How Fast Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Grow?
Fiddle leaf figs are beautiful trees well-suited for growing indoors. But since they’re trees, they can get big! While some new fiddle leaf fig owners are concerned about just how fast their fiddles will grow and whether they’ll outgrow their space too quickly, most new plant parents want their tiny starter fiddles to quickly grow into big, beautiful trees!
In this article, we’ll talk about how quickly the average fiddle leaf fig will grow and how to encourage your fiddle to grow up to be tall and gorgeous!
Are All Fiddle Leaf Figs Fast-Growing?
Indoor Fiddle Leaf Figs
With the proper nutrition and growing conditions, fiddle leaf figs can easily grow up to a foot or two each year! Most fiddle leaf figs will top out at 10 feet tall indoors, though. (Outdoors, they can reach up to 60 feet!)
If your ceilings are high enough and you have enough light, your indoor fiddle might exceed 10 feet if you let it instead of pruning it back to control its size.
Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Figs
There are a few varieties of dwarf fiddle leaf figs that will only reach 3 or 4 feet tall. This is great if you have a small space and want your fiddle to stay compact, but not so great if you accidentally buy a dwarf or bambino when you want a standard fiddle that will grow into a beautiful tree!
These plants are often mislabeled (it’s also possible to buy a young standard fiddle when you actually want a dwarf or bambino), but there are a few ways to tell if you’re getting a dwarf fiddle leaf fig.
On a dwarf or bambino, the leaves tend to be smaller and more rounded than those of even a young fiddle. The leaves of a standard tend to be more elongated or fiddle-shaped.
Signs Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Is Growing Well
A growing fiddle is a healthy fiddle! But there are plenty of factors besides height that indicate a fiddle is healthy and growing.
Your fiddle leaf fig should be putting out new leaves in addition to growing taller. If your fiddle isn’t growing many leaves and is instead getting long and leggy with lots of space between leaves or branches, your tree might be reaching for a light source.
Make sure your fiddle gets plenty of light. Growth takes energy, and plants get their energy from light!
Your fiddle should have a nice, thick trunk that can support the tree’s weight. If your fiddle’s trunk is skinny, overly flexible, and can’t stand up by itself, you might need to give it some help.
While it’s tempting to stake your fiddle when it can’t stand on its own, this doesn’t actually help the tree become stronger. We recommend setting up a fan nearby or, better yet, wiggling your tree regularly to simulate strong winds, which can prompt your tree to grow a stronger trunk. Learn how to do this here.
A healthy tree will grow a foot or two each year. If your fiddle isn’t getting taller or growing new leaves, there might be some issues preventing your tree from growing properly.
Let’s talk about how you can care for your fiddle leaf fig properly to maximize its growth and beauty.
How to Make Fiddle Leaf Figs Grow Faster
Obviously, proper care is crucial for encouraging a fiddle leaf fig to grow and be healthy. However, it’s possible to keep a fiddle alive and in fairly good shape but not in such good shape that it can actually grow. With adequate but not outstanding care, your fiddle might survive and keep its existing foliage but still be fairly stagnant and stop growing.
Here’s how to go above and beyond for your fiddle so it has everything it needs to grow.
Adequate Watering and Regular Misting
Your fiddle might need a little extra water when it’s about to experience a growth spurt, so make sure you aren’t underwatering!
This can be a tricky balance because fiddles don’t like being overwatered either. In fact, these trees are fairly prone to root rot if they sit in soggy soil for too long!
We find moisture meters to be really helpful here, far better than just sticking your finger in the soil to see if your tree is ready for a drink. It’s possible for the top few inches of the soil to be dry while the root ball is still soaked, which makes watering tricky. But a moisture meter tells you what’s going on deeper in the pot and inside the root ball itself. This can also let you know if your soil isn’t draining properly, which can make a big impact on the health and growth of your tree.
To use a moisture meter, just insert the sensor into the soil about halfway between the base of the tree and the edge of the pot, and about halfway down inside the pot to take your reading. Water when your meter reads about 3-4, which should be every 7-10 days for a fiddle. Take a reading every few days, and make sure to remove the meter between readings and clean off the sensor. Leaving the meter in the soil can ruin it and cause it to malfunction or stop working altogether.
This is the meter we like. It also measures light and soil pH!
One of the most important factors for a fiddle’s health and growth is proper lighting. Fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants and typically grow in full sun in the wild, so they love light! While a fiddle can survive in less-than-ideal light conditions, your tree will need at least 8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight in order to grow and look its best.
