The fiddle-leaf fig is a plant that grows best in tropical climates. It is home to western Africa and the rainforest.
With its background as part fig and part mulberry, it thrives as a tree or a houseplant. This versatile plant earned its name because the shape of the leaves resembles a lyre (harp) as well as a fiddle.
Experienced gardeners love this plant because it offers a dramatic look with its large glossy green leaves. It does come with its own list of demands. For such an impressive plant it is on the finicky side.
Here is what you need to take into consideration before buying a fiddle leaf fig plant.
5 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
1 – It is one of the most preferred house plants
With the proper care, this regal plant has a simple but impressive display of glossy green leaves. It will easily add just the right amount of splendor to just about any décor.
2 – It doesn’t like being an indoor house plant
While it does need specific conditions in order to be happy as an indoor house plant it prefers the great outdoors in order to really thrive.
Indoors it needs its soil to be not too wet and not too dry. It doesn’t enjoy too much sun but also doesn’t like to be left in the dark.
3 – Once it is settled it does not like to be moved around
Choose the place where you are going to keep your fiddle leaf fig whether it is in your home or outside your home. Once you find where it will get just the right amount of light and humidity, let it adjust to its environment and watch it flourish.
If you are keeping it inside you will want to mist it regularly to keep the humidity level high and more tropical.
4 – When it likes its surroundings it will grow beyond your expectations
If your fiddle leaf fig plant is happy inside the bad news is that it will quickly outgrow your house and may need to ultimately be moved outside.
If it is not happy, you will know it right away by its drooping leaves.
5 – The price of buying a fiddle leaf fig is more affordable than ever before
Because the fiddle leaf fig has always been popular among experienced gardeners, it used to cost around $150 for a good size plant. All that has changed throughout the years and you can even order one online for a fraction of the cost.
There are gardening centers, home stores, and even Amazon that will deliver your new plant right to your door.
What are the Symptoms of Problems with a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant?
While your fiddle leaf fig plant may be relatively problem-free, you may discover an issue one day and be completely thrown off. First, it is upsetting when your plant has an issue but trying to figure out how to handle this issue doesn’t have to ruin your whole day.
Starting with the most common problem, this list contains other things that can go wrong with your plant and how you can handle them right away.
This situation is best handled as soon as you see the first leaf begin to droop. Leaves on your fiddle leaf fig will droop if it is getting too much water or too little water. It can also be caused by a change in temperature – too cold or too hot will cause the leaves to droop.
What to do: If your plant is not getting enough hydration you will know it just by feeling the soil. The same thing for too much water. The top layer of soil, around 4 inches, should be moist but not sopping wet.
If the issue is due to a temperature change, adjust the amount of heat or cold your plant is exposed to if the temperatures in your home have changed because of a change of seasons. Make sure to mist it to keep the humidity level the same at all times.
Brown Spots on the Leaves
1 – Root Rot
If the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig are beginning to show brown spots it could be the result of root rot. If your plant is getting too much water or the plant does not have adequate drainage it will the roots will begin to rot.
What to do: In order to confirm that the brown spots are from root rot is to remove your plant from its pot and check the condition of the roots. If they are soft and slimy and brown, it is definitely root rot.
Let the roots recover by drying out and cut away any brown spots on the leaves. Replace the plant and make sure you do not overwater it.
2 – Damage from Insects
If the brown spots on your fiddle leaf fig begin to start to look like Swiss cheese with holes all around it, your plant is infected by insects.
What to do: First remove your plant from any of the other plants. Create a solution to kill the insects naturally by combining two tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons of mineral oil.
Put this solution in a spray bottle and spray the top and bottom of the leaves to eliminate the pesky insects.
3 – Not Getting Enough Water
If your plant appears dried out it could be that the soil has pulled away from the pot and the roots are not able to receive any water. This will cause the leaves to not only turn brown but they will curl up around the edges.
What to do: Make sure your plant is not near a heating element which could also be drying it out. If the season has changed and you have the heat on in your home make sure your fiddle leaf fig is nowhere near it. Water regularly but do not overdo it.
Tan/White Spots on the Leaves
If you find that the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig have tan spots on top make sure you address it right away. It appears that your plant has been getting too much direct sunlight whether it is inside or outdoors.
What to do: Take a pair of sharp scissors and cut the spots off the leaves or if there are too many, cut the entire leaf off. Separate the pant from others and find a place that does not have such a bright atmosphere.
When dealing with problems with your fiddle leaf fig it seems to come down to the basics – too much or too little water, too much or too little sunlight, and a temperature that is too hot or too cold.
Keep in mind that this is a tropical plant that loves humidity. If all its demands are met it will reward you with classic elegance every time you admire it. Oh, yes, it does like to be loved!
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.