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Fiddle leaf fig trees love the sun, but do they need direct sunlight to survive? We know all plants need some light. But we’ve checked with gardening friends and experts to see exactly what type of light fiddle leaf fig trees need to do well.
Fiddle leaf fig trees do not need direct sunlight to survive, or even thrive. But in the right conditions, they can handle up to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
In this blog post, we’re going to examine the best type of sunlight for your fiddle leaf fig tree. How much does it need and is there a temperature your fiddle leaf fig prefers? We’ll also examine low light situations and if there’s a spot in the home or out of the home that’s best for your fiddle leaf fig tree. So please, keep reading.
Does Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Need Direct Sunlight?
Fiddle leaf fig trees are a tropical plant originating from the rainforest regions of West Africa. In nature, it grows quite large (up to 50 feet), but lives in the understory of larger rainforest trees. Though it loves the sun, it doesn’t have to have direct sunlight. What does this mean for the plant in your home?
It means as long as you have a bright, airy spot, your fiddle leaf fig tree should do fine. It will grow best with plenty of light but doesn’t need direct sunlight to survive. Be sure that your fiddle leaf fig tree is not in a drafty spot either, as it doesn’t do well with major fluctuations in temperature.
How Much Sun Does Fiddle Leaf Fig Need?
Fiddle leaf fig trees do love a bright, light spot but if they’re going to be in direct sun, they need some acclimation to it. Because they grow in the understory of a rainforest, their natural environment is filtered indirect sunlight. You can work around this in a super sunny area in a couple of ways.
If in a home or an apartment, don’t place your fiddle leaf fig directly next to an all-day full sun window unless you can close a sheer to filter the light. In case the window gives your fiddle leaf fig 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, it should be fine. When you notice any signs of stress (browning or drooping leaves), then simply move it a bit away from the window.
Outdoors, your fiddle leaf fig will do best planted in the semi-shade of other plants, beneath a shade screen, or on a sheltered patio or porch. Remember, you will need to slowly acclimate the tree to the bright sun if moving it from indoors to outdoors.
Can Fiddle Leaf Figs Grow In Low Light?
Fiddle leaf figs will grow big and tall and beautiful in the right setting. Unfortunately, low light is a setting that isn’t right for them. Though too much direct sun can cause their leaves to burn, too little light will simply cause their leaves to yellow and fall off. Your best bet is to find a bright light space near a sheer-covered window that stays bright for 6 hours of the day.
What Temperature Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Prefer?
Fiddle leaf fig trees do best in temperatures between about 65 degrees Fahrenheit and the mid-80s. It can handle temps as low as 50 degrees but not for extended periods of time. The same goes for hotter temps, but get it much above 95 degrees and your fiddle leaf fig will suffer. You’ll want to be sure you’re giving it plenty of water the hotter the temperatures get.
This is partially why it works so well as a house plant. The temperatures we keep our homes inside perfectly correspond to the ideal conditions for a fiddle leaf fig tree.
Where To Place A Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree In The Home?
You’ve decided to go ahead and get that gorgeous fiddle leaf fig tree, but what is the best spot for it in your home? Let’s take a look at your options.
Indoor Placement For Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
As we’ve discussed, fiddle leaf fig trees need plenty of bright, filtered light but not so much sun that they end up getting sunburnt. So what’s the best place for them in your home? Think of putting them near a south- or east-facing window. Make sure they’re back a few feet out of the direct rays or hang a sheer on your window to filter the light.
Another consideration is your air conditioning and heating ducts. You don’t want your fiddle leaf to be somewhere where it’s exposed to drafts. These trees don’t like constant variations of temperature.
A couple of things that are helpful when growing a fiddle leaf fig is to have a little humidifier to give it the moist air it likes, and a grow light if you don’t have enough sun in your favorite spot.
Small humidifiers like this are easy to tuck behind your planter and give your fiddle leaf fig tree the moisture it craves.
Lights that replicate sunlight can help keep plants happy on cloudy and rainy days. They can also allow you to have a plant in your home that might not work without this light.
Outdoor Placement For Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
Fiddle leaf fig trees are tropical plants that grow in the understory of the rainforest. This means that if you move your fiddle leaf fig tree outside, you must be careful that it doesn’t get too much sun. A covered balcony that gets indirect sunlight is a great spot for your tree. Or move it under the shadow of a larger tree.
Be sure it is out of the harshest elements, not too much wind, and not too much rain. But you’ll also have to pay attention to its water level if you’ve moved it outdoors. The summer sun can dry a plant out if you’re not careful, so you may need to water your fiddle leaf fig tree more outdoors than you do when it’s indoors.
Watering spikes like this allow you to attach a water bottle and slow-water your plants.
Other Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Considerations
Now you know how much sun your fiddle leaf fig tree needs, let’s touch briefly on other considerations. Water and soil are also essential needs for this plant. Fiddle leaf fig trees need moist soil that is allowed to dry out 1-2″ below the surface level before fully resoaking. Too wet and their leaves yellow and they become susceptible to disease. Too dry and the leaves grow brittle and fall off.
As for soil, be sure you have plenty of aeration and drainage so that the soil retains moisture but without drowning the root structure of the plant. There are pre-mixed fiddle leaf fig tree soils available readily on the market.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil comes pre-mixed with coir coconut for aeration and food for your tree.
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