A fiddle leaf fig is a stunning houseplant with large, deep green leaves that can quickly make any dull corner look amazing.

But these plants can be somewhat temperamental and can struggle when their roots don’t have room to spread.

Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Like To Be Root Bound?

A fiddle leaf fig being repotted

Fiddle leaf figs are fine being root bound for a while but if their roots spread throughout the soil too much it can cause health problems for the plant. They like to fit snug in their pots but should be repotted into a larger pot once they become root bound.

If your fiddle leaf fig is kept in a pot that’s too small, its roots will completely take over the inside space and leave little room for the soil to hold onto nutrients, water, or air and this can lead to a decline in the health of your plant.

For this reason, when your fiddle leaf fig becomes root bound, you should repot it into a new pot that is only about 1 or 2 inches larger than the current pot.

How Do I Know When It’s Time To Repot My Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Typically you’ll have to repot your fig tree once every 2 or 3 years but other than that will know that it is time to repot your fiddle leaf fig when you start to see roots growing up out of the soil or trying to grow out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

You can also try to gently lift your fiddle leaf fig out of the pot and you might be able to see that it is root bound.

Do this by gently wiggling the trunk of the tree and lifting it from the pot.

If you see any of these signs, it is time to repot.

Choose The Right Size Pot

Pick a pot that is only slightly larger (1″ to 2″) than the current pot so that the fiddle leaf fig will be encouraged to develop roots but also develop new leaves in the new pot.

Best Type Of Pot For A Fiddle Leaf Fig

As well as choosing a pot that’s only slightly bigger, you will also need to make sure that the pot has drainage holes.

Fiddle leaf figs need to have lots of drainage because they are prone to root rot without it.

If you prefer to use a decorative pot and it does not have drainage, place a pot with drainage inside the decorative pot.

That way your fiddle leaf fig can look great while still having adequate drainage.

How To Repot Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Once you have determined that it is time to repot your fiddle leaf fig, get your new pot and soil mix ready.

Then, fill your new pot about one-third of the way with new soil. (Use well-aerated, fast-draining soil)

Remove Old Soil From The Roots

Lift your fiddle leaf fig out of its old pot and break away the old soil.

The idea is to get rid of all of the old soil from the roots before placing the plant in its new pot.

You can use your hands to brush the soil off, or even place the roots in a bucket of water to rinse the soil away.

Then, place your fiddle in the new pot, and fill in the rest of the pot with new soil.

Make sure to give it a gentle watering once it is repotted.

Best Soil For Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle leaf figs like to be well-drained and require soil that allows water to move freely through it.

If you put your fiddle leaf fig in very heavy soil that holds a lot of water, it is likely to experience root rot and will not grow well.

You can use one of the following soil options for your fiddle leaf fig.

Cactus Soil Mix

You can use cactus or succulent soil mix for your fiddle leaf fig because it is designed to be light, aerated, and allows for water to pass through.

Cacti and succulents also need a lot of drainage, so this will make a perfect choice for your fiddle leaf fig.

How To Make Your Own Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil

you may not find a soil created specifically for fiddles, but you can make your own using 4-parts potting soil, 1-part pine bark, and 1-part horticultural charcoal.

The potting soil on its own can be quite heavy but adding the pine bark and charcoal will allow for water to flow more freely through the mix.

Final Thoughts

If you see that your fiddle leaf fig is root bound you should repot it into a pot that’s just 1 or 2 inches bigger.

You won’t want the roots to spread throughout the soil to the point where they are affecting the amount of air, water, and nutrients the soil can hold.