information you e posted about FLF! I recently took the dive and repotted my FLF. Mainly because of gnats (all my plants had them) and when I removed it from the pot, it was root bound. There was no way to remove all the soil without damaging some of the roots. I ended up cutting about 1-2 inches of roots from the bottom of the root ball and placed it in a container with cactus soil and a little of moisture control soil as well. I did water her but I’m not sure if I should fertilize her? It has been 5 days and she seems to be ok. No drooping of leaves or loss of them. I feel like she hasn’t produced leaves the way everyone else says they grow.
Hey Alisha, I generally recommend waiting a few weeks after repotting before fertilizing. This allows the roots to settle in and ensures the delicate or cut roots don’t get any fertilizer burn while they are recovering. If it was rootbound, the repot should help encourage new growth too!
Hi!! I am so excited to have found your blog!!! I have 5 FLF and the struggle is real! I repotted the largest three last night based on your instructions on repotting. Now reading this post about fertilizing, I’m worried that I did the wrong thing. They are fairly new and I noticed as I washed away the “old” soil they had tons of the slow release blue beads all throughout the root system. So they’re all in my yard where washed them all away before repotting in em into the larger pots and I feel like I stripped them if their nutrients just got give them a “bigger home.” What should I do?
Hi Sarah, I don’t think it’s too much to worry about! Plants get nutrients through the soil itself as well as fertilizer, and the instructions in this post are assuming plants don’t already have a slow-release fertilizer treatment as you wouldn’t want to double up. SLFs generally stay in the soil for 6 months or so, at which point you would need to add/give them more so I think you can just start fertilizing as normal once your plants have had a few weeks to adjust to their new pots.
How do you know when it’s time to repot due to root bound & how does one safely repot a FLF ?
Hi Peggy! You should be able to find all the answers to your questions over in my post on soil & repotting 🙂
hello! my fig lives at my office with a very tall large pot with no drainage holes. I put a layer of rocks on the bottom for good drainage but I have not yet seen any new growth for months! It gets about 2 hours of direct sunlight a day, and I fertilize about every other week. any other tips or have an idea of what is going on?
Thank you! 🙂
Hey Chloe, my post on encouraging growth should have some tips for you! It’s quite important that the plant is in a pot with drainage holes for many reasons though, so that might be something to consider to improve the plant’s overall wellbeing. Especially if you are regularly fertilizing, the product can build up in the soil and eventually burn the plant without allowing proper drainage.
Hi Emily! I recently brought home my first fiddle leaf fig ( I call her Florence 🙂 ), she’s about two feet tall right now and is in a 10″ pot. While I know you are normally not meant to fertilize in the winter as they go dormant, she seems to be very happy in her new home and I’ve already noticed two new full leaves sprout up over the last few days! Does this show that it is still growing and is it ok if I use a light fertilizer throughout the winter to help continue this growth?
Hey Ashley, a lot of new plants will come with slow release fertilizer beads in the soil that can last 6 months or so. If you can spot these, I would wait to fertilize so as to not double up! If you’re sure there’s no existing fertilizers then I think it would be ok to use a mild strength solution on it!
Great, I’ll check it out. Thanks for the tip! And thanks for the fantastic blog, super helpful!
Hello! I have had pretty good luck with my fiddle up until recently so I found your blog looking for tips and I’ll start off with-you are amazing! I bought the fertilizer you suggested recently but then I was worried about using it when the potting soil also has fertilizer mixed into it. Do you know if this is an issue? Should I repot with a potting soil that doesn’t contain fertilizer already? I looked around and didn’t see any really that don’t have fertilizer mixed in.
Thank you Cierra! It’s true that most plants will come with slow-release fertilizer beads in the soil. In these cases I would leave it be and let them do their thing so as to not overdose, and revisit the fertilizer in six months or so!
I am so lost! I have about a 7.5’ FLF I bought from Home Depot. I read somewhere to water 4 cups/water a week for sufficient watering. Is that right? I also bought the CSN17 grow fertilizer. I created your solution recommended. I watered my regular Sunday routine with 4 cups but scared I am not doing this correctly.
Hey Megan, this post has some helpful info on watering which should help you! 🙂
My fiddle leaf is fading its colour. Its looks like it is dusty and sandy….(but no dust actually)….and then slowly the leaf will dry out and fall…it starting from top to bottom. please help me.
Hey Aruni, it sounds like the ‘dusty’ look could potentially be spider mite damage. Check out this post on spider mites to see if you can diagnose it!
OMG! where have you been all my life!!!!!!
As an interior designer, i am forever designing rooms around the infamous “FIDDLE LEAF FIG” FLF!
and within a month or two….i get the dreaded call from my clients….”MY FLF has almost lost all its leaves or, the plant has massive brown spots on it. Due to this ongoing situation, I now always suggest the STRELIZIA NICOLAI (which is a good compromise).
