Indoor Fiddle Leaf Fig care tips

The Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is commonly used as an indoor potted plant. It is relatively easy to care for, has large beautiful leaves and has a slow rate of growth. In this post I will list seven tips for caring for this tree species in an indoor environment as well as links to sites with more information.

Tip #One
Make sure your plant has right amount of light. Abundant but not direct light is recommended. Too little light will cause the plant to loose leaves and thin out. It also tends to grow towards the light giving the impression that it is leaning. Rotate the plant every so often to keep it growing straight and to ensure bushiness.

Tip #Two
Don´t over water the plant. The Fiddle leaf fig does well with short dry periods between waterings. The frequency of watering depends on the amount of light the plant gets. One good way to determine how often you should water is to let the pot dry out until the new growth at the top begins to wilt slightly. Calculate the time that elapsed from the last watering and subtract a day or two to determine the ideal frequency of watering. This way you will be watering the plant just before it starts to wilt the next time.
Read more at...
http://www.farmlifenursery.com/Web%20pages/Lyrata%20care.htm

Tip #Three
Prune to encourage branching and bushiness. The Fiddle leaf fig tends to grow a tall single stem when indoors. This long stem will normally not be able to keep itself upright and will require some sort of support. To encourage a more "tree like" form prune the plant at a desirable hight while the plant is still fairly young. It is recommended to do this in early spring before the new growth forms.
Read more at...
http://www.marketblooms.com/plantcare/pdf/FiddleLeafFig.pdf


Tip #Four
Be careful not to expose the plant to dry heat or drafts. Like other Ficus tree plants the Fiddle leaf fig has a tendency to drop its leaves when exposed to too much dry heat or drafts and go into a sort of dormant recovery mode for a period of time. Some figs such as the Sacred Fig will do this as part of their normal growth cycle just prior to the growth of new leaves.

Tip # Five
Clean the dust of the leaves once in a while to allow the plant to absorb as much light as possible. Often in indoor settings a layer of dust builds up on the leaves without our being aware of it and reduces the effective light that the plant gets. Every so often gently clean the leaves of with a soft cloth. Don´t try to do this with your hands as rubbing the leaves can damage them slightly and cause them to bleed little drops of white milky sap. Use latex gloves if you are allergic to this plant.

Tip #Six
Move your plant to an outdoor setting during the summer so that it can get more light. If you do this however transition it back indoors gradually at the end of the summer to avoid shocking the plant.

Tip #Seven
Trim the roots every year or two. The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a tree capable of growing to 40-50 feet tall with a normal root system for a tree that size. When roots grow in a small container they have little room to grow in and end up wrapping around the base of the container or growing out the bottom of the pot. Trimming the root system back during the dormant season will help keep the plant growth slow and will help maintain healthy roots.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg0718401415535.html

http://plantcareguru.com/plant_care/fiddle_leaf_fig.php


Over the years I have focused on taking pictures of trees and focusing on the interesting details and facts about trees.  My two son's have grown up watchin their dad take pictures of trees and often going along on hikes to find some new tree.  Now my oldest son has taken an active interest in photography and has created his own website.  Manuel Livingstone Photogrpahy.

128 comments:

  1. This article answered important questions, however I acquired mine with all the leaves gone for 4 feet. Is it possible to cut the top off, use root stimulator and use the cut off top to make a new plant, while leaving the rooted section to heal over and shoot new leaves.

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    1. You don't even need the root hormone or stimulator, I've also done it by just putting in water.

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    2. i had the same problem. started fertilizing w/ diet coke / once per week.
      6 yrs later i have a 15' tree.

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  2. I´m not an expert in these question but I think that the success of what you are asking would depend of several factors. 1) The climate where you live - the closer it is to a tropical climate the better the chances of the top section taking root. 2) for the bottom section how many leaves would you leave on the stem - too few and it will most likely not survive - if you leave 3-5 leaves and the plant is healthy there is a good chance it will from new branches. At any rate if you do decide to replant the top section I would leave it propped up in a container with water and root stimulator solution for about 7-10 days to spur root growth before you plant it in soil.

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  3. How do you trim back the roots?

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  4. You can treat your indoor potted tree a lot like a bonsai. Here is a good link that describes root pruning...

    http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/rootprun.htm

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  5. I was wondering about the possibility of keeping a north american maple tree indoors. My daughter, odly enough named Rain, has succesfully sprouted a maple seed and its growing In a glass with dirt from out side, It seems to be growing rather fast, any suggestion's?

    We are in orion MI.

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  6. Trever - you can keep a Maple tree indoors but you are effectively converting it into a bonsai tree. In order for your little tree to survive you should follow the instructions that can be found on many Bonsai websites.

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  7. My plant leafs keep dropping off. Many of them have a big brown spot on them. I do not know what to do. I have had the plant for a month. Help?

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  8. I have the same problem. I received my fiddle leaf fig a month ago and the leaves are turning brown and dropping. I have been over watering but I'm also fearful of underwatering.

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  9. I've had the SAME THING happen with mine and I don't know what to do...

