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What size pot should your Ficus lyrata, or fiddle leaf fig, be in? The answer is that it depends, but I will make it easy for you to determine. Keep reading to learn how to find the best pot size for your plant to ensure that it will thrive. The size of the pot that you use matters!
WHAT SIZE POT TO PLANT FIDDLE LEAF FIG
I have 3 scenarios below to help you determine what size your new pot should be. Whether you have rooted cuttings, or a mature plant, pick the scenario that matches your situation and follow my details accordingly.
At the end of this post, I’ve also included a bonus section on the TYPE of pot to use. Selecting the right pot, both the size and type, is an important factor for all indoor plants.
1. POTTING UP ROOTED CUTTINGS
If you are propagating new plants and have rooted some cuttings, for best results, wait until your roots are about an inch long or so and then pot them up. I would strongly recommend a smaller pot size to start with.
Start off with a 4-inch diameter plastic nursery pot if you can and wait until the plant is just about root-bound before placing it into a larger pot.
You’ll know that your plant is ready for a bigger pot if your root ball comes out of the pot all in one piece with no loose soil. Plastic pots, especially small ones, make it really easy to take your plant out.
You can simply squeeze the pot a couple times, tilt the pot over, and your small plant should come out very easily.
When it comes time for a bigger pot, go up one pot size only. For example, if your current pot is 4 inches in diameter, your new pot should be 6 inches in diameter. Pots usually come in increments of 2 inches of the diameter.
2. NEWLY ACQUIRED FIDDLE LEAF FIG
If you’ve just purchased a fiddle leaf fig plant, it would be a good idea to keep it in the same pot for the time being. Let it adjust to your home environment, and then after you’ve had it for at least a month or so, you can determine if it needs a bigger pot (see the next section for details). It may not even need a bigger pot at all yet.
They’ll normally come in inexpensive, flimsy plastic pots, but you can just slip the existing pot with the plant right into a decorative pot so that it will look more aesthetically pleasing in your home or office.
The reason that you want to hold off repotting with a new plant is because your new plant needs to adjust to a new growing environment, and repotting it too soon will add unnecessary stress to your plant. So let your plant acclimate for at least a month before considering repotting.
Ficus plants in general (including rubber trees) don’t like to be moved. Many of them will drop leaves as they are adjusting to new environments, so this is another reason to hold off initially.
3. WHEN TO GO TO A LARGER POT SIZE
The short answer is that it is a good idea to repot when your plant is root bound. If there are visible roots in the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, or even coming out of the drainage holes, it’s time for a new pot.
As a general rule of thumb, your new pot should only be about 2 inches in diameter bigger than the existing pot. The reason you don’t want to go much bigger is that is if you have too much excess soil in the pot, depending on your growing conditions, it can take too long for the soil to dry out.
This can lead to root rot, especially if you have your plant growing in low light conditions (which I don’t recommend doing. These plants do best with some direct sun indoors).
Whatever size pot you end up using, always choose pots with drainage holes. Good drainage is not optional!
Also, make sure to loosen the root ball a bit before going into a new pot! This will help new roots to grow more easily into the new potting mix. If your plant is really root-bound and the roots are very tight, it will make healthy growth of roots more difficult for your plant.
When you repot, you do not have to remove any old soil. In fact, I would advise against it. Just loosen the root ball a bit with your bare hands, add some fresh soil to the bottom of the pot, place your plant in, and continue to add soil around the perimeter of the pot.
I like to leave about 1 inch or so from the soil line to the top of the pot in order to allow for a watering reservoir. So you may need to adjust how much soil you add to the bottom of the pot in order to accomplish this.
Try and avoid filling with soil all the way to the top because it will make a mess on your floor when you water.
BONUS: TYPE OF POT TO USE
You can go ahead and plant your fiddle leaf fig directly into a decorative container. Some people prefer planting into a plastic nursery pot and then slipping it right into the decorative pot. It is much easier to take a plant out of a plastic nursery pot vs. a pot that is more rigid.
Ultimately, your plant pot type is all personal preference.
Terra cotta pots are great choices for your plant, particularly for large fiddle leaf fig trees, because they are porous and will dry out much more quickly, thus minimizing the risk of root rot and ensuring a healthy plant. Terra cotta pots are wonderful particularly if you tend to fuss a lot with your plants and water a lot.
In addition, for a larger fiddle fig, ceramic pots make for perfect pots because large plants will become top heavy and the weight of the ceramic pot will keep the plant more stable so it doesn’t fall over.
In general, try and avoid repotting in the winter months when plants are likely not actively growing. A great time to repot is when you start to notice new growth in late winter to early spring.
Repotting throughout summertime is also good. This will give your plant time to acclimate and get established before days get shorter for many of us in wintertime.
For more information on growing Fiddle Leaf Fig, you may be interested in my other blog posts:
Best Soil for Fiddle Leaf Fig In this post, I selected three wonderful options (both DIY and turn-key mixes).
How to Grow Fiddle Leaf Fig This post contains all the detailed instructions that will keep your plant in the best condition possible. From light, watering, fertilizing, and more.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on what size pot to plant fiddle leaf fig trees. Any questions? Comment below. I’d love to hear!