Six Myths about Fiddle Leaf Fig Care

Hey guys!

As you may already be aware, I am a bit of a Fiddle Leaf Fig fanatic. They are a much loved houseplant that can be a little tricky to care for. This is only made worse by the misinformation on the internet! However once you understand what the FLF’s natural environment is like, it’s so much easier to grow a healthy, thriving Fig.

So in light of some of the errors I’ve heard recently, I thought I’d dispel a few myths about Fiddle Leaf Fig care to get you growing them like a pro!

Six myths about caring for Fiddle Leaf Figs - what you're doing wrong, and what to do instead! | Dossier Blog

Six Myths about Fiddle Leaf Fig Care

Bright, Indirect Light – Myth

The common information about FLFs needing bright indirect light isn’t exactly true. Fiddle Leaf Figs will take all the light you can give them! They are full sunlight plants in nature and can handle a full 6-8 hours of direct sun a day – ONCE they have been hardened off.

If you’ve noticed a bad result from direct sunlight it may be because your FLF is not used to it. Without gradually acclimatising them to direct light, they can get sunburnt leaves and dry out too much. But once a FLF is used to direct light, it will grow like crazy! Take the time to start your FLF on an hour-ish of gentle, direct morning light each day, working up to putting it in full sun.

What does this mean for your indoor Figgy without direct sun? A FLF can still be placed in bright indirect light, however it probably won’t reach its growth potential. A lack of sunlight can play a part in health issues and slow down growth. If you want to keep your FLF in a spot without direct light, you may want to supplement its growth with a grow light. This post can give you more info on the best grow lights for your situation.

Watering Weekly – Myth

As you probably already know, how regularly your FLF (and all plants) need water is dependent on a few things. And the biggest factor that impacts how often they need watering is how much light they get! This is because plants use light to create energy, and they also draw up water from their roots during this process. So how much light they receive changes how much water they’re using, which determines how often they’ll need water.

Some of the other factors that impact how often a plant needs water include the soil type, pot size, plant size, its environment and climate, and also what the season is! As nice as it would be to boil all of this down to a weekly watering schedule, its just not the case. Fiddle Leaf Figs will not respond well to a set-and-forget watering schedule.

The best way to know when your plant needs watering is to check the soil! Fiddle Leafs like to dry out a little between waterings, so take your finger and feel if the top 1-2 inches of soil feels dry. If it does, its ready for water.

Remember that it’s normal for the soil further down to still feel damp. You never want all the soil to dry out, otherwise the plant would die! But when the top layer of soil dries out, this is a good indicator that the plant is ready for water.

Keep in mind watering requirements will change seasonally, as well as with environment changes.

If this all sounds a bit complicated, don’t worry! You will begin to know how often they need watering in your environment over time. A reliable moisture meter can help in the early days to help you understand how quickly your FLF’s soil dries.

What you might be doing wrong with your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Read this for the right information! | Dossier Blog
Giving a Fiddle Leaf a Cup Measurement of Water – Myth

There has been a popular method of watering a Fiddle Leaf circulating online, called the cup method. This method states to give your plant a certain amount of cups, depending on its size. Eg, give a one foot tall Fiddle one cup of water, and a three foot tall Fiddle 3 cups of water.

I’m sure whoever came up with this system was trying to help people not overwater their plants. Sometimes we just love our plants a little too much, right?! But it really can be damaging to your plant in the long run. I’ve had many people come to me with dryyy, damaged and underwatered FLFs because of this style.

The best way to water your plant is to allow the whole rootball in soil to fully drink water, by giving it enough water until the excess drains out the bottom. In this case, it doesn’t matter how much water you give your plant, as long as you have a drainage hole! You could give it one litre or five, as long as all the soil is getting wet and the excess drains.

This works for multiple reasons. It allows all the roots to get a drink, without encountering dry patches in the soil. It also allows any fertilizer, salts or mineral buildup that can be present in water to be flushed out of the pot. Over time, if you’re watering your plant by the cup method (and without much water draining out), these things can accumulate in the soil and eventually burn or harm the plant.

Overwatering is an issue caused by watering your plant too frequently, and doesn’t refer to the actual amount the plant gets (can be confusing, I know)! So make sure to feel that the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry with your finger before you water again.

A leggy Fiddle Leaf Fig with a thin trunk - it needs more sunlight! six FLF myths | Dossier Blog
Stake the trunk to Strengthen – Myth

Staking a weak or leaning trunk can be beneficial, but its not ideal. Really you’d like your FLF to stand strong on its own, right?! Staking can be helpful for temporary but immediate support if your FLF trunk is really bending.

Instead of staking, there’s other things that can be done to get the FLF trunk to thicken and grow straight.

One: Wiggling the trunk. Yes, it sounds ridiculous. But in nature, the wind bends and sways the trunk naturally. In response to this, the plant grows the trunk thicker and stronger to withstand the wind. If your FLF is indoors, spend a couple of minutes 2-3 times a week wiggling the trunk. Start around mid height with small swaying, until you work up to quite a bend. Your FLF can withstand more than your think without breaking! It needs this bending to force it to strengthen. Within a few weeks you should notice a difference!

Two: A trunk can also be thin due to a lack of leaves. This is because leaves provide the trunk with nutrients to grow. Without leaves that grow closely together, the trunk won’t be getting as much support as it needs. A thin, leggy-looking FLF (like the one above) is often due to a lack of sunlight – the FLF grows straggly in search of light. So firstly, put your FLF in a brighter location. Secondly, pruning the tip can encourage more growth (back-budding) further down the trunk, which will also help support your FLF. Read a step-by-step guide to strengthening a leaning FLF trunk here.

Lastly, a quality fertilizer can help the trunk grow strong. I really noticed a difference in the trunk of my Fig tree after using fertilizer for a while. It really thickened and stopped bending in wind when I took it outside. If you haven’t tried a quality fertilizer on your Fig yet, this is a great fertilizer specially formulated with the correct ratio of nutrients FLFs need. For more info on fertilizing your FLF, see this post.

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Mist to Increase Humidity – Myth

It’s true that Fiddle Leaf Figs are tropical plants and love a humid environment. However what you may not know is how little misting helps to increase humidity. In fact, it can even be HARMFUL to your Figgy! Using a spray bottle to mist a FLF is marginally effective, as the mist only lasts a few minutes before drying.

What it does do is promote infections, bacterial and fungal issues on their large leaves. So while you may be thinking you’re increasing the humidity by misting several times a day, not only is it not affecting the humidity levels, but it’s also putting your plant at risk. Something no one wants!

The only time misting is beneficial is to use a spray bottle on any new leaves forming at the top of the plant around twice daily. This will allow the leaves to grow without sticking together due to dryness (the reason some new leaves get holes).

A better way to increase overall humidity levels is by getting a humidifier. Make sure it is not spraying directly onto the plant’s leaves, but keep it nearby to increase humidity in the room.

Six Fiddle Leaf Fig Myths - what you're doing wrong, and what to do instead | Dossier Blog
Using Coconut oil as Leaf Shine – Myth

We all love shiny, glossy leaves. But using coconut oil, milk or other substances to get that shine is only doing harm! Any substance you put on the plant’s leaves potentially blocks the leaves not only from breathing, but also from photosynthesis.

Instead, use a damp or dry cloth, or give it a hose-down every now and then to keep any buildup off the leaves. Dust can also block the leaves!

If your FLF get some direct sun, in warmer temperatures any oil that sits on the leaves can cause the leaves to burn. I have experienced this and its not nice! Burn and sunburn can start anywhere on the leaf and can look anywhere from bleached white to crispy brown.

So there you have the six myths about Fiddle Leaf Fig Care! I often read some these myths on the internet and to be honest, I believed some of them when i first got a FLF too! While I’m sure everyone is trying their best to be helpful by sharing what they know, I know how frustrating it can be to feel like something isn’t working for you.

