Ficus lyrata (the fiddle-leaf fig) is a popular indoor big leaf plant with enormous, deeply veined, and glossy violin-shaped leaves that grow erect on a sleek stem. A fiddle leaf fig is ideal as a focal point in a room if grown in a floor-standing container that allows the plant to grow to at least 6 feet tall. (Most indoor examples grow to be around 10 feet tall.) It grows quickly and may be potted at any time of year if you’re like most gardeners who buy a nursery plant to keep inside. Keep in mind that this lovely plant is poisonous to cats and dogs.
Fun Facts About Fiddle Leaf Fig
The fiddle leaf fig is indigenous to Western Africa and thrives in lowland rainforests. It’s a banyan fig, which means it starts off high on the branches of another tree before sending its roots down to the ground and strangling the host tree to death.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Care
How to care for fiddle leaf fig plant? Read to know. These plants are endemic to tropical Africa, where they flourish in hot, humid environments. This makes them relatively difficult for the home grower, who will most likely struggle to replicate these humid circumstances. They are, nevertheless, robust plants that can survive in less-than-ideal conditions for a long period.
Fiddle-leaf figs are not very demanding plants as long as their growing circumstances are optimal. Prepare to move your fiddle leaf fig plant every few days as a houseplant so that a new area faces the source of sunshine. That way, instead of leaning toward the light, it will grow evenly.
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Also, dust the leaves with a moist towel every week or two. This not only makes the leaves look brighter and more inviting, but it also enables more sunlight to reach the leaves for photosynthesis. Furthermore, you may remove any dead or damaged leaves as they appear, as they are no longer beneficial to the plant. You may also trim the top of the main stem to encourage bushier growth.
To grow and look their best, fiddle-leaf figs demand bright, filtered light. Direct sunlight, especially in the scorching afternoon heat, can burn the leaves. Plants cultivated in very low-light environments will also fail to develop quickly.
You should choose the best soil for fiddle leaf fig when planting this plant. Any good indoor plant potting soil should be fine for a fiddle leaf fig tree. Make sure the soil drains adequately.
Fiddle-leaf figs prefer soil with a reasonable level of moisture. If the plant does not receive enough water, the leaves will wilt and lose their vibrant green hue. And if it receives too much water, the plant may shed its leaves and develop root rot, which might eventually kill it. Hydrate your fiddle-leaf fig when the top inch of soil feels dry throughout the growing season (spring to fall). And, in the winter, use somewhat less water.
Moreover, these plants are vulnerable to high soil salt levels. So, at least once a month, flush the soil till water runs out the bottom of the pot. This aids in the prevention of salt buildup.
Temperature & Humidity
Fiddle-leaf figs dislike temperature swings. A room between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit is usually adequate, but the plant must be placed away from drafty regions as well as air-conditioning and heating vents. These can result in abrupt temperature changes.
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A humidity level of 30 to 65 percent is ideal. If you need to add humidity, spritz your plant every day with clean water from a spray bottle. Alternatively, you may set it on a tray of pebbles containing water, as long as the bottom of the pot does not touch the water. Furthermore, fiddle-leaf figs can benefit from living in a humidified environment.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Fertilizer
Fertilize with a high-nitrogen plant food as directed on the package throughout the growing season. Fertilizers designed specifically for fiddle-leaf figs are available. In most cases, you won’t need to feed your plant over the winter.
Fiddle-Leaf Fig Plant Types
Ficus lyrata is the most often grown fiddle-leaf fig plant by gardeners. However, there are various varieties available, including:
- Ficus lyrata “Bambino”: This is a dwarf cultivar that grows to barely a few feet in height.
- Ficus lyrata “Compacta”: This variant has smaller, more bunched leaves than the original species and can grow up to 5 feet tall.
- Ficus lyrata “Variegata”: This is an unusual cultivar with striking green and cream foliage.
Pruning The Fiddle-Leaf Fig Plant
Pruning the leaves of a fiddle-leaf fig on a regular basis is beneficial. To allow the plant to breathe, remove any broken leaves, overgrowth, or crossed branches. To avoid harm, make any incisions about an inch away from the trunk. If you are removing a dead brown leaf, tug on it quite gently before attempting to cut it, since it may come off on its own.
