Fiddle Leaf Fig fans love this plant for its big, impressive leaves and sculptural appearance. Given enough space, a Fiddle Leaf Fig can grow as tall as 10 feet indoors, which can make for a very impressive specimen. However, it does present a challenge if you ever need to move your large house plant.
To transport a Fiddle Leaf Fig or another large houseplant, secure the soil in the pot and cover the drainage holes. Protect leaves by tying them together and covering them. Consider the conditions the plant will be exposed to in transport including temperatures, length of time, and other items that could shift in the vehicle and damage the plant.
Transporting a big Fiddle Leaf Fig or another large houseplant is different from moving a piece of furniture; there are considerations to protect both the plant and your vehicle. You will need to take extra precautions if the move is long-distance.
Tips for Transporting Fiddle Leaf Figs
Whether you’re moving your plant to a new house or a new city, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a good plan in place to protect your beloved Fiddle Leaf Fig. Read through our list of tips to see our suggestions for making the trip as smooth as possible.
Tip #1: Plan Ahead
This may not seem like a tip so much as common sense, but having a plan in place will mitigate a lot of the problems you might encounter when transporting a Fiddle Leaf Fig. That includes evaluating the weather conditions and vehicle space and gathering your packing materials. Start thinking about this as soon as you decide to move, so you have a plan in place by the time moving day comes around.
Tip #2: Secure the Soil
To avoid soil spilling into your vehicle, you’ll want to secure it in the pot. Luckily this is easy with Fiddle Leaf Figs since they generally only have one stem in a pot. There are several options that work well, so use whatever is most convenient for you.
A plastic bag wrapped around the pot and tied securely around the trunk is one good option. I also like to use a rubber band around the outside lip of the pot so the soil doesn’t fall into the bag and get the outside of the pot dirty. Another great choice is cardboard. Cut cardboard to the right size and secure it to the container with tape. Plastic wrap will also work!
You will also want to make sure the drainage holes are covered, so water and soil don’t damage your vehicle while you’re transporting your Fiddle Leaf Fig. The easiest way to do this is just to tape a plastic bag around the bottom of the pot.
Tip #3: Protect the Leaves and Trunk
Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves are fairly tough, but they can snap off easily if they’re jostled around too much in a moving vehicle. If possible, you should try to transport your Fiddle Leaf Fig in an upright position, making no contact with any other items in your vehicle. However, this can be difficult to manage for a taller tree, in which case you’ll need to take extra steps to protect the leaves.
You can bundle the leaves together and tie them carefully with twine, or cover the leaves with an old bedsheet, bubble wrap, or a plastic bag. For longer moves, you could try to find an appropriately-sized box (be sure to still secure the leaves, though) to fit the whole plant inside. If you need to lay the plant on its side, provide plenty of protection and support your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s trunk at several different points, so there isn’t too much stress on any one location. This will help minimize the chances of the trunk breaking.
Tip #4: Consider Cutting It Back
You may find that your really large Fiddle Leaf Fig is too difficult to transport. A good option, in that case, would be to cut it back to a more manageable size. Fiddle Leaf Figs are very resilient and can recover from even a pretty drastic pruning.
Follow best practices for pruning Fiddle Leaf Figs, including using a sterilized cutting tool and pruning right before the growing season, if possible. Although your Fiddle Leaf Fig may not look quite as beautiful after being cut back, it will soon respond with new growth and may grow even more quickly than before.
Tip #5: Prepare for Shock
Fiddle Leaf Figs are known to react badly to change, and moving into a new environment is probably the biggest change a plant can experience. Whether you’re bringing it home from the ideal conditions of a nursery or moving to a new home, your Fiddle Leaf Fig is likely to experience shock. Seeing this can be distressing, as the symptoms of shock are dramatic and sudden. The whole plant may look wilted, and some leaves may drop.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about shock once it has occurred, although Fiddle Leaf Figs will usually recover in time. It’s best to minimize shock by replicating as many of the same conditions between the old and new locations as possible.
Once your Fiddle Leaf Fig is in its new spot, give it a few weeks to adjust before making any other changes like repotting or fertilizing. Beware of overwatering during this period, especially if it loses some leaves. After your Fiddle Leaf Fig is acclimated and producing new growth, it is still best to be consistent and make any changes gradually.
Long-Distance or Short-Distance?
Most of the tips above are relevant regardless of if you’re transporting your plant a few miles or across the country. However, there are several additional steps to take for longer moves to make sure your Fiddle Leaf Fig arrives safely. You’ll want to start preparing several weeks before moving day.
About a month before the move, inspect your Fiddle Leaf Fig and other plants carefully. Treat pests and prune as needed. If they are in heavy pots, you could consider moving them to lightweight plastic pots to make them easier to transport.
Water your plants a few days before the move. The soil should have enough moisture to not dry out completely during the move, but not so wet that the plants will be too heavy or drip.
Check the weather, including midday and overnight temperatures (if the move is more than one day). You may want to make other arrangements if the conditions inside the vehicle would be dangerous to your plants.
What If I Can’t Move My Fiddle Leaf Fig?
After doing the research, you may find that it’s just not reasonable to transport your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Maybe you don’t have enough space in your vehicle, the temperatures won’t cooperate, or you’re moving somewhere with restrictions on bringing in plants. In that case, you do have a few other options.
Ship Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
If space is the issue, you could ship your Fiddle Leaf Fig. You will still need to worry about packing it up correctly and avoiding temperature extremes, but this could be a good option. All major shippers can send houseplants. Be sure to check beforehand to find specific guidelines on shipping plants.
Take A Cutting
When it’s not possible to take your whole Fiddle Leaf Fig to your new location, you can still take a piece of it with you. Fiddle Leaf Figs can reproduce from stem cuttings, so you can start again with the same plant when you arrive at your new location. Of course, it will take time to reach the same size again.
Replace Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Luckily, Fiddle Leaf Figs are readily available to purchase most anywhere and are not as expensive as they used to be. While it can be hard to give up a favorite plant, you may find that the stress of trying to move your plant outweighs your desire to keep it. It may even be cheaper to buy a new Fiddle Leaf Fig compared to the other options.
If you decide to replace your Fiddle Leaf Fig instead of moving it, you could try selling it to get some money to use toward the new one. Or, you could give it away to a plant-loving friend who would surely appreciate your generosity!
No matter where you’re going, it’s always important to have a good plan in place before transporting a large house plant. That plan should include a way to secure the soil and leaves of your plant, and support it along the way. By following our tips above, you’ll have the best shot at moving your houseplant from one location to another safely.