However, when it comes to me and my home…I love a little mini rainforest & to look out to a sea of greenery consisting of large green leaves. I must admit i have also killed 4 large FLF….i followed all the correct advise, indirect sunlight/filtered sunlight…..it was only after reading your 6 myths about FLF, i got the courage to buy another one and try one more time, this time i was going to add it to my other plants on my full sun exposed balcony….
OMG! you have literally changed my life….i now have a large fiddle leaf on my balcony and it is thriving.
thanks for this amazing post 🙂
Hey Helena! So glad to hear the blog has been helpful 🙂 Fiddle Leafs are a bit of a learning curve compared to other indoor plants but once you get the hang of them they’re so fun to grow! Thanks for your comment!
I accidentally OVER fertilized my FLF about a week ago and now it’s dropping leaves at a rapid rate (10 in 3 days) I added a little distilled water to based on advice online, but I need to know can I add something natural to help it recover. Some of the top drooping leaves have started to perk up but I lost WAY more than what’s left. How can I save my FLF asap???
Hey Keishea, if there’s too much fertilizer in the soil the best thing to do is flush the soil out with a large amount of water until the excess drains. Apart from that there’s not a lot else that can be done! Fingers crossed for you!
I bought a fiddle leaf tree recently online ane it has few leaves with brown spots. As you said this is not the right time to do the repotting, i just changed some soil on the top with a good one I have. Can i use a fertilizer with 12-4-8 ratio now which is from miracle grow
I’m sure that will be fine!
Hi! I was wondering if coffee is a beneficial fertilizer for FLFs? Or is it too acidic and will hurt it? Also wondering about eggshells and banana peels for fertilizer.
Hi Lucy – natural products like coffee grounds, eggshells and banana peels can be beneficial for some plants, but they are far from a complete fertilizer. For example, eggshells contain calcium which is good for plants, but there are 17 micronutrients that all plants need. Coffee grounds can be too acidic to add straight to soil, so it is recommended that it is added to a compost mix first if you’re wanting to use them on plants or a garden. If you’d like to use these things it might be best to research which plants would benefit from which (they can be too much for some plants), use them sparingly and not in place of a fully formulated fertilizer. I personally just use a proper fertilizer on my indoor plants. Hope that helps!
P.S. Its biggest leaf is only 5 1/2 inch long.
My original comment was: I just bought a 21 inch FLF (top of plant to bottom of pot). Its soil is not potbound but is thick and soaking wet. Should I repot it in looser soil and new pot (old pot is also rather deep). Then I sent a P.S. the biggest leaf is 51/2 inches.
Hey Debra! Its ok for the soil to feel wet, as long as you wait to water it until the top 2inches of soil feels dry. You can read more about watering here. If you find the soil is staying damp for too long and the plant is suffering (dark browning on leaves), it may be that the soil is too compacted or dense and is not well draining enough. In this case, it would be best to repot. You can find more info on soil & repotting here 🙂
I just bought 2 flf 6.5 feet, simply beautiful. I lost 2 leaves, damaged in transport. What can I do with the leaves? Also how soon will see new replacements of the flf leaves.
Unfortunately there’s not a lot that can be done with leaves that have fallen off! A section of the stem is needed if you were thinking of using them to propagate with.
Plants can’t regrow leaves in the same places they were lost, so unfortunately the plant may just look a little bare from those spots unless pruned or notched which can encourage new branches to grow.
Hi – I just bought a fiddle leaf tree. I watered it Wednesday and I check it everyday to make sure it is saturated with water.
When do I start to use fertilizer and how much should I use or should I wait till next summer to start that process?
Hey – as long as there’s no slow release fertilizer beads in the soil you could probably start fertilizing it. A lot of nurseries will add these and so the plants may not need nutrients straight away. This post about 6 myths of Fiddle Leaf care might help if you’re new to Fiddle Leafs – it’s always best to let them dry out a little between waterings 🙂
Hello! How long should I wait to start fertilizing a newly progated planted fiddle leaf stem?
Hi! Its definitely best to wait so that the new roots don’t get burned. More info in this blog on post-propagation 🙂
Can I use this fertilizer for other plants? Pothos, calatheas, tiger lipstick, rubber/ficus, etc…?
Hey Danielle, the fertilizer should be fine to use on other plants. Some plants may have different nutrient needs to a Fiddle Leaf but the fertilizer should still benefit them.
Where can I buy fertilizer for my FLF in British Columbia, Canada. Amazon not shipping the fertilizer you suggested. Thanks for any help you might be able to provide.
