When to repot fiddle leaf fig is one of the common questions asked by fig lovers when they are planning on moving their fiddle-leaf fig (also known as ficus lyrata) in a different pot or location.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about when to repot this plant. This guide will walk you through how to prepare for repotting your plants like an expert, so go get your things, be prepared, and remember everything that this article will teach you.
- When Should You Repot Your Fiddle Leaf Figs?
- When Is the Best Season to Repot Fiddle Leaf Figs Into a New Pot?
- What Do You Need To Prepare When Repotting a Fiddle Leaf Fig?
- How Do You Repot a Fiddle Leaf Tree One Step at a Time?
- What Is an Alternative Way of Repotting a Fig Plant Into a Larger Pot?
- What Are Fiddle Leaf Figs Plant Care Tips To Keep Them Healthy?
When Should You Repot Your Fiddle Leaf Figs?
You should repot your fiddle leaf figs when the trees have outgrown their pots, there are pests and diseases and unexpected animal behavior toward the leaf figs, soil quality is low, and there are brown spots. Dropping leaves and dead leaves are also good reasons.
In other words, when there is a problem with the fig plant, you need to repot, so always keep an eye out for these warnings and signs.
Repotting fiddle leaf is needed when you notice several signs on your fiddle leaf fig. Repotting can eventually save the plant and prevent any serious plant complications in the future.
Take a look and be observant about the following signs:
Outgrown the Pot
Repot your leaf fig if it starts to outgrow the pot. If you notice that your plant is becoming root bound, pay attention and repot your plant. Choose a container that is 1 to 2 inches larger than the old container.
Even if it’s not root-bound, it’s still a wise idea to repot the plant so that it can get additional nutrients from the fresh soil. However, this time, it’s recommended to use the old pot rather than using a new, bigger pot size.
You can see a fiddle leaf fig is root-bound if roots from your plant start showing on the soil’s surface, especially inside the pot’s rims. If the roots start to extend their growth outside the pot’s drainage holes, the plant can be considered root bound and needs to be immediately repotted.
If your plant’s soil starts pulling away from the sides of the pot, this only means that your plant’s roots are starting to run out of space wherein they can extend their growth, and the roots are taking up too much space in the plant’s soil.
If your fiddle leaf fig starts to slow down in its growth, it might be root-bound. Slowed growth for this type of plant is normal, especially during fall and winter when this plant rests after an active process of growth during summer.
Pests and Diseases
Another indication that repotting should be done immediately is when pests and diseases attack your plants. Fig trees can be prone to scale, spider mites, or any fungal and bacterial diseases. Repotting is the quickest way to save the plant from any bacterial contamination, so to prevent serious problems, apply some remedies to treat the condition immediately, and then repot.
Unexpected Animal Behavior
Sometimes, no matter how much you try to keep your plants safe, accidents happen. This is true even regarding your fur babies; they tend to unintentionally pee on your figs. If this case happens, emergency repotting needs to be done to remove all the unnecessary soil contamination it has caused.
Degraded Soil Quality
Although the soil is not always the main factor to consider in repotting a leaf fig tree, it is a must to check its quality. The longer the soil stays in the pot, the more the soil nutrients degrade in quality, possibly affecting the growth of the plant. So, it’s always best to give some fresh fig soil to our plants.
Severe root rot is what makes this plant need immediate repotting. However, if the reason for having root rot is overwatering, repotting is not always recommended because there is a high chance of you being able to help your plant recover by simply providing it with good light, letting it dry out, and applying root rot treatment.
When Is the Best Season to Repot Fiddle Leaf Figs Into a New Pot?
Summer is the best season to repot fiddle leaf figs into a new pot. During this time, the fiddle can experience less root shock and easily recover and produce growth after repotting. Also, it is during this time that these plants are most active and can easily adapt to changes.
Although the spring or summer season may be the best time to repot this plant, you can still repot in the winter season . However, you can only do this if there is an emergency reason to repot the plant like root rot, the soil in the pot is not properly draining and needs an immediate replacement, and if it is severely root bound.
