Thriving Fiddle Leaf Figs Indoors: Growing Guide

Fiddle Leaf Figs Indoors

Fiddle leaf figs are currently the darlings of the interior design world.

They can be found in home décor magazines and are all over social media.

Their large, fiddle-shaped leaves and bold outlines make these tropical plants look dramatic and stylish in any indoor area.

Nonetheless, they are known not to be as easy as most of us might think but incredibly agreeable.

Do not worry plant lovers of any kind. This will be an authoritative guide that will take you through every aspect you need to know to keep your fiddle leaf fig happy, healthy, and thriving indoors.

Fiddle Leaf Figs Indoors

1. Fiddle Leaf Fig

Native to the tropical rainforests of Western Africa, these plants are accustomed to warm, humid environments with filtered sunlight. In their natural habitat, they can grow up to 40-50 feet tall. When grown indoors, they typically reach heights of 6-10 feet, making them perfect statement plants for homes and offices.

Fiddle leaf figs are part of the Ficus genus, which includes over 800 species of woody trees, shrubs, and vines. Their distinctive leaves, which can grow up to 12 inches long and 8 inches wide, are what give them their common name – the shape resembles a fiddle or violin.

2. Choosing the Perfect Spot

Light Requirements

One of the most critical factors in fiddle leaf fig care is providing the right amount of light. These plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ideal location: Place your fiddle leaf fig near a large, north or east-facing window. This provides ample light without the risk of harsh, direct sunlight that can scorch the leaves.
  • Light duration: Aim for 6-8 hours of bright, indirect light daily.
  • Rotating the plant: Turn your fiddle leaf fig a quarter turn every week to ensure all sides receive equal light exposure, promoting even growth.
  • Signs of insufficient light: If your plant isn’t getting enough light, you may notice slower growth, smaller new leaves, or leaves dropping from the lower portions of the plant.
  • Signs of too much direct sunlight: Brown spots on the leaves or crispy, burnt-looking edges indicate overexposure to direct sun.

Temperature and Humidity

Fiddle leaf figs prefer a stable environment that mimics their tropical origins:

  • Temperature: Keep your plant in a room that stays between 60-75°F (15-24°C). Avoid placing it near drafty windows, air conditioning vents, or heating units, as sudden temperature fluctuations can cause stress.
  • Humidity: These plants thrive in humidity levels between 30-65%. If your home is particularly dry, especially during winter months, consider these options to increase humidity:

1. Use a pebble tray filled with water beneath the pot (ensure the pot isn’t sitting directly in the water).
2. Group your fiddle leaf fig with other plants to create a microclimate.
3. Run a humidifier nearby.
4. Mist the leaves occasionally, but be cautious not to overdo it, as this can lead to fungal issues.

3. Watering Wisdom

Watering Frequency

  • General rule: Water when the top 1-2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch.
  • Seasonal adjustments: Water more frequently during the growing season (spring and summer) and less during the dormant period (fall and winter).
  • Observation: Pay attention to your plant’s needs. Factors like humidity, temperature, and light can affect water requirements.

Watering Technique

  • Water thoroughly: When you do water, do so until water runs out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
  • Allow excess water to drain: Never let your fiddle leaf fig sit in standing water, as this can lead to root rot.
  • Water quality: Use room temperature water. If possible, use filtered or rainwater, as fiddle leaf figs can be sensitive to chemicals in tap water.

Signs of Improper Watering

  • Overwatering: Yellowing leaves, brown spots with yellow halos, or soft, mushy stems indicate too much water.
  • Underwatering: Drooping leaves, crispy brown edges, or leaves curling inward suggest the plant needs more water.

4. Soil and Fertilization

Soil Requirements

  • Well-draining mix: Use a high-quality, well-draining potting mix. A combination of peat, pine bark, and perlite works well.
  • pH level: Aim for a slightly acidic to neutral pH, between 6.0 to 7.0.
  • Repotting: Plan to repot your fiddle leaf fig every 1-2 years, or when you notice roots growing out of the drainage holes.


  • Frequency: Feed your fiddle leaf fig monthly during the growing season (spring and summer), and reduce or stop fertilizing in fall and winter.
  • Type of fertilizer: Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 3-1-2 or 3-2-1.
  • Application: Dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength to avoid burning the roots.
  • Signs of over-fertilization: If you notice brown leaf edges or tips, you may be over-fertilizing. Flush the soil with plain water and reduce fertilizer application.

5. Pruning and Shaping

When to Prune

  1. Best time: Late winter or early spring, just before the growing season begins.
  2. Frequency: Prune once or twice a year, or as needed to maintain shape and size.

Pruning Techniques

  1. Remove dead or damaged leaves: Cut off any brown, yellowing, or damaged leaves at the base of the stem.
  2. Shape the plant: To encourage branching, cut off the top of the main stem. This will prompt the plant to grow new branches below the cut.
  3. Trim for size: If your fiddle leaf fig is getting too tall, you can cut back the main stem to your desired height. Cut just above a leaf node.

Pruning Tips

  • Use clean, sharp pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant.
  • Make cuts at a 45-degree angle to promote water runoff and prevent disease.
  • After pruning, reduce watering slightly until you see new growth.

6. Propagation

Stem Cuttings

1. Choose a healthy stem with at least two leaves.
2. Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle, just below a leaf node.
3. Remove the lower leaves, leaving 1-2 at the top.
4. Place the cutting in a jar of clean water, ensuring no leaves are submerged.
5. Change the water every few days and place in bright, indirect light.
6. Once roots reach 2-3 inches long (usually in 4-6 weeks), plant in soil.

Air Layering

1. Choose a spot on the stem at least 12 inches from the top.
2. Make a small diagonal cut upward into the stem, about 1/3 of the way through.
3. Insert a toothpick to keep the cut open.
4. Wrap the area with damp sphagnum moss and secure with plastic wrap.
5. After 4-6 weeks, roots should form. Cut below the new roots and pot the new plant.

7. Troubleshooting Common Issues

Leaf Drop:

  • Cause: Often due to stress from changes in environment, overwatering, or underwatering.
  • Solution: Ensure consistent care and avoid moving the plant frequently.

Brown Spots on Leaves

  • Cause: Can be due to overwatering, underwatering, or sunburn.
  • Solution: Adjust watering habits and light exposure as needed.

Yellow Leaves

  • Cause: Usually indicates overwatering or poor drainage.
  • Solution: Allow soil to dry out more between waterings and ensure proper drainage.

Leaf Curling

  • Cause: Often a sign of underwatering or low humidity.
  • Solution: Water more consistently and increase humidity around the plant.


  • Common pests: Spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects.
  • Solution: Isolate the affected plant, treat with neem oil or insecticidal soap, and improve air circulation.

8. Seasonal Care

Fiddle leaf figs have different needs throughout the year:

Spring and Summer

  1. Increase watering frequency as the plant actively grows.
  2. Fertilize monthly.
  3. Monitor for new growth and prune if necessary.
  4. Rotate the plant regularly for even growth.

Fall and Winter

  1. Reduce watering frequency as growth slows.
  2. Stop or reduce fertilization.
  3. Move the plant away from cold drafts.
  4. Increase humidity if indoor heating dries the air.

9. Creating the Ideal Environment


  • Avoid frequent relocation, as fiddle leaf figs dislike change.
  • Maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels.

Air Circulation

  • Ensure good air flow around the plant to prevent fungal issues.
  • Use a small fan if necessary, but avoid direct airflow on the plant.


  • Dust leaves regularly with a soft, damp cloth to keep pores clear.
  • This also helps you spot any potential issues early.


  • As your fiddle leaf fig grows taller, it may need support. Use a moss pole or bamboo stake to keep it upright.

Companion Planting

  • Group your fiddle leaf fig with other humidity-loving plants to create a mini tropical oasis.

10. Long-term Care and Growth


  • Indoor fiddle leaf figs can live for 25-50 years with proper care.

Growth Rate

  • Expect 1-2 feet of growth per year under ideal conditions.


  • Plan to repot every 1-2 years, moving up to a pot 2-3 inches larger in diameter.
  • Best done in spring, just before the growing season.

Mature Plant Care

  • As your plant matures, it may become top-heavy. Consider pruning to maintain a manageable size and shape.

Here’s a concise table with the most important information:

Aspect Details
Light Bright, indirect sunlight; 6-8 hours daily
Temperature 60-75°F (15-24°C)
Humidity 30-65%
Watering When top 1-2 inches of soil are dry
Soil Well-draining potting mix; pH 6.0-7.0
Fertilizer Balanced (3-1-2 or 3-2-1); monthly during growing season
Pruning Late winter/early spring; as needed for shaping
Repotting Every 1-2 years
Common Issues Leaf drop, brown spots, yellowing leaves
Propagation Stem cuttings or air layering


Taking good care of a fiddle leaf fig can bring you great satisfaction. These gorgeous plants add a hint of the tropics to our homes and can live for many years with the correct maintenance.

Keep in mind that each fiddle leaf fig is different, and it could take some time to determine what your plant needs in particular. Maintain a regimen of constant, attentive, and patient treatment.

Do not give up if you run into difficulties along the road; even seasoned plant parents occasionally have trouble taking care of these lovely but occasionally temperamental plants.

With this guide’s information, some practice, and lots of love, you will be well on your way to mastering fiddle leaf figs.


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