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    1. One can't know the history of plants one buys. Have they been shocked already? One needs patience, don't fuss, and having decided on a place for a new plant try not to shift it again thus shocking it AGAIN! What is needed is TLC for a while until the newcomer acclimatises - he writes ... I've killed enough tropical plants in my heated glass house. One can only learn by trial and error. And seeking advice. Perseverance is always worthwhile. A plant I thought dead recently sprouted again after SIX MONTHS! Must have got fed up with apiting me. I get more pleasure in my senility from my plants than most other things!

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  10. From what I have seen both over watering and under watering can cause ficus leaves to spot and fall off. These trees are rather sensitive to their conditions. Sudden changes can cause them to go into shock. Things such as re-potting, aggressive pruning, change in watering habits, change in location, very hot or very cold temps etc. I am curious by the fact that we have three similar comments between the 3rd and 14th of August. I suspect that heat or direct sunlight may be playing a role this time of year. Or perhaps the soil is drying out faster than it usually does. Or maybe you are over watering to compensate for the heat?

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  11. My plant is outside. It is very large and has fruit. Is the fruit edible?

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  12. i have one that i have seprated and it was probly six feet tall and i cut off the top and planted it in with the rest of the fig and its growing very slowly. i think tht this plant looks like small elephant ears

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  13. is it possible to graft small branches onto the loower section of bare trunk?

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  14. I moved my tree outdoors for the Summer, on my front porch, where it has thrived and even sprouted new branches. However, the past week all new leaves have a red, spotty-looking mold or fungus on them and it is spreading quickly. Any idea what this could be? I live in SW Missouri and it has been cooler and very humid lately.
    Thanks for any input!

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  15. I am considering buying a fiddle fig tree but I'm worried about the amount of light it will receive. The room I plan to place it in does not get any direct sunlight. Has anyone used plant lights to keep their trees healthy? If you have what types of bulbs have been successful and how long do you keep the light on each day?

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  16. I keep mine on a covered patio during the summer (near Philadelphia) and they do great growing 2-3 feet per summer. I mist the leaves extensively and don't worry about over watering. the problem is in the winter - what to do with a 7ft tree in the house? I've cut the tops off and planted them. 1 (now 5ft tall) in the first 7 made it, but 3 of the last 4 are doing ok. Tips for cuttings: great drainage, rooting hormone, mist, wait 2 months.

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  17. I am not having much luck with my tree. All the leaves are turning brown and dropping. It went from a full lush looking tree to a stalk with two dozen leaves. I cut back on the watering giving it a drying time. I even repotted it. It is stationed in a windo, that has filtered light. What else can I do to this poor little guy to bring him back to the beauty he once was. Please feel free to email me direct. Joey

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  18. I just divided my fiddle into 3 separate trees any advise on after care

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  19. When I trim a longer stem as in Tip #3 can I get it to root in water and grow a new plant with it?

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  20. You can purchase a product at your local garden center to spur root growth (rooting hormone). It is normally I liquid concentrate with two options. One is a higher concentrate for a single dip of your cutting. The other is a lesser concentrate for a longer soaking before you plant the cutting. I have used this with a Ficus Elastica cutting and it worked great.

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  21. Hi! Most of the leaves on my plant have large dry brown splotches at the tips. This is both on the new growth and existing growth. For a while the plant was dropping leaves, but not anymore. Now it actually looks quite full and healthy, except for the brown bits. It's in front of a western exposure window, so it gets afternoon sun. As for the leaves with the brown bits... Some are shiny/green and some are dryer looking. I water the plant when the soil is dry on top, but just moist about a inch down. The plant itself is in pot with good drainage. Any ideas on how to get rid of the brown bits?

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  22. I doubt that you can get rid of brown splotches on individual leaves. I think that the best you can hope for is to keep it from spreading to the new un-splotched leaves.

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  23. I'm having the same problem as everyone else. Big brown spots and leaves dropping off. This is actually my 2nd fig tree I've purchased. First one completely died. the first one I may have overwatered, so I'm watering much less, but the same thing is happening. All the leaves are drooping and they are falling off. I don't want to lose another fig tree but I cannot figure out how to keep this thing alive. It gets indirect light.

    -Lisa

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  24. I love this site!

    I thought I was crazy w/ the dropping or spotting leaves; underwatering, overwatering. Now I know I just have to be more careful.....

    Thanks for all the great tips!

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  25. I see I am not alone with leaves dropping and brown spots on the leaves. I thought they were dropping because of little water so I'm giving it more water and pray this works. My dirt is try, I don't see any new growth either. How well do they live/survive in Connecticut during the winter months with the inside temp at 68 degrees? What is a good food for them? Any additional information from you would be appreciated. Kathleen

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  26. I just received a branch off one of my customer's plant. They have two HUGE plants and I wanted to see if I could start one. Do I start it with the Root Hormone in water or do I immediately put in in a pot? If I put in water do I wait until roots start growing and then plant it? I do want this to work.
    Thanks, Pat

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  27. Pat, I would start with the root hormone treatment first and then plant it in a pot. Locate in a spot with lots of light and keep the soil moist. Keep it away from freezing temps.

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  28. Thank you so much for such a quick response.

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  29. Can the Fiddle Leaf Fig get sunburned. I live in Arizona and put my plant outside. The leaves that got direct sun turned red.

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    Replies
    1. Yes...I did it in Florida ...was dusting & set it out to rinse it & left it out 24 hrs. OOPS

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  30. Does anyone know how to stimulate new leaf growth on the fiddle fig tree branches where leaves have fallen off and the branches' surfaces have gotten hard? Thank you!

