How NOT to kill your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

With its big beautiful leaves, what's not to love about the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree? Perhaps, its finicky nature – but don't let that deter you. If this black thumb can keep one alive then so can you! Here’s my secret on how NOT to kill a Fiddle Leaf Fig…

We chat everyday over my morning coffee, I sing to it “You are my sunshine”, and then I pet its leaves and tell it how pretty it is.

Seriously kidding – please don’t click off the page and erase me from your life. I do some crazy stuff, but that’s even a little much for me!

You honestly just have to adopt the "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" mentality. Not too much, not too little… juuust right. 

5 tips for a thriving Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

My track record with keeping plants alive is less than mediocre, but my desire to own a Fiddle Leaf Fig overruled my track record and I was determined to raise a thriving FLF.

After countless hours on Google learning about this finicky plant, I fully expected to kill it in record time.

And I did.

I purchased my first FLF from Lowe’s and they (as well as Home Depot) have a 1 year guarantee on their plants. If it dies within that first year you can return it for a refund, or exchange it for a new one. I’m not even going to lie – this policy was the deciding factor that made me take the chance.

Three weeks after owning it I returned it with three brown leaves and they happily exchanged it for a beautiful new FLF, which I’m happy to report has outlived the 1 year guarantee.  

My problem with plants? I drown them. As soon as I think they look thirsty, I give them water. And not just a little bit. I give them so much that no living creature could survive it. 

Kind of like how grandma wants to feed you every waking second and you’re like “I’m not hungry because you just let me eat 2 bowls of ice cream, half a dozen cookies and a box of cheez-its”. But you don’t say that to Grandma. You smile and gladly accept the Thanksgiving lunch lain out before you.   

My poor FLF never stood a chance. I was grandma and I didn’t even know it. 

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Tips to keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree alive

Based on that experience and lots of prayers, this is how I’ve kept my FLF alive, well, and growing!

  1. Make a watering schedule
    I only water it once a week and I picked a day that was easy for me to remember – Monday. I chose Monday because it’s the start of a new week, and it’s naturally when we get back into a more structured routine. Weekends are just too unstructured and I try not to schedule any chores on the weekends anyhow.
  2. Don’t overwater
    I only give it enough water to wet the top soil. My plant is about 4 ft. tall and it took some time to determine how much water works. I started out by giving it very little and kept an eye on it over the next few days. If the leaves started to droop, I knew it needed more water so I would give it a little more and just adjust the amount on my next scheduled day, which ended up being anything in between 1/2c to 1c total.
  3. Give it light
    My FLF has lived in a few different spots, but the place I found it thriving most is in front of a warm and sunny window that gets a lot of light, but is never in direct sunlight and is free of drafts from the a/c vents.
  4. Find its happy place
    Find the spot it responds to best and keep it there. They are finicky so if you move it often it will rebel like a stubborn teenager and I promise you, you won’t win.  
  5. Feed it vitamins
    When I was trying to save my first fig from drowning I found SUPERthrive vitamin solution on Amazon. It’s highly concentrated so you don’t need much. I add a cap full to my full watering can.

Your first instinct if you see browning leaves is probably to give it more water, but with the FLF that can mean over or under watering so the best way to know if it’s under watered is to watch for drooping leaves. It’s much harder to bring it back to life if you’re under watering vs. over watering.

Since this was my first houseplant and it’s so high maintenance, the rest of my house is filled with “drought tolerant” plants - LOL. But they are all on the same watering schedule and so far it has worked well!

Got any tried and true tips of your own to share? I’d love to read them in the comment section below!


P I N  T H I S  I M A G E

5 ways to keep your fiddle leaf fig tree alive

S H O P  T H I S  R O O M

5 ways to keep your fiddle leaf fig tree alive


Great post! Like you, I studied and came up with almost the exact same regimen! I’m happy to say, my first fiddle has survived 3 years and my second over a year.

That is AWESOME, Brittany!!

Did you train it into a tree, mine is growing so wide, I am afraid to cut it.

Hi Susan - I just have the three trunks tied together with twine so it looks more like a tree.  If I remove the twine it will still fall however it wants to. ;)

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