If none of the reasons for repotting rings true for your situation, then repotting is not a good idea at all because the winter season is the resting season for the fig plants after their active growth period during the summer.
What Do You Need To Prepare When Repotting a Fiddle Leaf Fig?
The things you will need to prepare when repotting a fiddle leaf fig include clean water, a good location for the plant, enough soil mixture, old newspapers or cloths for the mess, a clean container with drainage holes, and a companion.
Make it a habit to prepare everything you need before you start. Also, ensure everything below is ready when you decide to transfer your fig plant.
- Water and a normal location where your plant can rest after the repotting process
- Sufficient soil mixture to cover the entire container
- Old newspaper or anything you can use to gather soil to avoid any mess
- A clean container that has drainage holes
- A companion you can ask for help
How Do You Repot a Fiddle Leaf Tree One Step at a Time?
To repot a fiddle leaf tree one step at a time, you should first prepare your materials, remove the plant from the old pot, and fill up the planter with the new soil. Make sure to cover the root ball with soil before watering the plant.
If everything you need is ready, repotting fiddle will be easy!
Prepare Your Materials
Before repotting, prepare old newspapers and lay them down on the floor to avoid messy areas during the whole repotting process.
The first step in repotting is to prepare a large storage container where you can combine the new soil mix that you are going to use.
Remove the Plant From the Pot
Grab the plant by its base and gently and slowly shake it out of the container. This process should be easily done. If you’re having trouble, gently squeeze the pot to help loosen the plant from it.
Carefully Remove the Old Soil
Remove all the old soil without damaging the plant’s roots. This time, you need to be extra careful about removing the small roots as they are the ones that carry all the nutrients. The use of a water hose is a better idea to easily rinse away the old soil. Do not let the roots dry out.
Cut the Longer Outer Roots of the Root-bound Plants
For root-bound plants, trimming the plants’ roots can help the plants to grow. Pay attention to the plant’s extra-long roots and cut them, but do not cut too many roots from the plant; only trim an inch or two from the plant.
Fill up the Planter With Newly Mixed Soil
Start filling the planter with new soil. After that, put the plant in the new pot. Pay attention to the height of the plant sitting on the pot. The plant’s roots should be covered, and the soil should reach just about an inch below the top of the container.
Put the Plant’s Root Ball Into the Container and Fill It Up
You may find yourself needing assistance from someone who can help you when you need to start filling the sides with fresh soil. Pat the soil around the roots firmly and gently to make it settle.
Water the Plant Accordingly
Regularly watering the plant is an important step that you shouldn’t miss. By watering, the soil will be able to settle around the pot and in between the plant’s roots. Only water your fiddle leaf fig once the 1 inch to 2 inches of the topsoil starts feeling dry. Use your hands to measure the dryness of the soil by inserting a finger into the soil.
Give Appropriate Care
After repotting, water the plant immediately, and place it in a location where bright light is present to allow the plant to rest and adjust. This type of plant prefers to be in a location wherein it can thrive and extend its growth freely. Any disturbances around the area where it is located can affect the plant’s appearance by making the leaves droop and fall out. This type of plant is quite temperamental, so it needs some time to adjust after the repotting process.
In addition, there are some other ways to help your fiddle leaf fig and minimize the likelihood of root shock after repotting. One is to continue monitoring that the soil drains well, and another is by removing dead leaves from the plant. Sometimes, you will notice fallen dead leaves after repotting, but don’t worry because this is normal. This will help your plant recover after the repotting.
What Is an Alternative Way of Repotting a Fig Plant Into a Larger Pot?
An alternative way of repotting a fig plant into a larger pot is by trimming the root ball of the plant and replanting it back to its old pot after placing it in a new potting soil. You should not trim more than 20 percent of the plant’s root ball.
Trimming the plant’s roots will allow the plant to maintain a size that will not occupy too much space.
