How and When to Repot an Indoor Potted Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree?

People who have been investing in indoor planters for quite some time now know precisely how challenging caring after a house plant species can be.

While most outdoor planters barely need any attention and can quickly adapt to the continuous changes in their external surroundings, most indoor plants are highly susceptible.

They will immediately display signs of distress and weakness when kept in unideal conditions.

This is one of the main reasons many people eventually stop investing in house plants, as the guild of being a notorious plant murderer can be overwhelming.

However, most people do not realize that their multiple indoor plant species are quite adaptable, reliant, and can survive a commendable period of poor care or minimal attention.

The tall and evergreen Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is one such house plant that has become quite a popular purchase all across the USA and the rest of the world for its outstanding resistance and high survivability. 

Hence, if you are someone who struggles with looking after their indoor planters due to their hectic schedules and traveling requirements, an indoor potted Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is the only house planter you need.

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The Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Known for its stunning deep green foliage, violin-shaped leaves, and thick glossy cuticles, the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s wild yet incredibly sophisticated look is no less than a treat to look at.

Originating from the rainforests of Western Africa, nearly four different varieties of the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree are available in many local nurseries and online plant shops across the USA. 

However, although the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is a remarkable indoor plant in multiple ways, not everyone should bring this planter home.

The main reason the Fiddle Leaf Fig, despite its undeniable visual appeal and countless medicinal benefits, is ideal for only some households is its ability to grow a whopping ten feet tall.

Besides being an incredibly tall indoor planter, the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s canopy grows quite wide and in all directions.

Although this raw and stunning characteristic allows the Fiddle Leaf Fig to truly bring a part of the African wilderness to your home, it needs space.

Hence, if you live in a small, low-ceiling house with narrow windows that allow limited sunlight, the African Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is not for you.

However, if you have ample living space or a wide-open hotel lobby to decorate, no other addition will bring in the same drama and appeal as an indoor Fiddle Leaf Fig tree. 

Apart from its natural beauty, the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is also popular for being an extremely fast-growing planter that is relatively easy to manage and look after.

Hence, if you care to maintain and enjoy your indoor potted Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s focal point and dramatic appeal, you need to repot the planter at least once per year during the growing season. 

Continue reading below to learn more about why a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree needs to be repotted annually, the signs of a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s pending repotting, and how you can perform a successful repotting by yourself.

Let’s get started!

Why Should a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree be Repotted At Least Once Every Year?

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Despite the long twenty-five-year lifespan, a well-managed and cared-after Fiddle Leaf Fig tree will grow anywhere between eight to ten feet tall in just a decade.

This quality makes this unique indoor planter one of the fastest-growing plant species that can survive indoors and outdoors.

Although there are great perks to having an indoor planter reach maturity at a young age, it does come with the added responsibility of repotting it.

Its roots are not as long or dense when a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is still young and small. With time, as the African plant’s dark brown stem grows longer, so do the roots.

Eventually, the roots begin to curl inside the planter’s soil and, at times, even surface out of the soil to find more space to grow.

Moreover, apart from the growing roots that demand more space, a maturing Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s canopy will get denser, wider, and heavier.

Thus, when a tall and dense Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is potted inside a narrow and small-based pot, its center of gravity is affected, and the entire plant does not remain as stable. 

Hence, since an indoor potted Fiddle Leaf Fig tree might grow considerably within a year, both in terms of its height and weight, it is essential to repot it in a larger and more suitable vessel or container that can sustain another year of healthy and fast growth.

However, since an indoor potted Fiddle Leaf Fig tree usually fully matures in nearly ten to thirteen years, one will not have to worry about their African plant’s annual repotting post-maturity.

Since a fully grown Fiddle Leaf Fig tree will remain almost the same size throughout its remaining years, it will have no problem living and surviving in the same vessel for many years.

However, if the canopy continues to widen and the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree produces more branches and leaves, all you need to do is use a pair of pruning shears to trim down your planter every once in a while.

Not only will doing so help maintain your indoor African plant’s beauty and appeal, but it will also keep the overall tree light enough to balance its weight. 