Hey Sandy, I’m not familiar with what will be available in Canada but if you ask at your local nursery or garden centre, they should be able to recommend one with a 3:1:2 ratio! You can also look for this info on the back of the container, it will look similar to a nutritional information panel. 🙂
Hi Sandy–I bought Biofish 3-1-2 from West Coast Seeds 🙂
Thanks for your help Sandra! 🙂
Hi! First time FLF mom here. I just brought her home this week. 🥰 Is it normal for the leaves to curl a bit and not be so flat? I am looking at the fertilizers you recommended; hoping to have that in a few days. I’ve transplanted and watered once this week. What should I do first? Ive named her Frances the Fig. 🙂
Hi Cat! The leaves curling is a bit of an adaptation to low humidity levels. As these are rainforest plants, they do like high humidity. So its quite normal that they do this as indoor plants and it won’t harm the plant itself. As long as you’ve been able to find a nice and bright location for Frances, I don’t think there’s anything you need to do! Letting her settle in and get used to the new environment is a good idea. Just keep an eye on her so you can adjust things if you notice anything changes.
Love the article! Going to buy the fertilizer you recommended from your link. 🙂 I just ordered my FLF online fro Etsy and it arrived a little stressed out with some yellow leaves. I pruned the yellow leaves as instructed, but wondering when I should fertilize the plant? I don’t want to do too much too soon. Thank you!! 🙂
Hey Annie! You can check the soil of the plant to see if there’s any slow-release fertilizer ‘beads’ in the soil. Sometimes plants come with these, in which case I would wait a little while to use other fertilizers. Sometimes they release nutrients into the soil over up to a 6 month period. If you don’t see any of those, you could probably start the next time you water. You might want to start with a half-strength dilution to be on the safe side. 🙂
I’d love to use a fertilizer on my FLF but the link for the one ☝️ above on Amazon isn’t posted to Australia. Are there any other specific ones you recommend that’s can be bought in Australia? Thanks! ☺️ 🍃
Hey Jaslyn! If you can still look for any fertilizer that has a 9.3.6 ratio, that’s a good starting point! There’s one at Bunnings I’ve used before called Nitrosol. It’s not quite the right ratios but still does well 🙂
I have a flf about 2ft. It appears to be “happy” and has only dropped 2 leaves since I’ve had it home. I’ve had this plant since late March and I have not repotted yet. Is it necessary to fertilize this plant?
Hi Cathy, fertilizing is very beneficial for plants in pots. Because potted plants are limited to the amount of soil in the pot, the nutrients can deplete over time. Fertilizer helps give the plant a nutrient boost and stimulate growth & health. You don’t have to fertilize them but there’s so many benefits, there’s no reason not to either! 🙂
Hello! Thank you for this wonderful article. I bought the suggested fertilizer for my FLF in the 3-1-2 from amazon. And I’m going to play ignorance in this whole thing. I do not understand how to use this fertilizer. I feel silly! But can you explain to me the process of fertilizing. Do I mix 1/2 tsp. per gallon? My FLF is 2-3’ tall.
Hey Courtney! I’ve actually had a few questions about this lately – no need to feel silly 🙂 So for general use, you can mix 10mL (or two teaspoons) of fertilizer into a gallon of water. It’s always best to water FLFs until the excess drains, so if you have excess fertilizer mix, it won’t go astray on other indoor plants too!
Great! Just what I wanted to hear! Thank you so much
Hi Emily! I also have a further question about application of the recommended fertilizer. I’ve used it a few times and seen great growth, but want to make sure I’m using it correctly going forward. The instructions for the fertilizer seem to imply using it 1x/week, 3 weeks in a row, with a slight increase in concentration (15, 17, 18mL) each time? Is that correct? If you just apply it monthly, is that with the concentration of 10mL/gallon of water? If I wanted to apply weekly, how diluted should I mix it?
Hey Liz! I would recommend using it at the ‘maintenance’ level, which means using it either every water or alternate waterings. For this, just use 10mL per gallon when you water. 🙂
Hi. Emily, thank you so much for sharing me how to take care of FLF. I have one that I bought from IKEA and it was very bushy when I bought . I kept it inside the house by the window , not direct from the sun but slowly leaves were dripping. I thought, maybe it needs more sun and watering. So I took and place it in a shady area where it can get some sunshine and rain. BTW , I live in the the Midwest where we get more cold and freezing season . So, in short , it has grown bigger especially the leaves but some are turning brown. Reading your blog helped me more how to take care of FLF. My question is, this plant has 5 trunks. Can I separate and plant it in separate pots without killing them? Please advise . And I’m so excited too that you can propagate. I actually started 2 leaves and plan to give it to friends. See how this works and I can propagate more. I heard this is a lucky plant and they call it a “ welcoming plant”
Hey Cora! Sounds like you are getting the hang of caring for FLFs 🙂 Generally yes, multiple trunks can be separated. But the difficulty increases depending on how close together in the pot the trunks are. Separating them will involve some time to carefully pry apart the roots and you also may need to cut apart some roots if you can’t separate them. So it is a little risky and can result in some damage to the plant, so be prepared for that if this is something you want to do! I would also wait til mid spring, when the plant would have more energy stored 🙂 hope that helps!
