If you’re looking for a statement piece that adds both height and greenery, you’ve likely come across the fiddle leaf fig tree. It’s the perfect plant to add some life into your home! But is it even possible to grow a fiddle leaf fig tree indoors?
Yes, you absolutely can! A few plants thrive indoors, and a fiddle leaf fig tree is one of them.
There are some things to keep in mind, though. Different plants require different amounts of water, light, and care. So, let’s dive into some tips to help you successfully grow a fiddle leaf fig tree indoors.
What Is a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree?
A fiddle-leaf fig tree (Ficus lyrata) is a broadleaf evergreen native to western Africa. It has large, glossy green leaves and can grow up to 10 feet tall indoors.
Fiddle leaf figs can be a little demanding if you don’t provide them with the right conditions. As they are native to Africa, they thrive in warm and humid conditions. But don’t worry; we’ll get into that in more detail later!
One thing to note: fiddle leaf fig trees are toxic to dogs and cats. This is due to calcium oxalate crystals found in their leaves. It’s best to avoid having a fiddle leaf fig if your furry friend likes to nibble on plants.
What Are the Best Conditions for Growing a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Indoors?
We want our fiddle leaf fig plant to be happy, right? So here are some tips on how to provide the best conditions for your indoor plant.
Fiddle leaf figs are naturally understory plants, meaning they grow under the canopy of larger trees. This means they prefer bright, indirect light instead of direct sunlight.
If you have a large window that gets plenty of natural light, your fiddle leaf fig tree will be in paradise there! If you’re unsure which window is best, study the light patterns in your home. If one window gets more natural light than others, that’s probably the best spot for your fiddle leaf fig. These are usually south or west-facing windows.
If you live somewhere that gets hot afternoon sun, you might want to diffuse the light with a sheer curtain or move your plant during this time. Too much direct sunlight can cause scorching.
However, you can acclimate your fiddle leaf fig tree to direct sunlight. Remember, this plant comes from Africa and can handle some sun! Gradually increase the amount of direct sunlight your plant receives and monitor how it responds.
Temperature and Humidity
Your fiddle leaf fig tree will be most comfortable at 60-85°F (15-29°C). Don’t put your plant near extreme heat sources (fires, radiators) or somewhere prone to cold drafts. As for humidity levels, fiddle leaf figs prefer around 30-60%. You can make up for drier air by misting your plant or using a humidifier.
A well-draining potting mix suitable for indoor plants is ideal for your fiddle leaf fig. You can also add perlite or pumice to help with drainage. Avoid potting soils that are too dense and retain too much water, as this can cause root rot.
Finally, your fiddle-leaf fig plant needs room to stretch its roots! Consider repotting it into a larger planter if it’s currently in a plastic nursery pot. Just make sure the new pot has drainage holes and is at least 2-3 inches wider than the current pot.
If you like the pot your tree is currently in but are unsure if it would benefit from a larger container, check for the following signs:
- Roots are showing through the bottom of the pot
- Roots are tightly coiled around each other near the soil surface
- The soil dries out quickly and needs to be watered frequently
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to repot your fiddle leaf fig into a bigger pot.
How to Grow a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Indoors
Fiddle leaf fig trees come from a seed, but growing your own from scratch is not as easy as it sounds. Fiddle leaf fig seeds need a very specific environment to germinate. This can be very difficult to replicate indoors.
You’re best either buying a mature tree or propagating one from an existing tree.
Propagating is just as fun as growing from seed, and you can grow as many trees as you want!
How to Propagate a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
- Using sharp gardening shears, cut a stem off your fiddle leaf fig tree just above a node (where the leaves attach to the stem). The stem should be at least 6 inches long, be disease-free, and have multiple leaves.
- You want to avoid propagating just one leaf. Known as a ‘zombie leaf,’ it’s unlikely to produce more than just some roots. This is because a single leaf doesn’t have a node.
- Put your stem into a clear jar or container of water and place it in a location with bright, indirect light. Change the water every 2-3 days.
- In 4-6 weeks, your stem should have developed roots.
- Once the roots are at least 2 inches long, it’s time to plant your new tree into some well-draining potting mix!
How Often Should You Water a Fiddle Leaf Fig Indoors?
Indoor plants tend to dry out much quicker than outdoor plants. This is due to our home’s dry air and lack of humidity. However, each house is different, meaning a watering schedule is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
You’re best to check the soil moisture of your fiddle leaf fig each week. If the top inch of soil feels dry, give it a good watering. If the soil is still moist, leave it for another day or two before checking again. You can also use a soil moisture meter to check.
Don’t let your fiddle leaf fit sit in excess water, though! If you have a draining tray, empty it out after watering.
Indoor Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plant Care Tips
Aside from making sure your fiddle leaf fig gets enough water, here are some other tips to ensure it stays healthy and thriving.
A diluted liquid fertilizer can help keep your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves green and vibrant.
You can fertilize once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). It’s not necessary to fertilize during the winter months. There are specific fertilizers made for fiddle leaf figs, but any well-balanced fertilizer will do.
If you want a nice, bushy plant with lots of leaves – pruning is your answer. Prune from the top of the main stem and cut just above a leaf node. This will encourage new growth and keep your fiddle leaf fig looking full. Avoid pruning too much, as this can stress the plant.
Fiddle leaf figs love sunlight. Help your tree grow evenly by rotating it every few weeks. This is especially important if you notice one side growing more than the other.
We all know houses accumulate dust. Keep your fiddle leaf fig leaves clean by gently wiping them down with a damp cloth. Do this every week or whenever you notice an accumulation of dust. This will help your plant absorb sunlight more effectively and prevent any pests from making a home on your plant.
Speaking of pests, keep an eye out for spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. These are common pests that can infest fiddle leaf figs. Treat your plant with a natural solution if you notice any signs of these pests – such as discolored or wilting leaves.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Common Issues and Solutions
So long as you provide your fiddle leaf fig with the proper care outlined above, it should stay healthy and happy. But things can happen, and sometimes, our plants can run into issues.
Here are a few potential problems and their solutions:
- Brown spots on leaves: This is usually a sign of overwatering. Remember to monitor the soil moisture rather than sticking to a watering schedule. Cut off any damaged leaves and adjust your watering habits accordingly.
- Bleached leaves: This means your fiddle leaf fig is receiving too much direct sunlight. Move it to a spot with more indirect light.
- Drooping leaves: Leaf drop could be a sign of underwatering or lack of nutrients. Check the soil moisture and consider fertilizing your plant with a balanced fertilizer.
- Yellow leaves: Yellowed leaves usually indicate poor nutrition, lack of sunlight, or bugs – such as fungus gnats. First, check for any signs of an insect infestation. Then, consider if it gets enough light or if it could do with more fertilizer.
Fiddle leaf fig trees are easily kept indoors with the right growing conditions. So long as you water when needed, offer enough sunlight, and address any potential problems, you should have a happy and healthy plant on your hands!
Fiddle leaf fig trees produce fruit when grown in tropical climates, but it’s very rare for indoor fiddle figs to produce fruit.
Fiddle leaf fig trees can reach heights of up to 10 feet indoors! Wild trees can grow even taller, up to 50 feet in their natural habitat.
Yes, fiddle leaf fig trees make great indoor plants if given the right conditions!
Repotting your fiddle leaf fig every 2-3 years is a good idea. If you notice its roots becoming root-bound or if the soil is not draining well, it’s time for a larger pot.