How To Keep a Fiddle Leaf Fig Alive

Have you ever bought a fiddle leaf fig? They’re so beautiful and seem like they would be easy to take care of, but then they start wilting, and you’re not sure what to do. Fiddle leaf figs are notorious for being difficult to care for and can turn into a mess if left unchecked.

The best way to keep your fiddle leaf fig alive is to re-pot and use a fresh potting mix. Doing this will provide your fiddle leaf fig with the best environment to thrive. Additionally, you should also make sure that your plant is getting optimum sunlight and is being watered properly.

This article will further discuss the best ways to water, fertilize, and care for your fiddle leaf fig. We’ll also cover some common problems that occur with these plants and how to fix them. So if you’re ready to learn how to keep a fiddle leaf fig alive, keep reading!

1. Increase Watering When the Leaves Turn Brown

One common sign of a fiddle leaf fig not getting enough water is when it starts to exhibit brown spots or droop. If you see this happening, don’t panic!

Fiddle leaf figs need consistent watering to thrive, so if their leaves are looking a bit dry and crispy, it’s time to give them some extra love by increasing your watering frequency, especially during hot and dry months.

Check the plant each week and add more water only when the upper half layer of the soil is dry. By ensuring adequate hydration of your precious plant, you’ll help it stay healthy and happy in its new home.

2. Cut Back on Water When Leaves Turn Yellow

Spotting yellow leaves on your fiddle leaf fig may be a sign that it’s getting too much water. If this is the case, you should cut back on your watering amount.

Cut back until you find a happy balance between the new amount of water and the healthy appearance of the leaves.

It can take some time to find out how much water works best with your fig tree, so stay patient and observant. Keep an eye out for any changes in color and wilting and adjust accordingly until you see only strong, vibrant green leaves.

It’s also important to note that brown leaves may mean your plant has root rot, which is caused by overwatering and poor drainage. If this is the case, you’ll need to re-pot your fiddle leaf fig into fresh potting soil and move it to a sunnier spot. 

Also, ensure you’re giving your fiddle leaf fig enough space to grow and not keeping it in overly damp soil.

3. Move to a Shadier Location When It’s Too Bright

If you have recently noticed your fiddle leaf fig tree has developed brownish-orange spots, the best thing to do is to move it to a shadier location.

Fiddle leaf figs need at least a few hours of natural light each day, preferably in the morning or late afternoon when it’s not too hot outside. A bit of sun is certainly beneficial for this lush foliage, however, an excessive amount may cause yellowing and brown spots on the leaves.

Dry brown leaves can be a sign of too much sunlight. Intense heat and sunlight can cause leaf scorch or brown spots on the leaves of any plant. 

The leaves of fiddle leaf figs are highly sensitive to direct and intense sunlight. When exposed to such an environment for too long, it can lead to significant damage. 

To remedy any damage done, remove affected leaves and move the plant to a shadier spot in your home or place a white curtain on the window to filter the sunlight during bright days. The plant should return to full health if given appropriate light levels going forward.

4. Adjust Watering When Small Red Spots Appear

Red spots on fiddle leaf figs can be alarming as they damage the plant’s naturally vibrant green foliage and signal an underlying health condition. These spots usually appear due to edema or microbial infection.


If you have had a fiddle leaf fig for too long, chances are you’ve noticed those irritating little red spots called edema. Edema is a common problem among fiddle leaf figs (and other plants) which manifests as small red spots on the undersides of the leaves.

Environmental factors such as too much moisture or humidity are often responsible for edema in fiddle leaf figs. 

The condition occurs when water accumulates inside cells due to being overwatered, causing the cells to burst and create red discolorations on the leaf. The spots usually appear near the edges or veins of the leaves and will feel hollow when pressed with your finger. 

Try running a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air and see if this helps. You can also relieve the condition by reducing the watering frequency. If your plant is getting too much water and not enough air circulation, that could trigger edema. 

Microbial Infection

In some cases, however, red spots can also be caused by an infection from bacteria or fungi. To determine if this is true in your case, take a sample, such as an infected leaf, to your local gardening center or laboratory so they can diagnose it properly.

Depending on their diagnosis, they may recommend using an appropriate fungicide or bactericide to treat the infection and get rid of the problem. 

5. Re-pot Your Fiddle Leaf Fig When Necessary

Re-potting your fiddle leaf fig is an essential part of keeping it healthy and happy. Not only will this give you the opportunity to check for any pests, but it also allows you to refresh the soil and prune your tree if needed.

