How to grow and care for a fiddle leaf fig

View the video

How to grow and care for a fiddle leaf fig

View the video
×

More D.I.Y. Advice

Cherry Plant

Planting & Growing How to plant and grow a cherry tree Sweet or sour, cherries are a popular summer treat around the world. Lovely and narrow, the cherry tree is suited to areas with cold winters, creating a stunning display of blossom in spring followed by the much-loved fruit.

plant pots 03:15

Planting & Growing How to grow and care for indoor plants For people unable to garden outdoors, growing indoor plants allows them to indulge in a hobby that gives great pleasure.

bird of paradise plant

Planting & Growing How to grow and prune a bird of paradise Hardy, easy to grow and architecturally dramatic with some of the most stunning and bizarre flowers you will ever see—that’s the awesome bird of paradise.

Apple Tree

Planting & Growing How to grow and prune an apple tree Nothing beats the crunch and taste of a fresh apple. So why not grow your own? An apple tree can be so much more than just a fruit tree.

basil

Planting & Growing How to plant grow and harvest basil An attractive garden plant that’s easy to grow and is an essential ingredient in a multitude of dishes. That’s basil!

Bougainvillea

Planting & Growing How to plant grow and prune bougainvillea If you’re looking for a plant with vibrant colours to bring a tropical look to your garden, then you can’t go past bougainvillea.

How to design a herb garden 01:23

Planting & Growing How to design a herb garden Turn your back or front yard into a beautiful, productive space by creating an edible garden that looks good and will tastes even better. For this project, we’re grouping our herbs into three pots – one for tea, one for smoothies and one for cocktai...

Choose a sunny spot and watch 01:40

Planting & Growing How to grow strawberries You’ll love the taste of home-grown strawberries. It’s a great activity the whole family will have fun doing.

With lustrous, wide, violin-shaped leaves and prominent veins, this upright leafy tree will create a graceful backdrop of luxurious fresh foliage in your home or garden. But to keep it in the best health and appearance, there are some tips and tricks that you need to know.

What you need to know about a fiddle leaf fig

Name: fiddle leaf fig, banjo fig, Ficus lyrata

Height: 10–12m tall. Dwarf forms are now available, such as F. lyrata “Bambino”

Foliage: large green undulate, fiddle-shaped leaves with prominent veins.

Climate: prefers a warm-temperate or tropical growing environment outdoors, but will grow in indoor environments.

Soil: a premium potting mix should always be used indoors.  A moist, humus-rich but well-drained soil is preferred outdoors.

Position: full sun to partially shaded position outside, or bright indirect light indoors.

Flowering and fruiting: long green figs are produced, but are usually hidden beneath the leaves.

Feeding: use a controlled-release fertiliser in spring and a water-soluble fertiliser every month from spring to late summer.

Watering: allow the potting mix or soil to dry out between each watering.

Appearance and characteristics of a fiddle leaf fig

Fiddle leaf figs are large spreading evergreen trees that can reach between 15 and 30m tall in tropical climates. Undulate, fiddle-shaped glossy leaves up to 40cm long and 30cm wide form a bushy dome of foliage on top of an upright growing trunk or stem. The fiddle leaf fig is popular as an indoor potted plant and is often used in interior design and styling. It is used as a large specimen plant, growing between 2–3m tall or until it reaches ceiling height.

Fiddle leaf figs originate in the Central and West African tropical regions, growing naturally in lowland rainforest. They produce fruits on mature plants: long green figs that are usually hidden beneath the large coarse leaves. These are rarely seen on plants grown inside, except in warm glasshouses. The fiddle leaf fig is best grown in partial shade outdoors in most tropical and warm-temperate climates, but it will take full sun when established.

Indoors, the fiddle leaf fig will grow in most temperate and tropical climates but requires a bright light or morning sun position, such as eastern-facing windows only, to avoid scorching of the foliage.

How to plant and grow a fiddle leaf fig

Most garden soils are suitable, but the fiddle leaf fig favours a moist, humus-rich but well-drained soil. The soil pH should be in the range of around 6–7 for healthy development, which can be easily monitored with a pH kit. Allow the soil or potting mix to dry out between each watering to avoid leaf drop and root rot, as this plant is quite tolerant of drought and dry conditions.

Your fiddle leaf fig will require a premium standard potting mix when planted indoors.  Use a large, sturdy pot or container, as the plant can get quite large and heavy. Re-pot every two years to maintain health and vigour.

Re-potting your fiddle leaf fig

Don’t wait to re-pot your fiddle leaf fig after buying—do this immediately.

1. Select a slightly bigger pot or planter with good drainage, as the fiddle leaf fig is susceptible to root rot.

2. Fill the new container with 4in of potting mix. Remove the plant from its old pot, being careful not to damage the roots.

3. Place the plant in the new container and fill the sides with soil.

4. Water your plant and let it drain.

5. Fertilise after a month with a water-soluble fertiliser.

repotting fiddle leaf fig plant

Caring for a fiddle leaf fig

Apply a controlled-release fertiliser when potting up indoor plants. A water-soluble liquid fertiliser should be applied every month during spring and summer.

