If you love the look of fiddle leaf figs but don’t want to take care of a giant tree, or if you want to add a little variety to your houseplant collection, a bambino fiddle leaf fig, or dwarf fiddle leaf fig, may be the perfect plant for you!
These mini fiddles are adorable and come with all the beauty and charm of full-size fiddles but in a much smaller package! Bambinos only grow to be about 3 feet tall as opposed to about 12 feet for an indoor fiddle leaf fig (or 40+ for outdoor!).
A bambino is a great choice if you’re nervous about caring for a full-size fiddle, if you have a smaller space, or if you just like how these cute little fiddles look. And who wouldn’t?
Here’s everything you need to know about purchasing and caring for your own bambino!
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Are dwarf fiddle leaf figs and bambinos the same thing?
We get this question all the time! Yes, these two plants are the same thing. They are both miniature versions of a fiddle leaf fig.
How to identify a bambino fiddle leaf fig
Luckily, dwarf fiddle leaf figs are pretty easy to find and are usually sold in local garden stores, home improvement stores, and even grocery store plant sections. You can also find them in many online plant shops.
However, bambinos are sometimes labeled as regular fiddle leaf figs, and many unsuspecting shoppers won’t realize they have a bambino until months or even years later when their little plant hasn’t turned into a tall tree!
Bambinos and regular fiddles are tricky to tell apart when they’re small, but the best way to identify a true bambino is to look closely at the leaves: fiddle leaf fig leaves are large and pear- or fiddle-shaped while bambino leaves are much more rounded. Bambino leaves also tend to be thicker and “perkier” while regular fiddle leafs are a bit more relaxed.
How to Care for a Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Fig
Good news! Once you have a bambino, you can care for it much the same as you would for a regular fiddle leaf fig, so the advice on this blog will apply.
But here’s a rundown so you can keep your bambino as healthy as possible!
Potting and soil
We find it’s best to wait a month or so to repot after bringing your bambino home. That way, it will have some time to adjust to its new home without having to adjust to a new pot as well!
Fiddles, including dwarf fiddles, need soil and a pot that drain well. When it’s time for a new pot, choose a pot with drainage that’s about 2 inches larger than your bambino’s root ball. Pick a soil that drains well such as cactus mix or Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil.
Place your bambino near a bright window so that it gets lots of indirect sunlight, but not a lot of direct sunlight (this can scorch the leaves). If you don’t have a bright window or are unable to provide at least 8 hours of very bright light, you may want to supplement with a grow light.
Water your bambino when the top 2-3 inches of soil feel dry, or better yet, when a moisture meter reads 3-4. (Here’s how to use a moisture meter for a fiddle leaf fig or bambino.)
When it’s time for a drink, add water to the soil until it just starts to drain and empty the drainage tray immediately. Bambinos also love showers! Keep a close eye on your soil to make sure it’s draining properly, and watch for signs of over- or under-watering.
Your bambino should be ready for watering every 7-10 days.
Fiddles are tropical plants, so they like humidity! If the humidity in your home is less than 40%, you may want to place your bambino on a pebble tray (just fill a shallow tray with pebbles and water to create some humidity through evaporation) or set up a humidifier nearby.
Make sure to avoid placing your bambino near drafts, vents, space heaters, etc. This can dry out the leaves!
Your bambino needs the right nutrients to grow those cute little leaves and a healthy root structure! About a month after repotting, start fertilizing regularly with Fiddle Leaf Fig Food to give your little fiddle the nutrition it needs!
- Dust your bambino’s leaves regularly to keep the pores free of dirt and debris.
- Fiddles can be prone to spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and fungus gnats, so give your bambino a once-over every week or so to make sure you don’t have any unwanted visitors. Here’s our guide to dealing with fiddle leaf fig insect problems!
- If your bambino is unhappy, the first place it will show up is the leaves! Read our guide to brown spots and what they mean.
A bambino fiddle leaf fig may be the perfect addition to your houseplant collection. Give one a try!
To Learn More about Fiddle Leaf Fig Care:
- For more information about fiddle leaf figs, join the Fiddle Leaf Fig Club, register for our free Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Webinar, or enroll in our free Fiddle Leaf Fig Course for advanced fiddle leaf fig care.
- Read The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert, your complete guide to growing healthy fiddle leaf fig plants. The book is available in full-color paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon now!
- Click to join our community on Facebook: Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource Group.