Doing this every two to four years helps ensure that your fiddle leaf fig remains healthy for many years. Since this plant requires more frequent re-potting than others, you might as well choose a pot with a larger mouth than base. It’ll make it easier to pull out your plant without damaging the roots.

When performing the re-potting process, be sure to use a pot slightly larger (2 inches or 5 cm wider) than the previous one, as well as a fresh mix of potting soil specifically made for houseplants. Once completed, give your plant some time to adjust to its new home. For more information, read my complete guide on potting all types of houseplants: How to Properly Pot Any Type of Houseplant

6. Use Fresh Potting Soil

Keeping your fiddle leaf fig healthy and flourishing is easy with fresh potting soil. Fresh soil allows it to get the nutrients it needs. Since fiddle leaf figs grow in pots indoors, the soil can easily be depleted of nutrients, requiring fertilizer boosts or fresh soil.

When switching out the old soil from your fiddle leaf’s pot, look out for pests or larvae. Not only does fresh potting soil provide your plant with essential minerals and vitamins, but it also eliminates pests and harmful microbes.

Additionally, fresh soil ensures proper drainage, which keeps your fiddle leaf at peak health by providing enough oxygen to its roots. As organic matter breaks down in the soil over time, it can become compacted, so don’t forget to use fresh soil every time you re-pot your plant.

7. Use Gravel To Increase Airflow and Drainage

When re-potting your fiddle leaf fig, it’s important to include coarse materials in the pot to help with proper airflow and water drainage so that your plant is never overwatered.

For instance, placing two inches (5 cm) of pea gravel at the bottom of the pot helps prevent soil compaction, which can cause root rot in plants because the gravel encourages better ventilation in the soil.

Make sure to use a high-quality potting mix and ensure there’s enough space for roots to grow when selecting the size of your container.

8. Give Bright Indirect Light

As with all houseplants, you need to strike a balance between light and darkness. Too much light can cause your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves to scorch, while too little light can result in pale green or yellowish leaves.

Fiddle leaf figs thrive in moderate to high light but don’t like direct sunlight. To get the most out of your fiddle leaf fig, place it in an area with natural filtered sunlight, such as near the east-facing window. If the sun is too bright, use sheer curtains or blinds to diffuse the light.

Giving your plant ample bright indirect light will ensure that your fiddle leaf fig gets the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and look beautiful. Rotating your plant regularly will also ensure that all leaves will get enough sunlight and avoid becoming leggy.

9. Use Root Supplements

To ensure your plants thrive after re-potting, you should consider adding root supplements to your gardening routine. The essential vitamins and minerals in these supplements will enhance the soil quality and improve the plant’s overall health.

Best of all, the simple task of applying root supplements only takes a few minutes and can provide quick results.

Since fiddle-leaf figs are notoriously finicky indoor trees, using root supplements can give them the extra boost they need to grow strong, lush leaves while improving their resistance to disease.

Root Supplements Kill Bacteria

Root supplements can also kill harmful bacteria and fungi in the soil, including Pythium and Rhizoctonia. By eliminating these pathogens, you’ll create a healthier environment for your plants and prevent them from becoming overwhelmed by disease-causing organisms.

Root Supplements Improve Immunity

Root supplements can also help your plants build their immunity to disease. With the added nutrients, they will be better equipped to fight off any potential illnesses or infestations. They’ll also be more resilient when facing less-than-ideal growing conditions and extreme weather changes.

Root Supplements Increase Nutrient Uptake

Lastly, root supplements can improve the nutrient uptake of your plants. This is especially important when they’re growing in nutrient-poor and sterile potting mixes, as the supplements will help your plants access more of the essential minerals and vitamins they need to grow healthy and strong.

10. Apply Fertilizers to Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle leaf figs are not heavy feeders, but they can use a nutrient boost during the growing season. Fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig every 2 to 4 weeks during its growing season will ensure that it gets all the nutrients it needs. 

Try using a balanced liquid plant food with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for optimal growth. Follow the instructions on the product label or dilute the fertilizer to half-strength before applying it to avoid plant shock and overfertilization. 

11. Use Multivitamins

Utilizing multivitamins can be an easy and effective alternative to fertilizers to ensure proper nourishment for the plant. Multivitamins offer a balanced blend of nutrients and minerals, which your fiddle leaf fig needs to stay healthy.

Diluting a small amount into the watering can once or twice every other week is perfect for providing the necessary vitamins, minerals, and beneficial elements to your plant.

