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If you have kept up with luxury living magazines, you may have noticed the fiddle leaf fig featuring in many homes.
This plant, scientifically known as the ficus lyrata, is quite a sight to behold. Its beauty transforms a space from ordinary to awe-inspiring, and it thus follows that you might want it in your home.
You may have heard that a little bit of sun will do your fiddle leaf fig some good. However, before you do so, you should understand a few things.
One, the location of the plant determines how well it does. And two- your climate may not be favourable to the plant’s growth.
Today, we will look at how you can move your plant indoors.
Additionally, we will look into ideal growing conditions and when it might be time to move your plant back indoors. Here goes:
How to Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Outside
Here, we need to look at the moving in two ways. Some people like moving their fiddle leaf fig outside during the warm months.
In this case, the moving is temporary and does not require much change on your part.
The second option comes in where you want to permanently shift the tree’s location to the outdoors.
You need to understand what option can work for you based on the climate in your area. If the plant can do well in both cases, your decision can be a matter of preference.
If you grow plants indoors, you might be familiar with chasing the sunny spots in your house as the sun shifts position.
Some people choose to avoid this shifting altogether during the warmer months by moving the plants outdoors for the entirety of summer.
With a fiddle leaf fig, this option is also available. However, you need to be careful with the positioning.
The plant should have some shading from winds, rains, and hot air. Temperature fluctuations often cause the leaves to drop, taking away from the beauty of the plant.
Adjusting the bright light in the outdoors takes a while. Think about it like this. For months, the plant has received indirect light from the sun.
And now, it gets to be in contact with the rays. This sudden shift can cause burning and drooping of the leaves.
Again, this is why you need to shade the plant from the elements for the first few days leading into weeks.
You can gradually increase its exposure to the sun while looking out for any warning signs that the change is too sudden.
With temporary movement, the plant should remain in its pot when outside unless another reason prompts re-potting.
Also, once you move the plant back indoors, be sure to keep rotating the plant when it is in a sunny location.
This movement will allow all sections of the plant to get enough sunlight to allow for even growth. Ideally, this rotation should take place every 2 weeks at half a turn.
If you would prefer to have the tree outside all year round, you need to consider the climate of the region in which you live.
This plant does best in hardiness zones 9-11. We will later cover its ideal growing conditions, and you can use these to gauge the suitability of your outdoors for long-term growth.
If you find that you can make up for temperature and other factors by making some slight changes, you can grow the plant outside even if you are a bit off from the hardiness zones.
When permanently moving the plant, you should move it outside in its pot for two weeks.
During this time, you should shelter it from direct sunlight while slowly increasing its exposure time.
In two weeks, provided the plant has not deteriorated in health, you can transplant it to the ground. Ensure that the location has well-draining, rich soil, and is in partial shade.
What is the Fiddle Leaf Fig Outdoor Temperature Tolerance?
How cold is too cold? Generally, a fiddle leaf fig will do well in temperatures ranging between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
As with anything, there is some wiggle room, and you can get away with up to 50 degrees. Anything that falls below this would adversely affect the plant.
It helps to note that this is a tropical rainforest species that does best in higher rather than lower temperature ranges.
When working with the plant indoors, maintaining this range is easy using the thermostat. You can also move the plant closer to direct sunlight to help it thrive.
But outside, you cannot have a say as to how bad the winter will be. Speaking of winter; read on for more tips on caring for your plant when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
How to Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Outside in Winter
The winds are howling outside, and the temperatures are about to drop in the coming weeks. What should you do?
Well, it all comes down to where you live. If you live in hardiness zones 9-11, your plant can survive the harsh months that follow.
But if your temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it is time to think about moving your plant indoors.
So, how can you make the transition? If your plant is outside in the months leading up to winter, it has adapted to the weather and is probably thriving.
Well, you will use the same procedures when moving the plant back indoors. You need to ease it into the new location.
Start by finding a place with good sunlight and one that is free from drafts. In the first few weeks, you might need to add artificial lighting and use a humidifier.
These will aid in recreating the outdoorsy feel for the plant not to go into shock.
In the weeks that follow, reduce the lighting and do away with the humidifier as the plant adjusts to the new environment.
Ensure that the plant is not in a cold area; lest it will start losing leaves. And that is not the only thing you will need to worry about – you also risk losing the plant.
If you are enjoying this article, check out our article on why does your fiddle leaf fig have multiple stems.
Recommended Care Practices
Whether your plant is indoors or outside, some care practices need to be in place as follows:
The plant should have access to filtered sunlight. While the sun should not be direct, the plant should not lack adequate exposure.
Given how easily the leaves become dusty, it would help to wipe them down every two weeks for enhanced sunlight absorption.
The amount of watering depends on where you live. If rainfall is not enough, you can water the plant.
But before watering it, always check the top inch of the soil. If the layer is completely dry, you can water the soil, aiming to dampen and not wet it.
If not, you can leave the plant to wait a few more days before watering it. Over time, you will get an idea of how long it takes for the soil to dry to help you plan a watering schedule.
Keep in mind that the plant does not like to sit in waterlogged soil. As such, ensure that you use a well-draining soil mix.
You can check for signs of under-watering. These include leaves turning brown along the edges and drooping of the leaves.
Too much water exhibits as dark brown spots on the leaves, with the plant emitting a terrible smell.
For under-watering, all you need is to increase the watering frequency.
With too much water, root rot may have occurred, and repotting may be necessary. You will also need to reduce the watering frequency.
Your plant will do better in nutrient-rich soil.
You can use compost or other natural inputs to enrich the soil, ensuring that you exercise some moderation to prevent over-fertilization, which can kill a plant.
As a tropical rainforest plant, the fiddle leaf fig likes growing in warm and humid climates. Its ideal temperature range is 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the temperature falls below 50 degrees, the plant starts to suffer, which you can see exhibiting as brown spots on the leaves.
Maintaining humidity in the outdoors can be tricky. However, you can achieve this by nestling the plant, among others.
This nestling also aids in providing shade from strong drafts and heavy rains.
For the plant to grow healthy, you will need to prune it now and then. Target the damaged leaves when cutting leaves – this aids in the provision of nutrients to healthier parts of the plant.
Also, when you come across any crossing branches, you should cut them to allow for more breathing room.
If you are going for an aesthetic appeal, you can also prune the tree to take on a given shape.
Pruning should take place at least an inch away from the trunk to avoid damage to the main stem.
When you make a cutting, you can expect two branches from it! It is an easy way to get your plant to grow bigger.
Final Thoughts: Should You Move Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Outside?
Sometimes, it does your plant some good to be in the outdoors.
Telling signs that your plant needs some sun include: being leggy, leaning towards windows, stunted growth, dull spots, and yellowing of the leaves.
If you notice these signs and rule out other causes, consider moving your plant outside.
Also, follow through on the care practices as outlined in this article. Happy Gardening!
Before you go, here are some more related articles I encourage you to read below to help solve more of your gardening issues: