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Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Like to Be Root Bound? (Explained!)

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Rootbound is a huge deal when it comes to indoor plants. Most indoor plants do not need much maintenance except for this. But it is also possible that some plants are more tolerant to this than others. You just need to check the information first.

Do fiddle leaf figs like to be root bound?

Fiddle leaf figs are very much tolerant to being root-bound. They do not mind being in a pot that they were initially planted in. Any large pot will be okay for them. The roots of the plant do not get tangled too much and repotting of the plant can be done occasionally. These are not an issue.

A Fiddle leaf fig is very much different from many of the other indoor plants. These plants are happy with being root-bound. They do not wither away being root-bound. The plant is okay with being root-bound. You can keep them in the same pot for a fairly long time.

Repotting any plant is important and some plants need to be repotted soon enough. But in the case of the fiddle leaf fig, the necessity of repotting is not that much. Any decorative, normal pot or container is good for the fiddle leaf fig. They are not fussy about where they are planted.

The plant tends to grow very fast. And they love being root-bound. Even if you feel you need to repot your fiddle leaf fig, the pot size will have to be increased to only one size. They do not require much space to grow. Snuggly vibes keep them happy for the long run.

Fiddle leaf figs are very snuggly plants. They love to keep their roots together. This is why the plant is great at being root-bound. These fast-growing plants do not need much space when it comes to their roots.

The plants are pretty low maintenance when it comes to repotting and being root-bound.

Do fiddle leaf figs like to be pot-bound?

Fiddle leaf figs are some of the indoor plants with unique habits and likings. Unlike the other house plants, they prefer to be root bound. If the plant is growing in a pot then they are getting pot-bound that they are absolutely fine with.

Rootbound is the condition when the roots of the plants are tightly attached to one another. It gets very dense and there is little room for air or water in between the roots. When the plant is in a pot and the roots of the plant get dense and clustered together it is called pot bound.

This condition is also okay with the fiddle leaf figs.

How can you tell if a fiddle leaf fig is a root bound?

Rootbound is a very common condition for house plants. It can be detected very easily. There are plants that start drying as they start getting root bound. But the fiddle leaf fig is very different. These plants love to be root-bound.

So you will have to keep an extra eye on them to figure out if and when they are root bound –


The biggest tell of your plant being root bound is the dried-up soil. The soil of the fiddle leaf fig will dry out sooner than usual when the plant is root-bound. Keep an eye on how many times you have to water the plant now.

Plants fall on the side:

If you suddenly see your plant falling over to one side or the other you may want to check the roots of your plant. This is a good sign that your fiddle leaf has been root-bound.

Brown leaf:

Root-bound plants tend to have brown tips on their leaves. This is the same for the fiddle leaf figs. The plants will start to get brown from the tip of their leaves.

Roots coming from the drainage hole:

When the plants are pot bound they will find no other way to adjust their roots. In this case, the roots of the fiddle leaf fig will come out from the drainage hole.

This can easily be detected by looking at the bottom of your pot.

Zero growth:

Most of the time your plant won’t perish, but its growth rate will. The fiddle leaf fig can survive being root bound but they can’t grow as much as before. If they grow, it will be at a very low rate.

When to repot my fiddle leaf fig?

Repotting of the fiddle leaf fig can be a difficult thing to notice. The plant is perfectly okay with being root-bound. So you will not know when it needs to be repotted. But some of the obvious signs are hard to miss.

Notice the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig. This is the first giveaway. Even if the plant itself is perfectly healthy, the leaves will start to wither or turn brown from the tip. That is when you should check the soil and the roots underneath.

If you feel the roots densely clustered, you need to repot your fiddle leaf fig.

How to repot a root-bound fiddle leaf fig?

Repotting the fiddle leaf fig is not always necessary. The plant is perfectly happy with being root-bound. But to promote healthier growth you should repot your fiddle leaf fig –

  • Get a pot that is one size bigger than the pot your plant was in;
  • Mix your desired new pot with the new soil;
  • Hold the base of the plant and very gently wiggle the plant out of the original pot;
  • Very carefully break down the soil around the fiddle leaf fig;
  • You will want to trim down some of the longer and outer roots for the plant to sit perfectly. Be very cautious with this step. Make sure not to cut the main root.
  • Put the root ball and the plant inside the new pot and start filling the pot with soil;
  • Water the soil to seal the deal.

Repotting is very easy but you have to be cautious. In the case of the fiddle leaf fig, you do not need to separate the roots so much. They will naturally grow.

Do fiddle leaf figs like small or big pots? 

The fiddle leaf fig is a snuggly plant when it comes to its root condition. These plants love to be root-bound. This is why they will be okay in a smaller pot. With a larger pot, the plants will have less space to be together.

Unlike the other house plants, the fiddle leaf fig wants to be in a small pot.

As a plant, who loves to be root bound, the fiddle leaf fig will be the happiest being root bound. They do not love large pots and usually grow well in a small pot. This is why these pots do not need to be repotted regularly either.

What size pot is best for fiddle leaf fig? 

A fiddle leaf fig is okay with being in a small pot. Any pot that is 6 diameters or larger is too big for the fiddle leaf fig. If you want to change pots then get a pot that is 3 or 4 inches larger than the original pot. But in general, a small-sized pot is best for the fiddle leaf fig.

The plant loves to be root-bound and feels snuggly. Getting a large container or pot will upset them. And not only that, the plants might face root rot if they are left in a larger pot. This is why you should get a small-sized pot for the fiddle leaf fig.

Can you cut the roots of a fiddle leaf fig? 

You can cut the roots of the fiddle leaf fig. Some roots are used as cuttings afterward. You can repot the roots and propagate from that single root. And other times you can easily cut off the outer roots of the plant before transferring it to a new pot.

But just like any plant, cutting the roots should be done very carefully. Make sure not to cut the main trunk of the plant. This will terminate the plant. And if you cut the main root to propagate then there is a less likely chance that it will be in your favor.

The outer roots are okay to cut when repotting.

Do fiddle leaf figs have air roots?

It is very uncommon for plants to have air roots. And fiddle leaf fig is one such plant. These plants have air roots. Just like the Ficus plants, the fiddle leaf figs will have aerial roots that might not be exactly noticeable.

Some people will consider repotting the plant if they see any root coming up to the soil. That may be a reason to re-pot the plant, but as a Ficus, fiddle leaf figs have air roots. The air roots can grow from a branch or from the main trunk. Do not be alarmed and do not cut it off.

It is normal for fiddle leaf figs to have air roots.

Final Thought:

While it does seem very unlikely for a house plant to be okay with being root bound, the fiddle leaf fig comes as an exception here. The plant loves being root-bound. They prefer being clustered and snuggled together at the roots. This is very unique compared to any other indoor plant.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are Fiddle Leaf Figs Slow Growers? How Fast Do They Grow?

Why Do Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Get Holes?

Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Bloom Flower or Produce Fruit?

What Size Pot Does a Fiddle Leaf Fig Need?

Can Fiddle Leaf Fig Recover from Sunburn?

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