Replanting a fiddle leaf fig tree is easy to do and there is no risk to your plant if you follow our expert advice. Known to grow quickly, figuring out how to transplant one is a must as part of its skill as a mother plant. The bigger the plant, the bigger the job, so first make sure your plant really needs to be replanted.
These beautiful plants don't like changes in their routine. So if your violin looks healthy and happy, it's probably okay to leave it alone for now. I messed up my best violin plant about a year ago and unnecessarily replanted it, thinking it was "time". I chose common potting soil, which I now know was too dense and lost a lot of leaves when the soil got soggy. All is well now that I have replanted my plant with the correct soil mix and it has recovered, but this is why I emphasize repotting only when absolutely necessary.
Figuring out how to transplant correctly is a crucial part ofgrow a fiddle leaf fig tree. So if your fiddle isn't growing as fast as usual, it might be time to consider repotting, as this is a huge indication that your plant may be rooting.
Sarah Wilson has been writing about gardens since 2015, covering everything from garden design to plant care. She studied introductory gardening and landscaping as well as floristry. As a proud houseplant mom, she enjoys tending to her collection of over 50 houseplants. Fiddle leaf figs are one of her favorite varieties and she has learned to successfully transplant her own plants.
When do you need to replant a fig leaf?
There are several easy-to-spot indicators that a fig tree plant you've had for a while needs to be repotted. As with mostInside plants, the most obvious one is that when you pick up the plant and see the roots sticking out of the bottom of the plastic pot, it's definitely time to upgrade your plant with fresh soil and a bigger pot.
Another option is to take the plant out of the plastic pot, and if you see a lot of roots but very little soil, you know your plant needs to be repotted. Occasionally the roots also break through the top of the earth - I know that seems unlikely, but this happened to me with my oldest fiddle plant, which is now eight years old.
"Another sign that your violin needs repotting is consistently dry soil," says Jennifer Green, botanist atPositivebloom.com(opens in new tab). "Since the root system takes up so much space below the surface of the soil, not much soil is left and it can't hold moisture."
If your violin plant is new, don't assume it will do fine in the pot it came home in. These plastic pots are designed for nursery growing conditions that may not suit your home environment. Violin leaf figs can dry out in just a few days in these pots, so it's best to replant them as soon as you have them at home.
In addition to these scenarios, consider repotting fiddle plants every few years. "If you notice the root system filling the pot and pressing against the sides, or if the roots have developed a tightly coiled root ball, it's time to give your fiddle more space in a larger container," says plant expert Stephen Webb , givesWhisper of the Garden(opens in new tab).
How to Replant a Fig Leaf in 5 Quick Steps
Our expert fig leaf transplanting tips show you the simple and effective way to provide your plant with the best possible growing environment to keep it healthy.
1. Remove the plant from the old pot
Gently shake the root ball out of the plastic pot. You might think it's a good idea to water first to make it easier to slide, but avoid doing that, as it can make a dirty job even dirtier.
If the plant is stuck and won't move, use scissors to cut the old pot to loosen it, but be very careful not to accidentally damage the roots.
Once the plant is out of the pot, check the roots and trim any that are soft or discolored. Also loosen and remove old compacted soil that lacks oxygen.
2. Level your new pot and soil
Gradually increase the new pot size, aiming for a size 2 to 3 inches larger with each repot. Your new container should be wider and taller than your current one. Roots need space to develop and absorb water and nutrients from the soil. But this becomes difficult when the roots are tight.
Any fiddle leaf fig pot should always have drainage holes. Also, some experts like to add a layer likeAmazon Smart Gravel(opens in new tab)to keep the root dry.
Make sure you have plenty of fresh potting soil on hand. The bestEarth for a fiddle leaf figis the one that provides air circulation and water retention.
3. Place the plant in the new pot
Add a layer of soil to the new pot for your fiddle leaf fig tree to rest. Holding the plant upright, fill the pot with more soil, pressing down so the soil is firm.
Leave a free centimeter at the top to water the plant without the earth spreading everywhere. Make sure the floor surface is level.Clean your fiddle fig leaveswith a soft cloth to remove any clumps of soil that could pollinate it after repotting and keep your plant looking good in its new pot.
4. Water your replanted Violin Leaf Fig
Water your plant generously and drain excess water from the soil by tilting the pot to one side. After a few days, when the soil is completely dry, water the plant again.
"It's important not to water the newly replanted fig leaf for a few days to give the plant enough time to adjust to its new environment," says Stephen Webb of Garden Whisper. "This time also gives the roots a chance to settle into the soil and receive any nutrients, minerals and moisture they were deprived of during the transplant."
5. Take care of your transplanted plant
After replanting, place the plant in bright light. "If possible, place the plant in direct sun," says Vladan Nikolic, Washington D.C. plant expertmrhouseplant.com(opens in new tab). "Bright light helps the plant do more photosynthesis and provides the energy it needs to allow the roots to become well established in the new soil."
although it is beautifuleasy house plantWhen it comes to care, it can take a few weeks for a fig leaf to recover from repotting and continue to grow. Wait about four weeks for your violin to settle into its new pot, then treat it with fertilizer. Use your regular houseplant fertilizer or alternatively 1 tspFiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food, available on Amazon,(opens in new tab)diluted in two glasses of water.
When is the best time of year to replant a fig tree?
The best time of year to replant a fig leaf is spring when it's warmer, as you protect the plant's roots from the effects of the cold. It's easier outside anyway, so choose a nice warm day. If your plant is too heavy to move, put in some plastic sheets, as fiddle repotting can get messy.
"If you live in a hot climate and keep your fig leaf in your garden, you may need to replant it more often as it grows much faster and therefore depletes nutrients from the soil faster," says Vladan Nikolic , from Mr. Houseplant.