With multivitamins integrated into your regular spring care routine, you can be sure that your fiddle leaf fig is getting the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Note: If you’re already using a fertilizer, you can forgo the multivitamins. You wouldn’t want to overfertilize your fiddle leaf fig and cause more harm than good.

12. Don’t Move Your Plant Around Too Often

One major way to ensure that your fiddle leaf fig remains very content is to limit how often you move it. This might sound like a minor detail, but it’s actually incredibly important.

Don’t be afraid to rotate the pot for even sunlight and growth, but don’t change its location too often, as this shock can cause loose leaves and other issues.

When you do need to move the plant, do so gradually, introducing the fiddle leaf fig to new spots in increments rather than big changes all at once. Minimal disruption is key, so it’s crucial to plan the plant’s position ahead of time based on the estimated amount of heat and sunlight it receives throughout the year.

13. Prune Regularly To Keep the Plant Healthy

Regularly pruning your fiddle leaf fig is essential to keep it healthy. Pruning fosters new growth, which helps the plant stay healthy and look its best.

It is wise to prune away any dead growth or diseased plant material as soon as you spot it so that the problem doesn’t spread further.

When it comes time to prune your fiddle leaf fig, make sure you have a sharp pair of scissors or gardening shears with you. Removing yellow or brown leaves will help support overall plant health, and removing dead or broken branches can promote better airflow within the plant.\

Here are some things to keep in mind when pruning your fiddle leaf fig:

  • Cut back any rogue stems that could smother other parts of the plant.
  • Look for branches that are crowded together and work on spacing them out so new shoots can get some sturdiness.
  • Cut off spindly leaves to provide enough energy for the other sections of the foliage to thrive.
  • Take care not to trim too much, as it can be detrimental to your fiddle leaf fig.

Remember: Pruning is not just about aesthetics. It’s also an important activity to maintain a healthy garden.

14. Increase Humidity by Misting and Using Humidifier

Thankfully, fiddle leaf figs enjoy the same indoor humidity levels as we do. They thrive in moderate humidity between 30 and 50%. 

Lightly misting your fiddle leaf fig daily during dry months can help increase the humidity around it and keep it healthy. Doing this regularly with a handheld sprayer will help. Diffuser misting is better than direct spraying or pouring water directly onto the leaves of the plant.

Alternatively, you can get an electric humidifier to run in the room for your houseplants with similar humidity requirements.

15. Rotate the Pot Every Week

If you want to keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy, it’s important to rotate the pot every week. This process helps the plant get an even amount of sunlight throughout its growth cycle, preventing uneven shapes and sizes.

Doing this also increases airflow around the leaves and improves the overall health of the plant. Rotating your plant regularly also reduces any chances of pests or diseases from settling in, ensuring that your plant stays disease-free and looks great in your home for a long time.

You don’t have to worry about moving it too much. Just a quarter turn every week is enough.

16. Clean the Foliage With Lukewarm Water

Keeping your fiddle leaf fig healthy doesn’t have to be a challenge. Taking the time to clean its foliage with lukewarm water can go a long way in maintaining its health.

This easy process helps to remove dust and accumulated dirt which may impact light absorption and nutrient intake, both essential for promoting the growth of a healthy plant.

All it takes is following a few simple reminders: 

  • Use only lukewarm water
  • Use a clean and soft cloth or brush
  • Be gentle when cleaning or wiping the leaves

17. Consider Branching To Promote More Growth

To stimulate branching and create bushier foliage, pinch off any new shoots at the base after they’ve grown two sets of leaves. This encourages lateral branch development instead of vertical growth. 

Mature fiddle leaf figs can become lanky over time without proper pruning techniques like pinching offshoots or pinching back stems for more side-branching. Pruning off the top of plants can also provide enough shock to encourage branching in some cases, resulting in a fuller, bushier plant with more flowers or fruit.

Pruning and pinching are both easy techniques to use when trying to promote lateral branching, increase the density of foliage, and provide your plants with the ultimate energy boost to produce more fruit and flowers.


Hopefully, this article has given you an idea of how to keep a fiddle leaf fig alive and healthy.

Just remember that consistency is key when it comes to caring for plants. Give them regular waterings, fertilize them every few months, prune away dead leaves and stems, and ensure they have enough natural light for optimal health.

With the right care and dedication, even the most finicky fiddle leaf figs can be kept happy and healthy in their home with you. Good luck!

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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