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Best Soil For Fiddle Leaf Fig (Commercial & DIY)

Did you know growing Fiddle Leaf Figs is known to elevate your mood and improve oxygen levels around the House?

In fact, growing this plant provides many benefits but quickly falters when grown in the wrong potting soil mix.

Witnessing droopy and discolored leaves in Fiddle Leaf Fig, especially with spots and slowed growth, may indicate poor soil quality.

Fiddle Leaf Fig thrives in moist, humus-rich, and well-draining soil containing peat moss, organic substrate, and perlite, which boasts a pH of 6.0 to 7.0 and provides enough structural support.

Fiddle-Leaf-Fig-indoor
Fiddle Leaf Fig requires well-draining potting soil to attain healthier root growth. 

Moreover, you should change the soil every 1 to 2 years and fertilize it with an NPK ratio of 3-1-2 to boost greener foliage.

Sometimes, choosing the correct soil for Fiddle Leaf Fig may involve many intricacies, especially with the commercial mix.

Read on to find out about the soil appropriate for your Fiddle Leaf Fig and how to prepare one at home.

What Kind of Soil is Best for Fiddle-Leaf Fig?

Fiddle Leaf Fig thrives in soil substrate that remains slightly moist without retaining too much water.

In fact, soggy soil brings in a lot of plant problems, and so does compact soil mix.

Therefore, consider these points when buying or preparing a soil mix appropriate for Fiddle Leaf Fig.

1. Well-draining Soil

Most houseplants prefer a well-draining soil mix comprising organic and inorganic matter with enough space between the particles.

Houseplants like Fiddle Leaf figs prefer a well-draining substrate that does not retain much moisture.

The porous soil mix allows the water to drain out evenly and prevents sitting around the roots, avoiding the risk of fungal infestation.

Well draining soil
To make the soil well-draining, you can add ingredients like compost, leaves, perlite, vermiculite, and coco peat.

Similarly, the substrate should not drain too quickly as it may lead to soil compaction and waterlogging issues.

Drainage is vital to Fiddle Leaf Fig. Therefore, well-draining substrate and pot with multiple are a must!

Additionally, consider using unglazed clay, terracotta, and glazed ceramics pot with 3 to 4 drainage holes underneath for better results.

2. Organic and Inorganic Soil Mix

The perfect soil mix for Fiddle Leaf Fig includes organic and inorganic materials that promote drainage and aeration.

Organic matter like humus, peat, and compost provide microorganisms and decayed matter. On the other hand, inorganic materials like perlite and vermiculite promote aeration by making the soil porous.

An ideal soil mix will promote Fiddle Leaf Fig root growth by supplying moisture and nutrients more efficiently.

Ensure to use half of the organic and inorganic materials when preparing Fiddle Leaf soil mix, but strictly avoid using dense materials like clay or garden soil which retain more water.

3. Soil Nutrition

Appropriate soil nutrition is the key to healthier plant growth, rich green leaves, and large fruiting.

In the case of the Fiddle Leaf Fig, ensure to provide appropriate macronutrients to boost root and shoot growth with larger green leaves.

Fiddle Leaf Fig enjoys slightly more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium to attain positive growth.

Therefore, consider replacing the soil with organic compost containing slightly more nitrogen.

Similarly, the plant also demands appropriate micronutrients such as iron, boron, copper, zinc, calcium, and magnesium to remain healthy.

Essential Nutrients Description
Macronutrients (Primary nutrients)Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium.
Micronutrients (Minor nutrients)Iron, Boron, Chlorine, Copper, Zinc, etc.
Secondary Nutrients (Secondary nutrients)Calcium, Magnesium, Sulphur, etc.
MicrobesYeasts, algae, protozoa, bacteria, nema- todes, and fungi

However, beware of using synthetic fertilizer, which guarantees all the nutrients but often leads to chemical damage.

Instead, use organic fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 3-1-2 every month in spring and summer to keep the soil rich in healthy microorganisms.