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  31. I have 3 fiddle leaf trees and they were always dropping leaves. I cut them all back and started using Plant Nannies from Napa Style. All my trees are going lush and beautiful and I only have to refill the wine bottle once every week or two to water them. They seems to really like being watered this way.

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  32. I have fiddle tree about 3 feet tall with two main trunks. Can it be separated into two trees?

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  33. It is possible to separate your split trunk tree into two trees but it there is a significant risk that one of them won´t make it. You could cut off one of the stems, give it a root hormone treatment and then plant it in its own pot. If all goes well the second tree should take root.

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  34. I have a f.l.f. that seems to be healthy but has not grown in the year that I have owned it.
    It is about 3 feet high and sits in a 8" pot. Should I repot it into a larger pot to encourage it to grow?

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  35. What about bugs on fiddle-leaf plants. Mine seems to have a scale problem and I can't get rid of them. It is only a few monts old.

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  36. i have a fiddle leaf fig tree, and just now found out what it was, THANK YOU!! it is now about 8 feet tall and now sprouting more branches.

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  37. I live in north Louisiana and would LOVE to plant my ficus fiddle leaf fig outside. Could this be possible? We just had a cold winter...temperature actually was in the twenties several times.

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  38. My Fiddle Leaf Fig does not like freezing temps at all! I had moved it out a bit too soon this spring and had to move it back inside when the cold started damaging the leaves.

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  39. My Fiddle Leaf Fif was a beautiful 5 ft tree when I purchased it 6 wks ago.
    Roots were exposed in the soil so I repotted it to the next size container. It is receiving indirect sunlight in the afternoon.
    The leaves have been continually turning brown and falling off. I am afraid I will lose the whole tree. What should I do? Kathy

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  40. Kathy, it sounds like your tree has gone into shock. Ficus trees are known to have a shock reaction to certain changes in their environment. If I were you I would try not to panic. More changes to the plants environment will likely just produce more shock. Your timing for the pot change might not have been the best but if you just follow the tips in this post and let the plant "rest" for a month or two it might start growing leaves again.

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  41. Hi Dan, Thanks for all the tips. We just purchased a 6' Fiddleleaf and I need some advise. We live in the high desert and our home is very dry; refrigerated air and forced gas air heat, so that all of our plants dry out at an incredible rate. Would misting the tree help? And is there something I could add to the potting soil to help retain moisture? Susan NM

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  42. Susan, I also live in a dry climate. With my Fiddleleaf fig I have used a product from Rain Bird called "Irrigation Supplement (IS)" which is water bound in the form of a solid gel. I placed the perforated tube down close to the roots and this way did not have to water very often at all even through the hot summer days. In my case at least this kept my plant quite happy.

    http://www.rainbird.com/pdf/turf/ts_RBIS-Indoor.pdf

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  43. I have a flf that is around 54 years old. I have had it about 20 years. It has lost all the leaves of one of the stalks. About a year ago I staked it with a copper pipe, my husband says you can kill a tree with a penny. Does anyone know about this? Could the copper be doing damage?

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely NO copper near roots.

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  44. Hi...I hope you can help. The tips of many of the leaves on my fiddle leaf fig are turning brown. Can you tell me what I may be doing wrong? Thanks for your time! Kristi

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  45. Kristi, My guess is that your tree may have gotten too dry at some point for longer than the tree could withstand. Even if you water it later and keep it moist the affected leaves will remain damaged.

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  46. My FIF has very tiny brown spots on all the new growth. Place I bought it from said to check for spider mites; no evidence of them. Could this be from too much light? Overwatering? Help!

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  47. I had my fig leaf plant for more than two years. It has holes in the leaves that could be caused through insect bites I repotted it and new leaves appearred at the to as well as new thin branches with leaves at the bottom near the trunk. Even some of the new leaves developed holes. I looked for insects but can't find any.
    Any advise would be appreciated.
    Renee
    billrenee@cox.net

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  48. Do FLF plants bear fruit???

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  49. If the conditions are right, yes. As an indoor plant not usually.

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  50. Dan...I appreciate your advice, what a great service you provide! Thanks so much for your time, Kristi

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  51. I've been trying to figure out why my FLF is developing brown splotches on some of its leaves. Only have it about a month. Water once a week. After researching, I believe my FLF is not getting enough light. I have it in an indirect light area, but there are other plants surrounding it which are also taking up some of the light. Try moving to a more lighted situation.

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  52. Hi Dan,

    1.This is such a wonderful and informative blog, thank you so much.

    2. Like others my leaves browned and fell off at an incredible rate this summer. I have moved it closer to the window and it is much healthier (an entirely new branch of leaves has sprouted).

    But, nearly all the branches (there are 10)now hold only a single leaf at their very tip.... it is really quite sad looking :(

    You recommend to prune in the spring, but with so many bare branches in September I'm wondering if It would be alright to prune now and how much I should prune back in order to make room/ stimulate new leaf growth?