I’m wondering if Fiddle Leaf Plants like Seasol fish emulsion?
Yes! All plants in general will benefit from seasol every now and then. Seasol is more of a soil conditioner than a fertilizer, and I sometimes use it in alternation with a regular FLF fertilizer. It can also help increase nutrient uptake when you do use a fertilizer too! 🙂
Hi Emily! Your blog has been my go-to blog for my fiddle leaf figs! Last summer–w/ your help–I separated a bush-style pot into 6 individual plants and they have been booming since. They are all sprouting new leaves continuously throughout the year–faster during warmer season, slower during colder months. Can I still fertilize them during winter months as long as I see new leaves or should I strictly stick to the spring-summer season for fertilizing?
Additionally, I have one plant that has a small branch toward the bottom of the plant (~3″ from soil) that has not shown any new growth since I separated the bush into individual trees. It has two small leaves and they are indeed alive so I don’t want to cut the branch off. The main branch has been growing new leaves nicely but the smaller branch seems stunted. How do I encourage the plant to send energy to the small branch for new growth? Thanks for your help as always!!
Hey Aaron! Yes I remember – glad to hear your FLFs are doing well! 🙌 You can definitely keep fertilizing during winter if you’re still seeing growth. If it is slower growth, you may want to fertilize a little less often or at half strength. However if you’re flushing the soil out until it drains with each watering, you could probably get away with continuing the same amount as during spring/summer.
I don’t think there is any way to make sure the plant ‘directs’ more energy to the small branch… But it may help to place a grow light near that branch. Depending on your setup, if the small branch is near soil level, it may not be receiving as much light as the rest of the plant. Either way, I think adding a grow light specifically on that branch is worth a try! 🙂
Thank you for your helpful post! I’m hoping you can help me with my fiddle leaf challenge. I rescued a 10 foot fiddle leaf from the street over a year ago. It dropped many many leaves from its initial trauma and was in pretty rough shape from whoever abandoned it. With the water pattern that you described, deep soaks with long gaps in between, and plenty of indirect light, it’s recovered really nicely. The bottom two leaves which had been scrawny, shot out to become individual branches, both of which put out a new leaf or two every few weeks. So that’s booming. There is some additional growth at the top. The trunk is strong and straight. But what I’m left with is what looks like an extremely healthy tree at the bottom (trunk, and then a V where the two new branches are), and many dead branches (which I use to support the weight of the new branches). And then a few long thin branches which have five or six leaves at the ends, but nothing all the way up. I’m wondering if there’s anyway to fix some of this? Is there a way to encourage new growth on stems that have leaves at the end but nothing in the middle? Should I be getting rid of all the dead branches? In a perfect world, I’d get back to more of a tree shape than a V shape, is that possible? What would you recommend? Happy to send photos if that would be helpful. Thank you for your guidance and advice!
Hey Jane, so glad the blog has been helpful for you! With the branches that you say are dead, one way you can check if they have indeed died is to prune them back. If inside the stem is dry and brittle, then they are dead and it is best to take them off. But if inside the stem has sap or a green-whitish colour, then they are still alive and it’s possible they’ll eventually grow leaves again.
See if you can prune them back until you find life.
Notching is one method that aims to get new growth on older parts of stems and branches, so I would say that’s something you could try to get a more lush looking plant again. This post on encouraging a FLF to branch has more details. You could also prune anything away that doesn’t suit how you envision the tree to be, provided it’s healthy again and therefore will respond well to pruning. All the best!
Hi Emily, I bought a FLF roughly 2.5 months ago, its in a good position in the house where it recieves lots of indirect sunlight and for all intense purposes appears to be fine (leaf condition wise) however it has not even attempted to grow any new foliage… I’ve never had one before so not sure on if this is normal or not. In contrast I have an elastica that shoots 3 leaves out a week… not sure where i am going wrong or if you might be able to suggest something i am not doing?
Hey Natalie! FLFs can take some time to adjust to new environments, and keep in mind that (depending where you are located), going into winter they will normally slow growth. However 2.5 months is quite a long time to have no new growth. Light is absolutely key to their growth and I often find that what we think is bright, isn’t necessarily enough for plants! If you have a spot in front of a window where your FLF can get more light, that would be ideal. If you don’t have a brighter spot, I would consider adding a grow light to supplement some more light. Ficus elasticas are definitely more hardy and forgiving than FLFs, so it may take a little longer to find what works for yours 🙂
Hi Emily, I’ve had my FLF for little over a month. I instantly repotted when I brought it home (I’m a newbie) and was watering once a week. Some leaves are starting to get dark brown along the edges and are brittle. Is this root rot? I wasn’t watering like you have suggested but will do from here on out. I don’t necessarily want a different pot but should I take it out and get rid of soil then repot in same pot with new soil? And should I still water it through till water drains out? I’m not sure if giving more water it the answer. Appreciate any advice, thank you!