I hope this post has helped clear up a few things and you understand more about a Fiddle Leaf Fig’s natural environment. It has helped for me to remember that they are tropical plants, and to do my best giving them a tropical environment to live in – light, water, air flow and nutrients have been game changers for mine.

Let me know if you have any questions or check out my page dedicated to Fiddle Leaf Figs for more info.

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77 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi! So I made the mistake of buying a cheap fiddle leaf fig from Walmart. I’m usually pretty good with plants so I figured I’d be a better home for this guy. Well I had read that they can be pretty finicky in a new environment and to wait to repot. So I held off and for a couple months my plant was thriving! Growing healthy new leaves, and it looked great. Then it went down hill out of nowhere. I tried everything I could think of and decided to repot it and check for root rot. Well, that was surprisingly not the problem. They had actually put a second pot inside underneath the roots! I have never seen such a thing! So the poor plant was totally rootbound. So I gave it fresh new soil, a well draining pot and lots of tlc. It still just has so many brown awful leaves at this point, I’m worried it won’t come back. Is there anything more I can or should do or is it a lost cause? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hey Erika! Yess FLFs can be a little fussy but they are also reasonably hardy – I don’t see why your Fiddle Leaf won’t bounce back 🙂 Keep in mind that the damage won’t disappear on the leaves, so if any leaves are over 50% damaged they can be cut off. Apart from that I think it will just take some time to adjust and start growing again 🙂

      Reply
  • My dwarf FLF has red spots. Do you know what’s causing this? I was misting with my spray bottle, do you think that’s what’s causing the red spots?

    Reply
    • Sounds like edema! It happens from inconsistent or too frequent watering. The dots won’t go away but if you try watering a little less often the new leaves should grow without them 🙂

      Reply
  • H! Thank you for the FLF life saving info. What are your thoughts on coffee grinds. I’ve been reading that FLF love them. Any truth in your opinion?

    Reply
    • Hey! They can be beneficial if added to a compost first but I have heard that adding them straight to soil doesn’t have a lot of benefit… In my opinion you could use them but may not see much difference as they won’t compare to using a fully formulated fertilizer! More info on fertilizer here 🙂

      Reply
  • Your first myth regarding sunlight really unravels the puzzle I had. I was told that FLF likes direct sunlight and I intuitively placed my new FLF at a direct sunlight spot to only find that the leaves had sunburn so I shifted it to a shady spot with indirect sunlight. Thus your advice is really handy! Just a question, I live in a tropical country and my direct sunlight in the afternoon is 34-36 deg celsius. It’s that still alright for the FLF? All in all, I have 12 hours sunlight a day and my balcony faces south-west.

    Reply
    • Hi Andeline – FLFs can grow in direct sunlight all day, it just depends on the plant adjusting to the light! If it only gets that strong direct light in the afternoon for a short time, you may find it too harsh to adjust to and can burn for a little while but it really depends on what the plant is used to. Generally gentle morning light is best to start acclimatising them to direct light. See how it goes and you may need to adjust how much of that direct afternoon light it gets if it does start to burn.

      Reply
  • Thank you for all FLF wisdom. This article and your guidebook have been the helpful. Especially the myth of indirect bright sunlight.

    Reply
  • I had a beautiful FLF it was growing really well as I had worked out a good fertilising and watering routine for it, as well as sunlight. But I went travelling for the last year and a bit and had left it with a friend to look after. Now its in a state of despair. Leaves are burnt, and grown really tall and straggly, it reaches about 2.3metres but bending under its weight. I know how to get it back to a good water/fertilizing routine but what’s your advice on saving it as it looks like a sorry mess? Cut leaves, prune – and if so, how?

