Tricks for Keeping Your Fiddle Fig Leaf Tree Healthy
Several months ago I finally caved and bought my very own fiddle leaf fig tree. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve probably seen them and just didn’t know what they’re called. They tend to sit proudly in the corners of perfectly decorated living room on Pinterest and finally, there’s one in my home.
Getting the tree home was step one — I opted for the taller, more mature plant to add height to my room, but it didn’t fit into my car. I ended up lying down the front seat and took it home buckled in like a human passenger. Step two? How on earth do I not kill this thing? I’ll admit that I’m still trying to figure it out, but I’m slowly getting to know my little fiddle leaf fig tree better and learning what he likes and what he doesn’t.
I water my tree about once a week, and less when it humid outside. Typically I just poke my finger into the soil and if it’s still damp, I let it go for another few days. When I do water it, I water it pretty heavily, 4 cups of water or more to make sure the roots are fully soaked. Make sure to have a tray underneath. In case you overwater, the excess liquid needs a place to go.
At first fiddle leaf was tucked in a corner by our bed and was getting lots of ambient light, but I quickly realized it wasn’t enough. Within the first few weeks several leaves dried up brown and crispy and fell off. The horror! I was killing my plant and I didn’t even realize it. I’ve since moved him right by the window that faces north. He doesn’t get harsh direct light, but he gets a lot more indirect sun and the leaf-falling has subsided quite a bit.
I suppose fiddle leaf fig trees didn’t always reside in well-decorated living rooms, but my guess is that they grow best in mild climates. They don’t grow much in the winter months, but they also don’t shed their leaves (thank goodness!). So keeping your home at a normal inside temperature will keep your tree happy!
I actually kept my tree in the planter it came in. It’s not pretty, just a boring ole plastic container with a water drip catcher underneath. A big ceramic planter like this one would be perfect, but I opted for a simple, thick-braided basket that didn’t cost me too much. Just make sure you measure your planter before you buy the basket. I had a few mishaps before I found the right one! If all else fails, you can call the nursery from where you bought your plant and ask for advice!