Have you ever read the personal development classic The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? This book shows us that habits are key to creating and maintaining a good life. Habits are just as important to growing and maintaining a healthy fiddle leaf fig, so we rounded up the 7 habits of highly effective fiddle leaf fig owners based on our own experience and our observations of successful fiddle lovers in our Fiddle Leaf Fig Facebook group!
These are the top habits you’ll want to adopt if you want to grow the biggest, healthiest fiddle possible!
Habit #1: Do NOT overwater.
This one is MAJOR because overwatering is the #1 cause of fiddle leaf fig health problems. Overwatering can lead to fungal and bacterial root rot, invite pests, and actually drown your plant because the roots need to absorb oxygen for the plant to survive!
To avoid overwatering your plant, make sure that you only water when the top 2-3 inches of soil feel dry or when a moisture meter reads 3-4. As a rule, you shouldn’t be watering your fiddle more than once a week—tops.
Read our Ultimate Guide to Watering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig.
Habit #2: Provide proper drainage.
This is also a biggie because without drainage, your plant will become overwatered and develop root rot in a snap!
Make sure to use a well-aerated, fast-draining soil like our Premium Fiddle Leaf Fig Potting Mix, and ALWAYS use a pot with drainage holes. It’s tempting to try your luck with a pretty container that doesn’t have drainage, but I promise it won’t end well!
I suggest potting your fiddle in a regular grower’s pot with lots of drainage and placing that pot inside a more decorative pot or basket for the perfect balance of drainage and aesthetic appeal.
Habit #3: Give your fiddle lots of light.
Fiddles love light! These plants are native to the rainforests of West Africa and can thrive in full sunlight, so make sure to place your fiddle in the sunniest part of your home. If you don’t have a lot of natural sunlight in your space, supplement with a grow light.
Sufficient light will help your fiddle grow tall with large, beautiful leaves, and it will use water much more efficiently. Overall, proper lighting is key to a fiddle leaf fig’s health!
Habit #4: Bond with your plant.
This is one of the most important—and often overlooked—secrets to growing healthy houseplants. Take the time to get to know your plant. I suggest giving your plant a name to remind yourself that it’s a living thing with health and wellness and needs.
Make a point of examining your plant every time you water (at least) to check for signs of problems like brown spots, insects, etc. Notice how your plant reacts to its care and make adjustments as needed.
This is key to catching issues early and discerning your plant’s needs so you can meet them and grow a happy plant!
Habit #5: Feed your plant.
Plants need nutrients just like we do! While fiddle leaf figs get their energy from sunlight, they get their nutrients from their soil, and a fiddle can easily use up all the nutrients in its pot in just a few months.
Get a quality fertilizer and follow the instructions on the label to fertilize your plant regularly. We highly recommend our Fiddle Leaf Fig Food because it’s specifically formulated to help fiddle leaf figs grow taller with larger, more beautiful leaves. It’s also gentle enough to use with every watering so you don’t have to remember a fertilizing schedule. The best fertilizer is one you’ll use!
Habit #6: Act quickly if you see a problem.
Some problems, like root rot or a severe insect infestation, can kill a fiddle leaf fig within days, so it’s important to act fast if you notice issues like brown spots, smelly soil, or signs of insects on your plant. It’s better to deal with minor problems early than major problems later on, and you’ll stand a much better chance of saving your plant.
Habit #7: Get support!
Fiddle leaf fig care comes with a learning curve, and plant health problems can manifest in a lot of different ways. Find yourself a group of fiddle leaf fig lovers who can share resources, help you troubleshoot plant issues, and share successes!
Our Fiddle Leaf Fig Facebook group is over 50,000 members strong at the time of this writing and is extremely active. In this group, you’ll find tons of newbies, intermediate fiddle owners, and seasoned veterans of fiddle leaf fig care, all with different perspectives they’re happy to share. Join us!
To learn even more about growing healthy fiddle leaf figs, don’t miss these resources!
The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert Book