In this guide, we’re going to take you through 16 incredible uses and benefits of Fiddle leaf fig trees at home. These plants require little active maintenance but prefer a fairly steady indoor environment for growing their much-loved fiddle-shaped leaves. For the indoor houseplant enthusiast who’s looking for a low-maintenance plant that’s just a little more challenging to grow, fiddle leaf fig trees offer the perfect choice and plenty of additional benefits.
About Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plants
Ficus lyrata (commonly called fiddle leaf fig) is a flowering tree-like plant that belongs to the Ficus genus in the Moraceae (mulberry and fig) plant family. It is native to the lowland tropical rainforests of western Africa.
Fiddle leaf fig plants have lovely leaves that are glossy and deep green in color with prominent veins. The leaves are slightly wavy around the edges. Although the leaves can vary somewhat in shape, they tend to be narrow near their bases and through their middle sections, while growing broader toward their tips or apexes. This creates a fiddle or lyre-like shape, hence the plant’s common name.
Grown outdoors in the right climate, fiddle leaf fig trees can reach up to about 50 feet in height. They produce nondescript flowers and small, green fig fruits in the right climate with the right pollinators, but they do not usually bear fruit when grown indoors.
The Benefits of Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Plants
1. Air Purifying Properties
Through the gas exchange of their leaves and roots, plants take in a variety of chemicals, including carbon dioxide, and emit other chemicals, like oxygen, during the process of photosynthesis.
Although NASA’s clean air study didn’t specifically evaluate Ficus lyrata, it did evaluate the air-purifying abilities of two of the fiddle leaf fig tree’s close cousins, Ficus elastica (rubber tree plant) and Ficus benjamina (weeping fig).
The study found that rubber tree plants effectively remove toxic formaldehyde particles from the air and that weeping fig plants remove toxic formaldehyde in addition to toluene and xylene from the air.
With its exceptionally broad leaves that facilitate a great rate of gas exchange, the fiddle leaf fig is likely also a good plant for removing common toxins from your indoor air while replenishing the oxygen in your home.
2. Use in Feng Shui
In feng shui, fiddle leaf fig plants are said to offer a variety of benefits. Their softly edged, rounded leaves attract positive, nourishing energy into an indoor space. This makes them a good solution for neutralizing the negative energy of dark spaces, blocked corners, and sharp edges in a home or office.
Additionally, fiddle leaf fig plants symbolize abundance and good luck. Placing one in the wealth (southeast) or career (north) corner of your Bagua map can help you attract good fortune and wealth in these areas of your life.
Since fiddle leaf fig plants can bear fruit in the wild, they are also a symbol of fertility and fruitfulness. Placing one in the family (east) or love/marriage (southwest) corner of your home’s Bagua map will draw positive energy into these aspects of your life.
3. Low-Maintenance Care
Fiddle leaf figs can be tricky to grow if your home does not provide the right growing environment (i.e. 30-65% humidity, a steady temperature between 60°F and 85°F, moderate moisture, and bright but filtered sunlight).
However, given good indoor growing conditions, fiddle leaf figs require little care and maintenance, making them a good choice if you have an otherwise busy lifestyle.
They do not require regular pruning, except to control the growth of the plant when desired and to remove dead or dying leaves. To encourage even growth and prevent your plant from leaning (or leaf drop), set a reminder on your calendar to rotate your fiddle leaf fig plant 25 degrees every week. It’s also prudent to remove any excess dust build-up on your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves each month.
For more, see our in-depth guide on the best positions for fiddle leaf figs to thrive in the home.
4. Ornamental Value
Fiddle leaf fig trees are popular home and office decorating options thanks to their impressive ornamental value. Whether you have a small fiddle leaf fig, a 10-foot fiddle leaf fig, a full fiddle leaf fig, or a spindly and sparse fiddle leaf fig, you are going to add some major visual impact to your home.
No matter the size of your plant, fiddle leaf fig leaves grow large and green and have a leathery texture with delicately wavy edges. Place large plants on the floor in brightly lit corners and small plants on end tables everywhere.
5. Easy to Propagate
If you want to grow more plants in your home or give new plants away as gifts to your friends and family, fiddle leaf fig plants are fairly simple to propagate.
Leaves from fiddle leaf figs can be rooted, but they will not produce stems and grow into full plants. In order to propagate a fiddle leaf fig that will eventually grow and mature, you must use a cutting that includes about 3 to 6 inches of stem from the plant.
6. Tolerates a Variety of Light Conditions
Fiddle leaf figs thrive in an environment where they receive 6 hours of bright, indirect or filtered sunlight daily. However, they can also tolerate environments with comparably lower light levels or that only offer artificial light in the form of fluorescents. So, even if your office does not offer natural light or your home’s windows all face the north, you can still grow a fiddle leaf fig.
7. A Good Choice for Pollen Allergy Sufferers
Fiddle leaf fig plants (plants from the Ficus genus) do contain some latex that can irritate individuals with allergies and sensitivities to latex. When handled directly, they can lead to skin irritations and, when these particles are breathed in through the air, they can cause respiratory reactions.
However, fiddle leaf fig plants are a good choice for homes of people who suffer from allergies to different types of pollen because these plants do not typically produce flowers when they are grown indoors.
8. Resistant to Drought
If you’re busy and/or forgetful, then a fiddle leaf fig might be the right choice for you because this drought-tolerant plant can withstand going without water for some time. Although they prefer to be watered regularly, fiddle leaf figs are prone to root rot and need well-draining soil to stay healthy. Don’t be afraid to let your plant’s soil dry out completely in between waterings.
