Months before my birthday last year, I told John all I wanted was a fiddle leaf fig tree for our new house. I really had no idea he’d remember, but he did and just a few short days before my birthday, he surprised me with my very own fiddle leaf fig tree!
Apparently, fiddle leaf fig plants are very finicky. Oops. As someone who almost killed my pothos several times, I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task… and that bummed me out because fiddle leaf fig trees are not cheap!
I called my mom and she walked me through some basic houseplant care steps. With her guidance, and conflicting internet suggestions, I set out with a care plan for my sweet fiddle leaf. In hindsight, I’m shocked mine has done so well under my novice care, and knowing how expensive they are and how iffy they can be I would maybe advise against them for a beginner plant (unless you can find a fantastic deal on one).
Fiddle Leaf Fig Care
For the first two months, I had my fiddle leaf fig tree in a south-western facing window, where it received a lot of direct afternoon sun. I kept it in the nursery pot it was purchased in because I was too afraid I’d kill it if I replanted it. I watered it with a cup and a half of water every Sunday morning, and I sprayed it with a water bottle every morning.
From November to January it didn’t seem to do much. It was doing fine, but it wasn’t putting out new leaves. The week after my mom died, I came home to find 2 new baby leaves. Finding the new leaves was like stepping into the sun after a year in the cold. Those little leaves grew quickly that first week and the next week two more popped up! I was so thankful to know my fiddle leaf was doing well – I was clearly doing something right.
Moving a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
Unfortunately, the tree wasn’t in the best place (aesthetically) in the house… and our blind dog kept walking into the pot since it was in the middle of the dining room. I knew I needed to move it, but I was so scared it would hate me for it. They say fiddle leaf fig trees do not like to be moved. Once they settle into a spot, it’s best to leave them.
I reluctantly rolled it to the other side of my house, right inside of a north-eastern facing window. I kept up the same care – a cup and a half of water on Sundays, daily spritzes of water for humidity, and I didn’t replant it. It seemed to thrive in it’s new spot – and after a month of being there, it put out another new leaf.
Repotting a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
In the middle of March, I decided it was time to repot it. I went to the nursery and asked them what potting soil they recommended for it. The nursery pharmacist pointed me to a basic houseplant potting mix (which kind of shocked me). Purely frightened, I carefully removed the nursery pot and set my tree inside its new ceramic home. The nursery pot was 12 inches, so I went with a ceramic pot that was 14 inches. It is not recommended to repot a plant in a planter that is more than 2 inches larger than the previous.
Back in the same spot near the window, I decided it would be prime time to fertilize it for the first time. I used MiracleGro All Purpose Plant Food (affiliate link) and it grew 4 more leaves over the next month and a half!
Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Basics
So, here are the things I’d recommend to someone with his/her first fiddle leaf fig tree:
Choose one day a week, and make that your “watering day” so you don’t forget. My fiddle leaf fig loves a schedule! Depending on the size of your tree (or bush!), water 1-2 cups of water each week. My tree is over 5 feet tall, so right now I’m watering 1.5-2 cups.
Depending on where you’re located, humidity may not be an issue for you, but it is a consistent 16% humidity in my house (low!). Most houseplants thrive in humidity, which makes sense considering a lot of them come from the rainforest. To make up for the lack of moisture in the air, I spray the leaves of my fiddle leaf each morning. I set a reminder on my watch so that I never miss a misting. I spray the leaves until they’re just dripping slowly with water.
From what I’ve read, and my experience, I believe fiddle leaf fig trees thrive the best in very bright, but filtered light. Although my tree performed well in the south facing window, I noticed the leaves look much happier in the north facing window. It gets morning light as opposed to evening light and I think that made a difference.
The last little tidbit I think you should know is that fiddle leaf fig trees totally sense your love… Yes, I realize this is cheesy, but that’s why I think mine has done so well. I truly adore this plant and it brings me so much joy! I hope you find as much joy with your new fiddle leaf fig tree as I have. Happy Planting!