A tall, stately Fiddle Leaf Fig definitely catches people’s attention. A Fiddle Leaf Fig is a tree, so it does have the capacity to get taller than many other houseplants. Although FLFs can be finicky about their care, they will reward you with impressive growth and lots of new leaves every year once you understand what they need.
Fiddle Leaf Figs can grow very tall, even indoors. The key to getting your Fiddle Leaf Fig to grow tall quickly is to provide it with ideal conditions. The most important factor is how much sunlight it receives, but it also needs proper watering, the right pot and soil, clean leaves, and occasional fertilization.
A lot of people want a big Fiddle Leaf Fig that really makes a statement in their room, but buying a full-sized Fiddle Leaf Fig can be expensive! Not only that, but a tall plant can be difficult to transport safely. So how long does it take for a Fiddle Leaf Fig to get tall? Is there any way to make it grow faster? This article will go through what you can expect from your new Fiddle Leaf Fig and give you some tips to maximize your tree’s height as quickly as possible.
How Much Growth to Expect From Fiddle Leaf Figs
Fiddle Leaf Figs can grow quickly, but it really depends on what kind of environment they’re in. A Fiddle Leaf Fig can grow 1 to 2 feet per year under ideal conditions. However, a Fiddle Leaf Fig grown in an environment that’s less-than-perfect will also grow much more slowly, even if it’s otherwise healthy. Younger trees also grow more slowly than mature ones.
In a typical home, you can expect a maximum size of around 10 feet tall in most cases. Although, some specimens of Fiddle Leaf Fig get taller than this if they have enough space to grow. In outdoor conditions, Fiddle Leaf Figs can reach 25 to 30 feet.
Tips for Encouraging Your Fiddle Leaf Fig to Grow Big and Tall
The best way to get your Fiddle Leaf Fig to grow big and tall is to give it the best possible conditions. While these plants are pretty resilient and can survive some maltreatment, they will not grow as quickly.
Tip #1: Give Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Enough Sunlight
The amount of sunlight available to your Fiddle Leaf Fig is the single most important factor in how quickly it grows. These plants prefer lots of bright, indirect sun and can even adapt to some direct sun. They need a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day to stay healthy but should have more than that to maximize their growth. Basically, they will thrive in as much sun as you can provide!
It is true that direct sunlight can burn a Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves if the plant is not adapted to sunlight. However, remember that these plants can grow just fine outdoors with hours and hours in the sun. They just need to be acclimated to direct sun slowly.
If you want to move your Fiddle Leaf Fig to a location that gets direct sun, start by moving it to the location for a limited amount of time each day, and then slowly increase the number of hours it’s in the sunny spot. A good starting point would be 1-2 hours of morning or late afternoon sun, as the rays are less intense during those times of the day.
Plenty of sunlight is vital to getting your plant to grow quickly because sunlight hitting the leaves is converted into energy via photosynthesis. When your Fiddle Leaf Figs are getting a lot of energy, they will devote it to growing taller, developing new leaves, and putting out more roots. All of this translates to a bigger Fiddle Leaf Fig more quickly.
If your home just doesn’t have a bright enough location for a Fiddle Leaf Fig, you can always supplement the sunlight with a grow light. Grow lights are designed to provide plants with the usable spectrum of light that they can use. And grow lights have come a long way recently – there are energy-efficient options that stay cool, and the light it puts out is just like a regular light bulb. We recommend this bulb, but there are plenty of good grow lights available depending on your needs. To learn more about the ideal light for your Fiddle Leaf Fig, read this article.
Tip #2: Water Correctly to Support Healthy Roots
Watering is very important to your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s overall health. It is also one of the most common areas where Fiddle Leaf Fig owners make mistakes. It’s easy to over-or under-water your plant without even realizing it has happened.
It’s vital that your Fiddle Leaf Fig be planted in a container that has drainage holes. Proper drainage allows your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s soil to dry out between waterings, reducing the risk of fungus and root rot. Various factors will determine how often a Fiddle Leaf Fig needs to be watered, including the temperature in the room, the time of year, and how much sunlight it gets.
When you water your Fiddle Leaf Fig, water all around the base of the plant so that there aren’t any spots left dry. Give it enough water so that some drains out through the drainage holes into the saucer below. If there is still water in the saucer after about 30 minutes, throw it out in order to keep the soil from staying too wet for too long.