Hey Renee! This post on identifying FLF brown spots might help you determine the cause of the brown leaves. Brown spots happen for a bunch of different reasons, so it should help you troubleshoot the cause depending on it’s environment & care.
Unless you determine from the guide that your FLF has root rot (which I don’t think is likely), you don’t need to repot. I would leave it as is, to limit the changes it has been through recently.
Overwatering and root rot aren’t caused by the amount of water you give your FLF, but more by how often it gets watered. It’s important to water it until it drains to flush out any excess salts and chemicals that are present in tap water. If you only water when the top 1-2 inches are dry (instead of weekly), you won’t be in danger of overwatering.
Watering on a schedule (eg weekly) isn’t ideal as it’s better for FLFs to water only when the soil starts to dry out. When you do this method, you may find you only have to water every 10 days or so.
Hope that answers your questions!
Does this fertilizer have Urea in it? How is your plant doing with the use of the fertilizer mentioned?
Hey Natasha, I don’t think this fertilizer specifically contains urea. It does have nitrogen (which urea is a form of), however the fertilizer doesn’t specify which form of nitrogen. My FLFs are actually doing really well! 🙂 The fertilizer has helped them grow really ‘lush’, or with the leaves close together so they look nice and full. I post updates more frequently on Instagram if you’re interested in seeing them. Let me know if you have any more questions!
I brought a FLF and it took a while to adjust to its new environment. I should have probably not repotted so soon. I should have let it assist to my house first. But I didn’t know what I was doing at first either. I realized it wasn’t growing which is why I started reading and researching my new baby. There we 5 trees intertwined. I figured it out finally! I believe they were crowded. Is it true that they don’t like to be crowded? I slowly separated the trees and now I have 5 plants. All of them have adapted except for one. But that last one is still alive and I believe it will pull through or atleast I’m praying for the little fella to pull though. As soon as I gave them their own pots they started growing and shooting new leaves out the top. Is there anything else I should do for them or the one that is fighting for its life??
Hey Charisma! FLFs generally are ok with being snug in pots, but if they weren’t growing its likely the five were root bound or each plant wasn’t getting enough nutrients in the pot. It’s always a good sign when they start growing though! It sounds like yours are happy in their new pots. Separating & repotting can sometimes shock plants, so to have 4 out of 5 doing well is great. It may just take time for the last one to adjust. If it is in the same location where the others are thriving, I would just continue to care for it, knowing that it may just take a little longer. If you had to cut any of the roots apart, don’t fertilize straight away as this can burn new or traumatised roots. You could possibly use a half-strength seaweed solution to help strengthen it. Hope it pulls through! 🙂
Hi, I just bought a flf what products I have to care my little flf?
Watering how often?
Hey! You don’t need a lot of products to care for FLFs, except a fertilizer if you want to make sure it’s healthy. Check out the recommendations on this post. I actually have heaps of info on the blog about FLFs – check out the FLF page in plants for all of them! For general care routines, read this post and also the six myths about FLF care has some common misconceptions about the plant that might be helpful to know too. Hope that helps!
My Flf is not growing! I had one new leaf and it hasn’t grown ones 2 inches. I am fertilizing with Flf food! Should I move her outside for a bit?
Hey Susan, light can also play a big part in how much FLFs grow. It’s a vital part of them creating the energy they need to push out new leaves! You could move it outside, making sure to acclimatize it to any direct sun. Otherwise it could be a good idea to find a brighter indoor location – generally within 1-2 feet of a window is best. In general, FLFs can take a little while to adjust to new locations. So if you haven’t had yours for very long, it may take a little while for it to settle in. I haven’t used the FLF plant-food branded fertilizer myself, there’s a lot of cheaper options that contain all the nutrients that FLFs need. But if you can find a good, bright location for your FLF and combine that with regular fertilizing, it should grow better 🙂
I came across your site while looking into fertilizer options to (hopefully) help my newly-damaged fig.
I’ve had it for a few months now with now new growth – a learning curve indeed.
I put it outside this morning so it could get nice light throughout the day. Much to my dismay, an unprotected, brief but strong, thunderstorm hit during the day while I was at work. My fig has hail damage on heart every existing leaf. The hail caused tears or even holes in some spots. Any advice on helping it through this damage?
Hey Nicole, sorry to hear about the hailstorm! Unfortunately there’s not a lot that can be done, as leaves cannot repair themselves. However if they are still green, then they are still producing energy for the plant and are worth keeping! It’s only worth removing leaves that are over 50% damaged.
FLFs love sunlight and I think that’s a huge key in getting them to grow. Sometimes they like to spend some time settling in to a new environment, which could also be why you haven’t seen any growth yet. Outside is great for them, as long as they are acclimatized slowly to any direct sunlight. I would say to find a good spot for it and keep it there – consistency will help it settle in.
