Fiddle leaf fig plants and sunlight have a loving relationship. The more the light, the better they thrive. A lot of fiddle leaf fig owners raise the question of whether the houseplant can survive in low light or not.
Well, your beloved houseplant might survive in a poor light setting, but you cannot expect them to flaunt their beautiful polished green leaves. In low light, the plant experiences stunted growth and tend to get leggy and lean. So, whenever you bring a fiddle leaf fig plant to your home, make sure to keep it in such a position from where it can get enough light.
However, too much heat and direct sunlight can show adverse effects. It can dehydrate the beautiful indoor plant. As a result, your cherished houseplant will appear dull, lifeless, and unappealing. That is not what you surely want, right? Then, let’s find out how much light a fiddle leaf fig plant requires, where to keep your plant when the light is too scorching and how much heat can burn your plant.
Your fiddle leaf fig plant can grow as tall as 10 feet if you nurture it with love and care. The foremost crucial element for the plant’s growth is light. Since fiddle leaf figs have their origin in African rainforests, these green gems love staying in warm and moist climates. Besides, these houseplants grow tremendously large green leaves. Thus, they need enough energy to retain their size, shape, and glaze, and a fantastic source of energy is light. Daily about 6 to 8 hours of filtered light is ideal for their health and growth. But, if you stay in a cold and dry area, make sure to arrange artificial light to keep the surrounding area warm and cozy. Also, keep changing the plant’s position every week, or your plant will outgrow on a particular side, finding the light source. And this can give your plant a lean shape.
Table of Contents
The Contribution Of Light In A Fiddle Leaf Fig’s Growth
Fiddle leaf figs are very fuzzy with their surrounding environment, specifically light. To ensure your plant’s uninterrupted growth, you need to arrange the proper light setup. With the right amount of light, your gorgeous houseplant can perform the photosynthesis process smoothly, delivering nutrients to all other parts. This way, your indoor plant can stay healthy and stand upright. But too much intense light can be threatening to your fiddle leaf fig. So there are a few aspects that you need to keep in mind while exposing your indoor plant to the light. They include:
Pick The Ideal Spot
The goal should be positioning your plant in a place where it can enjoy light all day long and not just a particular period of the day. Consider yourself and your fiddle leaf fig lucky if your home possesses a south-facing window. If you place your houseplant near the window, it can enjoy the sunlight for a significant period of time. Well, don’t get upset if there is no window in the south part of your home. Your plant can also enjoy the morning sunlight if you place it near an east-facing window.
But there’s one thing you should definitely not forget, i.e., letting your plant absorb direct sunlight, especially during the afternoon. Otherwise, there’s a high possibility for your plant to get sunburned.
Study The Direction Of Sunlight From Different Window Angles
Understanding the direction of the sunlight from different window angles is fruitful for your plant’s health. For instance, if you place your plant in a west-facing window, it can come in contact with intense heat and light of the afternoon sun, which tend to burn the leaves. On the other hand, if you place it in an east-facing window, your plant can get good light from the morning sun, but the period is limited. So, the best thing you can do is place the plant near a window that faces toward the south.
Only then your beautiful fiddle leaf fig can get adequate, mild sunlight throughout the day! And, in case, you have no other option other than to keep your plant in east and west-facing windows, make sure you take the proper precautionary measures.
While positioning your plant in front of a west-facing window, filter the light using a curtain. And while keeping it in an east-facing window, arrange artificial lighting to fill the gap. There is one more thing you need to consider, keep your plant at least 5 feet away from the window to save your plant from getting sunburned. You can also use a moisture and light meter to understand the amount of sunlight the fiddle leaf fig is getting.
Let Your Plant Adapt To The Light Setup
Fiddle leaf figs are very sensitive to changes. Any slight modification in the position and light setup can shock your plant, hindering its growth and wellbeing. Most fiddle leaf fig owners think that changing the position of your plant from one direction to another can get enough light throughout the time, but it’s a big red flag! Of course, you should replace your plant’s spot, from time to time, to let it get adequate light, but the activity should be very occasional.
So, when you are replacing its position, make sure to do it very slowly. Also, it is better to not move the plant from a spot where it gets bright light to a place where it gets low light all of a sudden. Else your plant can get stressed out, resulting in wilting leaves. Let your plant settle down with the temperature and light exposure. Make the movement carefully, ensuring that your plant gets the same level of light from every spot.
Problems That Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Can Face With Low Light
We often hear fiddle leaf fig owners asking whether the houseplant can persist in low light? To tell the truth, your plant might survive in a poor light arrangement. But it can’t grow smoothly. If you keep your beautiful houseplant in an extremely poor light setup, it can get leggy, and lean. The worst scenario is that it stops growing.
Signs That Show Your Plant Needs More Light
The new fiddle leaf fig owners often have a big confusion, i.e., even after such precautions and light arrangements, is the plant really getting enough light? Well, this is undeniably a matter of concern, but if you look closely at your plant, you’ll get the answer for sure. These houseplants give repeated hints indicating the crisis they go through. Here we have mentioned a few symptoms your plant shows when it does not get enough light.