    Reply
    • You can prune any leaves off that are over 50% damaged as they’ll be taking energy from the plant rather than adding to it. And then pruning it back might be the best option – especially if it is that tall and bending! Here’s a post on pruning that has more details. My number 1 tip would be to think about how your plant will look with branches at the point you prune – this should help you determine a spot to prune that will look right 🙂 All the best!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Paula Nailon
    July 24, 2020 4:39 am

    It was love at first sight with my FLF. I had read various articles and watched countless videos which had me second guessing myself on it’s care but then I ran across your site. I want to thank you for taking all the stress out of taking care of this glorious plant. I have purchased the fertilizer you recommended and will be incorporating it into my next watering. I am excited about my future with my plant. Thank you and keep the advice coming. 🔥

    Reply
  • Hi Emily,

    First, I want to thank you for this useful article! I am always confused about direct sunlight or indirect sunlight. Now I know I can gradually let my FLF under direct sunlight. Just wondering how much more time can I increase the direct sunlight each day? Is it like one hour more each day or any other suggestions? Thank you again!

    Reply
  • Hi, I recently bought a cheap, small (about one foot tall) FLF. It has almost doubled in height in a short span. The leaves at the base and the top seem healthy, but midway up the trunk there are a couple small, purplish leaves. It is a noticeable gap in leaf size. There’s not much direct light in my home, so I know it’s light situation is not ideal. What do you recommend about the section with small leaves halfway up the trunk? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hey Diana! There’s probably not a whole lot that can be done about the section of small leaves… they will generally look less noticeable as the plant grows and the lower leaves naturally start to drop off. Another option is to cut the plant way back but it sounds like the rest of the plant is healthy so that’s not really necessary! Making sure it has lots of bright light will help with the growth in the future 🙂

      Reply
  • My FLF is about 2 years old and has grown from 8inches when we brought her home to about 36 inches now. She has a single skinny trunk with no branches, and she’s starting to flop over. After reading on this site, I will start shaking her to strengthen the trunk. I know pruning the tip will encourage branching, but will this keep her from getting taller? We’d like to allow her to grow to about 6-7 feet tall if possible.

    Reply
    • Hey Brenda, when plants are pruned they will no longer grow from that point on the stem. Instead, pruning activates dormant buds that create branches. So your plant can still get taller via the branches, but the point where it was pruned itself will no longer grow. Hope that makes sense!

      Reply
  • Hi Emily,

    What do you recommend for optimum air circulation in the soil?

    Thanks again for your expertise!

    Reply
  • Hi Emily,

    I just wanted to thank you for the watering tip in particular. I’m a first-time owner of an FLF, which was quite an investment for me since the plant is already mature and over 6 feet tall. Fido Francesca McFiddich is a real beauty! It will be a couple of weeks tomorrow that I’ve had my FLF, and yes, I was watering a cup at a time, not even by height, just 3 cups per week at 1 cup every other day. I live in Colorado, so it’s already semi-arid here. I noticed that, while Fido wasn’t horrendously droopy, the leaves did seem a little bit droopier. I know I have the plant in a good location lighting wise, no drafts from AC or window, etc., so I was wondering what the issue was. Well, after reading your blog post that came to my inbox today on 6 FLF myths , I watered Fido very thoroughly today, probably a good quart or so all at once. About 1-1/2 cups ran through to the bottom of the outer pot, and I turkey basted it out and then toweled up the little bit remaining, and wow, what a difference. Within just a few hours, the leaves are now reaching upward like they were when I first brought Fido home. I’m so happy I subscribed to your blog and read it today. I thank you, and I think I can speak for my happily hydrated FLF in thanking you too 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi! Thanks for your message – so glad to hear!! Yes watering is a bit of a common issue amongst Fiddle Leafs… I’ve found watering until the excess drains to be the best way and is what these plants respond the best to. Glad to hear Fido is doing well! 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Kristen Hickey
    July 11, 2020 11:51 am

    Hi! I JUST bought my first FLF and I’m wondering if I can bring it outside when it rains from time to time?

