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How to Care for Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) comes by its moniker appropriately because of its large, fiddle-shaped leaves. Also known as the Broad-Leaved Indian Rubber Tree, the fiddle leaf fig is the big leaf beauty of the indoor plant world. The fiddle leaf fig is a durable plant and will remain lush and green for many years with just a bit of tender loving care.

Put the fiddle leaf fig where it will be in moderately bright light for at least six to eight hours every day. Rotate the fiddle leaf fig plant once every week or two so it will grow straight and won't lean toward the sun. Don't put fiddle leaf fig close to windows that get hot, afternoon sunlight.

Allow the fiddle leaf fig plant to dry out between waterings. Water only when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch.

Place the fiddle leaf fig where it will be protected from air conditioners, heat vents or drafty windows. Exposure to drafts or hot air can cause the plant to drop its leaves.

Dust the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig as needed with a soft cotton cloth. Dusting the leaves will make the fiddle leaf fig more attractive and allow them to absorb more light.

Prune the fiddle leaf fig in the spring to encourage the plant to branch out with a more bushy appearance. Wear gloves when pruning fiddle leaf fig because the sap can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions in some people.

Fertilize the fiddle leaf fig plant every three to four weeks during spring and summer with a liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to 50 percent strength. Dilute the fertilizer to 25 percent strength in September, and withhold fertilizer completely between October and January. Fertilize with 25 percent strength again in February, then return to 50 percent strength in March.


Things You Will Need

  • Soft cotton cloth
  • Pruning shears
  • Liquid houseplant fertilizer


  • Don't water the fiddle leaf fig on a set schedule because its water needs depend on sunlight and room temperature.
  • Pruning the fiddle leaf fig is especially effective when the plant is young.

About the Author


M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.