Ficus lyrata, commonly known as fiddle-leaf fig trees, are famous for grabbing attention due to their big, gangly leaves.
They’re great houseplants because they add to any home decor and stay on trend throughout the year. They are tall, columnar in shape, and their deep dark green leaves add an essence of beauty to the entire living room.
In this post, we will discuss when and how to repot fiddle leaf fig plants when they get larger or are showing their roots outside the pot.
Like other ficus trees, the fiddle-leaf fig tree is a low-maintenance plant. However, they’re also known to have a reputation for being a little finicky.
To have a long-lasting and thriving plant, it is important to plant it in the right kind of soil, pot, and location that has bright indirect light.
Let’s dig into when and how to repot a fiddle leaf fig plant.
Table of Contents
- 1 When Should I Repot My Fiddle Leaf Fig?
- 2 How to Repot Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants
- 2.1 1. Prepare new potting soil and new pot
- 2.2 2. Remove Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Out of The Old Pot
- 2.3 3. Remove as much old soil as you can
- 2.4 4. Trim away any rotten or excessively Long roots
- 2.5 5. Fill your pot with new soil
- 2.6 6. Place the plant into the new pot
- 2.7 7. Water your newly repotted plant
- 3 Best Soil For Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 References
When Should I Repot My Fiddle Leaf Fig?
You should repot your fiddle leaf fig tree every 2-3 years or when you see roots coming out of the pot from the outer edge or the bottom.
Keeping your plant in the same pot for too long can clog up the pot’s drainage holes and make your plant root-bound.
Generally, fiddle leaf figs like to live snugly in their pots, but similar to vining plants, repotting your fiddle leaf fig is a good idea because you can replace the old, nutrient-deprived soil with fresh, nutritious soil.
So, another secondary reason to repot your fiddle leaf fig tree is to refresh the potting soil.
Fresh soil will promote plant growth quickly and also provide more nutrients to the plant.
How to Repot Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants
To repot a fiddle leaf fig tree, follow the simple steps below:
- Prepare your new potting soil and new pot
- Carefully wiggle the plant from the old pot and lift it out
- Remove as much old soil as you can
- Trim away excessively long roots
- Fill your new pot with new soil, but only halfway
- Place the plant into the new pot
- Water the plant so the new soil can settle down
1. Prepare new potting soil and new pot
New Potting Soil
Open up some fresh new potting soil. We suggest using well-draining soil so that you don’t have oversaturated soil when you water your plant.
Read further below where we get into details on the best kinds of soil for your fiddle leaf fig tree.
New Pot or Container
As for the new pot, you will need a larger pot, especially if you find that the plant is root-bound.
We suggest you look for a pot that is one to two inches wider than your current pot to replant your fiddle leaf fig.
Lastly, and one of the most important things to consider with getting a new pot, is that the pot must have drainage holes so that excess water can drain out.
We know fiddle leaf figs love to grow in snug pots. So, planting them in a pot that is too large can affect their growth adversely.
They will expend all their nutrients filling out the pot.
This means the plant will promote its growth downwards (growing its root system) rather than growing upwards (producing new leaves).
So, if you’re concerned that your fiddle leaf fig isn’t showing any growth, you might have planted it in an oversized pot!
2. Remove Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Out of The Old Pot
Pull the plant slowly and carefully out of its pot. If it’s stuck, simply jiggle it back and forth until it comes loose.
Examine the roots once it’s out. If they’re densely packed, loosen them up with your fingers before transplanting them into a new container.
3. Remove as much old soil as you can
It is critical to remove as much of the old soil as possible when repotting a fiddle-leaf fig tree.
This is due to the fact that the old soil can possibly contaminate the new soil.
Tap the root ball on its side and pull it out of the pot to remove the old soil.
After you’ve removed the majority of the old soil, you can proceed with the next step of timing off old and longer roots.
4. Trim away any rotten or excessively Long roots
Since the roots had been root-bound, they are used to grow around the pot.
It is important to trim any rotten or long roots so that they are not root-bound again.
Trimming the roots will also encourage regrowth, which is essential for a healthy tree.
Simply cut off any roots, with sharp scissors or pruning shears, that are longer than a few inches. You should also get rid of any that are visibly rotten or diseased.
5. Fill your pot with new soil
When repotting, it’s important to use fresh soil. However, just fill the pot halfway up for now.
The next step is to put your fiddle leaf fig plant into the new pot.
6. Place the plant into the new pot
Before transferring your plant into the new pot, fluff out the roots one last time to remove the old soil that is stuck to the roots.
Gently move your plant into the new pot and place it on top of the fresh potting soil.
Add fresh soil around the edges of the pot and lightly press down.
7. Water your newly repotted plant
Start by watering your plant from the outer perimeter inwards.
By doing this, the water will help settle the new soil in the pot.
Plus, the water will take the easiest path to drain to the bottom and the roots won’t be watered adequately.
Lastly, keep your newly repotted plant in a place that receives a lot of indirect sunlight.
Alternatively, you can set up an automatic watering system to handle your fiddle leaf fig plants’ right amount of water needs.
This will ensure you give your plant adequate water but not too much as to overwater the plant.
Best Soil For Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
The best potting soil for a fiddle-leaf fig tree is soil that is fast-draining and well-aerated.
Planting your figs in unsuitable soil can give rise to multiple problems.
It may hamper root aeration, cause fungal or bacterial infections in your plant’s root system, or give rise to salts and chemicals dangerous to your plant’s health.
The potting soil for fiddle-leaf figs should have the following properties:
- Should provide nutrients to promote growth and photosynthesis.
- Should provide oxygen access to the plant’s root system.
- Should be able to transport a sufficient amount of water to the roots.
- Should offer enough space to anchor roots to strengthen support to the plant.
If you’re looking for soil that ticks all these properties, you’ll need a houseplant soil blend that is versatile enough.
Look for soil blends that have soil amendments such as perlite, peat ross, or even coconut coir.
Perlite helps in drainage, whereas peat moss and coco coir will help retain moisture in the soil.
To keep your fiddle leaf fig plant from getting fungal and bacterial infections, which can lead to root rot and other problems, you need soil that drains quickly.
However, what is fast-draining or well-draining soil?
Firstly, fast-drainage soil doesn’t have an overabundant amount of finely ground particles.
Instead, it has big, coarse particles that provide space for water to move through the soil quickly.
Since most general potting soils are mixed in with fine particles, we suggest potting soils specifically designed for fiddle leaf fig trees.
If you can’t find good soil for your fiddle-leaf figs, the best thing to do is buy cactus and succulent soil.
Cactus and succulent mixes have big, chunky particles that ensure fast drainage.
Suggested Fiddle leaf Fig Soil to Use
Here are some suggestions on what you can do to provide your fiddle leaf figs with soil that is well-aerated and offers fast drainage!
So far, we understand that keeping a fiddle leaf fig is not an easy task, but you’ll most probably master it if you love having plants!
Everyone loves a well-maintained fiddle leaf fig tree, and it can easily make a fantastic gift for almost any occasion!
A thriving fiddle leaf fig will not only be the center of attention in your home but will also make you feel accomplished.
Undoubtedly, these all-time trendy houseplants are worth every effort!
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.