Yellowing Of Leaves
Fiddle leaf figs are famous for their large shiny green leaves. But if they do not get adequate light, the leaves slowly become yellow and dull. Lack of nutrition is another reason for yellow leaves. To restore your plant’s fresh and polished green leaves, feed your plant with enough nutrients and filtered light.
Droopy And Lean Leaves
A mature fiddle leaf fig usually has thicker leaves. However, if you notice that the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig plant are droopy, floppy, and thin, probably your plant is not receiving sufficient light. Without proper light, your plant does not get the necessary energy to grow thick leaves.
Fiddle leaf figs tend to get leggy owing to low light. The plant will gradually appear with a weak, leggy stem and fewer leaves. To restore your plant’s natural shape, you will need to arrange a supplementary light setup.
Leaves Leaning On One Side
Fresh green leaves that stay upright are a sign of a healthy plant. So, if you notice that the fiddle leaf fig leaves are leaning on one side, it is a clear indication that your houseplant is suffering from low light.
Tips To Combat Low Light Problems In Fiddle Leaf Fig
Well, 6 to 8 hours of medium-bright light is all your plant needs to grow beautifully. If you fail to give that to your plant naturally, arrange it artificially!
There are several artificial lights available in the market that can provide your plant with the exact amount of light it seeks to flourish. But make sure to place your plant at a certain distance from the artificial light. For instance, you can keep it a few feet away to prevent burns.
If your home has a south-facing window, it’s well and fine. However, if there’s no south-facing window, find the sunniest spot of your home and keep your plant there! Moreover, make sure you do not overwater or over-fertilize it.
Both watering and manuring depend on the amount of light your plant is getting. In low light spots, water and fertilize your plant in moderate quantities. However, you need to make sure that your plant is getting the necessary nutrients and water, especially when it stands in a poor light spot.
Sunburn In Fiddle Leaf Figs
Your house plant undoubtedly blooms in a better light setup, but too much intensity of the light can lead to sunburn, creating several obstacles to its optimum growth. But how to find out that your fiddle leaf fig has a sunburn? Again, by observing its appearance! Brown spots, white spots, holes on the leaf surface, and reddish tints on the edges are some symptoms of a sunburned plant. Though it is not a life-threatening condition, you need to take immediate action to prevent sunburn from affecting your green baby’s overall health.
The best, as well as, the most uncomplicated process to treat the sunburn condition is by pruning out the burned leaves using sharp and sterilized scissors. Make sure to wear gloves and wash off your hands immediately after the pruning program, especially if you have pets at home. Fiddle leaf figs are not very friendly to pets. While pruning, be careful enough not to cut the fresh green leaves, otherwise you can stress your plant.
Once the pruning is done, do not commit the same mistake of keeping the plant in the former location. Instead, replace its position where it doesn’t come across direct and intense light. You can also use a shade or a curtain to refine the intensity of the light.
FAQs About Fiddle Leaf Fig Light Requirements
How do I know that my fiddle leaf fig plant is receiving adequate light?
It is pretty easy to tell when your plant is getting enough light. All you need to do is follow the symptoms. When your plant looks fresh, stands straight, grows evenly from all directions, and has thick green leaves that stick upright, your plant is getting the right amount of light!
Can a fiddle leaf fig plant survive in grow lights?
In case, you live in a dry and cold region where your fiddle leaf fig can’t get enough light naturally, you have no other option left other than arranging supplementary grow light, chiefly known as plant light. And the best part is that the artificial lights do the job superbly and keep your houseplant warm!
Can I keep my fiddle leaf fig plant outside to let it absorb sunlight?
Fiddle leaf figs can thrive outside well if the environment is warm and moist. However, shifting your indoor plant from your room to your lawn is a long-term process. If you do it all of a sudden, your plant might not be able to handle such stress. So, even if you are planning to do it, make the movement slow and do it at your own risk.
The tropical plant has a different charisma and instantly enhances the ambiance of your home. But, the gorgeous fiddle leaf fig requires high maintenance. So, if you want to keep your fiddle leaf fig plant blooming, healthy, and beautiful, you need to ensure that your plant is getting adequate refined light. And don’t forget to keep changing its position occasionally to prevent it from growing on one side. Always remember that the mild morning light is the best for your plant, whereas the scorching heat can give it a sunburn. So, always undertake measures to prevent such situations.
Where do you love to keep your fiddle leaf fig plant in the winters? Does it allow your beloved houseplant to enjoy sufficient light? Tell us your story in the comment section.
From childhood, I have been extremely fascinated with plants and gardening. That has eventually led me to pursue BSc and then MSc in botany from the University of Calcutta. My deep love for plants has probably stemmed from the gorgeous terrace garden that I have seen my father nurture as long as I can remember.