Complete guide to fiddle-leaf fig care
Meet the fiddle-leaf fig – a style icon with gorgeous glossy leaves. Here’s how to keep yours as handsome as ever.
Always a showstopper, Fidel the fiddle-leaf fig loves the light (and the limelight). Here’s your quick-fire guide to fiddle-leaf fig care:
- Take care not to under or over-water him
- Wait till his soil feels dry, then give him a drink
- He loves bright light, but not strong sunlight
- Try to keep him out of cold draughts
- He loves humidity, so mist him every few days
- Clean his leaves to keep them lush and shiny
About fiddle-leaf figs
Fiddle-leaf figs hail from the rainforests of South Africa. In the wild, they start life at the top of another tree, as seeds blown by the wind. As they grow, their roots reach down towards the ground, wrapping around the host tree and suffocating it. Yes, it’s a bit creepy. Luckily, they’re just as happy to grow in a pot in your home.
Are fiddle-leaf figs easy to care for?
Fiddle-leaf figs are sometimes said to be tricky to look after, but they’re actually more laid back than you might expect. Of course, like any superstar, Fidel has a few demands. But we can tell you everything you need to know to keep him happy.
You can start with a plant just 12 inches tall, a dramatic tree or something in between. If you take good care of your fiddle-leaf fig, he could grow 12-18 inches a year, so make sure he’s got plenty of space.
How often should I water my fiddle-leaf fig?
Fidel can be a bit fussy about his water but don’t worry, it’s easy to check when he needs a drink. Poke your finger into the soil – if it feels dry at a depth of 2-3 inches, then it’s time to water. The key thing is to make sure you don’t over-water him.
As a rainforest plant, he loves humidity. Your home isn’t naturally humid enough for him but there’s a simple fix for that. Just get a mister and give him a spritz every few days.
How much light does my fiddle-leaf fig need?
Think bright light – near a window in a sunny room is perfect. But try to avoid direct sunlight, because his leaves can get sunburned. Once you’ve found a good spot for him, try not to move him around (we know it’s tempting, because he looks so good everywhere!). You’ll often find him in stylish living rooms but those beautiful rounded leaves have a softness that really suits bedrooms too. He’ll also be happy in a bright bathroom, where his leaves will get a natural, regular misting.
How can I keep my fiddle-leaf fig looking its best?
You can keep your fiddle-leaf fig’s leaves glossy by gently cleaning them with a damp soft cloth. Removing dust and dirt also helps to keep him healthy, as it allows his leaves to absorb more light.
Once you’ve given him a beauty treatment, why not show him off on social media? There’s a whole community dedicated to him – tag #fiddleleaffriday and #fiddleleaflove to share his handsome looks with the world.
Is there anything else I need to know?
He might drop a few leaves when he first arrives. It sounds dramatic but it’s normal – he’s simply adjusting to his new surroundings. As for temperature, he should be fine in the average UK home, so long as you keep him out of cold draughts.
One surprising thing you can do to keep your fiddle leaf fig happy is to give it a shake every so often. The idea is that this mimics the wind and helps strengthen its trunk. Think ‘gentle wiggle’ rather than ‘hurricane force’.
If you’ve chosen a tree, Fidel is a little more forgiving of plant-parent mishaps. But there’s really not much to worry about, and he’ll be the king of any room you choose.
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