Welcome to the second month of our plant highlights! I’m sure most of you have at least seen a picture of the plant we are going to feature this month.
Introducing… The Fiddle Leaf Fig
Winner of the most Pinterest famous plant (awarded by us)
Plant Level: Intermediate
The fiddle leaf fig while difficult to care for at times, will always have a special place in my heart. 8 years ago, right after I got married, one of the first things I did was buy some houseplants for our apartment. One of those plants was a fiddle leaf fig! I’m a sucker for any plant with big leaves so it immediately caught my interest and it’s been one of my favorites ever since. When you first see one of those new baby leaves forming you’ll be hooked!
As you scroll through Pinterest you’re sure to see many pictures that include this beauty, it’s a real eye-catcher. While this beauty may have a reputation for being difficult to keep happy and healthy; We’re going to delve into everything you need to know to succeed with this plant. I promise it’s not hard to have a thriving fiddle leaf fig if you have a care plan. Soon you’ll be posting your own Pinterest worthy pictures of your fiddle leaf friend.
The fiddle leaf fig, also known as Ficus lyrata, originates from West Africa. With the possibility of growing over ten feet tall indoors it’s one of the larger houseplants on the market. However, that pales in comparison to how big this plant can get in the wild. A natural epiphyte, fiddle leaf figs take over other trees and can grow up to 40-60 feet tall.
The fiddle leaf fig is super particular about what it likes and doesn’t like and it is NOT willing to compromise. Let’s get into the specifics of how to keep your fiddle leaf fig happy.
The fiddle leaf fig loves lots of bright indirect light. The extra-large size of the fiddle-shaped leaves require a lot of light to be happy. Place your fiddle leaf fig close to a bright window. Fiddle leaf figs tend to reach for the sunlight so be sure to turn your fiddle leaf fig every so often to ensure even growth.
Make sure to keep those leaves clean by wiping away dust weekly. I’m a firm believer in only using warm water on a damp rag to wipe leaves. I never recommend using any food product or commercial leaf shine to clean your plants.
Fiddle leaf figs can also enjoy some outdoor time in the summer but be sure not to place in direct sunlight. I once thought mine would enjoy a warm summer day out on the deck… wrong! A half-hour later the leaves were burnt to a crisp.
Fiddle leaf figs prefer to get a little dry in between waterings. Usually going between 5-10 days. The easiest way to tell if it’s time to water is to stick your finger into the soil. If it feels dry it’s time to water, if it feels moist give it a couple more days. If you’re not looking to get your hands dirty every time you water your plant check out the moisture meter that I use.
When you do water make sure to water thoroughly. You want the water to run freely out of the bottom of the planter. However, do not let them stand in water as this can lead to root rot. They love consistency so many people choose to water their fiddle leaf fig on a schedule of once a week. Be sure to always check and make sure that the top 2 inches of the soil are dry before watering though.
When you first purchase your new plant you’ll want to check out its roots. Many times these plants are root bound when you purchase them and you’ll want to repot them in a slightly larger container to give them room to grow.
Fiddle leaf figs love humidity. Humidity in most homes will not be sufficient to keep your fiddle leaf fig completely happy. Place some additional plants around to boost the humidity level. You can also mist your plant daily or add a humidity tray underneath. If you’re really looking to spoil some of your humidity loving plants try placing this humidifier nearby.
Fiddle leaf figs need good nutrients in order to thrive. They should be fertilized throughout the growing season, spring and summer. I recently started using this fertilizer specially formulated for fiddle leaf figs that I love.
This plant can cause stomach irritation if ingested. Be cautious of that with children and pets. No snacking allowed with this plant!
The first step after you get your fiddle leaf fig is to find a great spot for it in your house. The fiddle leaf fig is a bit of a drama queen, they don’t like drastic changes in temperature. Make sure to choose a spot away from vents or other drafty places, because heaven forbid they feel a draft on their pretty leaves. They love Stability and Consistency so once you pick an ideal spot try to keep it there and stick to a routine that it likes.
Fiddle leaf figs are prone to more problems/pests than other common houseplants. If you see browning/yellowing/dropping leaves. Research and try to figure out what’s wrong pronto so you can resolve the problem. You can always drop us a comment and we can do our best to help you.
The Different Forms of Fiddle Leaf Figs:
Fiddle leaf figs come in either a bush or tree form. If you’re new to plant parenthood I definitely recommend starting out with a bush form. I find that the bush form is easier to keep happy. A bush form costs much less than a tree as well. You don’t want to spend over a hundred dollars on a tree only watch it die a slow death. Once you get the hang of caring for a fiddle leaf fig you’ll be ready to buy a pretty tree all your own.
Our favorite way to display a fiddle leaf fig is by placing it inside a cute woven basket.
While you may feel intimidated by the warnings of how difficult this plant can be, by following this care plan you’re sure to have a thriving fiddle leaf fig. It’s a statement piece in a room that is worth the learning curve.
Looking for more houseplant tips to grow your urban jungle? Check out our favorite plants! Also, be sure to subscribe so you never miss a new planty friend to love!