    Reply
  • Hi! New FLF owner here and I really enjoyed reading this post! It was very helpful and informative. I have a question about placement though. I live in an apartment and don’t have a ton of windows to choose from. It gets pretty hot where I live, so naturally my family turns on the ac and the ac units are directly under all of our windows. After reading many posts about caring for FLF’s and keeping them away from drafts/ac units, I’m concerned with having it by the window. Do you, or any one else, have any tips for what I should do?

    Reply
    • Hey Jackie – its true that under a window is best. Generally they don’t like drafts of extra hot or cold air. So I think you would just need to test it out. Keep an eye on it and see how it goes for the first few days – check the leaves each day and if there’s any browning or wilting, then move it away!

      Reply
  • I bought a big beautiful fiddle leaf fig tree and have it in my living room with indirect sunlight but the leaves have started dropping off one by one…do you know what the issue could be?

    Reply
    • Hey! There’s a few reasons this can happen so it would really depend on its environment, where its located, watering etc. This post on browning might help. Its always best to keep them directly in front of a window so if its getting less light than its used to, this could be causing leaves to drop too. Give the post a read and you may need to adjust its care and light!

      Reply
  • Thanks for the great info! I have a fiddle fig that was exposed to direct sun for too long and now the top leaves have drooped. Is it still salvageable? Do I need to trim those leaves?

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Aasmi Shajahan
    June 1, 2020 12:18 am

    Hello. I live in india where the climate is hot and humid always. But I recently did roofing on my front porch and now the lighting is low. When I did the shadow test to measure the light, i got blurry shadows. Will the fiddle leaf fig grow in low light conditions? I am planning to buy one for my front porch. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Aasmi! Fiddle Leafs will be fine outside in the shade and it sounds like your porch would be a good place to put it, with the new roof. I would consider low light to be indoors in a corner, or more than a couple of feet away from a window. They will do much better outside 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Jessica Williams
    May 20, 2020 3:02 am

    Hi Emily, I have had a Fiddle (about 110cm tall) for about a month. It’s got a stake holding it up – should I remove it to strengthen the trunk?
    Thanks! Jess

    Reply
  • Hey just wanted to say thanks for posting this blog and replying to all the comments. There is a wealth of information here. Thank you!

    Reply
  • I have a 5 ft fiddleleaf that didn’t do well for awhile, prob because I didn’t know what I was doing. It lost all of its leaves on the trunk. I slowed the watering schedule and gave it good light and now the top is flourishing but it looks absurd. 5 feet of bare trunk and 12+ leaves on top. They keep opening up. Should I just cut it down and start over or will I ever get leaves on the bottom again? I cut another one down to about 3 feet due to same problem and that one is bouncing back as well with leaves on top.

    Reply
    • Hi Andrea – unfortunately plants can’t regrow leaves where they’ve been lost, like on a bare stem. You can either encourage branching further down by notching, or like you said cut it back with a hard prune. Whichever way you decide is up to you – if you didn’t want to cut it back straight away, you could give the notching a go and if it doesn’t work out, then you still have the option of pruning it down. Here’s a post on notching that might help!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Chelsea Carratt
    April 19, 2020 4:58 pm

    Hi there,

    I want to plant my fiddle leaf in the garden not a pot is this a bad idea?

    Reply
    • Hey Chelsea, FLFs have very invasive root systems and can grow VERY large, so its generally not a good idea to plant them in the ground. They can interfere with underground foundations and plumbing. If you have a large yard and could plant it far away from any structures, you could maybe get away with it but I would make sure to do some more research to be safe! I have a ficus in my garden that I’ve placed there in a large pot – so it is part of the garden but the roots can’t destroy anything. That could be an idea if you want it outside! 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Tiffany N Sanders
    April 16, 2020 3:05 am

