How to Fix a Leggy Fiddle Leaf Fig – A Complete Guide in 2022

I know you are stressed about your leggy fiddle leaf fig plant. There is no doubt that the glossy and large leaves of this plant are the reason why people love it so much. However,  when a fiddle leaf becomes too leggy, it takes away the beauty of the entire plant. That’s disheartening to any fig lover.

If your fiddle leaf fig is getting leggy, it might be a cause for concern. However, before you try to fix it, it is important for you to know what the cause is. By identifying the cause, you will have a better chance of fixing the issue. So, why does the fiddle leaf fig get leggy?

A lack of sunlight is the most likely cause of leggy, spindly growth on your Fiddle Leaf Fig. It prefers bright light, so place it near a window for maximum exposure to the sun.

Aside from lack of sunlight, there are a few other causes as well. Below I have covered all the causes and how to fix leggy fig plants. So, save your fig’s beauty by reading this article. 

Why is my fiddle leaf fig leggy

Before we fix your leggy fiddle leaf fig, let’s find out what causes it. A leggy fiddle leaf fig plant can occur for a number of reasons. So, once you identify the cause, it will be easier to prevent this problem.

Reason #1: Providing insufficient light to plant

Providing insufficient light to plant

Lack of light causes the plant to become leggy.

It is common for fiddle leaf figs to grow long stems that seem unusual when they are leggy. Moreover, it will have only a few leaves on the stem and look sick.

Each day, the fig plant needs 6-8 hours of light. Otherwise, it would get leggy.

Reason#2: Too little fertilizer makes fig plants weak

It takes a lot of energy to grow fiddle leaf figs. For this reason, they need lots of fertilizers to ensure that they get the nutrients they need.

With the help of their roots, fiddle leaf figs can absorb all the nutrients from the soil. Indoors, that is not possible, so they need a lot of fertilizers.

Additionally, insufficient nutrients can result in leggy fiddle leaf figs if you do not use the right fertilizer.

Reason#3: A sudden temperature change

It’s all about consistency when it comes to fiddle leaf figs. As long as the temperature stays the same throughout the year, they are happy.

If temperatures suddenly rise or fall, the fiddle leaf fig can become weak and leggy. The ideal temperature for fiddle leaf figs is 60 to 80°F.

Also, you shouldn’t move the plant from one room to another or indoors to outdoors. As a result of temperature changes, low leaves also fall.

Reason#4: Too little pruning

A fiddle leaf fig’s appearance depends on proper pruning. Plant growth is stimulated by pruning as well, which leads to better growth.

However, plant owners often forget to prune leggy, tall plants.

Reason#5: Rootbound fiddle leaf fig

When fiddle leaf figs remain in their containers for too long, they become root-bound.

In root-bound plants, the roots cannot absorb nutrients and water from the soil. As a result, the plant becomes leggy and weak. In addition, this causes root rot in fiddle leaf figs.

Reason#6: Overwatering fig plant

Besides causing fungal problems and root rot, overwatering can make fiddle leaf figs leggy.

It is impossible for a fiddle leaf fig to stay strong and healthy if it is overwatered. This results in a weak, leggy, limp plant that is prone to disease and insects. Therefore, it is important to know how often to water the fiddle leaf fig plants.

Now that we understand all the reasons, it’s time to figure out how to fix them.

How to fix a leggy fiddle leaf fig

How to fix a leggy fiddle leaf fig

1. Provide at least 6-8 hours of light every day

The most common cause of a leggy fiddle leaf fig plant is insufficient light.

Without enough light, the fiddle leaf fig will try to find a light source and stretch towards it. Thus, it would make it lean and leggy.

Due to bending, your plant will only grow in one direction. You can only solve this problem by providing sufficient light to your fiddle leaf fig.

As these plants love bright light, you should always place the fiddle leaf fig in the sunniest, brightest spot of your house. Additionally, it is necessary for these plants to have at least 6-8 hours of light a day.

Make sure the plant gets light all day by placing it near a window. You can keep the plant in a south-facing window. Also, you can rotate the plant slowly to ensure that all sides receive light.

If your house has no windows or no bright spots, consider using artificial light. Online you can find several artificial lights that provide sufficient light.

2. Fertilize your fiddle leaf fig plant once a week

To stay healthy and grow, fiddle leaf figs require a lot of fertilizers. Once a week, fertilize your fiddle leaf fig with a gentle fertilizer.

Figs require a 3:1:2 NPK ratio. Nitrogen boosts the growth of new leaves, phosphorus supports root development, and potassium regulates water. 

