Fiddle Leaf Fig Care for Beginners: The First Month
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Fiddle Leaf Fig Care for Beginners: The First Month

So you went to Home Depot or another local store and bought your first fiddle leaf fig. Congratulations! They’re wonderful plants that can be a beautiful and fulfilling addition to your home.

But now what? You want your plant to be healthy and strong, so how do you take care of it? How do you start things off on the right foot so your plant can thrive for years to come?

Here’s how to care for your fiddle leaf fig when you first get it home and in the first few weeks.

How to Care for Your New Fiddle Leaf Fig

Step 1: Repot.

Most plants from the store come in a plastic nursery pot, which is designed to drain water right away so the plants can be watered daily in the store.

Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to give your plant enough water at home, so you’ll want to put the plant in its long-term pot quickly, if possible.

Read this post in which I explain how to repot your fiddle leaf fig.

Make sure to choose a potting soil with good drainage. Your fiddle leaf fig likes relatively dry soil so its roots can stay moist but not wet. (Read more about that here.)

If you want to get really fancy, you can choose a decorative pot with drainage holes or put an interior pot inside a basket.

Step 2: Find the perfect place for your tree.

Fiddle leaf figs love light! Find a sunny part of your home (a south-facing window is perfect!) where the tree can get lots of light, but not necessarily intense light. (West-facing windows tend to be a little too bright in the afternoon, and your plant can get sunburned!)

Read this article for more information on just how much light your fiddle leaf fig needs.

Make sure this area is also free from drafts or blasts of hot air from vents. You can also put your tree outside if the weather is moderate.

If you don’t have a good place in your home, consider investing in grow lights like these.

TIP: Rotate your plant every week to make sure all leaves get access to sunlight.

Step 3: Water once per week.

I find it simplest to water my plants once per week. It’s just easier to remember that way! My shorter plants (under 2 feet) get a cup of water each week and my taller ones (between 3 and 6 feet) get three cups.

To see if your tree needs water, stick your finger in the soil. If it’s damp an inch under the surface, you’re good! If it’s a little dry, it might need more water. If it feels wet an inch under the surface, you might be over-watering. The best way to tell if your plant is thirsty is to use a moisture meter like this one.

Keep a close eye on your plant to make sure those measurements and schedules work for them. Your tree might need more or less water depending on your climate. Read our Ultimate Watering Guide here.

Step 4: Fertilize 4 weeks after repotting.

Most potting soils contain nutrients to support plant growth, but it doesn’t take long for the tree to use up all those nutrients. That’s why fertilizer is so important for a healthy plant!

A month after you bring it home, start working fertilizer into your schedule. I like to use Fiddle Leaf Fig Food, which is specifically formulated for fiddle leaf figs and is so easy to use!

Step 5: Learn everything you can!

You’ve just entered a long-term relationship with your fiddle leaf fig, so learn everything you can to take care of it! Learn to prune and shape your tree, encourage new growth, problems to watch for, and how to treat issues when they pop up. This site has all kinds of great information, so read up!

Here are some of our favorite posts to help you get started:

Growing these plants is so fulfilling. You’ll be an enthusiastic plant parent in no time!

Grab the Essentials for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig:

To learn more:

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Claire is an expert on growing dozens of varieties of houseplants, especially fiddle leaf fig plants.

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