House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Make Potting Soil for Fiddle Leaf Figs — 7 Simple Steps

Repotting fiddle leaf fig tree in big modern pot

Fiddle leaf figs are notorious for developing root rot. They require highly organic soil but also very well-draining soil. Getting this combination just right can be tricky. Many organic soils are dense and hold a lot of water which will quickly destroy the roots of your fig plant. There is a simple recipe that combines everything a fiddle leaf fig needs into one easy-to-make soil. Here is how you can make potting soil for fiddle leaf figs in 7 easy steps.

garden flower divider


For the best results, it is best to make sure you have everything you need ahead of time. You don’t want to be left stuck in the middle of a job without the necessary materials to finish. The main ingredients of fiddle leaf fig soil are perlite and peat, and these things can be easily acquired online or at your local garden center.

fiddle-leaf fig
Image Credit: SURKED, Shutterstock

What You Will Need:

Time: 1.5 hours
Complexity: Basic


  • ⅓ perlite
  • ⅔ peat
  • A handful of worm castings
  • A layer of grit or rocks

garden flower divider

The 7 Steps on How to Make Potting Soil for Fiddle Leaf Figs

1. Add a Layer of Grit or Pebbles to the Bottom of the Pot

Gardeners hand in gloves pour drainage pebbles to the bottom of the pot
Image Credit: Evgenyrychko, Shutterstock

The first thing you want to do is ensure that the bottom of the pot is ready to go. Make sure you have multiple drainage holes cut, and then add a layer of rock or grit to the bottom. This will help the soil drain quickly, which is something that fiddle leaf figs need to thrive. You want to add the rocks now because once you add your soil to the pot, it will make it very difficult to get to the bottom layer. Generally, you do not need to mix in rocks with this soil recipe because perlite and peat are loose materials that do not hold water very well to begin with.

2. Add Peat Mixture

The soil for fiddle leaf figs will be ⅔ parts peat. You can buy peat mixtures online in a variety of different forms. (You can also make your own peat using live peat moss, but this process is very involved and not for everyone.) The amount of peat you need will depend on the size of your pot. You want to fill your pot until the soil sits two to three inches below the rim. Obviously, small pots will use less soil than large pots. Be sure to keep the mixture roughly ⅔ peat for the best results.

3. Add Perlite

Close Up Perlite
Image Credit: RPA Studio, Shutterstock

After you add your peat mixture, it is time to add your perlite. Perlite is a volcanic material that has many benefits for fiddle leaf figs. Perlite is lightweight, holds its shape, has a neutral pH level, and is perfect for creating well-draining soil. The combination of peat and perlite creates an organic soil that drains extremely well, which is exactly what you need for a fiddle leaf fig to thrive.

Be sure to keep your perlite ratio at ⅓ the total of the mixture. If you go over the ratio, it is safer to add more peat than it is perlite. Perlite is great for drainage and soil balance, but it is not organic in the same way that peat is.

Like peat, you can buy perlite online for very low prices.

4. Mix in Worm Castings

Now, you will need to mix everything together. Using your trowel (or your hands), you can start kneading the soil so that everything blends. This is the perfect time to add your worm castings. You can also add some compost for a little extra organic material during this phase. Try not to disturb your rock layer at the bottom. Add in your worm castings and compost by the handful and mix until everything is evenly distributed.

5. Test pH Level of Soil

gardener testing soil using a soil meter
Image Credit: kram-9, Shutterstock

Using a pH gauge, test the pH level of the soil. Stick the gauge into your soil mixture and see what number comes up. Fiddle leaf figs like neutral soil (pH 7) or slightly acidic (pH 6–6.9) soil. Achieving the right pH balance of fresh soil is a key part of creating a mixture that will help your plant thrive. Soil with pH levels that are either too alkaline (base) or too acidic can prevent your plant from absorbing the necessary water and nutrients. If your soil’s pH level is off, you will need to adjust it before planting your fiddle leaf fig

6. Adjust pH Level If Necessary

Fiddle leaf figs grow the best in soil with a pH level between 6 and 7. That is slightly acidic to neutral. If you find that your soil has a pH level significantly lower than 6, you will need to raise that number by adding lime to the soil. If you have a pH level greater than 7, you will need to add sulfur or compost to make the soil more acidic. If the pH level is just a little bit higher or lower than this range, your plant will likely be fine. Retest your soil after making your adjustments to see if you are within the acceptable range.

7. Plant or Replant Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle Leaf Figs
Image Credit: Boonyadej Nannar, Shutterstock

Once you have your soil mixture ready to go, you can add your plant. Whether you are planting a brand-new fiddle leaf fig or replanting an old one that needs a refresh, this soil mixture will work perfectly. It has everything that your fiddle leaf fig needs to survive and thrive. Make sure the soil is 2 inches under the rim of the pot, and make sure that the soil completely covers the roots of your fig plant.

garden flower divider

What Kind of Soil Does Fiddle Leaf Fig Like?

Fiddle leaf figs like soil that is highly organic, neutral, and well-draining. This recipe strives to create a soil mixture that includes all of these traits to ensure that your plant has the best chance of thriving. If you do not get each one of these traits right, you have the chance of having your fig fail or struggle to thrive. Proper soil is a critical and underrated part of growing any type of plant.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil Traits

  • Well-draining
  • Highly organic
  • Neutral (pH 6 to 7)

garden flower divider


This simple soil recipe is perfect for fiddle leaf figs. It combines everything they need into soil that you can easily mix yourself at home. You do need to buy the component parts, but once you have everything together, it is a simple matter of mixing it all with the proper ratios. Fiddle leaf figs do best when they are planted in the ideal soil for them to grow and thrive.

Featured Image Credit: Bogdan Sonjachnyj, Shutterstock


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools