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Fiddle Leaf Fig

Scientific Name

Ficus lyrata


Fiddle-leaf fig, FLF

Origins / Hardiness Zones

Tropical western Africa / 10-12 USDA


The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a veritable houseplant icon. Admired for their stately tree-like form with distinctly lobed leaves that resemble a violin (their namesake, a fiddle). The prominent veins and cheerful, bright green hue of the leaves also contribute to their striking appearance. Fiddle-leaf figs can be finicky at times, but they thrive with proper conditions and care. They need warmth, humidity, a lot of bright, indirect light. Even though they love water, watch out for overwatering.

Light Needs

Water Schedule


Humidity Levels




Aim for a humidity level between 30-65%. If you need to supplement humidity, mist your plant with clean water in a spray bottle daily. Or you can place it on a tray of pebbles filled with water, as long as the bottom of the pot isn’t touching the water. Plus, fiddle-leaf figs can benefit from being in a room with a humidifier.

FLF leaves are mildly toxic to pets and humans. Ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting. Some people experience skin irritation when handling the sap.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig require bright, indirect light and lots of it, but will enjoy brief exposure to direct light . FLFs that are kept in very low light conditions will fail to grow rapidly.

Fiddle-leaf figs like a moderate amount of moisture in the soil. If the plant doesn’t get enough water, its leaves will wilt and lose their bright green color. And if it gets too much water, the plant might drop its leaves and suffer from root rot, which ultimately can kill it. During the growing season (spring to fall), water your fiddle-leaf fig when the top inch of soil feels dry. And over the winter months, water slightly less.

Fiddle-leaf figs don’t like extreme temperature fluctuations. A room that’s between 60°F and 85°F is typically fine, though you must position the plant away from drafty areas, as well as air-conditioning and heating vents. These can cause sudden temperature shifts.

These plants don’t have serious pest or disease issues, but they can be prone to spider mites, scale, and bacterial or fungal diseases. With these issues, you might notice leaf damage, such as spots or dark patches, as well as small bugs on the leaves. Treat the issue as soon as possible with an appropriate fungicide, pesticide, or other remedy. And make sure your plant has adequate air circulation and isn’t sitting in overly damp conditions, which can help to prevent future problems.

If you pruned your FLF to encourage branching, you can also propagate with that stem cutting! This will be an apical stem cutting (the top of the stem where there is new growth). Trim the stem back a bit, if needed, leaving a decent section with 3-4 leaves and make the cut just below the lowest leaf. Remove the lower leaves to ensure a clear stem before rooting in water or another medium. FLFs are a bit more stubborn to root that other plants, so it can be helpful to dip the cut stem in rooting hormone first. Once the roots are a few inches long you can pot up your new Fiddle Leaf.

Plan to repot a young fiddle-leaf fig annually every spring. Select a sturdy container that is roughly 2 inches larger in diameter than the existing one. Gently loosen the plant from its current pot, lift it out while supporting its base, and place it in the new pot. Fill in the spaces around the plant with potting mix.
Once the plant is mature, it likely will be too large to repot. In that case, remove the first few inches of soil each spring and replace it with fresh soil.

Fertilize throughout the growing season with a high-nitrogen plant food, following label instructions. There are fertilizers specially made for fiddle-leaf figs available. You generally won’t have to feed your plant over the winter.

A fiddle-leaf fig plant can be sensitive to its environment and watering schedule, so when something is off, you can tell by the behavior of its leaves. The plant can develop spots on leaves or drop leaves, sometimes at a fast rate. Be on the lookout for the first signs of leaf distress.

FLFs are known to lean toward the sun so give your plant a little turn every few waterings to promote well-balanced growth. Also, every week or two dust the leaves with a damp cloth. Not only does this make the leaves appear shinier and more appealing, but it also allows more sunlight to hit the leaves for photosynthesis. Moreover, you can trim off any damaged or dead leaves as they arise, as they no longer benefit the plant. And if you wish, you can prune off the top of the main stem for a bushier growth habit.




Pests / Diseases

Common Problems



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