Alternative To Repotting
If you do not want your plant to grow bigger, aside from trimming the plant, you can also do the so-called top dressing, wherein you just need to add some additional leaf fig soil to the top of the pot.
It’s just like adding up some soil every year at the top since there’s a lot of soil loss every time we water the plant, so we need to top-up the soil on top. This will also allow your bigger fig plant to protect the roots by adding some soil without repotting.
What Are Fiddle Leaf Figs Plant Care Tips To Keep Them Healthy?
To give proper plant care to your figs, you must follow certain guidelines and requirements to grow them properly and healthily.
The leaf fig soil must always be rich and well-draining. This is the best type of soil recommended for this plant.
Bright but indirect sunlight is what this plant needs. Avoid placing your plant in the direct heat of the sun because this can cause the leaves to burn. Another way to protect your plant from the direct heat of the sun is by using a sheer curtain on your windows.
This way, the plants will regularly receive the bright light coming from the sun while being surely protected because of the curtain.
Always keep the plant roots moist but not soggy. Your plant prefers to be watered consistently to preserve moisture, but it should not be watered to the point that the soil will turn soggy. Thoroughly water the plant by slowly watering it until water runs out the drainage holes.
After that, let the top inch of the soil dry out, then start watering again. Pay attention to any water left in the pot, and check if the plant is not drowning in water. Watch out for overwatering, because this plant won’t love it. It loves water, but it does not like overwatering.
Humidity and temperature
Figs enjoy being in warm and humid temperatures. To be able to increase humidity around your desired planting location, you can put a tray of water under or near your fig plant. Fill the tray with pebbles, and keep the water level below the pebbles’ surface. This way, the roots of the plant won’t be sitting in water.
For additional humidity around the area, you might want to lightly spray water on your plant a few times a week to increase the humidity around the plant’s leaves. During winter, an air humidifier can also maintain humidity around your plant. This type of plant is not fond of sudden temperature changes. Cold blows of winds from windows can cause the plant’s leaves to droop.
During the growing season, fertilize your plant using an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. There is a recommended plant food in the market that you can buy in stores or online.
To ensure that you are fertilizing your plant properly, follow the directions written on the packaging of the fertilizer, or simply dilute the recommended amount to half to be certain that you’re not adding too much fertilizer.
If you’re not repotting the plant for a year, you can add a sufficient amount of potting soil annually. Please take note that giving fertilizer to this plant after repotting should be after a month or two to allow it to recover first from stress and shock.
To keep pests away from your plant, keep your plant well-watered and misted. This way, your plant will be less likely to suffer from pests that can affect its growth.
Additional care tips
The best time for repotting is during the spring or summer season. Another tip is that if your fiddle leaf fig is grown as an indoor plant, always rotate it every other day so all parts of the fig leaf can equally receive sunlight. Not all indoor plants require this practice, but the fiddle leaf fig does.
Also, you can use a soft, clean, and dry cloth to clean the leaves of the plant to make them shinier and more beautiful. By doing this routine every other week, the plant will be allowed to absorb more sunlight through its leaves for the process of photosynthesis.
Upon reading this article, you now understand when is the best time to repot your fiddle leaf figs. Aside from that, you also learned some care tips and techniques. Let’s do a recap and check if we covered everything you need to know:
- Summer time is the best time for repotting this plant. However, in some emergency cases, repotting can be done in the winter season but with some extra precautions.
- There are two reasons for repotting fiddle plants: when there is a problem with the plant that needs immediate action to save it, and the other one is when you would not want to grow a bigger fiddle plant.
- Some plant growers choose to trim their fig plants rather than repot them to prevent them from getting bigger and bigger.
- Now, you can surely determine if your plant is root-bound or not so you can decide if you’re going to repot or not.
- You now understand that this plant needs proper care to grow.
Given all the guidelines, proper care, and knowledge that this article provided to you, you can now easily decide whether and when your fiddle leaf fig plant requires repotting.
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