How to Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant

Overview

Fiddle-leaf fig, known botanically as Ficus iyrata, is a species of tropical evergreen tree prized for its large glossy, green leaves that are in the shape of a fiddle or violin. As a tropical tree, fiddle-leaf figs can be grown outdoors, year round in climates where ambient temperatures never drop roughly 68 degrees F. They are often grown as indoor plants year round.

Step 1

Water your fiddle-leaf fig tree consistently to keep the planting soil evenly moist, never allowing it to completely dry out beyond the top 1/2 inch or so of soil. Do not over water to the point the soil is constantly wet. The plant prefers a humid environment if possible.

Step 2

Grow your fiddle-leaf fig in a full-sun to light-shade exposure when grown outdoors, or in partial sunlight and bright, indirect light when grown indoors.

Step 3

Fertilize your fiddle-leaf fig with several feedings each year of a slow-release, complete granular fertilizer with a guaranteed nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium analysis of 10-10-10 or 12-12-12. Apply according to label directions around the base of the tree and water in well to drench the soil to a depth of 6 inches.

Step 4

Prune away any damaged, dead, discolored or diseased leaves with secateurs and discard the leaves.

Step 5

Wipe down the large glossy leaves periodically with a clean cloth dipped in a very weak solution of mild dish soap and tepid water to remove dust and grime on the leaves and prevent the interruption of photosynthesis.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Mild dish soap
  • Clean, soft cloth
  • Secateurs

References

  • Washington & Jefferson College: Fiddle-Leaf Fig
  • University of Georgia: Gardening in Containers Using Tropical Plants
Keywords: fiddle leaf fig, ficus carya tree, caring for ficus

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.