    Thank you for your time and assistance.
    Best,
    Kristine from Brooklyn

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  53. Kristine from Brooklyn,

    Thanks for your encouragement. My Fiddle Leaf Fig also went through a crisis period this late spring early summer with a number of leaves falling off and some of the new leaves developing brown spots. In response I moved it to location with a lot of sunlight but never direct. I also increased the frequency of watering and increased the feeding. It took a while but gradually my plant started to recover. Towards mid to late summer it starting to grow good healthy looking leaves although there is a bare part of the stem where most of last years leaves fell off.

    With respect to your question about when to prune I believe the ideal time is in the spring before any new growth but a fall pruning might do. In your case I would be a bit nervous about adding stress to your already stressed plant. If it is trying to recover you might set it back by pruning it while it is weak.

    Hope this helps!

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  54. I received my flf 4 years ago when my husband passed away, so I really don't want to lose it. I read all the posts and can certainly identify with most of them. I learned a good deal, but too late. I didn't know to prune mine when it was young. It is now 4 years older (was 4ft tall when I got it)and is 6ft tall, with 6 thin upright stems. Three of the stems have a small branch below the 3ft level. Do you think it would be ok to cut those above the branch? If so how much above? What about the 3 that haven't branched? Could I cut them lower to try to get fullness lower? I looked for something to stake it and almost bought something copper. Is that really bad? Thanks so much for any input. Connie

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  55. Why do some of my leaves on the flf have holes in them?

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  56. Hello there Dan - I have a Fiddleleaf that I just bought about a month ago and it seems to be doing great. I want to take very good care of it - how should I feed it? The roots are slightly exposed but the woman I bought it from said she replanted it over the summer and pruned it last spring, so I don't want to disturb it too much. Also, it is near a window and gets direct light for part of the day. Should I water it more? The soil seems dry to me...thank you! Glad to see people who love this tree as much as I do! Happy holidays - Julia

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  57. need to know how to treat my plant that is freeze damaged

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  58. I was given two stalks last spring. I put both in plain water and both developed roots after 2-3 months. I planted them next together in a pot. But I wonder after looking at your photo if I should have potted them separately.

    Also, both stalks have continued to sprout new growth but one, only one leaf, developed splotchy red spots on the underside. Is this a problem.

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  59. I bought an 8' indoor potted fiddle leaf fig tree on November 2010. The past couple of weeks (early February 2011) leaves started to fall off. I have high ceilings and a skylight which I thought would provide ample light but I think it still might need more light. Do you think the leaves are falling off because of lack of light or lack of watering? Thanks.

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  60. Thanks for sharing the crucial tips.
    Very useful indeed.

    Keep up the good work.
    Once again Thank you.

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  61. Hi Dan; Please help me,
    I have had my fig leaf plant for about a year in the same spot. It was thriving and beautiful. There are about 4 branches and the leaves are not turning brown, they are just falling off. The plant is about 6ft tall and it was a gift. How do I save it?

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  62. Hey Dan, I hope this post is still alive. I Love my Fig tree! It has been with me for 20 years. But all of a sudden, it has become sick looking. I have taken great care of him. Re potting, root trimming, everything your supposed to do. I live in a cold climate, Chicago.And I just moved him outside. But the holes in the leaves, and getting super brown. I'm worried. This plant is like a child to me! I need to save, and protect him.Is it mites? Or disease? What can I do?

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  63. The browning of the leaves could possibly be due to over-watering. In contrast under-watering tends to cause the plant to drop leaves. I´m wondering if the leaves in question are new leaves or ones that have been on the plant for a number of years. Like all trees, leaves are not permanent and will eventually fall off. I don´t know what the typical life span of a Fiddle leaf fig leaf is. On my plant the older leaves show quite a lot of evidence of age with scars, dried up edges here and there and an occasional hole. Temperature and exposure to drafts might also be factor.

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  64. My leaves of my FLF are drooping down...verticle with the trunk. This happened about 4 weeks ago. Does it need more light.
    Sid

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  65. Does anyone know where i can find one? I live in upstate New York and can not find them in any stores. Thanks for any help offered.

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  66. Hi Dan, I have had my fig leaf for about two years, and it's grown about three feet, however now I am seeing two problems. It seems as if it is getting spider mites as well as small mushrooms growing out around it. Please advise me on what to do. I was told to change the soil and rub each leaf with alcohol. I rather your advise instead. Thank You

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  67. Regarding spider mites or aphids if you are dealing with just one plant I would brush the little bugs off leaf by leaf and crush them. On a Fiddle leaf fig they are most likely preferring the new leaves and should not be too hard to get rid of without resorting to insecticides. As for the small mushrooms thats a bit more of puzzle. Mushrooms often have symbiotic relationships with trees and can be very beneficial. Or it might be some sort of fungus that is attacking your plant?? I would just wait and see how the Ficus reacts. Check out this link...

    www.permies.com

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  68. Hi Dan,
    We bought an a fiddle fig tree a year and a half ago around the end of August. We live in NY so the climate is seasonal and the only place we found to accomodate for light is on a west window and receives a substantial amount of light. The leaves were doing great up until early spring when it gradually dropped; some were caused by the leaves turning yellow and brown. Eventually around the month of July, it looked like only a single stem had leaves. We read some of the postings and took the suggestions by placing it outdoors. It grew to about 4 inches more in height, but no new growth of branches has formed nor leaves. We've trie every option from adding new soil, putting it close to the window, waiting to water until its dry, cleaning the leaves gently, and avoid moving it too much. Please help! We love this plant, but we've run out of options. We still want to keep it if we could, except that we're doubtful that new branches and leaves will form.

