Let me tell you a story about a little fiddle leaf fig tree. He/she doesn’t have a name, but let me at least assign it a gender. Let’s say it’s a dude. He!
He was purchased to go in Wilson’s nursery before Wilson was even born. He was so cute a full and lush. He was really more like a fiddle leaf bush. I was so in love with him because I felt like he added just the right touch to the room!
When Wilson was about four months old, we bought our current house. The fiddle leaf moved and went back into Wilson’s room here until Wilson got old enough to figure out that dirt is fun to play in.
Then the tree moved to our bedroom for a short stint. After several months, several lost leaves, and lots of browning occurring on the leaves that were still hanging on, I realized that the tree was very unhappy in our room! He needed more light! So he got moved to the keeping room. Kids still had access to his pot, but if there is one thing we’ve drilled into their little minds, it is not to mess with that tree!
Ever since moving him out of our room, as he was nearly on his deathbed looking oh so sad, he has perked up dramatically! I did a little research, talked to a few friends who also had fiddle leafs, and began some intensive rehab for this beloved little tree.
He is now thriving and regaining life more and more by the week after being down to about five leaves this time last year. He makes me so happy, especially now that I’ve figured out how to make him happier!
Here are the things I’ve found that have helped him the most:
- He now gets much better light. He is in a northwest facing window, so he gets a fair amount of somewhat direct sunlight for a couple of hours every afternoon as the sun begins to make its afternoon round. When he was in our bedroom, he only got a little bit of indirect light because of a screened porch that is right off of our bedroom, and he did not like that!
- I only water him once every 10-14 days. In my research, it seems that one of the worst things you can do is overwater your fiddle leaf fig tree. And I was definitely doing that! I was watering him probably once every 4 or 5 days. When the leaves toward the bottom of the tree start turning brown, that is a sign of overwatering. (And brown leaves at the top are a sign of under watering!) I actually have a pad on the side of our fridge with the date of when I last watered this tree. Every 10 to 14 days, I water him. He is only about four feet tall, so I give him about four cups of water each time. (If you’re from around my area, you’ll know what I mean when I say that I give him a Newk’s cup full of water each time! That is about four cups.)
- I rotate him every watering. Each time I water him, I try to remember to rotate him about a quarter turn. His leaves will start facing the window where the light is coming from, so I feel like he needs a little rotation every so often. Otherwise he might start looking cattywompus with all his leaves heavily leaning the same direction!
- I wipe his leaves off. Every few weeks, I’ll take a damp cloth and wipe down his leaves. A fiddle leaf’s leaves are how he gets so many of his nutrients. But the leaves are so big that they tend to collect dust. By wiping them down, you get rid of the dust, allowing more nutrients to be absorbed.!
- Get to know your tree! Trees can tell you what they like and don’t like by the way they are behaving. This is probably the most important thing I can share on the topic! Read your tree and find out how he feels! If your tree’s leaves are always droopy and the edges are consistently turning brown, you’ve got an unhappy tree. Try to find a new place for him and experiment with a new watering schedule. The way I can tell that my tree is extra happy right now is because of the little black spike things that I see every few weeks at the base of a current leaf. Those little black spikes are new leaves on the way! It’s fun for me to watch that black spike open up and reveal a beautiful, fresh baby leaf. I feel like such a nerd right now sharing my excitement over a new tree leaf, but it’s really how I feel! *pushes broken glasses back up on nose*
If you have a fiddle leaf fig, what sorts of tips do you have to share that keep your tree happy? I’d love to hear!
If you want to read a little more about fig care, I found this article and this article particularly helpful! But ultimately, I think you just have to get to know your tree and find out what is best for him! (or her!) 🙂
Thank you so much for dropping by today! Have the BEST day!! XO!