The fiddle leaf fig, or Ficus lyrata as it is known scientifically, is the ideal indoor house plant that can help you improve the appearance of your home. It has broad leaves with many veins resembling a violin’s shape.
Keeping indoor houseplants alive and healthy can be challenging for some people. Giving plants adequate sunlight is essential for their overall health and growth.
This may make you wonder how much light does a fiddle leaf fig need? Let’s discuss how much light you must provide for a Ficus lyrata to flourish.
How Much Light Does A Fiddle Leaf Fig Need?
All plants need sunlight to survive since, without sunlight, they cannot go through the process of photosynthesis. Through this process, plants can get energy and stay alive. So placing a Ficus lyrata in a room without adequate sunlight would be the worst mistake that you could make.
A Ficus lyrata needs a few hours of adequate sunlight exposure to flourish and grow. The rule with fiddle leaves is the larger your plant is, the more sunlight exposure it will need to continue to grow and look healthy.
West or south-facing windows are ideal spots for fiddle leaf figs. These windows get direct sunlight, and if there is nothing outside blocking the sunlight from coming in, that is even better for your plant.
If you do not get adequate sunlight within your home, getting a Ficus lyrata is not a good decision since the plant does not do well in low-light areas. Putting a Ficus lyrata near a window with direct sunlight every day for a few hours, preferably four to six hours, is also advisable for the plant’s growth and health.
However, if your Ficus lyrata is not used to direct sunlight exposure, it may be best to start with a few minutes of direct sunlight daily and gradually grow the amount of time the plant is exposed to it.
Placing your Ficus lyrata in direct sunlight for a significant amount of time can cause it to dry out and even die if it is not used to direct sunlight. Therefore, letting the plant get used to direct sunlight is essential for its health.
If you find signs of stress on the Ficus lyrata in the summer months when the sunlight may be too strong, it is best to move the plant a few inches away from the window or cover the window to filter the sunlight. A few signs of overexposure to the sun in fiddle leaf figs are drooping or browning leaves.
Bleached or dull-looking leaves also indicate overexposure to sunlight. You may also notice brown or yellow spots on the leaves; in worse conditions, the leaves may turn completely brown and begin to fall off.
So you must act fast if you find early signs of overexposure to sunlight. If you offer the plant more sunlight than it requires for more than a few weeks, saving it may become an impossible task.
Finding a good spot for your Ficus lyrata may take a few tries since the plant can be picky.
All you have to do is notice the signs your plant may give. If the leaves look a little droopy or are yellowing, playing with the placement of the plant may be all it takes for the plant to be happy again.
When sunlight may be limited in the winter months, place the plant near a window to ensure adequate light exposure in the early hours of the day. However, be careful not to place the plant near an open window where the plant may be exposed to cold air.
Investing in a humidifier or a full spectrum grow light can be a great way to keep fiddle leaf figs alive and healthy if you live in an area with a colder climate.
Is The Afternoon Sun Good For My Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Even though these plants need exposure to direct and indirect sunlight to flourish and grow, fiddle leaf figs may begin to show signs of distress if exposed to scorching sunlight for long hours. The afternoon sun can be harsh for this plant, especially if you live somewhere with warm or hot weather.
Therefore, if you want your plant to benefit from the afternoon sun, having some filter between the Ficus lyrata and the sun can help ensure the sun doesn’t damage your plant. Adding sheers to your window can be a great way to filter out the sun’s harshness.
Signs a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants Need More Light
Here are a few signs you can look out for to determine if a Ficus lyrata needs more light exposure.
The plant is growing slowly.
Fiddle-leaf figs are known for being fast-growing plants. So if your Ficus lyrata is not growing fast, then there is a high chance that you are doing something wrong. Low light exposure is the most common culprit behind slow growth in fiddle leaf figs.
Light is like food for a plant; if you do not give it enough food, it will not grow efficiently. Changing the plant’s location and placing it somewhere with bright light may be all it needs to begin growing faster.
Even though light exposure is critical for a Ficus lyrata, a proper potting mixture, enough water, and adequate drainage are essential for the plant’s overall health.
Yellow Spots on Lower Leaves
Yellow patches on the lower leaves of fiddle leaf figs can be because of a lack of water or sunlight. However, if you begin to water this plant more without giving it adequate sunlight, the water may cause the roots to rot.
A healthy combination of water and sunlight can help a Ficus lyrata thrive and have bright green spotless leaves.
Slanting Toward the Window
If you find your Ficus lyrata slanting or dropping more toward the window until it begins to look crooked, it is evident that the plant is trying to communicate with you and needs more sunlight. Finding a better spot with enough sunlight will be the best thing you can do to ensure your plant stays healthy.
New, Smaller-Sized Leaves
Ficus lyrata is known to grow large beautiful leaves. So if your Ficus lyrata grows new leaves smaller in size, it is evident that the plant lacks the energy to produce fuller and healthier-looking leaves.
A Ficus lyrata placed in an area with low light usually has smaller, dull-looking leaves. Moving your plant to a brighter environment with lots of natural light can help solve this issue and enable the plant to grow larger, healthier-looking leaves.
Spacing between Leaves
A fiddle leaf fig that receives sufficient sunshine will be fuller and have leaves that are closer together. A Ficus lyrata that requires more light will have fewer leaves with a fair amount of gap between them.
The fuller a plant is, it will look more beautiful in your indoor space. So if your Ficus lyrata lacks a few leaves, giving it more light may help you make it fuller.
What Is The Ideal Temperature For Fiddle Leaf Figs?
A Ficus lyrata plant prefers temperatures ranging from 18 to 26 degrees Celsius. In temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius, the plant will struggle to retain its health. On warm days, though, proper hydration might help the plant grow.
When it comes to lower temperatures, the plant can endure temperatures as low as 10 degrees Celsius, but only for a short period. A humidifier and regular misting can do wonders for the plant in the winter and help it maintain its overall health.
Can I Place My Fiddle Leaf Fig Outdoors?
Ficus lyrata is a tropical plant that grows within forests. The plant can survive outdoors only if it receives the ideal environment. The Ficus lyrata plant needs plenty of light to survive. However, overexposure to sunlight can cause it to die.
So if you want to place it outdoors, placing it under a large tree may be the best way to ensure it gets enough but not too much sunlight. A porch or patio with enough shelter also makes the ideal location for this plant.
Harsh winds and an excess amount of rain are also not suitable for a Ficus lyrata. Therefore, a Ficus lyrata won’t do well if you live in an area with a colder climate and excessive rainfall.
Our Final Thoughts
Now that you know the answer to ‘how much light does a fiddle leaf fig need,’ you can bring home this majestic plant or take better care of your existing Ficus lyrata. These plants can add elegance and spice up any dull space.
In return, you must take care of it and pay attention to what the plant is trying to communicate to you. With adequate sunlight, water, and a good quality potting mix, you can keep your Ficus lyrata looking healthy all year round.
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.