The Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree makes an impressive centerpiece in any room. Its unique long shape and abundantly large leaves make this dramatic plant an attractive choice for plant lovers.
Take special care of these plants, especially when it comes to choosing the right soil. Choose the wrong soil for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, and you’ll find that your plant might suffer.
Keep reading to learn more about the importance of soil for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees, and find out what some of the best soils for your favorite plant are.
What is a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree?
The Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, also known as the Ficus Lyrata, is becoming an increasingly popular house plant. There are a couple of variations of this plant, but the most popular remains the tall variation with the large luscious green leaves in the shape of a violin. Regardless of which variation of the Ficus Lyrata you choose, they all prefer a similar type of potting soil.
Fiddle Leaf Figs make a statement but are also low maintenance. The best way to maintain them is to keep them in an environment similar to their natural habitat of central and western Africa: warm and humid, with minimal sunlight.
However, it isn’t necessary to entirely replicate this environment for your Fiddle Leaf Fig to thrive. Keeping your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree indoors at comfortable room temperature will allow it to thrive.
Why Soil for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees Matters
Soil isn’t just a decorative component to keep plants in place. Soil is an important component when it comes to keeping your plants healthy and thriving.
When you choose soil for your house plant, you want to make sure that it provides the following:
- Access to the right amount of water.
- Temperature control to the plant and roots.
- Adequate amount of nutrients.
- A place to anchor.
- Proper aeration and gas exchange.
Since each plant species is different, you want to research to figure out what type of soil works best for each of your plants. Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees are no exception.
Choosing Soil for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
Although it may be tempting to use one type of soil for all of your plants, you want to be very particular about the soil you choose for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree. You also want to pay special attention to the state of the soil, since Fiddle Leaf trees might suffer when the soil is too wet or too dry.
When choosing the best soil for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees, you want one that will improve the drainage and aeration around the roots. Even when your soil is fully saturated, it should still contain air pockets.
Fiddle Leaf Fig plants thrive the best in well-draining soil and containers with drainage holes so that when you pour water into your container, the excess should flow through the bottom of your pot. The soil should be of the best quality you can get. Make sure that you regularly check the soil and water your plant if it feels too dry.
Keep in mind that mature Fiddle Leaf Fig plants in large pots will require a higher volume of water than smaller plants in small pots. On the other hand, you may need to water smaller pots more frequently since their soil will dry out quicker.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees also grow best in soil with a slightly acidic pH, somewhere between 5.5-7.0. However, this isn’t the most important factor to consider when choosing foil for your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant. They aren’t too picky and can generally handle a pH that is a bit outside this range.
Even after choosing a type of soil for your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant, you will want to monitor it to ensure it responds well. If you see your plant responding badly, you need to need it in new soil as soon as possible.
Signs you need new soil for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree include
- Drooping leaves: This can be a sign that your plant has too much or not enough water, which can happen if your soil mix does not contain minerals that contribute to good drainage, or that barely holds any water.
- Falling leaves: Falling leaves are an indicator of root rot. Root rot commonly happens when you use a poorly-draining soil mix that leads to your plant sitting in water, and Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees hate sitting in water.
- Brown spots: This is the most common problem amongst Fiddle Leaf Fig plants, which is also caused by overwatering. Even if you’re only overwatering your plant a little, if you’re using poorly-draining soil, that margin for error becomes smaller and you put your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant at higher risk.
In addition to choosing the right soil, you want to fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant every six months in the spring and summer. Do not fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in the winter. Depending on where you live, during the winter months, your plant will go dormant and rest. Because it is not actively growing during this time, it will not need additional nutrients.
The best soil for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees will have a mixture of pine bark and perlite to keep it well-draining.
Pine bark is basically small pieces of bark from pine trees. It lightens the soil, improving aeration and prevent compaction, allowing more oxygen to flow through the soil. Pine bark also eliminated and excess pressure on the roots, and the surface area holds water and nutrients, making them more accessible to the plant.
Perlite is a lightweight mineral rock that helps to lighten and aerate the soil and making it easier for water and bacteria to drain away. Perlite is naturally porous, so nutrients can get trapped in small divots on the surface. Plant roots can access these nutrients more easily, and at a pace that will sustain your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree.
The Best Soil for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
Once you know the elements needed for Fiddle Leaf Fig plant soil, you can either make your own or buy a pre-blended mix. If you have trouble finding pre-blended soil labeled as Fiddle Leaf Fig plant soil, you can also use Cacti or succulent soil mixes, which tend to have similar beneficial characteristics, such as good drainage.
That said, we listed some soil mixes to get you started. Here are some of the best soils for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees to give your house plant the nutrients it needs.
This well-draining soil from the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food Store is especially for your large leafy houseplant. With organic aged bark, coco coir, and perlite, this soil maintains an optimal balance of water and air for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree.
This soil mix perfectly balances water retention and drainage so you can worry less about overwatering and root rot. Containing a blend of nutrients including Biochar, nitrogen, and phosphorus, your plant will be sure to grow bigger and stronger thanks to this soil.
This soil by Perfect Plants is nutrient-rich and provides ideal drainage control for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree. The lightweight formula does not suffocate the roots of your plant, allowing them to grow freely.
This soil is a critical blend of coconut coir, pine bark, perlite, and sand to provide your fig with the moisture and nutrition it needs. This soil is enhanced with Fiddle Leaf Fig Food, too. It feeds your plant for six months, so it will put out more lush, green foliage by releasing fertilizer for six months.
This pre-mixed Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil blend from Leaves and Soul will support your plant’s growth by giving it the nourishing environment it needs to thrive.
This soil mix prevents overwatering by holding enough water to meet the plant’s needs and allowing excess to drain. It also maximizes fertilizer absorption and nutrient uptake while providing the aeration that the roots need to grow.
This soil is suitable for any Fiddle Leaf Fig plant, and Leaves and Soul also offer specialized soil for other plants, such as Bonsai plants and orchids.
Other Care Tips for Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Soil
Although Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees are relatively low maintenance and don’t require much attention, they can still be a little finicky to care for. Here are some additional care tips to help you make sure that your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree will thrive.
- Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees grow big and grow quickly, so you should re-pot your plant every 1-3 years. Otherwise, the roots can become clogged up in the container. The best time to re-pot is in the spring, and don’t forget to change out the soil to avoid any issues with compaction and disease.
- Although your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree will want to grow to be quite large, you can prune your tree to your desired shape and fit.
- Try to promote moderate air circulation around your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant to prevent fungus diseases and other problems. A ceiling fan works great for this, but avoid cold, drafty air such as that from an A/C, which can cause your plant to droop and the leaves to turn brown.
- Keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight may burn the leaves. If your plant starts moving towards the sunlight in an odd shape, rotate the pot to keep growing habits even.
- Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree’s leaves are susceptible to dust. Wipe the leaves off from time to time, as the dust can block your plant from absorbing enough sunlight.
Soil is an important factor in successfully growing any plant, including the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, so you want to make sure that you choose the right one for your plant’s needs.
When choosing soil for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, make sure you prioritize finding a well-draining mix to allow for proper drainage and aeration so that the roots may grow and your plant may thrive.
With the right soil and proper care, your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree will show you its gratitude through its size and beautifully lush leaves.