Caring for Fiddle Leaf Figs

So for Christmas my good friend Mrs Munro gave me this Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata). I had long admired these indoor plants but was completely hesitant to have one at home (despite seeing them in every home magazine for well over 3 years now) because every single person I actually know who has one, seemed to have killed it. You can read Katrina’s tale here, or Mrs Woog’s tale here.

The fiddle-leaf is a little, shall we say, fiddly.

So I did what I normally do when I needed advice, I asked complete strangers on Instagram. So much advice! So clever! Plus it seemed I was not alone in my fear of them: plenty of dead fiddles out there!

I thought I would collate some of the best advice so I have it all in one place, as well as helping out others who may be in a pickle with their fiddle. While some people follow advice to the tee, others say that theirs thrives on neglect (water when bone dry, don’t move, spray leaves with water bottle)…so much info! So much confusion! Here’s what I found consistently though:

  • Don’t move the plant about. Choose a spot and stick with it. That spot should be in non direct light, but with plenty of light (so not direct sun I suppose)
  • Don’t repot – they cannot handle the stress
  • Don’t overwater…maybe every week to 14 days (and don’t underwater). Some suggest to water from the down up (place in water so it can soak it up)
  • Spray the leaves with a spray bottle of water. These are rainforest plants so the more water you can get into the leaves the better. Some people also suggested placing in the shower for a good soak to get all the dust off the leaves
  • Fertilise! Fertilise! Give it a dose of Thrive once a month
  • Take outside for a sun bath every so often

My friend Ruth has a MASSIVE one in her bedroom (over 2 metres tall) and here was her advice:

  • Water every 2 weeks in summer and 3-4 weeks in winter
  • Regularly damp wipe the leaves to keep dust free
  • She has hers in a south facing position

She also gave me two really great Instagram accounts for advice on Fiddle-leafs and other indoor plants to follow:

@thebotancialsociety (these guys even have an e-book & workshops!)

You can scroll through these accounts and every time you see an image of the Fiddle-leaf there are some great tips. So many tips! It’s all quite overwhelming isn’t it?

I’ll let you know how I go with mine…I am sticking with the less is more approach. It’s in a bright spot, I’ll keep it watered and will mist the leaves and keep them dust free. And hope! Hope for the best! I think with anything like this…it seems harder than it actually is right?

Do you have a Fiddle-leaf?
What’s your number 1 tip for keeping them happy and ALIVE?


  1. Water from the bottom and you can’t go wrong.

  2. I had one in our bedroom and it looked good for a few months then I turned the heater on one night and the next week it turned brown and dropped all its leaves. It was just a dead stick so I sat it in the back corner or my garden and it now has all new leaves? So if you think it’s dead put it outside in a shady spot.

  3. I rotate my plant once a week so it gets the indirect sun evenly (it’s next to a window with shutters). I also water mine once-twice a week (but only about a cup!). Would have to disagree about the re-potting advice, I re-potted into a bigger pot about 3 months ago and it’s thrived ever since. I got 6 new leaves in the last two weeks alone!

  4. A “pickle with their fiddle”? Really??? I suppose it’s better than a fiddle with their pickle. Do ya reckon??

  5. This is very timely. Mine has been looking very sad since the Brisbane weather has heated up. I did some googling and read that you should stick your fingertip in the soil and if its dry at a depth of 1 inch (or your first knuckle) you should water it. I also cleaned his leaves.

    Since I’ve been doing this for the last week, its had a miraculous recovery. I’ve watered it a couple of times but the weather up here has been foul. Ruth’s fig is amazing!

  6. I love challenging you my darling friend.

  7. I e had my fig for a year and a half now and it’s still alive, I must be doing something right. I do have to move its position from the living room during summer however as it does not like the airconditiong one bit. Good luck with your fig Beth, I’m sure you’ll do great x

  8. I’ve had mine for ages and it’s still going strong. I think I must have it in the perfect spot because I’m hopeless with plants. I don’t water it too often. But also I live in Hong Kong where it is very humid, which might help.

  9. I like a challenge! I might get one ?

  10. good luck they are a bit tricksy I think beth!
    my daughter’s seems happy … qld, inside, plenty of light, humidity and not much watering!
    she wipes the leaves periodically!
    I haven’t bothered with one, as I like dracaenas inside to keep with my theme!
    they are easy!
    much love m:)X


  1. […] can we all take a moment to take in the FIDDLE LEAF. It’s not dead! In fact, one could say it is THRIVING. New leaves! It’s now in our bedroom (easterly aspect) […]

Speak Your Mind