The Basics of Fiddle Leaf Care

by Suzi Tehan

The Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata) is an incredibly popular foliage plant, and for good reason. They are beautiful and given the right light and water conditions are a show stopper. One thing that many people do not know is that fiddle leaf figs need regular feeding.

Fiddle leaf figs love to be fed! The large leaves and the fact that they are relatively fast growing mean they need plenty of nutrition. The abundance of light during summer and spring means this will do its best growth and its optimal to fertilize during this time.

One approach is to use a gentle liquid fertilizer every time you water or every second water depending on the results you are after. Another approach is to top up soil, or refresh the soil during the growth period, or add a fertilizer. Specifically the three vital natural elements require are K, N, and P. These basic elements are responsible for leaf vitality and root health.

Be careful with slow release fertilizers as there is a risk to over nourish and burn the root system. Remember some soils already have food in them so inspect closely before adding.

With any fertilizing routine, watch your plant for signs that it is happy (new growth) or unhappy (yellow leaves or stunted growth). Try to keep in tune with the natural rhythms of your plant and adjust your routine accordingly.

Note, not to over water.  This starves soil of oxygen and the roots start to rot.  They then get diseased and easily affected by fungus, which spreads to leaves and you start to see black dots or white powdery mold.  They call this a ‘plant SOS’.

The black pots the ficus come in have great drainage so consider keeping them in this rather than repotting directly into a new pot.  This then becomes easier to monitor water levels as it drains through, or even better try bottom watering.

Check out our bottom watering post to find out more.

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