The State of our Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

Last Thanksgiving I bought two fiddle leaf fig trees from the Bay Area IKEA and then drove them home with us to Fresno.  I was so excited to find them!

They weren't in perfect condition (they had some brown spots and bent leaves already) but they still looked good.  I bought two white IKEA pots to put them in and was just super excited to get them home.  I snapped this picture on our way home from the store:
I had originally wanted to buy a big, beautiful fiddle leaf fig tree like these:

In my fiddle leaf fig tree search, a full grown, trimmed tree like that is hard to find.  The one time I did find one though was at Home Depot, the day before we moved to Fresno.  The tree was beautiful but wouldn't have fit (or survived) in any way in our Uhaul truck:
Fiddle leaf figs are not only hard to come by, they are also relatively expensive for something you could likely kill.  Since my track record with succulents was really poor (and seeing as succulents are known for being "hard to kill" plants) I thought I should maybe take a stab at the smaller, $15 fiddle leaf fig tree version first.

I've had our trees for five months now and thought I'd share how the whole "keeping them alive" thing is going.  As I mentioned before, the trees weren't in perfect shape to begin with.  My hope was that as they grew taller, the new leaves would come in big and beautiful and I could just cut off the bad leaves.

So I picked the two sunniest spots in our home to put our two trees, which means that one is living in the living room while the other is in the guest bedroom.
The guest bedroom fiddle leaf fig tree is my pride and joy.  The tree is thriving!  In those five months it has grown eleven new leaves.
The leaves have grown in a bright green color and feel really healthy.  The older leaves towards the bottom are darker green and a little more stiff but they haven't developed any additional brown spots since coming home with us.
This tree gets a lot of indirect light streaming in.  The light is diffused by the patio cover just outside the window so it's just a really sunny spot without being harsh.

While the guest bedroom tree is doing better than I could have even hoped, my living room fiddle leaf fig tree is struggling.  It looks okay in these photos...
But now a couple new leaves have grown in up top and you can tell it's got problems...
It's only grown four new leaves in those 5 months and they have all grown in with red spots while looking a little "crippled" too.

The older leaves on this tree seem to be in rougher shape, with additional brown spots and just looking sad overall.  This tree gets a lot of more direct light than the other one which I'm thinking is part of the problem.I used to water the trees ever 7-14 days by completely soaking the soil in the sink until I saw water running out the bottom.  When the living room tree starting struggling though I realized that since it was getting more light, it probably needed more water.  I've been trying to water that tree more now but so far there hasn't been much of an improvement.  I'm still trying to figure it out but I have high hopes!  I have researched a lot but it seems that everything everyone says is super contradictory.

So all in all, I'm having a 65% success rate in the fiddle leaf fig department.

If anything though, this whole experience has me thinking that I might not completely have a black thumb after all.  I used to forget about our plants all together and never water; however, now I am an attentive caregiver.  I am constantly looking at how the trees are doing, feeling their leaves, and watering them regularly.

And since becoming more attentive to these two trees, I've become better at caring for our other plants as well, namely our two snake plants.  I watered them about once every two weeks and they are doing super well.  I haven't killed a plant in five months!
So that's state of our plants for now.  I'm still holding out for the trees to grown into big, beautiful fiddle leaf figs and will let you know the day that they do!  Here's hoping the one continues to thrive and the other one takes a turn for the better.

P.S. I recently read this post about pruning to encourage branching.  I may have to try it out if I'm brave.  Anyone done this?  Anyone have any tips for my crippled, red spotty tree?


  1. Way to go Caroline! All the plants in my house are fake cuz I know I'd kill them! You've done an awesome job at keeping yours alive! And that house.. Can you come help decorate mine? :)

  2. I love the massive tree's I cant wait till mine is a tree and not just a plant. I gotta decide if im going to take ours for the summer or have someone take care of it here in utah. I agree with christy, you are amazing...im sure your plants will out live mine.

  3. So how did you fix the red spot problem? I'm having that issue Bad and I'm really worried about him. D:

    1. I wish I had a good answer for you but I just kept doing the same amount of water and kept it in the same place. The leaves that had the red spots never grew to big normal, big leaves but future leaves that grew in were fine. Good luck with your tree!

  4. So how did you fix the red spot problem? I'm having that issue Bad and I'm really worried about him. D: