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Last Updated:May 18, 2023

Fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Fig (Comprehensive Guide)

featured photo-fertilizing fiddle leaf fig

Is fertilizing a Fiddle Leaf Fig plant a must for leafy growth and deep green color? Or can you grow a healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig plant without fertilizer? This article will cover all you need to know about fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Fig plant – how much and how often to fertilize, what are the different types of fertilizers, which homemade fertilizers are the best and much more.

Some Fiddle Leaf Figs like to be fertilized while others do just fine without additional plant food. The answer depends on the specific plant. Fiddle Leaf Figs that live in the same pot for too long are likely to enjoy being fertilized. Plants with stunted growth and limited nutrient availability will benefit from the addition of liquid fertilizer. Of course, your preference plays an important role too. If you want to fertilize Fiddle Leaf Figs, as well as other indoor plants, you should give it a try. Observe how the plant reacts to determine whether it likes to be fertilized or not. Remember that less is more – never use too much fertilizer.

Ficus Lyrata green leaves due to proper Fiddle Leaf Fig care

Ficus Lyrata green leaves due to proper Fiddle Leaf Fig care

Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Need Fertilizer?

If you repot Fiddle Leaf Figs once a year, they will not need to be fertilized. A fresh potting mix from repotting will provide all nutrients necessary for healthy growth. Additional Fiddle Leaf Fig plant food will not be necessary for most house plants, as they will get all the nutrients from the fresh potting soil mix. This applies to all indoor plants.

If you don’t repot Fiddle Leaf Figs once a year, they need to be fertilized.

To determine whether your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant needs fertilizer, remember when was the last time you repotted it. If it’s been over a year since you gave fresh potting soil mix to your plant, it will need fertilizer. As a plant grows, it uses minerals from the soil for its growth.  After a year, it won’t be able to get enough nutrients from the soil. The solution is to repot it or give it additional nutrients through Fiddle Leaf Fig fertilizer.

What Do You Feed A Fiddle Leaf Fig?

You feed a Fiddle Leaf Fig plant a fertilizer designed for foliage plants. A fertilizer for foliage plants will have an NPK ratio of 3-1-2, or 3% nitrogen (N), 1% phosphorus (P), and 2% potassium (K).  These numbers should be displayed on the fertilizer packaging. You should use fertilizer with the 3-1-2 ratio, because Fiddle Leaf Figs and other plants with big leaves need a lot of nitrogen. You can purchase a liquid fertilizer.

How Do I Know If My Fiddle Leaf Fig Needs Fertilizer?

Here are the signs that your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree needs fertilizer:

  • stunted growth – If your plant hasn’t put out new growth for several months, especially during spring and summer, it most likely needs to be fertilized.
  • yellowing leaves – Without nutrients, your plant’s leaves can turn yellow. But be careful, yellowing leaves can also be caused by lack of sunlight and overwatering. Check your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s light conditions and watering practices. If they are good, the plant most likely needs fertilizing. If they are not good, correct them.
  • you haven’t repotted in a year – After a year, the soil will be depleted of nutrients. You should repot your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant
    to replenish nutrients.

How To Fertilize a Fiddle Leaf Fig (Step By Step)

Here are the steps to fertilizing a Fiddle Leaf Fig plant:

  • with a liquid fertilizer – dilute it in water and water the soil with it
  • with slow-release fertilizer – sprinkle it on top of the soil, and then water

How Often Should You Fertilize Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Fiddle Leaf Fig fertilizers are available from various manufacturers at different strengths. Therefore, the frequency of fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Figs as well as the right amount will depend on the specific fertilizer you’re using. You should fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree as often as the instructions on the label suggest. For some fertilizers this might be with every watering, for others, it might be once every two weeks.

Only fertilize when your plant is actively growing. For most people, this will be during the growing season (spring and summer). For others, this will be all year round. If your plant is growing outside of the growing season, it’s ok to fertilize, as the plant will be able to use the minerals from the fertilizer. If your plant is not actively growing, don’t fertilize. The plant won’t be able to use it. Excess fertilizer will accumulate in the soil and can damage the plant’s roots. Root damage can manifest as brown spots on the leaves.

Always follow the instructions on the fertilizer label to make sure you don’t apply fertilizer too frequently. If in doubt, it’s better to start fertilizing less often than more often.

How Much Fertilizer Does A Fiddle Leaf Fig Need?

How much fertilizer a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree needs depends on the specific fertilizer you’re using. The recommended concentration is listed on the fertilizer label, as well as the frequency of fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Fig. Make sure never to use too much fertilizer. In case you use more fertilizer than instructed on the label, you run a risk of burning plant’s roots. A chemical burn can seriously harm and even kill your plant.

a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree in a woven basket

Fiddle Leaf Fig tree

What Are The Main Types Of Fertilizers For A Fiddle Leaf Fig?