9. Therapeutic Value
Being around plants, looking at plants, and caring for plants offers great therapeutic value. In fact, they have their own branch of therapy called horticultural therapy.
Studies have suggested several benefits of horticultural therapy including improved mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing through reduced stress, anxiety, and other symptoms of depression in addition to lowered blood pressure, accelerated recovery from illness or injury, helping with addiction treatment, improving dementia patients, and more.
Simply tending to and caring for a fiddle leaf fig tree could improve your own health.
10. Boosts Productivity and Cognitive Function
Studies have suggested that houseplants can improve your cognitive function, increasing your ability to focus or concentrate, improving memory, and making you smarter. Additionally, studies have indicated that the presence of indoor plants inside offices and other workplaces could improve productivity.
11. Filters Odors
Since fiddle leaf fig plants can remove foul-smelling toxins from the air like formaldehyde and benzene, they also freshen the air, improving its smell.
12. Improves Indoor Acoustics
The leaves, stems, and branches of plants actually help to absorb sound waves traveling through an indoor environment. Large, broad leaves, like those produced by fiddle leaf figs, provide exceptionally efficient absorption of sound waves, improving the acoustics of your indoor environment.
13. Improves Sleep
During the process of photosynthesis, the large leaves of fiddle leaf figs produce and emit an abundance of oxygen. Photosynthesis stops during the night when there’s no sunlight to catalyze the process, and the plant can then begin emitting some carbon dioxide.
However, fiddle leaf figs produce so much oxygen during the day that overall, they increase the oxygen content of your indoor environment. As a result, they can help improve your sleep because an abundance of oxygen encourages the brain to stay in a restful, restorative state of deep sleep.
14. Has Antibacterial Properties
Studies have found that certain compounds extracted from fiddle leaf fig plants exhibit impressive antibacterial properties when tested against a variety of bacterial strains.
15. Is Inexpensive
Fiddle leaf figs used to be pricey houseplants to obtain. Due to their recent increase in popularity, however, they can be found at a reasonable price in most home garden centers. While large plants can be more expensive, smaller plants are cheaper and more easily acclimated to a new environment. Purchasing a small fiddle leaf fig will save you money. Plus, with its fast-growing habit, you’ll have a larger plant in no time.
16. Grows Quickly
With regular fertilization during the growing season and plenty of sunlight, fiddle leaf figs grow incredibly fast, gaining 12 to 18 inches every year! This means you can purchase a small plant at a low price and enjoy a more mature-looking plant after just a couple of years of care.
If you have a small living space, do not be dismayed by the fast growth rate of fiddle leaf figs. Growth can be easily controlled and slowed by providing less-frequent feeding and watering and locating your plant in a spot with lower light conditions.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Benefits FAQs
Are fiddle leaf figs a good indoor plant?
Outdoors, fiddle leaf figs are winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. However, they also make great houseplants, since they can thrive in most indoor environments. They prefer a steady temperature between 60°F and 85°F and humidity ranging from 35-60%. Keep yours away from drafty locations like near doors to the outside and HVAC vents.
Is the fiddle leaf fig considered a lucky plant?
Fiddle leaf figs symbolize fertility, good luck, and abundance. Additionally, according to feng shui principles, their large, rounded leaves are thought to attract positive and nourishing energy while helping to neutralize negative energy and poison arrows that come from the sharp corners in your home.
What is so special about fiddle leaf figs?
Fiddle leaf fig trees have become a very popular houseplant among indoor gardening enthusiasts. Although they are fairly hardy plants, they can be a little tricky to keep absolutely healthy and beautiful. However, with the right growing environment, a fiddle leaf fig can add a great amount of visual interest and beauty to your home.
Plus, thanks to their popularity, fiddle leaf figs have become easier to obtain than ever before. They’re now available at affordable prices at just about every home garden store.
Are fiddle leaf figs toxic?
All parts of fiddle leaf fig plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic to dogs, cats, and humans.
If ingested, they can cause severe gastrointestinal upset and also irritate the soft tissues of the digestive system. Additionally, when handled without wearing gloves, the plant’s calcium oxalate crystals can also burn and irritate the skin.
Be careful to display your fiddle leaf fig in a location that’s safe for pets and small children and always wear protective gloves when handling or repotting your plant.
Where should a fiddle leaf fig be placed in a home?
A fiddle leaf fig should be placed in a location in your home near a south-facing or east-facing window where it will receive plenty of bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day. Be careful not to place your plant near a cold or drafty window or door or anywhere near your heating and cooling vents.
Fiddle leaf fig plants can be sensitive to environmental conditions that change too much. So, once you choose a spot for your fiddle leaf fig, be ready to commit to it; moving a fiddle leaf fig once it has become acclimated to a location in your home could stress and shock the plant, harming its health and stunting its growth.
Keep Your Home Looking Fit as a Fiddle With a Fiddle Leaf Fig
Caring for a fiddle leaf fig takes a bit of care and attention to the growing environment your home provides. However, when you get it right, fiddle leaf fig leaves – big and small – can really beautify, freshen, and liven up your space, in addition to offering all of their other benefits. Fiddle leaf figs are well worth the effort to keep them healthy and thriving.
For more, see our in-depth guide to the meaning and symbolism of fig trees.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.