    Thanks!!!

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  69. I had a similar situation with a Fiddle Leaf Fig this last year. Something had cause the plant to shed most of its leaves leaving a bare stem with just one leaf at the tip. After trying a number of things I decided to prune the plant back to where the leaves had started falling off. For several months nothing happened but then a new shoot began to form and in the span of a few months the plant completely regained its vigor. I´m not saying this is a fix for every situation but it did work for me.

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  70. my FLF is about 6' tall and, while it's next to two big windows, does not get direct sunlight- i hesitate to bring it outside at all because we live in LA and I think the direct sun and heat will shock it. I have discovered some sort of worm in the soil... any ideas for a remedy?
    Thanks!

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  71. Its funny they say this tree is easy to care for but I find my orchids to be a lot easier.
    I too have had my fiddle leaf fig tree close to 20 years and it goes thru the same cycle as everyone else's:-Brown spots and leaves fall off. I used to get so upset! During a shopping trip to a near by mall I noticed there were hundreds of these trees all around inside and they were gorgeous bright green so I took a closer look and noticed the soil was very loose and dry. I figured if these were so beautiful and they seemed sort of unattended I should do that too. This is what I find works for me: Lots of light, feed every three months (I use Osmocote) you can get it any where Target, Walmart Ace etc and let it dry in between watering. I also replant it every other year with new soil. I live in Mass and we have cold long winters so when summer comes around usually at the end of June I take my tree outside until first signs of fall...end of Aug? by then my tree is full with new leaves. Oh, and for the person asking where to find one I usually see them in Walmart in the summer for around $10.

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  72. Great posts... I have a friend in the Dallas Area that has a FLF and it amazingly fills his two story family room with lots of light. He has many branches supported by strings to keep them from falling over. Several trunks and/or branches actually go up to the ceiling and sprawl outward. We want a self supporting specimen as it ages. Our FLF, which we bought 6 months ago 3 ft tall has now grown to 6 ft tall in our room. It appears extremely healthy, but don't want the "falling over" syndrome which is beginning to occur as we rotate it. This plant came as a 6-trunk specimen, one trunk has gone nuts, it is soon to be lopped off. Is this the best course of action...? Obi..Dan..Kenobi... you're our only hope.

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  73. All this care and concern is humerous to me - you will see why...My mom gave me my fiddle leaf in 1977 when I got my apartment. It has survived in only its second pot, with a couple of sticks of Miracle-Gro every few months, getting watered weekly. The top layer over the dirt is made of rocks and shells from my travels. I got on this site because tonight I discovered that each stem is bearing fruit! - for the first time in 34 years - I had no idea that was possible! This tree has survived 4 moves and a husband and is still only about 6ft tall, has about 3 main trunks and quite a few branches which I wire to a pole, and loses and replaces about 10 leaves a year. I just love it!

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  74. I thought mine was old. Rescued it from an A&P in 1982. I have to cut mine back each year due to its rapid growth which has been over 20ft. or so. Its in its 3rd pot and just likes to be left alone. I did not know they beared fruit.!!

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  75. I recently bought one of these and I love it...it's growing the best of any of my houseplants, I don't know if the conditions are just right for it or if it's easy to grow, but it looks great and is growing fast too! It hasn't dropped a single leaf and the leaves look very healthy.

    Take a peek at two pictures: July 17th and October 17th...three months and it's grown a lot!

    I have it in a window that gets bright indirect sun all day long, with a few hours of some direct sun in the afternoon. It's in the shadier part of this window though, blocked from most of the direct sunlight. In the summer, when the light was brighter, I kept it out of direct sunlight. The temperature on the windowsill gets down to about 58 at night but usually not any colder.

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  76. Are there different types? I have one with smooth leaves and one with wavy leaves.

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  77. Hello! I need help with my FLF that I just purchased 5 days ago. I have a bit of a black thumb and when I explain all that I've done to the poor plant....you'll shake your head and will probably want to scold me!

    It's 8 feet tall - to fit in my living room, I've pruned the top so it wouldn't be smashed by the ceiling. I asked the nursery attendant how to prune my FLF and she advised - "Just Chop the top off!". I did just that and covered the cut with a wet paper towel to help with the sap bleed.

    I then repotted into a larger planter with soil & peat moss mixed in - after I removed the plant from the temporary plastic container, I removed some of the old soil and began cutting around the edge -trimming away roots around the outside adn trimming the bottom as well.

    I'm so afraid that I've caused too much trauma to my poor FLF and I want to be proactive in helping it in any way I can. Can anyone tell me how hardy the FLF is and if anyone knows if it will survive my "attack"? Is there anything I should do it now?

    It's in a bright room with indirect sunlight, house is kept at a constant 70 degrees, I reside in zone 7 (Maryland). It's too soon to tell since no leaves have fallen yet and it's only been about 5 days.

    Thank you everyone!

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  78. Cindy, It does sound like you may have given your plant quite a shock. Then again any one of the things that you did might have sent it into shock by itself. The only thing that I can tell you is that when I pruned my FLF earlier this year it took a rather long time before it started to grow again. It seemed to need a prolonged period of rest before it came out of its dormant stage and began to show signs of life. In all honesty I thought that I done it in but after about two months it started growing more vigorously than before. If you plant does survive I suspect that it will start to grow again in the Spring when it get more hours of light.

