I love caring for plants, and though I’ve never been one to back away from a challenge, I was at first hesitant to bring home the latest “it plant” – the fiddle-leaf fig tree.

Known for its beauty but also how difficult it is to care for, the fiddle-leaf fig, or “ficus lyrata,” is native to the tropics and thrives in warm and wet conditions.

After finding a dying fiddle-leaf fig on discount at my local nursery here in Phoenix, I felt compelled to save it earlier this year. Now, many months later, I have witnessed how adaptable and resilient the tree can be in a new environment, as long as you use the following five guidelines:

  1. Fertilizer: Fiddle-leaf fig trees don’t have stringent fertilizer requirements, but you can fertilize with plant food once a month through the growing season.
  2. Light: Fiddle-leaf figs like bright light, but keep in mind that the light has to be filtered, as direct sunlight can damage the tree’s leaves.
  3. Soil: I followed HGTV’s recommendation and used peaty soil that is rich and well-drained for the fiddle-leaf fig tree.
  4. Temperature: Fiddle-leaf figs like warm temperatures away from air conditioning and heating vents.
  5. Water: I only water my fiddle-leaf when its soil becomes dry to the touch. Then I thoroughly water the tree and wait until it becomes dry again to repeat the cycle.

I hope the five suggestions above help you consider caring for a fiddle-leaf fig while keeping it happy, healthy and strong!

It truly is one of my favorite plants that adds such a simple elegance to any space.

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Posted by:Caitlin Burm

Hi! I'm Caitlin, the creator of Burm Voyage, a blog about balancing marriage, motherhood and travel across the U.S.

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