How to keep a fiddle leaf plant happy and healthy by giving proper light requirements? This article will provide you with all the fiddle leaf plant light care tips and information to keep your plant healthy and alive!
It is well known that fiddle leaf figs require a lot of sunlight to thrive. To grow fiddle leaf figs, you need direct as well as indirect light. Also, it can be confusing to know when to use direct and indirect light. Moreover, what are fiddle leaf figs’ light requirements?
Well, the best time to provide direct light is in the morning for a few hours. For the rest of the day, you should provide indirect light to your fiddle leaf plant. Yet, a fiddle leaf fig’s natural habitat is the best environment to provide for them.
Throughout this article, you will learn how fiddle leaf figs grow in their natural habitat. This will allow you to mimic their light requirements. Furthermore, where to place your fiddle leaf to ensure it gets the light it needs?
Let’s begin with,
What are fiddle leaf fig light requirements?
Fiddle leaf fig needs a combination of direct and indirect light. In the morning giving your fiddle leaf fig some direct light from the sun is best. Whereas, for the rest of the day give indirect light to your plant. In time, they are capable of handling full sun if they are gradually exposed to more direct sunlight. In full sun, fiddle leaf figs grow much faster. However, put your fig tree in a south-facing window with a sheer curtain to protect it from the afternoon sun. Additionally, in fiddle plant health, light plays an important role.
Sunlight is required for photosynthesis, which makes food for plants. Fig plants use the sun to convert water from the soil and CO2 from the air into sugars and oxygen. There is no way for your fiddle leaf fig to survive or grow effectively without sunlight. However, too much light can also be harmful. Usually, fiddle plants prefer particular lighting conditions based on what they find in their natural habitats.
Too much or too little light can cause irregular growth. Eventually, it may kill your plants. Furthermore, many types of light are available at home.
Let’s figure out what type of light your plant requires. Light in our homes can be classified into several types, such as:
1. Direct light
During the day, the sun’s rays directly hit the plant’s leaves. In direct light, some houseplants will burn. Too much exposure to light often causes fig leaves to drop. Also, direct light is most intense in the afternoon, especially during the summer.
2. Bright Indirect Light
Most houseplants thrive at this level of lighting. Usually, it is found near a window, unobstructed by anything, but away from direct sunlight.
3. Filtered Light
The direct light is filtered through another object. Such as a sheer curtain, creating a similar effect to bright indirect light.
4. Medium Light
Medium light is bright spots a little farther away from windows or blocked by furniture.
5. Low Light
The term ‘low light’ does not refer to ‘no light,’ but rather to very dim light. Usually found in corners of rooms or areas away from windows.
However, if you look at a fiddle leaf fig’s natural habitat and translate the light levels into the indoor environment, I can ensure they will stay happy and healthy. So, let us take a closer look at the natural habitats of fiddle leaf fig.
Do you know the natural habitat of fiddle leaf figs? Let’s find out!
Natural habitats of fiddle leaf figs!
Fiddle Leaf Figs are native to the tropics and thrive indoors under bright indirect light and a little humidity. They are native to the tropical rainforests of Western Africa. In the right conditions, they can reach over 40 feet tall, so you might not recognize them if you see one outside.
In their native habitats, Fiddle Leaf Figs get more direct light than many other plants. Thanks to their height and spread. They may even grow in full sun without any overhead cover for parts of the day. However, they don’t enjoy consistent and intense full sun. Despite their height, they are also shaded by other taller trees, which form a canopy over their habitats.
Due to this, Fiddle Leaf Figs require a mix of gentle direct sunlight and bright dappled sunlight to maintain their size.
Let us now explore how to choose the best light exposure for the fiddle leaf fig plants at your home!
How to choose the best light exposure for fiddle leaf figs?
Near a large window is the best place for fiddle leaf fig plants. Yet, avoid placing your plant too far away from a window or in the middle of a wall.