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  79. Hi,
    I live by the New York area where the weather now is quite cold. I've wanted to get this plant for a long time but I'm also told that I should keep it away from any drafts. Since, it is cold now and the heater is working, can I still manage to support the growth of a fiddle fig if I put it about 2 feet away from a draft and out facing the window for maximum sun? please help. Thanks!

    Kristine

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  80. Hi There:

    Like Kristine, I live in the New York area. I'm actually in an apartment in Manhattan. I have decent light but the heat/ cold issue is a problem. The heat in my building, as in many, goes on whenever it gets below a certain temp and stays on. To compensate for this dry heat I leave the window cracked about an inch. SO now I have both dry heat and a draft source! My plant is four feet away from this heater/ open window death combo... any tips on how my plant can survive the winter with my freezing myself with an open window?

    Thanks,
    Andrea

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  81. I think I would be more concerned about the cold draft from a cracked window than about the dry heat. If you have radiator heat then I think that 1-2 feet of separation should be fine. I compensate for the dryness in the air by watering more often to make sure that the soil does not completely dry out at any time.

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  82. How do you get multiple branches on one stalk??

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  83. I have just discovered something called ficus alisto on the street ( I live in SF) and it looked dead, med tree, no leaves, but I took it in because many of my plants are rescues. I watered it and put it in a sunny warm room with my other ficus, a rubber plant and a fiddle leaf fig that are doing very well, and it has already sprouted leaves out the ends.
    However I can't find any info on the type of plant, which was printed on a label on the pot, a nursery pot from Nurseman's Exchange, whatever that is.
    Is it misnamed? Is there no ficus alisto? Perhaps it is a ficus benjamin? It does look a little like that except the root ball isn't all bulgy

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  84. I know of no Ficus species by the name of "Ficus alisto".

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  85. Dan, I have a 20 year old fiddle leaf and it is too large. It is indoors so can I prune it anytime or is it best to wait for spring. I live in the northeast and it is winter. Where on the branches would I prune it?

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  86. It is generally recommended to prune during the tree´s dormant period so if you live in the northern hemisphere now would probably be a good time. The question of where on the branch to cut depends a bit on the health of the branch and where you would like to see new branches grow. If a branch is dead, damaged or diseased then it should probably be cut off right were it branches off. If you want to see a new branch grow then you should cut about 1-2cm after the second or third leaf (or leaf scar).

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  87. Can Ophelia, the Fiddle leaf fig be rooted in just water from a cutting? Details would help. Thx.

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  88. Hi Dan - Like some of the other posters I am also in NYC in a small, south-facing apartment with radiator (steam) heat. I got my poor 8 ft FLF in December and it immediately dropped half its leaves in the first three weeks. I soaked it with lots of water and let it be and it seemed to recover for a couple months. It was doing ok until a week ago when I returned from a long weekend trip and it had dropped about 15 more and continuing (3-5/day).

    The leaves go brown on the ends and dry in a sort of splotchy fashion. My apartment is definitely low-light but the plant is near two 5-ft windows (albeit ground floor) so I think that should be fine.

    What is the best way to water this plant? I am not sure if I am over or under-watering...the top soil dries out after 1 day when I give the plant a half-gallon. Should I soak it, but less frequently or give it less water on a daily basis?

    Thanks for your help - I am down to the last few leaves and looking for some hope!!

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  89. Becky, the most likely cause of your plant dropping leaves is a combination of low light and the soil getting too dry between watering. It does not sound like you can do much about the light but one thing that has worked well for me is to use "Rainbird Gel Packs" to give the plant a constant supply of water without the side effects of over-watering. With a gel pack in place I still water about every ten days or so which seems to be enough to get the plant through the winter without loosing too many leaves.

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  90. In response to the question about a cutting being rooted in water....
    If you wait until the plant is just about to enter its growth period (probably in May) and then take a cutting and use a "rooting hormone" to stimulate root growth. There are some good tips at this link...

    http://houseplants.about.com/od/propagatingyourplants/a/RootHormone.htm

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  91. Have fiddle leaf about 19' high by 14' wide in a large pot. Remodeling room - need to move tree temporarilly. Need to prune back in order to move. How much can we prune back?

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  92. There are a number of factors that come into play when deciding how much to prune a tree, especially a potted tree. Given the size of your tree it sounds like you live in a climate with ideal growing conditions for a Fiddle leaf fig! If I were you I would try to prune in such a way as to keep at least half of the tree´s leaves and not remove all of the terminal branch ends. I would also time the pruning with the move so that the tree does not suffer two separate shocks but just one (the pruning and the move).

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  93. Excellent info, thanks for the access to good gardening habits

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  94. Hello, I had purchased a fiddle leaf fig tree last October. I transplanted it a month later. It had lost about ten leaves and it still has a few brown spots on some leaves. I was wondeing why it has not shown any new growth since I have had it. It looks pretty healthy now, it is not dropping any more leaves, why do you think it has not grown? the pot I transplanted it to is about 2 to 3 inches wider around.Thank you.

