How To Pick The Right Pots For Your Fiddle Leaf Figs
Whether you’re bringing a baby plant home from the nursery, or you need to transplant your adolescent plant into a new pot, it’s important to choose the right pot for your fiddle leaf fig,
Your fiddle leaf fig needs a pot that is about ⅓ of its overall size – and that gives the roots 1-2 inches of vertical space and 3-4 inches of horizontal space. As long as you choose a pot that is the right size for your plant – and one with plenty of drainage – you should be all set.
The choices can be overwhelming, but we can help you choose the pot that meets your fiddle leaf fig’s needs and your personal tastes.
What Size Pot for a Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Use the growing pot your plant came in to determine what size pot you need for your plant. You can also use the size of your fiddle leaf fig as a reference.
In general, you should give your fiddle leaf fig 4 to 6 inches of space – an inch or 2 vertically and 3 to 4 inches horizontally. You can measure this space out from the roots or use your planting pot as a guide.
For example, if your fiddle fig came in a 5-inch planting pot, you may want to size it up to a 10-inch permanent pot.
Another rule of thumb you can abide by is that your pot should be ⅓ the size of your plant.
For example, if your fiddle leaf fig is 12 inches tall, you should have a 4-inch pot.
Of course, this also means that you will have to move your plant into bigger pots as it gets bigger. One of the best ways to keep your plant healthy and make sure it continues growing is to update its pot as it grows.
Plants grow relatively slowly, so you should not have to transplant your fiddle leaf too often.
Also, it’s important that you don’t give your plant too much space.
If you water your plant and it cannot reach the water with its roots, the soil will not dry out, and your fiddle leaf fig could get root rot.
Think of it as, “Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.” (from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner).
Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Need Drainage Holes?
Never put a fiddle leaf fig in a pot without a drainage hole.
Fiddle leaf figs like to dry out between waterings, and they simply cannot get dry if they cannot get rid of excess water.
If a fiddle leaf fig cannot get dry, it will get root rot, which can be fatal to your plant.
Always choose a pot with drainage holes – or add draining holes to a pot that doesn’t have them.
Another option is to create a system with two pots, in which one pot has drainage holes and is suspended within another pot that does not.
Some plant owners keep their fiddle leaf fig in its growing pot (or an appropriately sized plastic pot with plenty of drainage), then place that pot into a larger decorative pot without drainage.
Just make sure the bottom of your plant is never touching the bottom of a pot without drainage holes!
Is One Drainage Hole Enough for Fiddle Leaf Fig?
It depends on the type of pot, but one large drainage hole can be plenty for a fiddle leaf fig. Most well-designed planters and terracotta pots only have one drainage hole.
Fiddle leaf figs also enjoy plastic pots with multiple drainage holes, like the ones they’re grown in.
What matters most is creating a perfect drainage system for your fiddle leaf fig.
Creating a Drainage System for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
You have a few different options when it comes to creating a drainage system for your fiddle leaf fig:
- The simplest is putting a pot with one large drainage hole on top of a saucer. This allows excess water to fall into the saucer and evaporate.
- Other options include having a pot with multiple drainage holes and adding gravel to the bottom of your pot, so you only lose water and do not lose soil (a saucer is recommended for this option, too).
- Many home gardeners love the two-pot system that we briefly talked about earlier. In this option, you put a pot with plenty of drainage inside a decorative pot with no drainage. As long as your inner pot isn’t sitting inside a puddle of water at the bottom of the decorative pot, this option works great!
Also, as the water evaporates from the decorative pot, it can add moisture to the air surrounding your fiddle leaf fig.
You can choose the drainage system you like best. I prefer the simplest solution, so I just have a pot and saucer setup at home, but my housemate uses the two-pot system for almost all of his houseplants.
Some people even get fancy and elevate their pots, which only works with a big clear saucer underneath or the two-pot system.
If you ever find that you are struggling with drainage, try watering your fiddle leaf fig in the sink, bathtub, or shower and letting it drain fully before moving it back to its regular home.