    I bought two FLF from my local grocery store. They were $13 and I couldn’t pass up the deal. I think I have spider mites. With the Corona situation there is no alcohol anywhere to be found to make the home treatment. I am planning on doing the milk and flour treatment but wanted to inquire as to what your advice might be. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Tiffany! I have never heard of the milk and flour treatment before, but you’ll need a solution that can kill the mites. Here’s a post about treating spider mites that might be helpful. I would suggest trying a diluted water & dishwashing liquid solution if you can’t get a hold of any alcohol or neem oil. You should be able to find the neem oil online though! 🙂

      Reply
  • Hi there,
    I bought my FLF march 10 from home depot and he was looking just fine until yesterday. All top leave started to droop! I was worried that he was probably was too close to the heater. I moved him and watered him. I’m so afraid of over watering but the leaves are still drooping 24 hours later. The leaves look healthy and green with no yellow/brown spots. Should i keep watering even though my moisture meter says hes a 6-7?

    Reply
    • Hey Joana, it’s possible your FLF could be drooping for a number of reasons. Being too close to a heater could be one of them! It could also be the shock of change in environment, or not enough light. I think the best thing to do would be to find a bright spot for it to settle in. If you’ve just watered, you won’t need to water again until the top 1-2″ of soil is dry. Also make sure that when you water, you give it enough water so that all the soil gets wet and the excess drains from the bottom. This will ensure all the roots get a drink. I would give it time to recover and settle in before making any more changes. All the best!

      Reply
  • Hi there. I bought 2 FLF at Costco. Brought them in and they have the worst odor. I am not sure if it’s the fertilizer they used or if the roots are rotting. Help. I don’t want to kill these beauties

    Reply
    • Hi! I would say it would be some kind of fertilizer or something added to the soil. If there’s nothing on the surface of the soil, you could try flushing out the soil when you water by giving it a few litres and letting it all drain out. If that doesn’t work, you may need to repot if you’re wanting to keep it inside! Generally you’d be able to tell if the roots were rotting by big dark patches on the leaves.

      Reply
  • Hi Emily. Got my first FLF. I have done my research and all on FLF care. I put it in my bedroom to get morning east sun. Leaves started brown and most have fallen already. You think this could be due to the AC in my bedroom of which temperature could drop to 64F from 9pm to 6am? Anyway I transferred my FLF just a week ago to the living room coz I don’t normally use ac in my living room. I don’t see any brown spots developing on the remaining 4 leaves. You think it can thrive in my living room even though it’s got low light only?

    Reply
    • Hi Eve, while 64F is a little low for Fiddle Leaf Figs, I don’t think it would cause all the leaves to drop like that. Leaves normally drop suddenly due to shock if they have been drastically moved, or if they have been in the way of a draft. But if they were browning first, you might be able to determine the cause by reading the post of Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots. It will help you analyse the environment to work out what it could be from.
      Fiddle Leaf Figs like quite bright light so it sounds like the living room probably isn’t the best place for it. However if you did want to keep it there, you could always look into getting a grow light to help supplement sunlight!

      Reply
      • Thank you Emily. Appreciate your response. I will definitely consider all your suggestions. Wish me luck.

        I mean FLFs are gorgeous, but caring for them is quite daunting 😊

        Reply
  • Avatar
    Daniel Lizarraga
    October 31, 2019 2:37 pm

    Good evening Emily! I made the mistake of shining my FL plant with coconut oil and a bottom leaf burned bad. I’m not sure if I should remove it or leave it?! My plant is 13 feet high so there are plenty of leaves but I was really upset about it. Should I Start to remove the coconut oil from the rest of the leaves or just leave it for now?! I definitely learned my lesson! Thanks for this blog and your expertise!