Also, it is best to fertilize the plant while it is growing. However, avoid fertilization during the dormant season of the plant.

3. Keep the temperature consistent

Every time something changes abruptly for fiddle leaf figs, they start to show problems.

Fiddle leaf figs live in humid, warm environments. However, winter brings lower temperatures inside the homes. A sudden change in temperature stresses fiddle leaf figs and makes them weak and leggy.

To prevent stress on the plant, maintain a consistent temperature. Additionally, keep your fiddle leaf fig away from drafts, AC, and vents.

4. Regular pruning

Regular pruning

Your fiddle leaf fig may become leggy if you do not prune it.

To keep these plants in shape and to prevent them from growing too tall for your home, you need to prune them regularly.

Steps to prune fiddle leaf fig

Step 1: Decide which areas you want to prune and what shape you want your plant to have.

Step 2: Remove any damaged or yellow leaves with a sharp, clean pair of scissors. Cut off any branches with few leaves as well.

Step 3: It is recommended that you cut off any crowded branches, as they restrict airflow.

Step 4: After pruning, fertilize the plant to ensure new growth and recovery.

5. Repot the plant


These plants often become root-bound due to their love of being tightly rooted.

Due to a lack of space for the roots to move, roots bound to the soil cannot absorb water and nutrients.

Because there is not enough space, airflow is blocked and the plant becomes weak and leggy.

Also, despite fertilizing, the nutrients don’t reach all the roots equally.

At this point, it is crucial to report the plant to fix the legginess and get back a healthy fiddle leaf fig.

Steps to re-pot fiddle leaf fig

Step 1: Make sure the pot you choose has drainage holes and is larger than the previous pot.

Step 2: Carefully remove the fiddle leaf fig from its old pot.

Step 3: Gently massage the root ball to remove the soil from the roots. Alternatively, you can rinse the roots with water to remove the soil.

Step 4: In the new pot, add a new soil mix and plant. To make the plant stand upright, add soil to the sides.

Step 5: To settle the plant in the new pot, water thoroughly after repotting the fiddle leaf fig.

Also learn in detail Repotting Fiddle Leaf Fig – When, Why, and How to Re-pot

6. Avoid overwatering the plant

Water the plant only when the first two or so inches of soil feel dry to prevent overwatering.

Put your finger into the soil two inches below the surface before watering the plant. Also, check the soil moisture level again in a day or two if the soil still feels moist. Deeply water the plant if the soil feels dry.

Also, check our blog to learn how to save overwatered fiddle leaf fig plant

Few questions on leggy fiddle leaf fig

Q1. How do I make my fiddle leaf fig bushier?

Ans. By notching a Fiddle Leaf Fig plant, you encourage it to branch without removing any height from it. Cuts or “notches” are made instead up and down the stem or trunk to stimulate new growth.

Q2. How do I thicken a fiddle leaf fig stem?

Ans. You can thicken the trunk of your fiddle leaf fig tree by shaking or wiggling it. By shaking or wiggling the plant, the cells in the trunk divide and grow.

Q3. Can I cut a fiddle leaf fig all the way back?

Ans. Don’t prune more than 10% of the fiddle-leaf fig at a time. Just above the branch collar, make a cut to prune lateral branches. When you trim too close to the trunk, you risk wounding the branch collar, which can allow pathogens into the tree.


Having insufficient light is the main reason your fiddle leaf fig has become leggy. It is essential for fig plants to receive 6-8 hours of light per day. Hence, place your plant in an area that receives plenty of sunlight.

In addition, the problem is not the only light. If you don’t fertilize your plant properly or don’t prune it regularly, it can get leggy. A fig plant requires a lot of feeding, so give your plant fertilizer once a week. Pruning prevents leggy plants as well.

Furthermore, fig enjoys consistency. So, if there is a sudden change in temperature, it can affect them. Make sure the temperature remains consistent. Don’t place them near vents or air conditioners, either.

The final thing to consider is the importance of repotting irrespective of whether the plant is root bound. Whenever you repot your plant, you give it new fresh soil. For a healthy growing plant, consider repotting every 2-3 years.

Let your fig-loving friends and family know about this article. Don’t forget to share!

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  • Prachi Parate

    Prachi Parate is an enthusiast writer. She is a native of a science background, where botanical science was one of her favorite subjects. It was always Prachi's dream to combine her passion with a career. Hence, her fascination with plants led to a career as a writer. Also, she believes that taking good care of yourself is key to happiness. Time spent in nature is one of her favorite self-care practices. It is her goal to transform her learning into content that helps readers.

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