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.
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.