Can You Use a Self-Watering Pot for a Fiddle Leaf Fig
I once used a self-watering pot for my hydrangeas, and they loved it. However, hydrangeas are obsessed with water and get very sad if they are not constantly wet, and fiddle figs are different.
Fiddle leaf figs are extremely prone to overwatering and root rot, so think twice about a self-watering pot. Personally, I wouldn’t use one for this type of plant.
With self-watering pots, plant roots take moisture as they need it, and your delicate fiddle leaf fig might not know when to stop. If your plant introduces moisture to its roots when it’s already too wet, you’re on the road to root rot – and a dead plant.
You can technically use a self-watering pot for your fiddle leaf fig, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. We recommend you skip it.
Best Type of Pot for Fiddle Leaf Fig
In my humble opinion, terracotta pots are the best for fiddle leaf figs. Terracotta literally means “baked earth”, and it only makes sense that your plant would want to grow in the earth itself.
Terracotta Pot for Fiddle Leaf Fig
Because fiddle leaf figs have trouble with overwatering and maintaining too much moisture, terracotta pots are ideal.
Terracotta planters usually come with one drainage hole and a saucer, which is a simple and effective drainage system. To protect your floors and surfaces, make sure the saucer is glazed, or place a protective material (like plastic) underneath it.
The baked clay of terracotta pots also absorbs excess moisture, which is super helpful. Be careful, as it can cause your plant to dry out if you’re not vigilant.
Many people think terracotta pots are boring, but they can be wonderful. With different textures and decorations, terracotta pots can really bring your style to the next level.
Tall Tapered Pots
As long as they’re wide enough for your plant’s roots and the soil isn’t too deep, tall tapered pots are also great options for fiddle leaf figs. They give your plant room to grow big and strong and look super modern.
Bags and Baskets
For a rustic look, try placing your fiddle leaf fig in paper bags or wicker baskets. Just make sure the untraditional pot you choose is lined with plastic and equipped with proper drainage – or that you’re using the two-pot method for drainage.
Due to the materials involved, bags and baskets can be harder to pull off, but the statement they make is so worth it.
There are more decorative pots than you can imagine, so you can choose the one that works perfectly for your home.
Make sure to use the two-pot drainage system because decorative pots usually don’t have drainage holes built in.
Stone or Marble
Like terracotta, stone and marble are natural materials that make great pots for your fiddle leaf fig. Most are also equipped with drainage holes, so a pot and a saucer are all you need.
Stone and marble also create an elegant look.
Plant stands get your plant up off the ground and elevate your fiddle leaf fig’s style. They look good but can be a nightmare when it comes to drainage, and the stands might not work if you need a bigger pot as your plant grows.
If you’re willing to be flexible and create an effective drainage system, nothing looks more sleek, airy, and gorgeous than a plant stand.
Consider gold legs because plant stands are the gold standard for displaying houseplants, including fiddle leaf figs!
Indoor Pots for Fiddle Leaf Fig
Any pot can be an indoor pot, as long as your plant can drain excess water and you can protect your floor.
Many people don’t want a large pot inside, but you can make a statement with a large plant in a large, lovely pot. Also, protecting your floor can be as easy as buying a clear plastic drainage tray or a protective mat.
Look for these items at your local plant store.
Large Pots for Fiddle Leaf Figs
Large pots are excellent for large fiddle leaf figs. Remember not to give your plant too much space, or the roots won’t respond well.
Also, even large pots must have drainage, which can be challenging – especially if you need to move your plant to the shower for some TLC or emergency drying out.
Choosing the Best Planter
Choosing the best pot or planter for your fiddle leaf fig can be challenging. Still, there’s not too much you have to keep in mind – aside from good sizing, drainage, and your personal tastes and style.
If you want to keep things simple, go for a terracotta (or stone) pot with a drainage saucer. If you want a more sophisticated look, get a decorative pot and use the two-pot system (a drainage pot inside and a decorative pot outside).
The more ambitious your look, the harder you will have to work to accommodate your plant’s needs, but an elevated pot is exactly that!
Your fiddle leaf fig is a living thing, so all you need to do is choose the pot that keeps it alive while bringing your space to life!