PRO TIP: Rotate your tree once a month to keep it standing straight and tall. Fiddle Leaf Figs in particular like to reach towards the light, so if you don’t rotate you’ll notice them bending over time.
Native to the rainforests of western and central Africa, the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (Ficus lyrata) is a stunning plant with huge green leaves and an even larger following of houseplant fans. Despite its popularity, it's certainly not the easiest houseplant to look after, but its visual impact in a space is unmatched when given proper conditions and care.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig appreciates a warm, humid environment, a fair amount of water and plenty of light. Choose a location away from air vents and drafts where the tree will receive plenty of bright ambient light. Directly in front of, or close by a southern or western facing window is ideal, and eastern exposure can also work as long as the plant is directly in the window and the space feels very bright. A few hours of direct sun is also beneficial. If placed in a full-sun location (where the plant will receive over 6 hours of direct light daily), a humid environment will keep your Fiddle Leaf looking its best. We do not recommend this plant for windows with northern exposure. They will not thrive in low-light locations.
If you’re unsure about your lighting conditions, placing the tree directly next to the window is the safest bet. We also have a guide for how to measure light in your space.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees are particularly sensitive to environmental changes. They will likely take a little time to adjust to their new home. Be sure to follow the care instructions, and don’t panic if yours loses a few leaves. If leaf discoloration or leaf loss persists, please reach out and we will help troubleshoot!
Lastly, if you are using a container made from organic materials to pot your Fiddle Leaf in, we highly recommend using a cork mat underneath to protect your floors, as humidity may accumulate beneath the pot due to the volume of water this plant requires.
The common name for this plant, Fiddle Leaf Fig, comes from the fact that the leaves are the size and shape of a fiddle.
PRO TIP: Every three months, rinse your plant’s leaves with room temperature water. This helps remove any dust that’s accumulated, ensuring they’re able to absorb and photosynthesize sunlight more efficiently.
Always be sure to assess your plant’s watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first to ensure it isn’t moist right beneath the surface. Also, consider aerating the soil of your plant before the initial watering. We compact the soil to avoid shifting during transit, so aerating can help the soil breathe and allow moisture to be released.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig likes its soil to be kept consistently evenly moist, with a brief drying out period between waterings, as it comes from an area of the world that gets very dry between rain. Water it thoroughly whenever the top 2” of soil have dried. Allowing the soil to dry more than a few inches will lead to leaf loss, so be sure to check in with the soil regularly until you develop a routine with your plant. In contrast, too much moisture in the soil can lead to root rot and also cause leaves to drop.
We highly recommend potting your Fiddle Leaf, as it is a challenging plant to keep alive long term in its nursery pot — however make sure to pot it in a permanent planter with plenty of soil mass and crucially, drainage. If your Fiddle Leaf Fig is planted in a container without a drainage hole, you must be very careful not to overwater. In this scenario we suggest allowing your Fiddle Leaf Fig to dry out slightly more between waterings. These plants do particularly well in our self watering containers!
The best way we have found to obtain an accurate moisture reading throughout the soil is with the Soil Sleuth Soil Probe. You can check the soil moisture in the different strata of the soil in your pot while helping keep the roots aerated and your fingernails free of dirt! Another way to tell if your Fiddle Leaf needs water is to look at the leaves. If the typically rigid and upright leaves are looking soft or floppy, this can be a sign of underwatering — however the most foolproof way to tell is to test the soil’s moisture level.
Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides and dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize efficiently. When dusting the leaves, also take the opportunity to inspect the undersides and keep an eye out for pests.
Remember each plant is a unique living thing and may have varying needs, especially in their individual locations. Pay attention to the condition of your Fiddle Leaf Fig and its watering needs and you will have a long and happy relationship.
There are two types of standard planters offered by Greenery NYC—those with drainage holes, and those without. Within those two categories are an array of sizes and styles to choose from. The presence of drainage holes and size of the vessel play a role in the quantity and frequency of water given to your plant.
Plants purchased in a pot without a drainage hole have been set up with a built-in drainage system. A layer of hydro stones (porous, absorbent material made of recycled glass) has been placed beneath the soil to act as a reservoir for any excess water that flows through the soil. You will need to be slightly more cautious not to pour too much water into these containers as there is no way for the excess water to escape. We suggest pouring small amounts of water in bit by bit, until you have reached the desired moisture level in the soil.
For plants potted with drainage, water until it begins to come out the bottom of the pot and into the catch tray.
Always be sure to assess your plant's watering needs upon receiving it. Refer to the routine maintenance section for your plant’s specific moisture requirements.
The self-watering planters require a good, solid watering of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important because the roots of the plants need to grow into the reservoir first in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for the first four weeks. Then the reservoir is ready to be tested.
TEST: After four weeks, fill the water reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line. If the indicator goes down over the first few days, it means the plant is ready for regular reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks, until the red indicator goes down, meaning the plant has started drinking from the reservoir.
RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after a drying out period of a few days, be sure to refill it until the indicator reaches the MAX line.
From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. In the Self Watering Container, the top layer of soil will eventually become extremely dry and hard, and may even pull away from the edges of the pot. This is not a cause for concern, but simply because the plant is drinking directly from its roots in the water reservoir.
Step 1: Top water for two weeks. The indicator will look empty, like the picture above.
Step 2: Fill the reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line.
Step 3: Watch the indicator over the next day or two. If it goes down on its own, it means the roots of the plant have grown into the reservoir. From here on out, ONLY water in the reservoir.
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