How To Propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig
Fiddle-leaf fig stem cuttings are easy to produce, but seeds are exceedingly tough. Working with a cutter is almost foolproof.
- Cut a stem 12 to 18 inches long with a few leaves using a pair of sharp scissors. Remove all except one of the leaves.
- Put the vase of the cutting in a jar or vase of clean, room-temperature water and place it in a warm, but indirect, light source.
- Only change the water when it becomes foggy.
- Small white lumps will form on the stem’s base that is submerged in water in a few weeks. Roots will sprout in the water from those areas after a few weeks.
- Plant the cutting in a 1-gallon pot filled with potting soil when the roots reach 1 to 2 inches in length, and water until damp. Continue to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged or overwatered.
Potting & Repotting Fiddle-Leaf Fig
Every spring, plan to repot a young fiddle-leaf fig. Choose a solid container that is about 2 inches wider than the present one. Gently remove the plant from its present container, take it out while supporting its base, and set it in the new container. The potting mix should be used to fill up any gaps surrounding the plant.
When the plant matures, it will most likely be too huge to repot. In that scenario, each spring, remove the top few inches of soil and replace it with new dirt.
Furthermore, if you plan to undertake the potting labor outside, make sure the temperature is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything cooler can put the fiddle-leaf fig under undue stress.
Pests & Plant Diseases Commonly Appear
Although these plants do not have a major pest or disease problems, they are susceptible to spider mites, scale insects, and bacterial or fungal infections.
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You may see leaf damage, like spots or dark patches, as well as little bugs on the leaves, as a result of these problems. Treat the problem as quickly as feasible with a suitable fungicide, insecticide, or other treatment. Additionally, ensure that your plant has proper air circulation and is not lying in excessively moist circumstances, as this might assist to prevent future issues.
Common Problems Of Fiddle-Leaf Fig
The behavior of a fiddle-leaf fig plant’s leaves can indicate whether anything is wrong with its habitat or watering schedule. The plant might acquire leaf spots or shed leaves quickly at times. Keep an eye out for the first symptoms of leaf stress.
If you notice light brown or bleached areas on the tops of the leaves, this indicates that the plant is receiving too much direct sunshine. This is referred to as leaf sunburn or leaf scorch. In the case of a fiddle-leaf fig plant, you can cut the leaf with sharp scissors and transfer the plant away from direct and harsh sunlight.
Brown Spots On Leaves
If your green leaves acquire dark brown blotches or browning edges after resting in too much water, the plant may be suffering from root rot. Examine the roots for brown and mushy areas. Remove the spotted leaves and gently remove the mushy roots. Repot the plant and keep an eye on its hydration to avoid overwatering.
Brown patches can also indicate that the plant is experiencing excessive temperature variations; look for drafty areas, heating/cooling units, or vents, and relocate the plant to a consistently warmer position.
Yellowing fiddle-leaf fig leaves may suggest a bacterial infection. It’s possible that it’s too late to salvage the plant. However, try removing the problematic leaves and repotting the plant in new soil.
When a fiddle-leaf fig drops its leaves, it usually means the plant is getting too much or too little water. Furthermore, the plant may be subjected to significant temperature variations, which might cause the plant to shed leaves. Remove the plant from any heating and cooling equipment, vents, or drafty locations. Reduce watering slightly so that the soil is never waterlogged and is merely slightly damp.
Fiddles thrive in a steady atmosphere and should always be put close or in front of a window. Avoid air conditioners, heaters, and drafts. If you do see a leaf drop while following our above suggestions, treat the leaves cautiously and patiently—they grow back slowly.
As previously said, keep the plants out of reach of little children and dogs. If consumed, the species, especially its latexy sap, is poisonous.
The fiddle leaf fig may be difficult to grow: They are temperamental, as are most figs, and exceedingly sensitive to climatic conditions, particularly cold. With its thick and bushy look, this is a pleasant plant to care for once you master a few tactics. Learning how to take care of this kind of plant through our post may help you.
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