How to: Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig

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Earlier this year I bought a Fiddle Leaf Fig. They seem to be all the rage don’t they? Bunnings had a good tall one which looked really healthy for only $85 and I had an ugly corner in my home which needed filling up, so I thought the Fiddle Leaf Fig would look great there.

But it made me nervous. I am not a gardener and I don’t know the first thing about caring for indoor plants properly! I even killed my succulents, but I found they had started growing again after I ditched the pot around the side of the house. Check out this photo!

Anyway, I wanted to make a good go of this Fiddle Leaf Fig. I decided to do my research and have a crack at it!

So far so good. I have had a couple of hiccups along the way and lost some new growth on the top, but I haven’t killed it and it still seems to be growing.

Most people say they like a filtered sunny position with lots of light but this wasn’t going to work where I wanted it. The corner of my home doesn’t get a lot of light. So this meant I needed to babysit my Fiddle Leaf a little more than usual.

Every couple of mornings I move the plant to the back of my house where the sun comes up and I get some sunlight. In the Winter months the light streams in to the house, so I just move it to that area for an hour or two. But I have found that during the warmer months I need to actually place it outside to grab a few rays.

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A couple of things here… I don’t let my plant get direct sun rays for very long at all (if I had better filtered light this would work better, but I have got to go with what I have). I also don’t leave it out in the open for too long. I learnt this lesson when I started seeing red spots on the new leaves. I did some research and it seems that cold air (like outside air) makes the leaves stressed and their tiny vessels get stressed – like broken capillaries! See the photo below. But I believe these will improve as time goes on. I can see they are fading.

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I water it only once a week outside (with the hose), and I prop it up so the water can thoroughly drain through. Once I see water coming out of the bottom I stop watering. I don’t put it back in the basket unless the water is no longer dripping through (I also have a plate in the bottom of the basket just in case). When I water it I also spray the leaves over gently – they become glossy looking again because dust can settle on them quite easily.

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Here are some points to note:

  • Indirect light (morning is best)
  • No cold air outside
  • No hot air (not near heaters or full sun)
  • Water once a week (or every 10 days depending on how hot the weather has been). Stick your finger in the soil and if the soil is dry down to your knuckle then you can water again. I also feel he bottom under the put. If it’s still a little damp, I wait a couple of days. Water it outside and put it up on a chair or ledge so the water drains through the bottom thoroughly.
  • Brown areas on the leaves usually means over-watering (well I think this is true in my case). I have a few brown spots and they are down low on the bottom leaves so I think in the beginning I was watering it too much.
  • Use Seasol in the warmer months every 6-8 weeks. I’ve used it twice now and within days I have noticed new leaves.
  • Here is an awesome YouTube video I found too outlining some basic tips.

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I wouldn’t say this is a very low maintenance plant! It’s a little bit of trial and error. I have read lots though where people have thought theirs was dying, but then changed up the routine and have managed to save it again.

If you have a Fiddle Leaf Fig, I’d love to know what your tips are? I know mine could do even better!

38 comments

  • Alisha Campbell-Strauss

    Hi Katrina,
    I was just wondering if you found your fiddle leaf in Wagga?
    I have just moved to Wagga this week and had to leave my fiddle leaf in Brisbane and would love to replace it.
    Thank you

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  • Rebecca

    If you live in Perth you can get these from Waldecks on North Lake road in Myaree (behind Bunnings on leach hwy), I bought 2 yesturday and they had heaps there 🙂

  • Maralyn

    Hi – I love these plants too but after reading all these comments and tips I am scared of the fiddle leaf fig! I know where you can buy largeish ones – The Palms Nursery, Scott Lane, North Maclean Qld. This may be helpful in your search for the Fiddle Leaf Fig – I might go get one now I am armed with all this info. Watch this space

  • Mandy

    My fiddly was a foot tall with five leaves when I bought it five months ago. Now it’s 2 and a half feet with 13 leaves and doing wonderfully.

    I had problems with mealy bugs; dot rubbing alcohol on the bugs with a Q-tip. It kills them instantly.

    I also had problems with the red dots on new leaves. For my tree it seemed to be a combination of getting too cold and not getting enough water; I moved it away from the window and started watering it more and the spots stopped.

    I live in the pacific northwest USA, and it loves the cloud/sun/cloud/sun light. Always puts out more leaves when it gets more sun.

  • Deb

    Hi Katrina, Can I please ask where you bought your plant holder from? It is just what I am after. Thanks, Deb.

  • Vince

    Does anyone have advice on finding these plants in Sydney?

  • Lyn-Marie

    We have recently purchased a house in Brisbanes bayside. We have a 20m( approx) fiddler leaf fig. Is this a good thing?

  • Milly

    For anyone still looking for a fiddle fig in brisbane I bought one last weekend at the rocklea markets for $35. It’s about 70cm with two stems. Some red veins on underside of leaves but still alive…

  • Caroline

    Hi there,
    My husband recently bought me a lovely flf and now holes have appeared in the leaves. I can’t see any critters on there but I’m assuming that’s what it is. What can I do?? Can anyone help me?

  • Slavica

    HI, his nice plant you can buy in Mitre 10 New Farm Brisbane … about 1,20 m high , for $60…
    I love it

  • Sofy

    Hi! what did you end up doing with the red spotted leaves? I actually have mine in the same situation and I don’t know what to do about it… I thought it was some kind of disease but then should I leave them like that? the new leaves are covered with red spots…

    Thanks!

    Sofy

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