Ficus Lyrata Care for Complete Beginners

So you’ve fallen in love with ficus lyrata, or the fiddle leaf fig. We don’t blame you! These plants are beautiful! But ficus lyrata care can have a bit of a learning curve for beginners, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with houseplants. 

If you just got your first fiddle leaf fig or if you’re thinking about getting one, here’s what you need to know to keep your tree happy, healthy, and gorgeous! 

Read the ultimate ficus lyrata care guide for complete beginners. If you are new to having a fiddle leaf fig, read this care guide.

Ficus Lyrata Care for Complete Beginners: What You Need to Know

Ficus Lyrata loves consistency

The most important thing to remember about these plants is that they love consistency. This means they don’t appreciate being moved. They might get droopy when you repot them. Fiddle leaf figs also enjoy a consistent heat and humidity level (between 65 and 85 degrees F, with at least 50% humidity).

A consistent watering routine is key. The best way to take care of your ficus lyrata is to find a routine that works and stick with it! 

Tip: When you bring home your ficus lyrata, wait at least a month before repotting, unless you think it has root rot or another root disorder. 

Ficus Lyrata LOVES light!

The next thing you MUST know is that these trees love light. Bright, indirect light works best, but you can absolutely acclimate them to full sun (and when you do, they’ll thrive!). 

To start with, put your tree in an east-facing window or near a south-facing window. Unless your ficus is already acclimated to full sun (like if you bought it from someone who kept it in full sunlight), make sure the sun’s rays don’t touch the leaves and that the tree doesn’t cast a shadow. 

If you don’t have an east or south facing window, you may want to supplement with a grow light. A west facing window may work, but the strong afternoon light might be too much for your tree’s leaves. 

Ficus Lyrata doesn’t like wet feet

As a tropical plant, this tree likes to be watered regularly, but if the roots sit in water, the tree can quickly develop root rot. 

Make sure you use a pot with drainage holes and a fast-draining soil like cactus soil or our Premium Fiddle Leaf Fig Potting Soil

As for watering, the amount of water you should give your ficus lyrata depends on your tree’s size and your climate. Try this guide to figure out how much water your tree needs. 

Watch for brown spots on the leaves


When your ficus lyrata isn’t happy, you may notice brown spots on the leaves. It’s important to know what these spots mean so you can correct the problem! 

In general, dark brown spots or browning veins on the lower leaves mean the tree is overwatered and may be experiencing root root. (If this is the case, a root supplement can help protect the plant!)

Light brown spots on the edges of the leaves all over the plant means that tree is under watered. Give it a drink! 

Medium brown spots on leaves throughout the tree could indicate a bacterial infection, which must be dealt with immediately. 

To learn more about brown spots and what they mean, check out these guides! 

How to Treat Brown Spots on your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Leaves

The Ultimate Guide to Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots

Ficus Lyrata loves humidity

Remember, these are tropical plants, and they thrive best in tropical conditions! Make sure your home isn’t too cold and that you keep them away from drafts and vents that could freeze or dry out your tree. 

It’s also not a bad idea to use a humidifier or pebble tray to add some humidity if you live in a dry climate. Here are signs your tree might want more humidity. 

Use the right fertilizer

FLF Plant Food

Plants can quickly use up all the nutrients in their potting soil, so it’s important to supplement with an appropriate fertilizer. But different plants need different amounts of nutrients! Ficus lyrata likes fertilizer with a 3-1-2 NPK ratio, which is the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Most fertilizers also require dilution and a specific schedule. 

We highly recommend Fiddle Leaf Fig Food because it’s specifically designed for these plants and is intended to be used with each watering, so there’s no need to remember a schedule! It takes all the guesswork out of fertilizing. 

These plants definitely know what they want, but they’re actually very resilient and a lot of fun to care for once you get the hang of it! 

For more beginner articles on caring for your ficus lyrata, check out these articles: 

The 10 Commandments of Fiddle Leaf Fig Care

The Difference Between a Dry and Over-Watered FLFT

Where Should You Place Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant

The Basics of Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Care

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