4. Neutral to Slightly Acidic Soil

Plants like Fiddle Leaf Figs are picky about soil pH level, preferring slightly neutral to acidic soil.

The organic matter in the Fiddle Leaf Fig will help naturally retain acidic soil pH, allowing plant roots to absorb more nitrogen.

Soil pH scale
Soil pH also plays a major role in improving your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant.

However, you should avoid using too acidic soil and organic mulch like coffee which may choke the roots.

The perfect pH level for a Fiddle Leaf Fig is between 6.0-7.0.

You can also use a soil pH meter to assess the soil pH level before growing the plant.

Add some ground limestone to make the soil slightly alkaline and elemental sulfur and sulfuric acid to make it acidic.

5. Warm Soil Temperature

Warm soil temperature is vital for healthy root growth, as low soil temperature may increase viscosity and decrease water absorption.

In the case of the Fiddle Leaf Fig, the soil temperature should remain between 60 to 80 °F.

A tropical species will thrive in warm soil conditions, especially in spring and summer. Mulching is a great way to retain more heat in the soil.

temperature needs of mini watermelon peperomia
Fiddle-leaf fig thrives in warm soil temperatures ranging between 60-80 °F

However, ensure the soil temperature does not exceed 90 °F as it may kill the beneficial soil microorganisms.

Therefore, always keep them in a location with ample indirect sunlight to prevent excess soil temperature.

Signs of Using the Wrong Soil Mix for fiddle Leaf Fig

The Fiddle Leaf Figs quickly display signs of problems when the soil condition is wrong. Therefore, you should not pick up random soil mix.

Here are a few signs that tell you are using the wrong soil mix.

1. Yellow and Drooping Leaves

When under stress, the leaves of the Fiddle Leaf Fig would start to droop and change color, primarily yellow.

Although many problems may lead to chlorosis and droopy leaf texture, the wrong soil mix is often the primary reason.

Fiddle leaf fig leaves yellowing
Fiddle leaf fig will display yellow leaves when the soil condition is wrong.

The soil that is too soggy will drown the roots, preventing the supply of oxygen and nutrients. Similarly, the leaf bases would turn yellow and drop under their weight.

On the other hand, denser soil mix containing clay and rich organic matter will drain slowly, choking the roots of oxygen.

Read more about fixing yellow and droopy leaves on Fiddle Leaf Fig

2. Brown Spots and Discoloration

The soil anomalies may result in discoloration and odd-looking brown spots on the leaves.

Lack of proper drainage, excess moisture, the onset of fungal disease, and lack of aeration will affect Fiddle Leaf Fig roots.

The plant, under stress, will fail to supply nutrients and moisture to the leaves, leading to transpiration.

Similarly, excess use of synthetic fertilizer will result in a brown edge on the leaves.

In some cases, repotting to the wrong soil mix may also stress the plant, leading to brown spots.

3. Soil Compaction

Soil compaction is the byproduct of denser soil mix, leading to low water retention.

Compact soil is less likely to drain well and circulate air around the pot, leading to low water infiltration.

Fiddle Leaf Fig thrives in organic and inorganic soil matters, which infiltrates evenly.

Dry and Cracked Soil
Dry and Cracked Soil due to underwatering, loss of soil microbes, and denser mix hinders the plant’s growth.

Anything between 5-20 mm/hour infiltration would work with Fiddle Leaf Figs.

The denser soil or soil mix lacking inorganic materials like perlite or vermiculite will infiltrate less than 30 mm/hour, leading to soil compaction.

4. Salt Buildup in the Soil

The salt buildup is often the byproduct of soil compaction.

The compact soil mix will increase salinity by preventing good drainage and excess salt residue.

Using mineral water to moisten the soil will also lead to salt buildup.

salt build up in soil
Compact soil and overfertilization may result in salt build-up in the soil, resulting in rotten roots.

Similarly, using too much fertilizer and compost can also lead to soil salinity, especially synthetic fertilizer.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig sitting in soil with high salinity will witness stunted growth, droopy leaves, and bending stems.

