Y’all ready for another week? This weekend I was totally taken by surprise on how fast Summer went by! Seriously, it feels like we did nothing the last few months even though we were out and about ever weekend. There was so much on my To Do List that I wanted to knock off over the Summer, not at all happy about the little progress I’ve made in that area. 🙁 One thing I can at least check off the list is taking care of my Ms.Dee. You know, the other day while I was dividing the house plants that I haven’t touched in 14 yrs I thought why not show some love to our dear Fiddle Leaf Fig too. It has been sitting in the same IKEA container that I bought it in for exactly a year! Luckily that didn’t seem to deter it from growing.
The Basic of Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree care:
- Plenty of indirect sunlight
- Water once a week or longer i.e. only when the soil is dry to touch
- Warm room temperatures (60 to 90 degrees F)
- Keep away from vents, drafts or drifts
- Try to keep the plant in the same spot, turning if necessary. They do not like to be moved around a lot.
- Once you buy from the store repot only when new growth is visible.
- After it is established repot only when Fiddle Leaf Fig has grown so much that the roots are visible on the bottom of the container. Their roots like to be tightly packed.
- For the same reason when you repot use a container that is an inch or two larger than the root ball.
- Gently pull the plant out.
- Loosen the root ball and repot in a container that is an inch or two larger than the root ball in a good potting mix that is fertilized.
The large leaves of these show stoppers almost always end up as big dust collectors if not cleaned frequently. I’ve got to admit over the year I may have cleaned the leaves maybe once.
Here’s a close up of how bad it is.
Yuck! From what I’ve read so far you can use these to clean and make your indoor plants’ leaves shine;
- A solution of half milk and half water
- Inside of Banana peels
- Few drops Olive oil
- Organic Mayo
- Coconut Oil (My method)
I usually clean my indoor plants with a damp towel but this time around I used a few drops of Coconut oil on a soft Cotton kitchen towel instead of water. See the difference?
Why did I use Coconut oil?
I kinda sensed that the principle behind using Olive oil or Mayo is that the oil (in Mayo) naturally makes the leaves shine. Coconut oil is lighter than either of these and I always have it around. So I thought why not? Actually we have a long history and love affair with Coconut Oil. The part of India where I’m from, Kerala means the land of Coconuts. Naturally our cuisine relies heavily on Coconut and Coconut oil. We use the latter for literally everything; cooking, as a moisturizer for the skin and hair, even as medicine!
Seems to be working, don’t you think?
The important thing to remember is to;
- Use only 2 drops and to pour it into the towel.
- Rub the towel on itself so that you spread the oil over a larger area and then gently rub on the leaves. This ensures that only a minimal amount actually coats the leaf. Again ‘coz the oil is really light it will not clog the pores on the leaf.
- Also remember to not use the oil on the underside of the leaf. Water would suffice for the underside.
Want to see how much dirt I removed?
Ok, I’m hanging my head in shame! 🙁
What do you use to make you indoor plant’s leaves shiny?
Jennifer @ Brave New Home says
I just bought a second fiddle leaf tree from Ikea after killing my first. I’m determined this time around. Gonna try some new strategies. Usually I use milk on my plants to keep their leaves clean but I’m gonna give coconut oil a try since I have some on hand. Thanks for your tips!
Vidya Sukumaran says
I hadn’t heard about the milk or the mayo trick until now. Will try those too and see. Hope you have a better luck with the Fiddle Leaf fig this time around.
I’m placing mine under the shower once a week along with other plants. I let the water shower over leaves and wet soil well and then I collect them after they’ve stopped dripping water. Leaves are looking vibrant and the plant are consistently producing more leaves/flowering.
Donna H says
The right soil , bright light , and no over watering is key, I think. I got mine, which is full and pretty good condition from Home Depot. Have you seen the horrible ones they’re selling? I got lucky because it was a fresh shipment I think. And yes they do get dusty! I’d think any kind of oil would make them a dust magnet.
This Design Journal says
I have spent so many dollars on plants, I could have bought a house for that money, OK, I am exaggerating, but how or why am I killing plants? I do everything they ask me to do, I tend to them and I talk to them, still..I never brought home a fiddle leaf , I am talking about smaller ones like snake plants,succulents…
Vidya Sukumaran says
The usual culprit is over watering. Water only when the soil is dry to touch.
Maybe you over water
Hey Vidya! I just found your blog today, when I was browsing instructions for repotting a fiddle leaf fig. It took me a few seconds to realize you are from Kerala too, when I saw the Parachute bottle 🙂 Coincidentally, my sister’s name is also Vidya! Thanks for the tips on this post , and lovely blog!
Me gusta mucho está página
I have purchased a braided fiddle leaf fig tree and my question is using the coconut oil is it states using a couple of drops on a soft towel. If I’m doing the whole tree I’m going to need more ? I don’t want to over do it.
With a couple of drops you can clean about 2 leaves. If you feel that the towel is dry add a few more drops as you go. Hope this helps.
Thank you! I was just wondering because I bought a huge braided trunk fiddle leaf fig, I just started on wiping it down today and the couple of drops wasn’t going to work because it has a ton of leaves…
I put coconut oil on my fiddle leaf tree the other day and now the leaves are dried up and/or wilting. We’ve had it for one year and it’s been doing great until now, so sad! Any tips on how to revive it?
Sorry to hear that Annette. Did the watering change? I’ve used coconut oil may times on the leaves without any issue. I’d say try watering once every week or when the soil is dry to touch. They really hate soggy roots.
I have had my fig for years…about twice a year I put dawn dishwashing liquid and water into a spray bottle and heavy spray it…let it sit then turn the shower on it
Jess Fairey says
I just brought a fiddle leaf fig tree and have repotted it into a much bigger pot already, do you think it will struggle or even die because its roots will not be compact in its new pot? 🙁
General advice is to not to report it the first year. It might be shocked for a few days but will mostly recover with correct watering and lighting conditions.
I repotted mine as soon as I got it and it went into severe sulk mode… Took a full twelve months of pampering for it to throw a new leaf apparantly all is now forgiven as it has over doubled in size in the past three months
be very careful with how much coconut oil you use. I cleaned my leaves with it once and they all got brown spots and fell off. I think i must have really over done it though. Luckily some of them survived, and my tree is still going 4 years later!
Jimenez, Irene says
Do i need to repot as the roots are showing on the surface of my Fiddle Leaf can i use miracle grow potting soil?
Yes Irene it is a good idea to report then and yes you can use Miracle gro potting mix.
Thank you so much for explaining the use of coconut oil to make my babies beautiful. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Great tips, thank you. I do have 2 quick questions that I’d really appreciate having answered
1. Do you wet the towel first as to help spread the oil.
2. Can I use this tip for my other indoor plants? ie my grandmothers Christmas Cactus and Aloe Vera leaves?
Yes to #1. No to #2 as those two are succulents. A wet towel should suffice for both of them.
Does this advice about re-potting and using coconut oil work for a rubber tree plant? Just got one and it’s about 5’. Paid a lot and I CANNOT let it die. I’m afraid to over water. The guy where I bought it also sold me a pot. He put the plastic drain dish inside the pot and I’m worried that it will sit in water??
Not sure Gabriela. I have never owned a rubber tree. No idea about what conditions it likes. Sorry.
Drain your catch tray of any standing water in the case of both the fiddle leaf and the Rubber tree, if the plant gets too large to lift away from the tray a turkey baster or shopvac works to remove it. Leaf shine works for many plants and will work on your rubber tree, though it is easier and healthier for the plants to use a sprayer to wash the leaves with water. One with a finer misting head, leaf shines can build up more dust than leaving them alone. If you are to continue with a leaf shine, I recommend NeemOil based leaf polish, it has several added benefits, most notably being a fungicide/insecticide.
As to up potting, rubber trees can get huge and will be able to go to any size container with time, Bigger pot, bigger plant, the more light it needs.
how about on my snake plants? can i use the coconut oil in weeping them? thanks a lot!!
I think for snake plants just a wet rag with water should work for those.
Cindy Brightwell says
Hi Vidya I bought a flf a few weeks ago and the roots are showing on top. The pot it came in seems big enough, should I put some fresh soil to cover the showing roots?
Yes, please try that. Usually soil settles after waterings. Most likely that’s what happened.
I have a single stem, 6 ft tall fiddle leaf fig. How do I cut it back and maybe fuller? Thanks,
Sandy, you can chop it off at any desired length slightly above a leaf node. IT should branch out from there.
Hello! Happy New Year
I’ve purchased a 4’ flf today. I’m worried about the change in surroundings and the fact it’s winter. I think I’ll wait to transplant as you say once new leaves are present.
What else should I consider for this time of year?
That’s awesome Roxanne. Water on when soil is dry to touch one inc deep. Place near a window which gets good sunlight. Keep it away from cold draft.
I bought my first fiddle leaf as a tree about 6 feet tall. It has a trunk and the foliage is lots of branches all directions at the top. It’s beautiful, but it didn’t look that tall in the nursery where I bought it. It almost touches the ceiling now, and the branches keep growing longer and longer. I’ve had to tie them up to each other over time. I’ve had it about three years. What can I do otherwise to manage it?
You can prune it. That will encourage branching.
Be careful using coconut oil. It can burn if your indirect sun is bright, too direct, or hot! The best option has always been a drop or two of gentle soap and warm water in a bucket to clean leaves. While it may not shine the leaves, it will clean them to accept more light.