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Does Fiddle Leaf Fig Clean & Purify the Air? (Answered)

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Each year, 7 million people perish as a result of air pollution. It has been a major concern for people all around the world, with scientists and engineers pushing hard to develop effective solutions to air pollution.

When it comes to the air quality of the home, how certain are you about the air you breathe? Regular cooking with oil, using gas, painting, electronic waste, and other activities all have an impact on the air quality in your house.

You may install an air purifier, which is expensive and requires frequent maintenance. Consider a natural option, such as growing fiddle leaf figs to improve air quality. Let’s take a deep dive to find out about its purifying mechanism and effectiveness.

Does fiddle leaf fig clean & purify the air?

Fiddle leaf figs are quite capable of cleaning and purifying the air. The fiddle leaf fig has quite big leaves, which means it can absorb more chemicals and process them pretty efficiently. The roots and microbes in the soil also help the fiddle leaf fig to take in chemicals and metabolize.

It’s common knowledge that trees can purify the air. In the photosynthesis process, the tree uses sunlight, carbon dioxide, water and metabolizes it and we get oxygen as a byproduct. However, there are lots of air pollutants and harmful organic particles present in the air.

Researchers became curious and wanted to test the limit of how much pollutants can a houseplant remove. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted several studies to test the air cleaning ability of houseplants.

The NASA clean air study found that several plants along with Ficus Benjamina or weeping fig, Ficus Lyrata, or fiddle leaf fig can absorb air pollutants such as ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.  

Fiddle leaf fig grows pretty big leaf, the bigger the leaf the better it could absorb. The root, soil volume, and the microbes present in the fiddle leaf fig also play an important role in absorbing and metabolizing the harmful chemical components.

The high transpiration rate of the fiddle leaf boosts the air absorbing volume hence purifying more air. A fiddle leaf fig can improve air quality up to 25% to 30%, having 3 to 4 fiddle leaf figs can purify and clean the air and improve the air quality of your room pretty efficiently. 

Are fiddle leaf figs good for air quality?

Fiddle leaf figs are pretty great when it comes to improving air quality. Fiddle leaf figs can absorb, metabolize and remove harmful chemicals such as trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene pretty effectively.

Using plants to improve the air, water, and soil quality is called Phytoremediation. Usually, most houses are not equipped with a proper ventilation system, the airflow is limited.

The chemicals released from cleaning, cooking with oil, using paint and glue and other day-to-day work stay in the air for a long time.

These air pollutants can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, and breathing those airborne chemicals for a long time can cause permanent damage to your lungs, and also can cause cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Now it is important to take measures to purify the air you breathe for your own sake and your loved ones. Having a Fiddle leaf fig in your home would surely prove beneficial and you can enjoy better air quality.

How much air do fiddle leaf figs clean?

One fiddle leaf fig can improve almost 25% to 30% of your room’s air quality.

Fiddle leaf fig normally grows up to six to ten feet, it will reduce the carbon dioxide concentration from your home, and in its 10 years to 20 years lifetime, it could reduce 20 lb to 25 lb of carbon dioxide per year.

The NASA clean air study found that Ficus Benjamina or weeping fig, Ficus Lyrata or fiddle leaf fig can remove 940 µg/h of formaldehyde from the air in a confined space.

Fiddle leaf figs can also efficiently metabolize and remove xylene, toluene, along with trichloroethylene, and ammonia. So you can keep a fiddle leaf fig in your home or office to get better air quality.

How do fiddle leaf figs clean the air?

Trees need carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water to perform photosynthesis but it doesn’t mean that trees only take carbon dioxide and nothing else. Trees need nitrogen, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, boron, zinc, magnesium, and lots of other minerals to grow and survive.

Fiddle leaf figs can absorb ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and lots of other harmful air pollutants and efficiently metabolize them

The big leaf and the microbes in soil and roots, the high transpiration, all these things make fiddle leaf fig the best bet to air purification. If you buy or install an air purifier in your home, first it will consume lots of electricity.

Besides, filters in the purifier get jam thus need repair and maintenance. On the other hand, Fiddle leaf figs would be economical, provide fresh oxygen, and be great for improving the environment. 