If you’ve had it for a few months and there hasn’t been any other cause for concern other than a lack of growth, I would say you’re probably doing better than you think! 🙂 Allowing it to settle in and tweaking the few things above should help it grow again. All the best!
I’m sorry I just found this post which is great btw! My fiddle leaf fig went through quite a bit and I believe I definitely overwatered it, the leaves started to get spotted with brownish/red dots and the edges of the leaves were turning dark brown and brittle. I believe it was on the verge of root rot! I immediately un-potted it and dried out the root ball and repotted it once I knew it was dried out and happy again. It’s still recovering but looks so much better, the dots are starting to fade and the new leaves I am getting are green and spot free. The one thing I lack is good lighting in my home which is why I believe my FLF was dying. I moved it by a window away from drafts but I am still concerned it’s not getting enough light since there is a huge tree in my front yard that blocks most of the sun. I am going to move it to my bedroom where I get more light then downstairs, which will hopefully make it grow since there hasn’t been too much growth since I got it. I tried putting it on my front porch but it would either get direct sunlight or no sunlight. I am eventually going to trim the tree so more light can shine through but in the mean time I want to make sure it’s happy and it grows. I really love my FLF and I want it to grow tall and beautiful! I am also going to try fertilizer as well and see if that helps! My leaves are like 6-7”
Hey Charity! I’m glad the post was helpful 🙂 FLFs can be a bit of a learning curve to begin with, but once you figure out what they like they are no problem 🙂 Grow lights can help supplement sunlight if they’re not getting enough indoors, this post has more info on them if you need. Once they have good conditions they should grow quite quickly! All the best 🙂
Thank you!! I just noticed new growth today!! I also just received the fertilizer in that you recommended and it’s time for me to water it so hopefully this helps give it that push it needs!
My top FLF leaves are turning yellow. I bought Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food (dry granules) in addition to Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food (liquid fertilizer). Is it overkill to use both? Which one is the more effective one to use?
Hi! You definitely don’t need to use two fertilisers. Slow release fertiliser is difficult to control and doesn’t necessarily have the right ratio of nutrients for FLFs. Using too much fertiliser can cause fertiliser burn, so I would only go with the liquid one!
I have recently (3 weeks ago) purchased my first FLF and it has just started growing new leaves but they are a very light green with brown spots, am I doing something wrong?
Hi! New leaves do start out lighter in colour, softer and sometimes even floppy until they mature. So that’s not a problem 🙂 If the brown spots on new leaves are quite small, this is known as edema and is quite common in new leaves. It normally becomes less noticeable as the leaf grows, so not to worry! It’s generally caused by overwatering or inconsistent watering, so double check you’re only watering your FLF when the top couple inches of soil is mostly dry. Otherwise it could just be settling in to your it’s new home and routine 🙂
I little nats on the soil of my fig leaf trees. Anything to kill the nats but not my tree ?
Hi! I haven’t had to treat gnats myself, but have heard that mosquito dunks work well (something like this). Gnats are attracted to moist soil, so remember to only water when the top 2 inches are dry. I’ve also heard of people using a top layer of sand to keep them away, and that cinnamon repels them. Hope that helps!
YES!!! Sand does work. I had to put sand on the plate or the bottom of the pot (pop the bottom off and sprinkle some sand in there) also because that’s where the gnats were producing. I lifted my plant up and there were hundreds under there. I took the plant to the bath tub and rinsed them down the drain. It waslong hard fight to get rid of them naturally, but is doable. Gnats are the worst!!!!! I actually think they come home from the stores. If not treated, they will get into your other plants fast.
Hi. My 3 year old FLF looks sick. It’s about 3 feet tall with 2 stalks and about 7 leaves per stalk. The new sprouts are yellow with brown edges??? It gets about 1-2 hrs of morning light. I took it outside and fertilized it and watered leaves. I only water it every 2 weeks as Im afraid of root rot. How much fertilizer/water mix is good for this size? Just until it comes out the bottom and every week? The soil still feels a little damp after only one week? Help!
Hey Linda, overwatering and root can only happen if you water your FLF too frequently. When you water, the best way is to fully saturate it until the excess runs out the bottom. Then, don’t water again until the top 2inches of soil feels dry. It’s hard to say without seeing a pic, but generally leaves with brown edges are caused by dryness. 2 weeks seems a little long to go between watering, so if you suspect that the soil is compacting or holding lots of water, I would recommend repotting into a well-draining mix. If you’ve never repotted in the three years you’ve had it, I would definitely recommend doing so. If you are having trouble assessing when it is ready to be watered again, you may want to use a reliable moisture meter.