    Reply
    • Hey Daniel, generally if a leaf is over 50% damaged I remove it. If the damage is less than that, the leaf will still be producing energy for the plant and it can stay on. However seeing as it sounds like your FLF has lots of leaves, you could remove it if you like. I would definitely try to remove the coconut oil off the plant if you can, as apart from sunburn it can also block leaves from breathing. I think wiping the leaves with a dry cloth would be the best option to remove it! Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply
  • Hi Emily, I just got a new FLF after I killed one last year–over watering and maybe not enough light I guess. Anyway this time, I’m getting a water meter and have placed this one near a south-facing window that is shielded by a porch. But already, I think I see brown shading starting to appear underneath one of the top leaves. I’ve only had it a week and a half and have not yet watered it!! When I went to check the soil I noticed that the plant was stuck inside TWO black plastic growers pots. But the two plastic pots were aligned so that the drainage holes weren’t aligned so they were covered. I removed the second pot and sat it outside in the warmth for a day, but the soil is still damp. Should I keep it the growers pot? Should I put it in a ceramic pot since they are porous? Please help, I don’t want to lose this FLF.

    Reply
    • Hi Cinthia! I think its fine to keep it in the plastic growers pot. I actually keep most plants in these pots, and just place them inside a decorative pot so it’s easier to take them outside and water them. It won’t need to be repotted unless it is rootbound, which I would say isn’t likely as your FLF is new.
      If anything, the type of soil is a lot more important than the pot type. If you don’t notice the soil starting to dry out in the next few days-week, it may be that the soil is retaining too much moisture. In this case, I would suggest repotting with a well draining mix (cactus/succulent soil is a good start!).
      Keep an eye on the browning. I often find that I notice irregularities after I’ve bought plants but it may be that the browning on the plant already existed… If it continues to worsen, this post on identifying Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots could help. Let me know if you have any more questions!

      Reply
  • Hello Emily, we just got our FLF a few months ago. Left it outside (hot, dry desert sun) for about 8 hours without acclimating it beforehand. It was first time the plant was outside. Leaves are now super burnt and wilting. Is there no hope? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hey Andrew! I’ve found Fiddle Leaf Figs to actually be pretty hardy when it comes to bouncing back from accidental disasters. Keep it in a well-lit location and keep watering – even if all the leaves die, I’ve seen some FLFs come back from a bare stalk! You could remove any leaves that are almost all damaged, as these won’t be helping the plant. A little bit of care & time should see it bounce back 🙂

      Reply
  • Hi Emily, your Fiddle information is wonderful. I am a huge fiddle fig lover and like you have learnt by mistakes how these guys like to be looked after. Thank you agin for such great content. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment Polly! It does take some trial and error in the beginning doesn’t it, but hopefully others can learn from my mistakes and what I’ve learnt though them too! 🙂

      Reply
  • My flf has been getting very buggy lately. I water it every ten days as I was told to do by the gardening store we got it from. That was working great for a while and now in the past month I have all these gnats flying around. I figured it was overwatered after doing some research so I skipped the next watering to give it time to dry out and applied neem oil Now the leaf edges are really “wavy” and the gnats have gotten worse. I’m considering getting new soil, removing the current soil, repotting (same pot) and starting from scratch. The pot has a half dollar sized drainage hole in the bottom center, not sure if it needs more.

    Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Hey Brandon, it sounds like you’ve done your research! Gnats are attracted to damp soil, which is why overwatering can perpetuate them. I’ve heard that adding sand on top of the soil ‘tricks’ the gnats into thinking the soil is dry, which deters them from laying their eggs in it. It’s also best to wait until the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry before watering again – this will also help control them.
      However if it all seems too much, repotting is another way to fully rid the soil of gnats. If you decide to repot, try to remove as much of the old soil from the roots as possible.
      As long as the pot has some drainage, that’s fine! And unless the plant is seriously root bound, you won’t need to repot in a bigger pot. FLFs prefer tighter pots anyway 🙂

      Reply
  • I got my FLF mid July and right now it is flourishing on my covered porch outside. I am in Canada and I know I must bring it in for the winter and I am very concerned about what is going to happen. The lighting will not be very bright and the air will get drier as the furnace will be kicking in. Any ideas about what to do about this would be appreciated. And also I am wondering if drafts in the house will be a problem.