The Top Signs of a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree’s Pending Repotting

Usually, if you have an indoor potted Fiddle Leaf Fig tree, repotting it once every one to two years is highly advisable.

However, if your indoor tree is not growing at a fast rate, and you are not sure if a repotting is due, look for the following signs that signal and pending transplant:

  • If parts of the roots are surfacing out of the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s soil
  • If the roots are growing out of the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree pot’s drainage holes
  • If the soil is pulling away from the inner edges of the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s pot
  • The sides of your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s plastic container are bulging out
  • When the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree struggles with balancing inside the pot and keeps on falling sidewards
  • If the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s pot has been cracked by a house pet or a child
  • If the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s pot is leaking water after the soil is watered

How to Successfully Repot Your Indoor Potted Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree by Yourself?

Although the size of a fully-matured indoor potted Fiddle Leaf Fig tree can be quite overwhelming, repotting it by yourself is usually quite easy.

However, if you still worry that the tall African plant will be too heavy for you, you can invite another person to help you.

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Since the repotting only has to be done once every year, it is important that you follow every step patiently and carefully to ensure a successful transplant.

Hence, if your indoor potted Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is displaying signs of a pending repotting, follow the steps below:

1. Loosen up the Soil Around the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree’s Roots

Since an indoor potted plant remains relatively unbothered and untouched throughout the year due to its simple care routine, it clings to the inner sides of the pot.

Hence, begin the repotting process using a garden hoe to loosen up the soil around the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s roots.

Although the African tree’s roots usually curl around into a ball, overgrown roots can be smashed against the inner surface of the pot. Hence be slow and gentle when using the garden hoe to ensure you do not cut down or damage many roots.

2. Remove the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree from its Previous Pot

Once the soil around the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s root is sufficiently loose and pressed away from the pot’s walls, slightly tilt the pot to slide out your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree along with its root ball.

Once again, be careful when handling the weight of the tall African tree and its sensitive and dense root ball.

3. Wash its Roots

Although one can simply proceed to replanting the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree into a new pot, the roots should be washed under running water.

This additional step allows the plant parent to examine the condition and health of their planter’s roots, so they can take any necessary treatment or curative measures.

If you do spot some fungus growing over the surface of the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s roots, use a pair of pruning shears to trim off the dead and decayed root matter.

Finally, slightly dampen the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s trimmed roots to keep them sufficiently hydrated throughout the process.

4. Select a Suitable Vessel

Since the main reason behind the repotting was to replant the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree in a more suitable vessel, make sure you select the new pot or container carefully.

Apart from being bigger than the previous pot, the new vessel should also be stronger so it will not break or crack easily after being attacked by your kids or house pets.

Moreover, the new vessel should also have wider, or more abundant drainage holes to facilitate better soil drainage and prevent root rot.

5. Fill Out Four Inches of a New Pot with Potting Mix

Use a batch of new potting mix that is highly nutritious and well-drained to fill out almost three to four inches of the new Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s vessel.

6. Replant Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree and Add the Remaining Potting Mix

Proceed towards repotting your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree into its new home for that year. Place the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s roots and stem in the middle and refill the empty sides with the rest of the potting mix.

Moreover, use your hands to press in the soil around the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree’s roots and stem to stabilize the entire African tree and to release any trapped pockets of air.

7. Water Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Finally, water your newly repotted Fiddle Leaf Fig tree using a controllable water spray, and use a garden hoe to mix in the water throughout the soil.

When to Repot an Indoor Potted Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
When to Repot an Indoor Potted Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Final Thoughts

If you can notice the roots of your indoor potted Fiddle Leaf Fig tree coming out of its pot’s drainage holes, it is time to repot the indoor planter into a larger vessel.

However, as overwhelming as the process may seem, know that it is quite easy and can be done in under an hour. You need a newer, larger vessel, a new batch of well-drained potting mix, and a garden hoe to carry out a successful and highly beneficial Fiddle Leaf Fig tree transplant.

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