Fiddles are light feeders and don’t need huge amounts of fertilizer. It is ok to fertilize them weekly, as long as you are diluting the mix according to the directions. Generally, they’ll only need to be fertilized once a month at full strength.
It sounds like it may not be a very leafy Fiddle – if there’s large gaps between the leaves, this can be a sign that the plant is ‘stretching’ or looking for more sunlight. See if you can put it in a spot that gets a little more light, which should help new growth grow close together and look more lush. All the best!
Hi Emily! Your FLF posts are so informative, thank you! I just got the fertilizer you recommended but I’m confused as to how to mix it. I’ve had my tree for 3 years and it is a decent size. How should I mix it? Thanks!
Glad the posts could be helpful, Angie! There should be instructions on the fertilizer but I know they recommend different amounts depending on what you’re using it for. As a general rule, use about 10mL (or 2 teaspoons) per gallon. I water the soil with the fertilizer mixed in until the excess comes out the bottom, to ensure all the roots get saturated. If there’s any left over I use it on my other houseplants too. Around a monthly fertilizing should be enough for FLFs 🙂
Hi Emily, I’ve recently bought a pot of FLF with 3 separate trunks. They all looked healthy and normal for a few weeks until the leaves started to turn yellow and droopy. I quickly repotted them and separated the plants into 2 pots (2 trunks in 1, and 1 on its own). I believe it was a shock to them and the yellowed leaves all fell off. 2 out of the 3 plants are recovering albeit having lost many leaves (not droopy nor yellow and have good green appearances).
Unfortunately, one plant (that is in the sharing pot) has lost all of its leaves. I did not remove it as the stalk is still green and firm. Can an FLF trunk with no leaves recover and grow leaves again? Thanks!
I did not remove
Hey Yen, FLFs can loose their leaves if their environments change – I would say that it’s possible if they had a decrease in light when you got them, this could be why they suffered! The good news is that yes, a bare stalk can recover! Keep on watering it as normal and give it lots of light. With time, you should notice new buds appearing.
If it lost a lot of root system from separating when repotting, it may focus on re-establishing it’s roots first. You will know it’s still alive if the stalk is still firm. If it turns brown and brittle, or is able to be snapped off, that part has died! If that happens, cut the dead part off until you reach a part of stem that releases sap (a sign of life). All the best! 🙂
Hi Emily. My FLF is really happy in its spot. But it is growing too fast and high. How can I keep it shorter. Also, the leaves are beautiful and happy but they stay close to the stem, resulting in us seeing only the bottom sides of the leaves.
Hey Amanda, that’s a good problem to have! If your FLF is growing is must be happy. You can always prune it to keep it at the height you prefer. Just make sure you only prune off a third or less of the leaves to prevent it from going into shock.
The leaves will naturally lean towards to the light, so if they are facing upwards this is ok and pretty normal. As long as it is getting enough light and watering I wouldn’t be too worried! As yours is growing so much it sounds like you are looking after it well 🙂
I’ve had my FLF for about 18 months now and the tallest stem has grown about 40-50cm since we got her. There are three stems (sorry i’m not sure if that’s the right word) in the big pot she’s in, and although all three have grown taller, the thickness of their stems haven’t thickened up so now they are starting to droop over the taller they get. Was just wondering what I can do, if anything, to help thicken up the stems? Her leaves are beautiful and green and I fertilise and water her.
Thank you! 🙂
Hey Ashlee, FLFs are known for their skinny trunks but there are things you can do to get them strong and standing on their own. That’s good you are fertilising, it will definitely help. If there is more than an inch or so of stem between the leaves, your FLF may be searching for more light. When they don’t get enough light, they grow a bit lanky. So firstly, make sure it’s getting adequate light, as the leaves really help support the stem when they grow closer together.
In nature, FLFs trunks grow strong when they have to withstand the wind. So if you can give your FLF some time outside, it will greatly help the trunks strengthen. I put a new FLF outside that was leaning, and within 1-2 weeks it was standing straight by itself.
If you can’t manage to get it outside, try imitating the wind by wiggling the stems a couple of times a day. It sounds silly but I’ve heard people get great results from this! It may take a few weeks, but doing this will allow the stems to strengthen and stand by themselves, which is definitely a better option that trying to stake them. Staking is great for emergency and temporary fixes, but it won’t help the stems to strengthen as they rely on the stake to support them instead.
Light and airflow (or wiggling) are key! You can get your FLF stronger within a few weeks 🙂
My flf has leaves on the bottom, then a long section with no leaves and then 2 leaves at the top. What should I do?
Hey Margaret, I would firstly make sure your FLF is getting enough sunlight. Elongated stems with leaves far apart can be caused by a lack of light. Notching can help encourage growth on bare areas however if the trunk is quite thin (depending on the size & age of your FLF overall), I would just let it grow and become stronger before trying this. Notching is the process of making cuts a third deep into the trunk. This activates dormant buds to grow. It’s definitely easier to notch on thicker trunks to avoid cutting too deep.