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  95. My Fiddle leaf fig starts growing new leaves in around the month of June and then stops for the winter in Nov. - Dec. If I were you I would not panic just quite yet. If it is anything like mine and depending on your location it will most likely start new growth within a month or so.

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  96. rooting gel
    I like in this blog very helpful and important information in this blog thanks for sharing.

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  97. Hi there, This blog page seems to have the best info on fiddle leaf figs on the web, so thank you very much. I have a question too. I just got a fiddle leaf fig, which I ordered online. The plant is three separate trunks/stems in a pot, all with leaves all along the trunk. I am wondering two things. Firstly, is this three different plants and if so can I separate them? Secondly, if I want to get them to look more like trees than bushes, what do I do? I understand that I should cut the top where I want it to branch, but do I also cut off the leaves along the stem to make a bare trunk like a tree? There are plenty of sites saying you should/can prune this plant but not telling you how! Thanks very much. Clare

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  98. Clare,
    -If the three stems are not connected at any point from the ground up then you may well have three separate plants in a pot. Separating them might be tricky if their root systems are entangled.
    -You can prune the stems to encourage branching but I would not recommend cutting off the leaves. If you wait the older leaves will eventually start to turn a bit yellow and fall off on their own. You tree will need the younger leaves in order to stay healthy. On my plant the older leaves fall off about 3-4 years after they form.

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  99. Hi, We have a tall FIF purchased 9 months ago which we keep in our NYC apartment. We have very high ceilings and extremely tall vinous so it gets indirect light most of the day and direct light for about an hour or so each day. It's probably lost half it's leaves since we purchased it and there hasn't been any new growth that I can see. Some of the branches are now completely devoid of leaves. One at the moment has a single leaf. comes leaves are brown at the end. Others just yellow and drop off. I water once a week, or when the the top has been dry for a while. It had been doing ok for a few weeks and now seems to be getting worse. I call it the fickle head fig. The only thing which has changed in the last few weeks is that we've started using the ceiling fan in the room since we hate AC. This creates a continual but gentle airflow.
    I can't tell if I'm over watering or underwater. Also should I prune the branches which are devoid of leaves? I'm about to give up.
    Thanks
    Jon

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  100. Jon,
    I think that if i were in your situation I would prune the branches which are devoid of leaves. Since your tree has already gone through some sort of shock pruning will probably not make matters worse and may stimulate the tree to produce new growth. I do hope that it is not too late for your tree!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Dan, so if the leaves are drooping then turning yellow, is this a sign of root rot, under watering, or over watering.
      The soil now is definitely dry but we were advised to let it get dry.
      It maybe too late at this point, but perhaps we can still bring it back.
      Thanks,
      Jon

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    2. Sounds to me like a case of under-watering. The soil should not be allowed to get totally dry. If it is that is probably what is causing the plant to drop leaves. The danger of over-watering is not that the soil is kept moist but rather that the plant is sitting in a pool of standing water in the tray under the pot for periods of time. The balance is to keep the soil moist without watering so much as to cause a pool of water.

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  101. We have 2 12 foot fiddle leaf ficus that are about 4 years old. They are thick and healthy. We are moving from Austin, Texas to Brooklyn and want to bring them with us in the back if the uhaul. It will be incredible hot the first day of the trek. Any tips or tricks for the journey? Thank you! Laura W.

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  102. Hi Dan,

    There are 5 stalks coming out of my flf that are connected under the soil. I would like a more tree shape, so I want to cut all but one stalk so I have one single stalk. Would you recommend I wait until the winter to do this? How would you recommend I cut it back so I have one tree? My flf is about 3ft tall, with several leaves on each stalk.
    Thanks for any suggestions you have! :)

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  103. How can I prune my 3ft tall flf with 5 branches coming from the soil? I want it a tree shape, with one stalk and I want to encourage horizontal growth? I live in GA. Would it shock the plant too bad to prune the other stalks at the soil level? Any help is appreciated.

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  104. This helped tremendously. Thank you. I acquired my fiddle leaf from ky fathers funeral, and desperately want to keep it alive. After this month of having it, and after the stupidity (on myself) of listening to my inlaw, whom knows it all......... I follwed directions on the wrong plant.
    So, now, most of "her" leaves have fallen from the bottom of 3 of the 5 stocks. I figured because I had it near a cold draft (a/c vent) and NO light, I now have him outside for the day, but my question is:
    1. How long should he stay outside ? I live in deep south Louisiana. Coteau Holmes (St.Martinville) to be exact. About 4-5 miles from the Basin (swamp country) its always humid, average 95%.
    And another question:
    2. There are 5 stocks (fairly long), should I separate them into other pots, or just go up to a bigger pot for all ?
    I can also send a pic, for anyone willing to help.
    Email: kristiberthelot@gmail.com
    Thank you, for any help, advice I can get.
    Until now, I have never had a "green thumb" and always figured i did well keeping my 6 kids alive, so I didnt want to push my luck on a plant. But..........
    Things changed, my father loved nature, so I am struggling, yet trying my hardest to keep my plants going. Every new growth, reminds me of him, and that he is, in some way, still with us through nature.

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  105. I am so lucky to live in Queensland Australia, and my daily walk is enhanced by fiddle figs.