Read more about fixing leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig.

5. Soggy Soil and Fungal Infestation

Soggy soil is often the main culprit to dying Fiddle Leaf Fig, as it increases the likelihood of fungal infestation.

The soggy soil is more likely to invite fungal growth, mold, and mildew, leading to root decay. Fiddle Leaf Figs with root decay will fail to supply nutrients to the plant.

Fiddle Leaf Fig
A fungal infection causes root rot due to overwatering and soggy soil conditions.

Similarly, overwatered Fiddle Leaf Fig roots will drown in excess water, preventing adequate oxygen and nutrition supply.

As a result, you would witness yellowing foliage and drooping appearance, followed by the slow death of the plant.

6. Bacterial and Pest Infestation

Soil compaction is the leading cause of anaerobic bacterial growth in the soil.

As the soil bio-activity is reduced, the healthy microbes and good bacteria will die, inviting anaerobic bacteria.

The plant roots will suffer from bacterial growth, leading to significant damage.

Infected Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves
Soil compaction may lead to pest infestation and other diseases, which may even cause the plant’s death.

Similarly, poor soil conditions will likely attract pests like grubs, mealybugs, fleas, black flies, and aphids.

Inappropriate soil moisture will host many pests, which feast on plant stems and leaves.

You would witness visible pests on the leaf underside and holes.

Read more to learn about identifying insect eggs on leaves and treating pest infestation.

Best Commercial Soil Mix for Fiddle Leaf Fig

Each plant has different soil requirements, and the Fiddle Leaf Fig is no different.

Remember to choose a potting mix that drains well, remains porous, and allows healthy microorganisms to breed.

The Fiddle-leaf fig will grow significantly within a year, requiring repotting in the same potting mix.

Therefore, we have compiled a list of the five best commercial potting mixes appropriate for Fiddle-leaf fig.

1. Miracle-Gro Houseplant Potting Mix

It is the best commercial potting mix for most houseplants as it is packed with essential nutrients.

The perlite, peat moss, and sphagnum content make it less prone to gnats.

Miracle-Gro Potting Soil Mix
Miracle-Gro Potting Soil Mix is best for Fiddle Leaf figs. (Source: Amazon)

Moreover, it is certified by the Mulch & Soil Council.

Pros

  • It boasts a perfect combination of organic and inorganic matter.
  • A 4-quart soil mix bag is enough to fill two 5-inch pots.
  • No need to fertilize for up to 6 months after application.

Cons

  • The rich organic matter may compromise the soil aeration required for Fiddle Leaf Figs.
  • Water infiltration is slightly low.

Check the price and availability on Amazon.

2. Leaves and Soul Fiddle Leaf Fig House Plant Soil

It is a perfect soil mix specially designed for Fiddle Leaf Figs.

The soil mix combines rich organic matter like pine bark, sawdust, coarse sand, and peat moss to allow micro-bacterial growth.

Fiddle leaf house soil
Fiddle leaf house soil is made of premium non-organic soil. (Source: Amazon)

Moreover, it is designed to promote good drainage.

Pros

  • It contains rich organic matter.
  • The addition of sand creates soil stability.
  • Pink bark chips allow for soil aeration by creating air pockets.

Cons

  • A single bag may not be enough to fill the large pot.
  • Slightly more expensive than other soil mixes.

Check the price and availability on Amazon.

3. Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil by Perfect Plants

It is an appropriate Fiddle Leaf Fig soil mix containing pine bark, coco coir, sand, and fertilizer. The lightweight formula prevents suffocating roots.

Moreover, the rich organic and inorganic matter allows lightness and support and provides a slow nutrient release.

Fiddle leaf perfect soil mix
Fiddle leaf perfect soil mix is nutrient-enriched and provides good drainage. (Source: Amazon)

Pros

  • It provides sufficient drainage.
  • The soil mix retains moisture.
  • Fertilizer is included.

