How to repot a Fiddle Leaf Fig
So you've purchased your new garden pots (hopefully from Slugg 😉 ), and now it's time to repot your beloved Fiddle Leaf Fig. But where do you start?
We get asked this question regularly by customers, so I thought I'd share my tips and tricks.
When should you repot your Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Firstly, repotting should be done in the growing season, such as Spring or Summer to give your Fiddle Leaf the best chance to thrive in its new home. Plants conserve energy in the colder months and don't grow until it starts warming up.
There is a common misconception that the size of the plant dictates when it's time to repot. However, the best way to tell when the time is right is once they become root-bound. Fiddle Leaf's like a tight-fitting pot, so only go up one pot size when you repot.
To be sure the time is right, either look for roots forming near the surface or growing out the pot's base. Alternatively, gently remove the plant from its pot and look for roots growing around the root ball if you're still unsure.
What size pot should I use?
As mentioned above, please don't use a pot that's too much bigger than it's currently one. Look for a garden pot that is no larger than 50cm in diameter larger. Fiddle Leaf Figs tend to focus on growing their root system before growing new leaves.
Good drainage is essential, so make sure you use a garden pot with drainage holes. I can't stress how important this is. Fiddle Leaf Figs hate wet feet. Your Fiddle Leaf is prone to nasty conditions, including root rot, without proper drainage.
What soil should I use?
I often see people use a fancy potting mix specific to repotting. The truth is that just about any good quality potting mix is fine. The most crucial factor is that the soil profile is free draining. You can find good quality potting mix soil at most hardware stores or nurseries.
Ok, so how do I repot my Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Remove the plant from its pot and gently remove as much of the old soil as possible. You can not simply place the plant in its new larger pot and expect it to grow. Over time the roots have been trained to grow in a particular direction and will continue to do so unless they are untangled and the old soil removed.
If you're having trouble removing the old soil, don't be afraid to dunk the root ball in a bucket of water or hose the old dirt away. You want the roots as free as possible, without damaging or removing any, the small ones included. The only caveat to this is that should your plant is REALLY root bound, it's not a bad idea to cut away some of the huge and long roots.
Fill your new pot with enough soil to ensure the top of the root ball sits at the right height. It's good to gently compact the soil to ensure it doesn't sink over time.
Place the root ball into the garden pot & fill around the root ball with potting mix. Make sure you press soil around all of the roots to limit air pockets.
Once the soil has been compacted enough that the plant can hold itself up, it's time to give it a drink. I like to soak the plant the first time I water it after repotting it. Soaking the plant indicates that there is enough soil as the water helps remove air pockets. Water the plant until you can see water draining out the bottom of the pot (this only applies to the first water post repotting!).
The next few months
Your Fiddle Leaf is like a patient recovering from major surgery; they need time to heal. If possible, position the plant in the same location as before as Fiddle Leaf Fig doesn't like moving around.
To avoid burning the roots, avoid fertilising for two months. Moving forward, you only need to water your plant until the top half is damp. If water starts running out of the garden pots base, you've overwatered it!
While repotting your plant baby can seem daunting, it's ultimately best for the plant. I hope these tips make you feel more confident about repotting your Fiddle Leaf Fig.