Fiddle-Leaf Fig, Banjo Fig (Ficus lyrata) 6 inch pot
The fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is a popular indoor tree featuring very large, heavily veined, and glossy violin-shaped leaves that grow upright on a sleek trunk. A fiddle-leaf fig is perfect as a focal point of a room if you can situate it in a floor-standing container where the plant is allowed to grow to at least 6 feet tall. (Most indoor specimens reach around 10 feet tall.) It's a fairly fast grower and can be potted at any point in the year if you're like most gardeners acquiring a nursery plant to keep indoors.
Fiddle-Leaf Fig Care
These plants are native to tropical parts of Africa, where they thrive in very warm and wet conditions. This makes them somewhat challenging for the home grower, who is likely to have trouble duplicating these steamy conditions. However, they are relatively tough plants that can withstand a less-than-perfect environment for a fairly long time.
Fiddle-leaf figs are not especially demanding plants as long as you can get their growing conditions right. When grown as a houseplant, be prepared to rotate your fiddle-leaf fig every few days so a different part faces the source of sunlight. That way, it will grow evenly, rather than lean toward the light.
Also, every week or two dust the leaves with a damp cloth. Not only does this make the leaves appear shinier and more appealing, but it also allows more sunlight to hit the leaves for photosynthesis. Moreover, you can trim off any damaged or dead leaves as they arise, as they no longer benefit the plant. And if you wish, you can prune off the top of the main stem for a bushier growth habit.
Fiddle-leaf figs require bright, filtered light to grow and look their best. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, especially exposure to hot afternoon sun.2 And plants that are kept in very low light conditions will fail to grow rapidly.
Any quality indoor plant potting mix should be suitable for a fiddle-leaf fig. Ensure that the soil drains well.
Fiddle-leaf figs like a moderate amount of moisture in the soil. If the plant doesn’t get enough water, its leaves will wilt and lose their bright green color. And if it gets too much water, the plant might drop its leaves and suffer from root rot, which ultimately can kill it. During the growing season (spring to fall), water your fiddle-leaf fig when the top inch of soil feels dry. And over the winter months, water slightly less.
Furthermore, these plants are sensitive to high salt levels in the soil. So it's ideal to flush the soil until water comes out the bottom of the pot at least monthly. This helps to prevent salt build-up.
Temperature and Humidity
Fiddle-leaf figs don’t like extreme temperature fluctuations. A room that’s between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit is typically fine, though you must position the plant away from drafty areas, as well as air-conditioning and heating vents. These can cause sudden temperature shifts.
Fertilize throughout the growing season with a high-nitrogen plant food, following label instructions. There are fertilizers specially made for fiddle-leaf figs available. You generally won’t have to feed your plant over the winter.
Not winter hardy!
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