    Reply
    • Hey Eileen! It’s true that your FLF may struggle a little moving indoors, but fortunately there’s measures you can take to help it settle in. I think the biggest issue may be the light levels. In some cases, when plants are moved to a place that receives less light than they’re used to, they can drop leaves. Using a grow light can help supplement natural light for them and keep them healthy. It can also help lessen the shock of moving them indoors. This guide to grow lights has more info on them if you need!
      It’s best to keep your FLF away from any drafts of hot or cold air. For humidity, your FLF can adapt a little but you may notice crispy leaf edges if it gets too low. You could keep track of humidity- FLFs love upwards of 60% but over 50% or so will be fine. If it bothers you, a humidifier in the room is the best way to go. Also if you have other plants, group them together. This creates a more humid micro-climate as they release moisture from their leaves.
      I think if you can address the lighting and keep an eye on the humidity, that will give your FLF the best chance to adapt to indoors. Remember that it most likely won’t need to be watered as often either, so keep an eye on your watering schedule.
      Hope that helps! All the best 🙂

      Reply
  • Thanks for the info! I keep hearing about how direct sunlight is bad for FLFs

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    • I’m also going to stop misting mine and get a humidifier.

      Reply
    • Hey Zac! FLFs LOVE sunlight – they just need to be acclimatized slowly if they haven’t been in direct light! At the moment mine are inside as it’s coming into winter here in Australia, but they’re still getting a couple of hours of direct morning sun, and they’re still pushing out new leaves 🙂 So glad the info could be helpful for you!

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      • 2 weeks ago I bought a small flf and a I noticed a few days ago that it was growing a new leaf I accidentally touched it
        And the leaf fell off. I was really upset about it. Would you know why?

        Reply
        • Hey Marie, congrats on your new FLF! New leaves are more delicate and fragile than normal ones. It’s possible that it just wasn’t strong enough to stay put! I’ve accidentally torn new leaves from gently touching them before. They can also take a few weeks to acclimatise to a new environment, so if it was growing a new leaf during this time it could have added a little stress to the plant. As long as the rest of the plant is looking healthy and you’ve figured out when to water it, I wouldn’t be too concerned. If it keeps happening with new leaves, try placing it in a brighter spot and giving it some fertilizer 🙂

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  • Thank you for this information. I’m going to replant mine in well draining soil because it’s leaves are turning brown. How often should I have the humidifier running please?

    Reply
    • Hey Christy, well draining soil is definitely best for FLFs! The leaves can turn brown for a few different reasons. When the soil is holding too much water, it can cause really dark brown spots that start in the middle of the leaf. Brown spots can also be caused by dryness and these usually begin on the leaf edges and are a lighter brown.
      It’s ideal for FLFs to be in a constant environment with humidity at or over 60%. They can adjust to slightly lower levels of humidity though. Normally when the air is dry the leaves will curl on the edges and new leaves may get dimpled. It may not be possible to run a humidifier all the time but if you can measure the humidity and give it a boost with a humidifier when you can, any extra humidity will help! 🙂

      Reply
  • Just got my flu a week ago and am attempting to get it acclimatized
    Whenever I look at the plant it seems like a daunting task. I hope I can master growing a beautiful lush plant!

    Reply
    • Don’t be daunted Helaine! Once you get the basics right, they are actually easy to care for and not as finicky as people say 🙂 I’m sure you will master it it no time. All the best!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Ron Kannegeisser
    February 5, 2019 12:56 pm

    How can I get my Fiddle leaf to branch out. It is growing vertically but does it does not branch out.

    Reply
  • How do I get my FLF’s trunk to sprout more leaves to bring strength to it? A window fell on it taking many leaves 🙁

    Reply
    • A good way to do this is to prune the top of the trunk – this will cause dormant buds to grow further down as long as your FLF is healthy & in a good growing environment. Another way is to give notching a try – this is making small cuts into the trunk about a third of the thickness using a sharp razor or knife. This tricks the plant into thinking the top has been removed, and also activates the bud below. There’s more detailed info on my Fiddle Leaf Fig page to help you! 🙂

      Reply

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