Cons

  • It is slightly expensive.
  • The small pack would not be enough to fit a large pot.

Check the price and availability on Amazon.

4. Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix

Espoma organic potting mix is appropriate for many houseplants, including flowering and fruit plants.

The blend of organic matters like sphagnum peat moss, humus, earthworm casting, alfalfa meal, and inorganic matter like perlite helps retain adequate moisture and drainage.

Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix
Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix is perfect for many flowering and houseplants. (Source: Amazon)

Pros

  • It contains rich organic matter.
  • The earthworm casting provides rich organic nutrients.
  • Perfect Myco-tone: A proprietary blend of endo and ectomycorrhizae.

Cons

  • It is prone to fungus gnats and other bacterial growth.

Check the price and availability on Amazon.

5. Mother Earth Coco Plus Perlite Mix

As the name suggests, Mother Earth soil mix boasts rich coconut coir and perlite contents.

The soil mix provides optimal aeration and moisture required by Fiddle Leaf Fig roots. It is a lightweight potting mix appropriate for Fiddle Leaf and succulent plants.

Mother Earth Soil Mix
Mother Earth Soil Mix incorporates 70% coconut coir and 30% perlite for better drainage. (Source: Amazon)

Pros

  • It promotes soil drainage and aeration.
  • The rich coco coir content provides lightness and prevents the risk of waterlogging.

Cons

  • The substrate lacks nutrients, requiring regular fertilization.
  • The soil mix can be too light, lacking structural support.

Check the price and availability on Amazon.

Make Your Own Potting Mix

As previously mentioned, Fiddle-leaf figs require a well-draining soil mix with good aeration, nutrients, and structural support.

One option is to shop for commercial potting mix, but not all potting mixes are perfect for Fiddle-leaf.

Some may provide good drainage but lack structural support. Others may lack essential nutrients.

Therefore, the best option would be to prepare your soil mix at home using quality materials.

MaterialsProperties
Peat Moss1. Provides optimal moisture
2. Ensure good structural support
3. Promotes microbes growth
Orchid Bark Chips1. Aerates the soil
2. Provides good drainage
3. Prevents soil compaction
Perlite1. Reduces soil compaction
2. Provides good drainage
Coco Coir1. Better water retention
2. Keeps soil moist
Vermicompost1. Provides proper nutrition.
2. Supports microbial growth

Here is a basic potting mix recipe you can easily prepare at home.

Recipe 1

Remember to use a blend of organic and inorganic matter.

  • 40% coco coir
  • 25% orchid bark
  • 25% perlite
  • 10% vermicompost
Fiddle Leaf Fig plant growing in a pot
Fiddle Leaf Fig thrives in moist, well-draining, nutrient-enriched soil.

Recipe 2

  • Use an alternative soil mix.
  • 50% peat moss
  • 30% perlite
  • 20% orchid bark
  • Some organic compost

Remember to begin fertilizing after six months of soil mix application and change the soil every 1 to 2 years, depending on the root growth.

Note: Prevent adding regular garden soil and clay to the soil mix to avoid the denser substrate and soil-borne pests risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you Use Orchid Soil for Fiddle Leaf Figs?

On the other hand, the orchid mix may provide the correct soil drainage, structural support, and moisture retention required by Fiddle Leaf Figs.

However, this soil mix is naturally acidic, requiring neutralizing before use.

Can you Use Cactus Soil for Fiddle Leaf Figs?

Be careful about choosing succulent or cactus soil mix as it usually lacks nutrient contents and structural support required by Fiddle Leaf Figs.

Related Article: Find out best Houseplant Potting Soil Mixes

Conclusion

A proper soil mix is the first way to go with growing any plant, and Fiddle-leaf is no different.

However, this plant does not require a unique soil mix with extra-special contents.

All you need to do is use an essential potting mix that drains well, provides structural support, and promotes healthy micro-bacterial growth.

Use this guide to prepare the best soil mix for your Fiddle-leaf fig.

Read more: 8 Benefits of Fiddle Leaf Figs

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