If there’s a section of stem at the top of your FLF (above the top two leaves), you could try tip pruning. This can activate branching further down which may improve the look of the bare section.
My FLF is over six feet tall. Can I cut the main trunk of the tree?
Of course, Lacey! Pruning is totally normal. I would say to prune a section with no more than a third of the leaves, to keep your FLF healthy. You can always propagate the cutting to grow another FLF, too. Make sure you use sharp clippers and make the cut on an angle. All the best!
I think I killed my FLF. I Have it in my sunroom and we just had freezing temps. Our heater in this room stopped working over night and bam! Super sad dark greenish brown dropping leaves. Think I can get it back?
Oh no! It definitely sounds like the temps got too cold for your FLF. Only time will tell if it can recover, I would give it a chance (and keep it out of the cold) and see how the next month or so goes. Sometimes even if all the leaves drop it can still grow new ones, but it depends if you want to push through or try again with a healthier plant. FLFs are tropical plants and minimum temps should be no lower than around 65F! 🙂
This is great information. I recently got a large flf and 3 babies. I was wondering about fertilizer and so thankful to you for clearing it up! The info on here on watering is also useful. Thanks again!
So glad it was helpful Tatyana! Figuring out the fertilizing was a huge breakthrough for me. All the best with your FLFs 🙂
Your post is useles at all.
“Use the fertilizer” that’s all you want to tell about?
Hi Vitalii, I’m sorry this post couldn’t be more helpful for you! I’m speaking from my personal experience, and understanding fertilizers & using the right one was the change that gave my FLF great growth. I have a few other posts on FLFs if you’re looking for other information. Let me know if you have any specific questions and I’ll do my best to answer!
I unfortunately and very sadly killed my first FLF tree and I’m unsure why it died as it grew leaves very quickly then dropped them all. Anyway, I now have a new shrub-like Fig. It was kind of sickly looking when I got it but now it is very healthy. It gets watered once a week and the new leaves are seem to be sprouting g almost daily for the last month. This October, so not the growing season – but my Fig doesn’t know that so when should I fertilize him? Homer is his name. Lol.
I mentioned he is shrub-like. There many stalks, so this good for his future? I like his “shrubbiness” and would to keep him tris way instead of a single stalk. What are the odds on keeping him this way?
Hi Angie, sounds like you’ve got a great FLF for it to be growing so much! You can still fertilize during the cooler months, either by doing a half-strength mix or fertilising half as often as you would in warmer months. That’s totally fine to keep him looking shrubby – the tree-form can require a bit more work to attain but you won’t have to do much to keep one shrubby. You can always prune parts back if they get too tall or out of control. Other than that, Homer should grow fine as a shrub! All the best 🙂
Thanks for the information! I’m trying to find out how to get my FLF to be bushier/fuller. It has no problem growing taller, but I’d like more leaves throughout. Any suggestions?
Hi Amy, if your FLF has sparse growth, it might need more light! Often when there’s not enough light they grow ‘leggy’ in search of light. When it is getting enough light the growth should be bushier. This should help with any future growth, but as for getting more leaves throughout, try tip pruning to activate buds that lay dormant along the stems/branches. When you cut the tip of a FLF, it tricks the plant into thinking it needs to activate growth elsewhere. Hope this helps! 🙂
I got a few FLF plant and most of them are doing great but there’s one that I have issues with.When I got it it had small leaf sprouts .Unfortunately they dried off.Now there is no growth of new leafs. What should I do.
Thank you ,
Hi Memy, if your FLF isn’t growing there could be a bunch of reasons. Take a look at my growing and pruning FLFs post for some info on care to make sure its getting everything it needs. Other than that it may just need time to adjust if its a new plant in your home. Let me know if you have any more specific questions 🙂
Will this also thicken the trunk? I have two FLF bush-types and I have to support them with a stake currently. They are only about 2 feet tall, but it can’t hold the weight of the current leaves. I’m in san antonio and I moved them outside about 2 months ago. They seem to love it – one of them sprouted two new leaves immediately. But they need stronger trunks. Thanks!
Hi Summer, the trunk thickening should happen naturally as your FLF grows. Using a stake is a good way to keep it stable, and the other thing that helps strengthen the trunk is the leaves! When your FLF is getting enough sunlight, the leaves should grow close together which helps support the trunk. If there are spaces between each leaf, it most likely means your FLF needs more light. Moving it to a lighter place should help the leaves grow closer and support the trunk more. Also, some people like to remove the lower leaves on their FLF, but doing this will slow the thickening of the trunk, so let the lower leaves stay. If you are already doing these things, great! Add a little bit of patience and your FLF should get strong enough to support itself 🙂
Thanks for all the tips. They are very helpful
Thank you Marm! I’m glad they could help 🙂