The Essential Checklist for Proper Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Care

The Essential Checklist for Proper Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Care

The fiddle leaf fig tree (Ficus lyrata) has become a beloved houseplant known for its wide, lush leaves and striking presence. While it may seem like a challenging plant to care for, mastering the art of fiddle leaf fig tree care is well within reach. By understanding its preferences and providing the right conditions, you can create a thriving and beautiful addition to your indoor space.

essential fiddle leaf fig Tree checklist

In this article, we present you with an essential checklist to guide you through the proper care of your fiddle leaf fig tree. Whether you're a new plant parent or seeking to improve your current care routine, these key points will help you develop a strong foundation for nurturing your fiddle leaf fig tree to its fullest potential.

The fiddle leaf fig tree is actually very simple. Light, water, and drainage are the key aspects that can cause early failure if not applied correctly. Once you properly cover the basics, the rest becomes very simple. From light and drainage to temperature, watering, soil, and fertilization, we've broken down each aspect of care into concise checklist items. By following these guidelines, you'll have the knowledge and confidence to provide the best possible environment for your fiddle leaf fig tree to flourish.

The fiddle leaf fig tree is actually very simple. Light, water, and drainage are the key aspects that can cause early failure. Once you properly cover the basics, the rest becomes very simple.

But first, let's address a common scenario: If you're reading this, it's likely that you've just brought home your fiddle leaf fig tree from the store, or perhaps it's been a month or two and your tree doesn't look as vibrant as you had hoped. Am I right?

If this sounds like you, make note of these few items before we dig into the essential checklist...

New Plant Parent Checklist:

Care Aspect Checklist Item Checkbox
LOCATION Find the brightest spot in your home with indirect light and away from heating/cooling vents. Place the tree there and do nothing else. [ ]
RESTRAINT Avoid touching or moving the tree for at least a week, allowing it to acclimate to the new environment. [ ]
RESTRAINT Refrain from watering the tree unless the soil is bone dry. (Stores often overwater these plants, and further watering may cause more damage.) [ ]
OBSERVATION Observe the tree closely for any existing issues or signs of stress that may have occurred before bringing it home. Expect that you will lose a few leaves, don't panic. [ ]
STAY CALM
Don't even think about changing your plant's pot for at least 3 months, unless it's already in the throes of root rot, has diseased soil, or is severely root bound. Give it time to settle and establish itself before considering any potting changes. (Read: The Art of Repotting Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree)
[ ]

With that out of the way, let's dive into the essential checklist and learn how to create a harmonious relationship with your fiddle leaf fig tree. With these simple tips, you'll be well on your way to becoming a confident and successful plant caregiver.

Don't even think about changing your plant's pot for at least 3 months, unless it's already in the throes of root rot, has diseased soil, or is severely root bound.

fiddle leaf fig tree shock
This plant's journey highlights a series of missteps. First, it didn't receive sufficient light in its new home, leading to signs of shock. Second, the plant parent rushed to repot instead of addressing the light issue. Third, the new pot lacked proper drainage. As a result, the plant is now battling disease..

Remember, every fiddle leaf fig tree is unique, and slight adjustments may be needed based on your specific plant's needs. Observing your tree's responses and making small modifications as required will help you fine-tune your care routine over time.

So, let's get started with the essential checklist for proper fiddle leaf fig tree care in order of most important!

Essential Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Care Checklist:

Aspect Checklist Item Checkbox
LIGHT & LOCATION
Place the fiddle leaf fig tree in bright, indirect light [ ]
Ensure the space gets warm from the light, but the sun is not directly hitting the tree (preferably near a south-facing window) [ ]
Avoid more than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day [ ]
Some direct light early in the morning or late afternoon is very good. [ ]
Add a grow light if the above locations are not available in your home [ ]
Avoid locations near heating/cooling vents [ ]
DRAINAGE
NON NEGOTIABLE! Ensure the planter pot has holes in the bottom for water to escape
(Read: Drain or Die)
[ ]
SOIL
Use a well-draining soil mix [ ]
Recommended sterile mix: use a base of coco coir, pumice/perlite, LECA, sand, and/or horticultural charcoal [ ]
Avoid mixes with compost, orchid bark and other organic materials that breakdown over time (if indoors) [ ]
TEMPERATURE
Maintain a temperature between
60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C)
[ ]
Again, avoid cold drafts or vents blowing hot/cold air directly on the tree [ ]
WATER
Wait until the top 30-50% of the soil feels completely dry [ ]
When it's time to water, flood the plant thoroughly until excess water drains out the bottom, then soak up any standing water in the catch pan [ ]
FERTILIZER
Use a gentle, water-soluble fertilizer formulated for Ficus plants with high, urea-free nitrogen content, such as Fiddle Leaf Treats. Fertilize every time you water while its actively growing (typically this is spring/summer) [ ]

ficus fertilizer

Congratulations on completing the essential checklist for proper fiddle leaf fig tree care! You're well on your way to becoming an expert fiddle leaf fig parent. But guess what? There's more to discover to make your tree truly fall in love with you!

Ready to take your fiddle leaf fig tree care to the next level? Check out our companion article, "How to Get Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree to Fall in Love with You." In it, we'll dive deeper into the art of routine leaf care, effective pest control, and explain the details that take your tree from being simply alive to thriving.

healthy fiddle leaf fig tree

We're rooting for you in becoming a true green thumb champion. You got this! With a little extra TLC and the tips shared in our companion article, your fiddle leaf fig tree will thrive and become the centerpiece of your indoor oasis.

By following these guidelines, you'll have the knowledge and confidence to provide the best possible environment for your fiddle leaf fig tree to flourish.

Remember, caring for a fiddle leaf fig tree is a journey of learning, patience, and a touch of green-thumb magic. Embrace the process, enjoy the journey, and revel in the joy of nurturing a magnificent living being.

Happy growing, and may your fiddle leaf fig tree continue to bring natural beauty and inspiration to your home!

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