An Expert Gardener’s Recipe for Fiddle Leaf Fig Success

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

So you got yourself an oh-so-pretty and popular fiddle leaf fig. Yay! So now comes the bigger challenge: taking care of that baby so it lasts and thrives in your home long term. Beat your black thumb with these care tips courtesy of garden expert Julie Chai.

Fiddle leaf figs love light

Your fig should be near enough to a window to get light all day but never be in direct sun. Another smart expert tip? Since the plants will grow towards the light, rotate every few weeks to keep the growth even and straight.

What do brown spots and dropped leaves mean?

You know it’s not a good sign, but brown spots and falling leaves might actually be due to too much plant love (in the form of overwatering) or overly chilly conditions from a draft (they naturally come from warm climates which is why they work well indoors). Sometimes a quick shake of the leaves can fix problems that come up. Address those problems and any discoloration should clear up.

How much water?

Temperature, size and humidity affect the amount of water you should give your fig, but generally, it’s time to water when the top inch of soil is dry and the deeper soil is still damp. The frequency and amount you need to use to get these conditions will vary season to season so be flexible and let your plant tell you when it’s time for a drink.

Housecleaning applies to your fiddle leaf fig too

Not only does dust not look so pretty on its wide leaves, but dust could also keep your plant from absorbing the nutrients it needs by blocking the sun and letting fungus and bacteria build up. A cotton cloth works well to gently wipe down the leaves, or a rinse in a tepid shower or with the hose is also an option.