 

spraying fiddle leaf fig with indoor plant fertiliser

How and when to prune a fiddle leaf fig

Tall or straggly plants can be pruned to encourage bushiness by removing the tip growth. They can be trained as a standard by removing the lower leaves and shaping into a ball. Growers sometimes plant two or three young plants together and then plait the flexible stems as they grow, to form interesting trunk patterns. Remove old or yellowing leaves close to the main stem or branch.

Fiddle leaf fig problems

Overwatering is the most common problem with a fiddle leaf fig in cool or low-light conditions. This usually shows up as yellowing leaves or leaf drop. To address this, place the plant in a brighter spot and reduce the amount of watering to nurse it back to health.

Dry air or people brushing past the plant may cause brown tips on the leaf edges. To increase humidity, mist the leaves regularly and move the plant so that it will not be in the way of people walking past. Wipe dull or dusty leaves with a clean damp cloth using water only, and allow them to dry. To enhance the look and gloss of the leaves, apply leaf shine products to the upper surface of mature leaves. Scale, mites and mealy bug are commonly encountered pests, which may be controlled with an insecticide.

brushing dust off fiddle leaf fig plant

How to propagate a fiddle leaf fig

Ficus can be easily propagated using tip cuttings taken during spring or early summer.

1. Choose firm tip growth with at least two leaves around 10–12cm long.

2. Place them in a 130mm pot with seed and cutting mix, or 50:50 peat and coarse propagating sand or perlite.

3. Large ficus leaves can be reduced by cutting them in half to reduce transpiration.

4. Dip the bottom of the stem in rooting hormone and place in a propagator or pot covered with a clear 2L bottle top and position in partial shade.

5. In around 6–8 weeks the cuttings should have taken root.

Larger plants can be obtained by aerial layering, although this is quite slow and can take 6–12 months before they are established.

In warmer areas, fresh fig seed can be obtained and sown in spring or summer. This will germinate with a little bottom heat in a heated propagator.

If you like this then try

Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa): a handsome evergreen tropical climbing plant with large, glossy perforated leaves. Grown as an indoor plant, or outside in warm sheltered areas.

Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum pinnatum): a climbing or sprawling evergreen tropical plant with heart-shaped foliage, usually splashed with yellow or white. Suitable for growing in low-light conditions indoors.

Air-cleaning plants: indoor plants that remove harmful levels of air pollution from our homes and offices. 

Start planting today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!

pool with moroccan tiles

Planning & Projects Transform your backyard with a new garden bed Well-planned garden beds can give your backyard both structure and beauty, and solve all sorts of tricky problems, from screening out your neighbours to disguising an ugly fence. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

planting an edible garden

Planning & Projects How to build a child-friendly edible garden Creating a child-friendly edible garden is an enjoyable way to get grubby with the kids as well as engaging them with the great outdoors

Garden Tool Storage 01:52

Planning & Projects D.I.Y. garden tool storage rack Garden tools can be tricky to store away neatly because of their size and shape. Find out how to create a garden tool storage rack with this guide from Bunnings.

various artificial plants

Planning & Projects Create an instant artificial garden Get an instant, hassle-free designer garden with Un-Real Artificial plants. Find out here how you can create a beautiful and instant private garden.

How to Make a Terrarium 02:54

Planning & Projects How to make a terrarium Learn how to make a terrarium with this handy guide.

Renovation Basics - Garden 03:28

Planning & Projects How to plan and landscape a garden makeover If you’re thinking about creating a new garden, you can save a lot by doing the project yourself.

Plant growing from coin jar

Planning & Projects Nine plants for good luck around the home The Lunar New Year is a significant part of most Asian cultures. There are many customs and rituals that are celebrated at this time. As part of the customs, there are some plants traditionally associated with the Lunar New Year festival and thought...

Plan out the garden 01:50

Planning & Projects How to create a cottage garden A cottage garden full of flowers and colour brightens every home. This video will help you build one that suits your tastes and needs.

low water garden

Planning & Projects How to create a low-water garden ‘Dry’ or ‘low-water’ gardening is a real art and, when done right, will provide you with an inviting landscape that uses very little water.

Finished artificial green garden wall behind garden bench 02:05

Planning & Projects How to create a green wall using artificial hedge Green walls are all the rage at the moment, but buying and maintaining one can be costly. Why not have a go at creating your own using pieces of artificial hedge – it looks great and will last the distance. Here’s how.

reducing water

How To Save Water How to reduce water usage Whether indoor or outdoor, there are lots of ways to be smart about water usage. And there are some simple actions that can make a big difference to your water bill.

doorbell 02:04

Doors How to install a ring doorbell The Ring video doorbell is a wireless doorbell which allows you to see who is at your front door. Find out how to install the Ring video doorbell yourself.

a tree lit up with solar lights around it 01:46

Garden Lighting How to install solar lights in your garden Solar lights are a great way to illuminate your pathways and highlight your garden beds at night. Install them yourself with these easy steps.

how to organise your pantry 02:52

Shelving & Storage How to organise your pantry Create an organisational system in your pantry with these handy storage hints. Trust us – its life changing!

front door 01:31

How To Paint How to paint your front door Make an entrance every darn day of the week by painting your front door a bold, enticing colour!

how to hang pictures

Walls The best way to hang pictures on a wall Learn the tricks to hanging your wall decor so it looks good – and doesn’t damage the plasterboard. Create an effortless-looking display by taking the time to consider spacing, proportion, frame styles and colour palettes.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Top of the content