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  106. Fiddle leaf dead but before the garbage can, we stuck it in a makeshift growers plastic pot and put it outdoors in full sun. Within just a few days it sprouted;few more days sprouts became leaves and Grew ! It's now about 6 or 7 weeks later;the plant is in full sun (at the NJ beach) and has grown into a beautiful,lush bush. Is it time to transition it indoors for the winter ?

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  107. Hi Fuad here from Malaysia. I recently bought a fiddle leaf for indoor proposes. It's about 3 feet hight and has 3 brunches coming out from the soil with one of it is relatively small in size. My problem started about a week a go when the leaves at bottom part of tree were turning brown and end up falling of. I notice the branches at the bottom part are also looking a bit dry. I'm living in an apartment with an average temperature of 28-30C. I now water the tree 3 times a week because im afraid tht it could be of me overwatering it. but in doing so the upper part of the soil seem to be dry. What could be the problem.

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  108. Hi, I have 2 fiddle leaf fig trees indoors. They are both about 7-8 feet tall and recently started both turning brown on the edges of the leaves (some new growth but not all, mostly on the older growth) as well as has dropped leaves that are yellow so I don't know if I'm over watering or under watering. I've been misting them occasionally also, as was told to do this when I got them from the previous owner. We live in central NC and they get ok light right now, but will be better when I can move them to the porch in May. One gets more than the other but they both look about the same right now which makes me think it might be a watering issue. About how often/how much water should they be getting each for a plant this size?

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  109. A plant is a wealth and it also increase beautyness of house's outlook. Not only you grows plant but also you need to take care of that plant. We can give you good support to take care of your plant.
    Specialist Plant Lights

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  110. Thanks for sharing this article, its been a great read, wasn't expecting to read those things. There is a lot about tree care Orlando that I don't understand. I've been taught a few things but not a lot. I hope I can get it all figured out, thanks for sharing!

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  111. FUNNY THAT YOU SUGGEST LATEX GLOVES WHEN ONE OF THE ALLERGIES TO THIS PLANT IS THE LATEX IT PRODUCES LOL.

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  112. Hi!

    I have a flf tree that appears to be dead but before I dispose of it I want to make sure it's dead. It dropped all leaves in December. I cut back the branches. I think over watering, not enough light may be the cause of it's demise. Although I have another flf tree I purchased at the same time that is doing well. My tree hasn't shown any signs of life. How do I know it's dead?

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  113. WOW! This site is amazing and Dan, you must be the king of FLF! I recently purchased my FIF (3 weeks now) and am so excited that I wanted to learn as much as I can. I am bookmarking this site for sure. Keep up the good work Dan!

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  114. Hi Dan!

    I purchased a flf about 2 months ago. It is about 5' tall but on a single stalk. There was a 2nd but it had been cut off prior to my purchasing it. I love the tall beautiful flf's that are shown in magazines....will this be a possibility for me if there is only one stalk? Can I encourage another to grow somehow?

    Also, there are a bunch of little gnat-like bugs in the soil - how can I get rid of them? I water once a week.

    Thank you for all of your great advice!

    -Minette

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  115. We have a 7 foot Fiddle Leaf that has been doing great, but has developed fungus gnats in the soil due to some contaminated Miracle Grow Moisture soil that I added to the top of the pot recently. I stopped watering the plant so as not to feed the bugs but the plant became so dry that I was concerned. I took it outside ( not easily) and noticed that the bottom was damp but the middle was very dry. Per my local nursery's suggestion, I lightly watered to middle with the plant on its side. I couldn't get much soil off the top because it was too dry. I have the plant back inside and am very uncomfortable about the bugs. How can I get rid of them? Do I re-plant entirely? If so, how given that it's one big dry root?

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  116. This time, we got the following crossword puzzle clue : Spots with indoor trees, perhaps that also known as Spots with indoor trees, perhaps 5 letters . First, we gonna look for more hints to the Spots with indoor trees, perhaps crossword puzzle . Then we will collect all the require information and for solving Spots with indoor trees, perhaps crossword . In the final, we get all the possible answers for the this crossword puzzle definition.
    http://mordo-crosswords-solution.blogspot.com/2013/09/spots-with-indoor-trees-perhaps-spots.html

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  117. I've had my FLF for about a year now. It is doing OK, but not great. I have moved locations several times until it now has filtered sunlight. Some of the leaves fell off and some i took off that had brown spots. It also has many stalks that i would like to prune away and replant to a new tree. Any tips of leaf regrowth and how to cut off stems and replant? where to cut? plant in soil or place in water first? root hormone? and what is notching? THANK YOU!!!! I LOVE THIS PLANT!! ------Randi

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  118. I've had my FLF for about a year, and have always kept it outside, which has been fine with the warm South Carolina weather. We had two unusually cold days this week and when I went out this morning, my FLF's leaves were no longer bright green. They have all turned a very dark (almost brown) green and look droopy. Have I killed my poor tree? I hardly have a green thumb.Should I pull it inside? It has grown substantially in the year that I've had it, and I'm not sure the tree would even fit inside. (I should also mention I've never pruned, cut roots, changed soil, or anything of the sort. I've merely watered it when it felt dry.)

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  119. I have a three branch fiddle leaf fig tree that goes straight up, but I want a single branch Tree that becomes more like a canopy. How do I get my tree to look like that?

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  120. I have a doubt: this plan gives some kind of fruit or flower? know if I can get in mexico?

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