Tip #3: Repot When Necessary
Fiddle Leaf Figs don’t need to be repotted very often. These plants can be sensitive to changes in their environment, including repotting, so it is good to let them go as long as possible before moving them into a larger container. If you need to water your Fiddle Leaf Fig more often than before, or if you see roots growing out of the drainage holes or the top of the soil, it’s probably time to move to a larger container.
A new pot allows your Fiddle Leaf Fig more space to spread its roots, which in turn allows it to produce new growth, and by refreshing the potting soil, you will provide your plant the necessary nutrients to maximize its size.
When repotting your Fiddle Leaf Fig, be sure to use a free-draining potting soil (more on that here) and choose a container that is just a couple of inches bigger than the current one. Putting a Fiddle Leaf Fig into an oversized container or using dense, absorbent potting mix can lead to overwatering.
Tip #4: Use Fertilizer or Compost
Fertilizer can be a bit tricky, but there’s no denying that it can give plants an extra boost to grow tall and healthy. Fertilizer works by providing the essential nutrients that plants in the wild would get from decaying organic matter in the soil. Potting soil also provides these nutrients, but they can deplete over time as the plant uses them. That’s why I recommend fertilizing only if your plant hasn’t been repotted in a while. It is easy to give a Fig too much commercial fertilizer, which results in fertilizer burn.
For Fiddle Leaf Figs, I recommend an NPK ratio of 3-1-2 (you can find this information on the label). This ratio contains a higher ratio of nitrogen, which is the most important nutrient for Figs. (This one is a good option.)
Another option to provide nutrients to your plants would be to use compost. Compost is a type of soil amendment that you can make or purchase. Many people prefer to use compost over chemical fertilizers since it is closer to the nutrient sources that plants could access in nature and because it does not have the same risk of overfertilization.
Making compost involves mixing together food scraps and yard waste and allowing the mixture to break down over time. Since I don’t have a yard that can hold a compost pile, I just purchase it instead. There are several types of compost available in both solid and liquid forms. I usually purchase worm castings to use on my Fiddle Leaf Figs. This product is non-toxic and has no discernible odor, so I feel comfortable using it on indoor plants.
To learn more about compost and Fiddle Leaf Figs, read Compost and Fiddle Leaf Figs: Tips for Naturally Fertilizing Your Plant.
Tip #5: Keep the Leaves Clean
Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves are the most distinctive thing about this plant – obviously, it gets its name from the violin-shaped leaves. The other thing you’ll probably notice about them is that they are wide, flat, and generally horizontal. This shape leads them to collect dust, just like all the other flat surfaces in your home.
Dust on your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves acts as a barrier that keeps sunlight from being able to reach the leaves. Without energy from the sun, its growth can slow down, and the plant can become stressed. Dirty, stressed plants are also more susceptible to pests, so there are lots of good reasons to give your Fiddle Leaf Fig regular cleanings.
If your Fiddle Leaf Fig is small enough to move, you can hose it down outside or give it a quick shower. Otherwise, a spray bottle with water and a damp cloth are fine for cleaning the leaves.
Tip #6: Keep Temperatures Mild
As tropical plants, Fiddle Leaf Figs prefer mild and humid environments. The ideal temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. These plants also react badly to hot or cold drafts, so try to keep them away from vents or windows that allow air to seep in.
If your Fiddle Leaf experiences temperature extremes or drafts, it is likely to react by wilting or dropping some leaves. This is the typical reaction to almost any environmental change. And while a Fiddle Leaf Fig can (and usually does) recover from leaf drop, it can cause growth to slow down. Fewer leaves mean less surface area for the plant to absorb sunlight, which means it will have less energy to devote to growing taller.
Putting It All Together
Fiddle Leaf Figs can get tall if you provide them with the proper care. You can generally expect one to two feet of growth per year. If your tree seems to be growing more slowly than this, that’s probably a sign that something is wrong, and you should do what you can to provide it with the conditions that Fiddle Leaf Figs like.
The most important factor is how much light you can provide, but it’s also vital to water correctly, provide the right soil and container, and keep the leaves free from dust. Once all of these conditions are met, your Fiddle Leaf should start growing strong and healthy.