Plants love large floor-to-ceiling windows with an overhang outside to protect them from the hottest sun. However, most of us don’t live in sunny houses with big windows, so you might have to improvise and work with what you have.
1. Place your plant in a south-facing window
Due to the sun’s rotation, rooms facing south will get more sunlight if you live in the northern hemisphere. Those living very far north or south of the equator will see a greater effect on this trend. A south-facing window in the spring or summer will receive sufficient light in the southern United States.
If you place your fiddle leaf fig in a west-facing window without protection, the leaves may burn. Figs live in the wild in full sun, but their canopy of trees protects them from the afternoon sun.
In a south-facing window, your fiddle leaf fig will receive steady sunlight all day. Place your plant a few feet away from the window if your window isn’t protected by eaves or an overhang.
2. Calculate the cumulative sun exposure
In addition to daily sun exposure, your plant needs cumulative sunlight all day long. It is similar to drinking enough water throughout the day.
For plants to thrive, they need six or more hours of bright light each day. You will receive the most sunlight from a south-facing window. If your plant faces east or west, it will get only half the days’ worth of sunlight.
Moreover, there may only be a few hours of light per day during the winter months when the days are short.
3. Measure the amount of sunlight
If you want to quantify how much sunlight your fiddle leaf fig plant gets, you can use a moisture and light meter. Alternatively, you can hold your hand up in front of a white piece of paper. A dark shadow indicates bright light, a medium shadow indicates medium light, and a light shadow indicates not enough light.
After you have quantified your sunlight, add up how much your fiddle leaf fig gets each day. Observe your plant every morning, noon, and evening. Add up whether the sunlight is dark (0 points), medium (1 point), or bright (2 points). For a fiddle leaf fig to be healthy, it needs at least 3 points. Moreover, 4-5 points will make it even healthier.
Add up your readings if you are using a sunlight meter. For a healthy fiddle leaf fig, add up the three readings from the morning, noon, and evening.
Now, you know how to choose the best light for your fiddle leaf fig plants and the best location to place them. After providing proper light and location, what if your fiddle leaf fig plant is getting too much light? How can you notice that or what are the signs if your fiddle leaf fig plant is not getting enough light? Let’s explore the answers for it down below!
Signs your fiddle leaf fig is getting too much light!
Figs can tolerate direct sunlight well. However, the plants that we buy for indoor growth are acclimatized to lower light conditions to thrive. Your plant can suffer some damage if it doesn’t get used to high light conditions slowly.
1. Burning of fiddle leaves
When your fiddle leaf is receiving too much light, it starts to burn. Similar to humans, plants develop white or brown patches of skin on their leaves when they are exposed to the sun. Usually, these spots appear on the parts of the plant closest to the light source, while the shaded leaves remain healthy.
2. Dry leaves and soil of fig plant
Due to a lack of moisture, high light dries out the leaves and soil quickly. If the conditions are not corrected, a thin brown line at the tips slowly expands.
3. Fiddle plant growing away from the light
When plants remain in high light for long periods and do not adjust, they can also begin to grow away from the light source and to the shade.
Signs Your Fiddle Leaf Figs Aren’t Getting Enough Light!
Fiddle Leaf Figs often show signs of struggle when placed in low lighting conditions, including the following:
1. Fiddle leaf fig growing Slowly
Indoors, fiddle leaf figs grow slowly. Nevertheless, they often grow new leaves or extend their branches. In spring and summer, if your plant is not growing, it is probably not getting enough light.
Despite your Fiddle Leaf’s new growth, you may still have a lighting issue. Observe how the new leaves look once they have matured and compare them to the older mature leaves.
It is a sign that the lighting is not right if the leaves are smaller and are no longer growing.
It is also possible for your fiddle leaf fig to display similar traits when it is infected with any common bugs, pests, or diseases. However, at that time you can prune your plant to get rid of an infestation. Also, pruning can stimulate healthy new growth.