An east-facing window is usually the best place for a fiddle leaf fig because it will get some direct morning sun and bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day. A south- or west-facing window can also provide plenty of light, but sometimes the direct midday or afternoon sunlight can be a bit too harsh and scorch a fiddle’s leaves if the tree isn’t acclimated to full sunlight. (By the way, it is possible and even desirable to acclimate your fiddle to full sun. Here’s how to do this.)
A north-facing window probably won’t provide enough light for optimal fiddle growth. If you aren’t able to give your plant enough natural light, don’t despair! You can supplement with a grow light. We love these bulbs that you can simply screw into regular lighting fixtures for the ideal balance of full-spectrum light and aesthetics!
Again, you’re dealing with a tropical plant here, so humidity is important for keeping fiddles healthy and helping them grow! If conditions are too dry, you might notice your fiddle’s new baby leaves shriveling up and falling off before they can reach full size. Sufficient humidity keeps your fiddle’s leaves soft, supple, and healthy—especially the new ones!
There are a few different ways to make sure your fiddle gets enough humidity.
If you have a sunny, steamy bathroom with enough room for a fiddle, that’s always a great idea. You can also set up a humidifier near your fiddle or place it near other plants because this will create more ambient humidity as the plants respire.
Smaller fiddles and bambinos might do well on humidity trays. You can purchase these at garden centers or go the DIY route by filling a shallow tray with pebbles and water. Then you can just sit your plant’s pot on top. Your plant will get some nice humidity around its leaves as the water evaporates from the tray!
Misting is also a popular and easy option. While misting can definitely help, it does come with some risks. If your plant is infected with a fungus like powdery mildew, misting can spread the fungus or bacteria from leaf to leaf. Misting can also cause mineral buildup on the leaves that can interfere with photosynthesis and respiration, especially if you have hard water. If you do choose to mist, try filtered water (NOT softened water) or distilled water to minimize potential buildup.
And of course, do what you can to negate factors that might be drying out your fiddle’s leaves. Watch out for drafts, AC or heating vents, space heaters, fireplaces, etc. Be especially cautious while the seasons are changing and the AC or heat might be coming on. These things can dry out your fiddle in a flash!
Your soil can make all the difference in the health of your fiddle!
There are two main factors to consider here: drainage/water retention and nutrient content.
Your fiddle’s soil should drain quickly but also retain enough moisture so that it remains evenly damp for a few days after you water (but not soggy). A well-aerated and balanced soil will ensure that your watering efforts pay off and your fiddle grows properly.
Cactus soil can work well, and a lot of people like indoor potting mix with a few handfuls of perlite mixed in. We recommend our Premium Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil because it’s perfectly balanced for fiddle leaf figs, with the right combination of drainage and water retention.
This soil is the ideal pH for a fiddle, which can affect the plant’s nutrient uptake. This soil is also highly nutritious, and your plant needs nutrients to grow properly!
Speaking of nutrients, this is a crucial piece of the puzzle that you do not want to overlook.
Growth requires energy, which plants get from sunlight. It also requires nutrients like vitamins and minerals, which a plant has to get from its soil. In nature, organic matter continually breaks down into the soil, which supplies plants with all the nutrients they need. But your potted fiddle only has access to the nutrients present in its potting mix. And a growing fiddle can use up all these nutrients within a few months!
This is why it’s important to replenish these nutrients in your fiddle’s soil with fertilizer and vitamin supplements. We highly recommend Fiddle Leaf Fig Food and Houseplant Multivitamin to provide all the macro and micronutrients your fiddle needs to grow tall and lovely.
Finally, it’s important to repot your fiddle leaf fig every year or so. Not only does this refresh soil that might be compacted and nutritionally drained, but it’s also good for your fiddle’s roots!
Go up a pot size each time you repot to give your plant’s roots space to stretch out and grow. This will help the roots continue to absorb water and use nutrients properly so the plant can keep growing, and will let the root ball get bigger so it can support a bigger plant, both physically and nutritionally.
Final Thoughts: How Fast Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Grow?
A fiddle leaf fig will grow as fast as it can under the conditions it receives. The better care you take of your fiddle, the faster your tree will be able to grow!
If your tree isn’t growing or is only putting out a new leaf every once in a while (like every few months), chances are there’s something about your tree’s conditions that are inhibiting its growth.
- Make sure it’s receiving enough light.
- If you haven’t fertilized in a while, it might be time to start!
- And if you haven’t repotted in more than a year or if your tree is looking root-wrapped, it’s time for a pot upgrade!
Growth is a side effect of proper care. Learn more about your fiddle and what it needs, and you’ll have a healthy, growing fiddle in no time!