How many fiddle leaf figs do you need to clean the air?

According to the NASA clean air study, 2 to 4 fiddle leaf figs would be perfect for a 100 sq ft area. For a 1500 sq ft or an 1800 sq ft home, you would need 18 to 20 fiddle leaf figs in total

The NASA clean air study and other studies related to improving air quality are done in control environments and confined places. The result we get, the data we received from those studies is surely going to vary if we try to apply them in our day-to-day life.  

You can increase the overall plant number, put 3 to 5 medium size fiddle leaf figs in your room. The pot and the exposed soil size are also important, always go for an 8 to 10 inches diameter pot.

Make sure the soil is not covered with rock or anything else, the leaves may absorb plenty of air but the soil and microbes in the root also going to absorb and metabolize more than 45% of the air pollutants.

What makes a fiddle leaf fig great at cleaning the air?

Following features makes a fiddle leaf fig great at cleaning the air –


Having a big leaf means more surface area to metabolize and absorb air, water, and other necessary things.

Fiddle leaf fig leaves are violin-shaped and grow up to 8 inches in length and 6 inches in width, so it has sufficient surface area to perform all the necessary tasks such as photosynthesis, absorbing and cleaning air pollutants and more.

Soil volume and microbes:

A fiddle leaf fig plant could grow up to 6 feet or more and it would take sufficient soil to spread its roots.

The soil and the microbes present in the roots absorb and process a large amount of air pollution like trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene, providing better air quality.

High transpiration rate:

Transpiration, It’s a general indicator of the planet’s high metabolism rate.

Fiddle leaf fig roots consume water, air, and other minerals and send them to the leaf for photosynthesis, the leaf process and metabolize different compounds.

The higher the transpiration rate the faster it will consume and process, so fiddle leaf figs can process and purify air pretty fast.

What are fiddle leaf figs good for?

Fiddle leaf figs are mostly good for purifying air pollutants and improving the overall air quality of the surroundings. This houseplant is also known for surviving in both direct and indirect sunlight and providing oxygen throughout the day.

Some study suggests that fiddle leaf figs can also produce oxygen at night

Are fiddle leaf figs toxic to cats?

The fiddle leaf figs may be non-toxic for humans but it’s bad news for cats. Eating fiddle leaf might not be too harmful for the domestic cat, but it surely going to take a toll on the health.

The typical symptoms of fiddle leaf fig ingestion for a cat are excessive drooling, vomiting, discomfort in eating, restlessness, and more.

Although fiddle leaf fig is low or mild poisonous for cats and eating won’t bring too drastic an outcome, but if you see something is wrong and the conditions are getting worse by the moment then seeking immediate medical assistance is highly recommended.

Are fiddle leaf figs toxic to dogs?

Fiddle leaf figs may be a great choice for improving the air quality but you will need to be quite cautious as it is found to be pretty poisonous for dogs. Eating fiddle leaf fig is sure to cause discomfort for the dog.

Irritation in the mouth and digestive system, skin rash, puking, dripping excessive saliva are the most common symptoms observed in a dog that has eaten fiddle leaf fig. It will be wise to seek medical help as soon as possible.

Are fiddle leaf figs toxic to babies?

Unfortunately, fiddle leaf figs are pretty toxic for babies. Babies have a weak immunity system, eating fiddle leaf fig will make them vulnerable to calcium oxalate poisoning.

The fiddle leaf fig toxicity is pretty mild but stomach pain, mouth swelling, and digestive irritation are always pretty painful for a baby to handle.

Final Thoughts: 

Fiddle leaf figs can clean and purify the air. It can absorb atmospheric pollutants such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene. The leaf, root, soil volume, and microorganisms all have a part in absorbing and metabolizing harmful chemical components.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Size Pot Does a Fiddle Leaf Fig Need?

Can Fiddle Leaf Fig Recover from Sunburn?

Why Are Fiddle Leaf Figs So Expensive & Popular?

Can Fiddle Leaf Fig Grow in Low Light?

Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Like Heat or Cold?

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