Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) is easy to grow in a light, airy soil mixture made up of equal amounts of potting mix, vermiculite, and perlite. Excellent drainage is key to success with this tropical plant.
Why Is The Right Soil For Fiddle Leaf Figs Is So Important?
The roots of Fiddle leaf figs carry nourishment and hydration to the rest of the plant. Soil that is too heavy is conducive to root rot.
Soil that is too light may not hold the right amount of moisture to keep the root ball correctly hydrated.
Your goal with most plants is to have a well-draining, light mix that hits a happy medium.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig plant needs a well-aerated soil that allows water to run through quickly while holding enough moisture to prevent roots from drying out.
Heavy, compacted soil interferes with air circulation around the roots. It also allows for bacteria and fungus growth and holds chemicals and salts from the water close to the roots.
Remember that the potting soil for your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree should provide four things:
- Provide a secure anchor for the plants’ roots.
- Include a good balance of nutrients for the plant.
- Allow the right amount of airflow to the roots.
- Hold the right amount of moisture to sustain the roots.
A basic, good quality indoor potting mix for Fiddle Leaf Fig houseplants should contain:
- Perlite for good drainage
- Peat moss for some moisture retention
Of course, you can always make your own indoor potting soil blend, and there are several different methods of doing this.
Follow the simple formula described above. Or experiment with other ingredients to help provide the right balance of aeration and moisture retention.
Here is another possibility in Fiddle Leaf Fig soil mix:
- One part compost
- One part houseplant soil
- Two parts plain mulch or bark
- Half part horticulturist’s active charcoal
Choose The Right Container
Once you have the right soil mixture, be sure that you also have a suitable container. No matter how good your soil mixture is, if your pot doesn’t allow for good drainage, your plant will not be happy.
A container made of a natural, breathable material, such as terra cotta or wood, is preferable. Still, a plastic or hypertufa container with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom will work.
Aerate Your Plants’ Soil From Time To Time
Loosen up the soil around your plants’ rootball by poking a few holes in the soil using a slim tool, such as a chopstick. Be careful not to damage the roots with rough handling.
Do this every couple of months to improve the flow of oxygen to your plant’s roots.
Make a couple of holes for every inch of pot diameter so that a 10″ inch pot would need twenty holes. Push your chopstick into the soil and wiggle it a bit to open up compacted soil.
Give Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Proper Nutrition
Fresh soil will provide adequate nutrition for up to six months. After repotting your plant, watch for signs that it’s getting hungry. These include slowed growth and yellowing leaves.
Look for a houseplant fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 3-1-2, or buy a high nitrogen fertilizer made just for Fiddle Leaf Figs.