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What is the difference between bambino and dwarf fiddle leaf figs? Learn more about small fiddle leaf figs and how best to care for them.

Bambino and Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Figs: What Is the Difference?

Bambino and Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Figs

Bambino Fiddle Leaf Fig

It’s a popular question we see quite often in our Fiddle Leaf Fig Resource group:

Are bambino and dwarf fiddle leaf figs the same thing?

So we thought we needed a post all about the Ficus Lyrata Bambino, or the bambino fiddle leaf figs, because they’re quite popular! These adorable fiddles are great for small spaces, if you’re nervous about fiddle care and want to start with a smaller plant, or if you simply like the look of a little fiddle.

Here’s everything you need to know about identifying and caring for bambino/dwarf fiddle leaf figs.

Are bambino and dwarf fiddle leaf figs the same thing?

First things first: You might have seen small fiddles referred to as bambinos as well as dwarf fiddle leaf figs.

Yes, they are the same plant!

If you see a small fiddle labeled as a dwarf fiddle leaf fig, it is a bambino, and vice versa.

What's the Difference Between a Regular and Bambino Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant?

How to identify a bambino fiddle leaf fig

Another common question is how to tell these plants apart from young regular fiddle leaf figs because they will sometimes be mixed in with regular fiddles and not labeled as dwarf or bambino.

I’ve seen several people in the Facebook group who are baffled about why their fiddles aren’t growing and, upon further inspection, discovered they’d actually purchased a bambino!

The easiest way to tell a bambino from a regular fiddle is to look at the leaves.

Regular fiddles have large, slightly elongated leaves that are shaped like…fiddles.

Bambino leaves tend to be smaller, thicker, and more rounded. Bambinos may also be a little perkier with leaves that stick straight up.

Bambino fiddle leaf fig leaves
Bambino fiddle leaf fig leaves

Bambino leaves

Bambinos also tend to be very bushy, while regular fiddles may be a little lankier.

Regular fiddle leaf fig leaves
Regular fiddle leaf fig leaves

Regular fiddle leaves

While these indicators can help, sometimes it’s extremely difficult to distinguish a bambino from a regular fiddle, especially if they’re not labeled as bambinos. Sometimes the best you can do is find a healthy plant and see how it grows!

How to Care for a Bambino or Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Fig

The good news is that care for bambinos is the same as for regular fiddles!

The only real difference between the two is that bambinos top out at 3 feet tall and stay more bushy and compact. They still have the same preferences for light, water, soil, and fertilizer. You can also treat diseases and other issues as you would with a regular fiddle leaf fig.

Bambino

All the articles on this site, the information in The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert, and the material in our webinars all apply to bambinos as well (aside from things like pruning a fiddle to give it a tree shape). (If you’ve got a bambino, you’ll want to stick with its natural, bushier shape.)

If you’re brand new to fiddle leaf fig care and want to learn to care for your bambino, here’s a quick care guide:

Potting and Soil for Bambino Fiddle Leaf Figs

Fiddles need fast-draining potting mix like our Premium Fiddle Leaf Fig Potting Soil and a pot that’s only 2-3 inches larger than the root ball. Make sure the pot has proper drainage holes!

Fig Potting Soil

Our fast-draining, well-aerated soil is designed to correct brown spots, prevent dropping leaves, and encourage new growth.

Enjoy healthy, dark green leaves and stop stressing about your plant!

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It’s also a good idea to wait at least a month after bringing your bambino home before repotting to avoid root shock.

Bambino Fiddle Leaf Fig Light Requirements

Place your bambino somewhere it will get plenty of bright indirect light, possibly near a bright east- or south-facing window, but not in direct sunlight (unless it’s acclimated to full sun).

If you don’t have sufficient natural light, you can supplement with a grow light.

How Much Light Does a Fiddle Leaf Fig Need?

The Seven Signs Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Needs More Light

How to Water Bambino and Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Figs

Water when the top 2-3 inches of soil feel dry or when your moisture meter reads at a 3-4 to prevent overwatering.

There are a few different methods for watering; the cup watering method or the soak-and-drain method (adding water to the soil until it just starts to drain out the bottom of the pot). Experiment to see which works best for your plant.

Misting your plant will keep it looking beautiful and happy, as well, since all ficus varieties are tropical plants.

Factors to Consider When Watering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Best Fertilizer for Bambino and Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Figs

Bambinos need nutrients to support strong roots and healthy leaves, so make sure to regularly fertilize with a liquid 3-1-2 NPK fertilizer like Fiddle Leaf Fig Food, especially during the spring and summer when your plant is growing new leaves. You can skip fertilizing in the winter because that’s when many fiddles take a break and go dormant.

Plant Food Bottle

Are You Starving Your Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Made specifically for fiddle leaf figs, our plant food will help guide your plants to a longer, more beautiful life and provide the most care possible.

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Temperature and Humidity

Fiddles are tropical plants, so they love warm temperatures and high humidity.

Fiddles are tropical plants, so they love warm temperatures and high humidity.

Keep the temperature between 60 and 85 degrees, and consider using a humidifier if you live in a dry climate. Keep your bambino away from vents, drafts, furnaces, etc., because these will dry out the leaves!

Signs Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Needs More Humidity

Troubleshooting

Proper care of your new plant will prevent most problems, but sometimes things just happen! Follow the care tips provided here and you should have a healthy plant. You can always try these resources to diagnose and treat common fiddle leaf fig tree/bambino problems:

What to Do if Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Is Dropping Leaves

The Ultimate Guide to Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots

Diagnosing and Treating Root Rot in Fiddle Leaf Figs

The Ultimate Guide to Fiddle Leaf Fig Insect Problems

All the fun of fiddle leaf figs in a smaller package

Bambinos are adorable and a great cultivar for the fiddle leaf fig curious or those with limited space. Give one a try!

How to Learn More About Fiddle Leaf Fig Care

First of all, make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter. You’ll also want to join our community on Facebook: Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource Group.

Read The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert, your complete guide to growing healthy fiddle leaf fig plants. Fiddle leaf fig care topics include: tips and tricks, pruning, shaping, cleaning, propagation, and more! The book is available in full-color paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon now!

For those fiddle leaf fig lovers looking for information on advanced fiddle leaf fig care, check out our free Fiddle Leaf Fig Care 101 Webinar and our free Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Course. Course topics include:

  • Fighting root rot naturally
  • Aeration and repotting
  • Pruning your plant into a tree
  • Propagation to clone your plant
  • Notching to encourage new branches
  • Troubleshooting insect problems
  • Treating brown spots
  • More!

Shop The Fiddle Leaf Fig Store

For all your fiddle leaf fig care essentials in one place, check out our store here! Looking to shop for plants online? Our trusted partners at Houseplantshop.com grow high-quality plants here in California and ship directly to you. Shop online now!

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