4 Simple Steps to Care for Fiddle Leaf Figs – Southern Patio

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Southern Patio Unearthed Planter holding Ficus tree next to chair

By: Chelsea Lipford Wolf

Fiddle Leaf Fig, or Ficus lyrata, trees and plants have been popular in the home décor arena for a few years now. And their popularity is still going strong even though they have a reputation for being hard to nurture. It’s true they aren’t as low maintenance as the always popular golden pothos, as far as indoor plants go. You can easily help them thrive with these 4 key tips for caring for your Fiddle Leaf Fig.

To Plant or Not to Plant

If you’ve just purchased a new fiddle fig, check inside the grower’s pot before you replant it into a cute container. If there is more dirt than roots, you won’t need to repot it. Simply set on some blocks or rocks inside your planter and add some dirt or mulch to cover the black pot.

If the roots have already overtaken the soil, you’ll want to transfer it without the black pot into your container with fresh soil. Either way, you’ll want a planter that’s larger than the grow pot it came from the store in. Try Southern Patio’s Unearthed Planter at The Home Depot! That will allow plenty of room for the moisture near the plant’s roots to drain without drowning your plant. It also helps maintain a more even moisture level which is ideal for Fiddle Leaf Figs.

Southern Patio Unearthed Planter in corner of room


Speaking of moisture, you know plants need water. Here is a basic guideline on best practices for fiddle figs. For a moderate-sized plant (think the shorter, compact ones), add about 2 cups of water to the soil around the base of the plant every 2 weeks. You don’t need to water all of the soil. Since these plants don’t like their roots to be too moist, watering just around the base of the trunk will allow the moisture to spread to the surrounding soil and reduce the chance of soggy soil.

For a larger or taller tree version, you’ll want to increase to 3-4 cups of water every 2 weeks, depending on the height. The same rules about watering the base of the trunk apply.

Watering Ficus plant in Southern Patio Unearthed Planter

Large planters, such as the Unearthed Planter, are made for the outdoors, but look great indoors too! If you’re repurposing an outdoor planter (such as Southern Patio’s Monroe Planter) with existing drainage holes, be sure to add a saucer underneath to protect your flooring!

Horizontal shot of Southern Patio Monroe Planter in corner of room


You know from elementary science class that plants need sunlight to survive. Sure, certain plants prefer less sunlight than others, but they all need sun at some point. Contrary to popular belief, Fiddle Leaf Figs are not in the less-is-more camp.

They are tropical plants and they LOVE sunlight. They just don’t love direct sun rays that will burn their leaves. That’s an important difference.

When you place your plant inside, the glass in your windows is refracting the sun’s rays. So situate your fiddle fig near a window where plenty of sun will be cast on those glossy leaves throughout the day.


Those big, signature leaves that make the Fiddle Fig a beloved houseplant also require a little extra attention. Because they’re so large, they easily collect dust. And too much dust blocks the needed sunlight. You probably won’t need to dust as often as you water, but check for dusty leaves when you do to keep your plant thriving.

When the dust accumulates, simply use a lint-free cloth, like a microfiber rag, to wipe the dust away. Support the individual leaves from underneath to prevent the leaves from breaking in the process.

Wiping down Ficus leaves in Southern Patio Unearthed planter

Relocate for Summer

One extra tip to keep in mind during the warmer months of the year…if you live in a hot, humid climate, consider moving your Fiddle Leaf Fig outdoors to a front or back porch. Just be sure that it’s covered enough to protect it from direct sunlight when it’s outside. You’ll also need to increase the frequency of watering to every 8-10 days instead of every 2 weeks. Your fiddle fig will thrive in an environment so close to its natural, tropical habitat!

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