2. Branches stretching out
No doubt, when they have a lot of branching, fiddle leaf figs look like full trees. Yet, the orientation of those branches may indicate a lack of sunlight as well.
When lighting conditions are low, these trees will stretch towards the nearest light source. Instead of growing fully and healthily, they stretch out. In the process, the branches and foliage thin out and diminish.
3. Few Leaves on fiddle leaf plant
I am sure many of us have seen pictures of thriving Fiddle Leaf Figs on social media. Many houseplant owners strive for that lushness. However, the only thing they get is a thinned-out tree.
Sunlight is usually the culprit in these cases. Additionally, low-light Fiddle Leaf Figs won’t put out any new leaves, and the spaces between them will widen over time.
As mentioned previously, the new leaves will also be smaller. Another sign that something isn’t quite right is drooping or yellowing leaves on your fiddle leaf fig.
Now you know the signs if your fiddle leaf fig is getting too much light or not getting at all. What can you do to fix these issues? Let’s find out!
What to do if your Fiddle Leaf Fig doesn’t get enough light?
If your fiddle leaf fig doesn’t receive enough sunlight, you should move it to an ideal sunny spot with at least six hours of daylight. If you don’t have a south-facing window. Put your plant in the next best spot and don’t overwater. In plants without adequate sunlight, too much water can lead to death.
Although fiddle leaf figs can adapt to less-than-ideal sunlight conditions, they require more care otherwise. Be sure to water your plant carefully. Fertilize with Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food, and rotate your plant once a week so all leaves get sunlight.
Additionally, artificial light can be used to support your plant. Fluorescent and LED lights are safe and provide the required red and blue wavelengths. So, near your fiddle leaf fig, use a floor lamp with fluorescent or LED bulbs or get special houseplant lighting. Get six to eight hours of artificial light a day.
Few questions on fiddle leaf fig requirements!
Q1. Can a fiddle-leaf fig live in low light?
No. Fiddle-leaf figs are not like other plants that can tolerate both poor light and bright light. They need bright, indirect light. Every day, it also needs some direct sunlight.
Q2. How do I know if my fiddle-leaf fig is getting enough light?
There will be a leggy growth on the plant. Measuring the distance between leaves is another way to determine whether your fiddle leaf fig tree needs more sunlight. If a fiddle gets enough light each day, it will sprout leaves more closely together.
Q3. Where should a fiddle leaf fig be placed?
A window that receives direct morning or afternoon light is the best place for Fiddle Leaf Figs. The ideal window should have an eastern, western, or southern exposure. Additionally, no trees or buildings should shade it.
Q4. Can Fiddle Leaf Figs grow in any light?
For best growth, Fiddle Leaf Figs need bright indirect light throughout the day, with morning direct sunlight.
It is best to place fiddle leaf figs in front of a window that receives direct morning or afternoon light. Ideally, you need a window that faces east, west, or south with little or no shading from trees or buildings.
Also, your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s size determines how much light it needs. The larger the plant, the more light it needs.
The more leaves your Fiddle Leaf Fig has, the more light it will need to maintain and grow new leaves. Additionally, your fiddle leaf fig will tell that it isn’t getting enough light by shedding its lower and interior leaves.
As natural light isn’t as abundant during the winter months, it’s important to keep your plant near the window. Also, ensure it doesn’t get cold air from drafts. Consider moving the Fiddle Leaf back from the window if your window is drafty. Let me know in the comment section if you have any questions regarding fiddle leaf fig light requirements. It would be my pleasure to answer your question. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family!
- Scale on Fiddle Leaf Fig – Causes and How to Deal with Them
- How to Prevent & Treat Fiddle Leaf Fig Bacterial Infection
- Common Fiddle Leaf Fig Diseases & Pests (and How to Deal With Them)
- How to Care and Grow for a Fiddle Leaf Fig – A Complete Guide
- Fiddle Leaf Fig Fruit – Everything You Need to Know
- Can I Put My Fiddle Leaf Fig Outdoors | Everything You Need to Know