The main types of fertilizers for a Fiddle Leaf Fig are liquid fertilizer, powder, and granular fertilizer. Liquid and powder fertilizers are simply added to the water used for watering your plants. They are easier to control but require more frequent application. On the other hand, granular slow-release pellets are added to the soil and slowly dissolve with each watering. They are meant to be used less often than liquid or powder fertilizers.

Another division of fertilizers for Fiddle Leaf Fig trees is to organic and inorganic:

  • Organic fertilizers are natural fertilizers. They consist of natural and organic materials like manure, compost, and other animal or plant products. By increasing the organic matter, natural fertilizers improve the physical and chemical properties of the soil. This leads to increased reproduction of microorganisms that are beneficial for healthy root growth.
  • Inorganic fertilizers are made from chemical components. They contain nutrients necessary for plant growth. The N-P-K ratio tells you the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the fertilizer. You can use it to see which plant food is the best for fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Fig. Look for a 3-1-2 NPK ratio, as it’s the is most suitable for Fiddle Leaf Figs.

What Is The Best Fertilizer For A Fiddle Leaf Fig?

The best fertilizer for a Fiddle Leaf Fig is a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 N-P-K ratio. The Sill fertilizer is one of the best products for fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Fig trees. Its N-P-K ratio is 9-3-6 (same ratio as 3-1-2), meaning it contains enough nitrogen, making it suitable for Fiddle Leaf Fig and all foliage plants.

Small Ficus Lyrata tree in a pot

Small Ficus Lyrata tree in a pot

Which Natural/Homemade/DIY Fertilizers For Fiddle Leaf Fig Are The Best?

The best natural/homemade/DIY fertilizer for Fiddle Leaf Fig is compost. Besides being rich in organic matter, compost provides beneficial microorganisms that contribute to root growth. If you want to learn more about fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Fig with Natural/Homemade/DIY Fertilizers, such as compost, coffee grounds, eggshells, banana peel and rice water, check out the linked blog post.

Where To Buy Fiddle Leaf Fig Fertilizer?

You can buy Fiddle Leaf Fig fertilizer online or in one of your local plant shops or garden centers. One of the best products for fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Fig, the Sill fertilizer can be purchased online.

Fiddle Leaf tree leaves

Can I Use Fiddle Leaf Fig Fertilizer On Other Plants?

Yes, you can use Fiddle Leaf Fig fertilizer on other plants. But you should first check if this is the right fertilizer for a specific plant your want to feed. The 3-1-2 fertilizer that’s best for Fiddle Leaf Figs also works well for all tropical plants with large leaves, so called foliage plants.

Should I Fertilize Fiddle Leaf Fig In Winter?

If your plant is actively growing you should fertilize Fiddle Leaf Fig in winter. The plant uses nutrients from the soil when it’s growing so there is no risk of damage by fertilizer if you’re applying quantities listed on the fertilizer label.

You shouldn’t fertilize during winter months if your plant isn’t actively growing. Most plants will go through dormancy in winter and won’t need additional nutrition. If you fertilize and your plant isn’t actively growing, it cannot use minerals from the soil. Minerals will then accumulate in the soil and can burn the roots and damage or kill the plant.

I Overfertilized A Fiddle Leaf Fig, What Can I Do?

If you overfertilized a Fiddle Leaf Fig, immediately take the plant out of its current pot. Remove all soil and wash the roots under running water – the root ball must be completely free of soil. Inspect the roots to check whether fertilizer damaged them. If yes, remove the affected roots. Repot using a fresh potting soil mix. React fast because overfertilizing can kill your plant. Water right after repotting and remove any excess water from the plant saucer.

Can A Fiddle Leaf Fig Recover From Fertilizer Burn?

Fiddle Leaf Fig plants can recover from fertilizer burn if the whole root system hasn’t been damaged by it. Keep in mind that the damaged (burned) parts of the roots will not recover, you can cut them off. However, the plant can survive overfertilization if the damage wasn’t severe and there are enough healthy roots left.

If you enjoyed this article, please share on Facebook, share on Twitter. Let me know if you have any questions on Fiddle Leaf Fig care in the comments below.

Yours Truly,


One Comment

  1. Marty Spence May 18, 2023 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Why did you switch from DynaGro Foliage Pro fertilizer just recently? I was happy to see you recommend it so highly! I’ve been using it for almost five years with great progress! I have recently recommended it to the Fiddle Leaf Fig group I belong to and stated you too recommended it highly. I there a reason you withdrew your recommendation?

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