One of the most popular plants has become the Fiddle Leaf Fig or Ficus Lyrata. It instantly fills a room with beautiful green plant life. The large leaves look tropical, but also a little polished. They come in bush or tree form, whichever suits your needs.
Everywhere you look nowadays you see pictures of beautiful, lush, green plants. Indoor plants have taken over in recent years as a top design element. Whether the beloved farmhouse, modern or eclectic style, greenery has the ability to add to each design.
I have two fiddle leaf fig trees for almost a year now that I managed to keep alive! Not just alive, but they are now flourishing and having babies(new leaf growth).
Where to get your Fiddle Leaf Fig
The first one was my birthday present from my parents last September. The tree got overheated in the transit coming from Florida, so it looked pretty pitiful when it got here. I called Plantz right away when I saw the brown spots on the leaves and the wilted nature. They asked for pictures and were able to diagnose the problem. They were fantastic and gave me directions to try and save the first one. Then they arranged to send me a new tree, but asked if they could wait for a little break in the hot weather to ship it out. Two weeks later, I was the proud owner of two figs!
I was impressed with the service they provided and their commitment to helping me save the first tree. This is not a sponsored post in any way, I just wanted to share my experience with them.
Unboxing your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Make sure to get your plant inside quickly if it is too hot or too cold outside. These guys do not love super extreme temperatures or direct sunlight. Then when you get it set up, water it from above until the water runs out of the bottom of the pot.
If you get your fig from somewhere else without the wicking material, then it can sit in the excess water for an hour or so, but then needs to be taken out and the excess removed. Just remember to keep the water level in the pan below the holes in the bottom of the pot or you will encourage root rot-which usually spells death for these plants!
How not to kill your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Sometimes I have been known to kill my plants with over watering, but the set up included with the trees I got prevented me from committing this error. They come in pots with a wicking material hanging out of the bottom of the pot. Figs like to dry out some between waterings!
This helps to prevent the overwatering of your plant, by allowing you to add water to the pan you have it sitting in and the tree soaks it up as needed. Even with this foolproof method, I have still managed the over water my plant!
Watering your Fiddle Leaf Fig
This plant cannot handle overwatering, so this is a very important step to get right. I wait until the water is completely gone from the pan, but the wicking material is not completely dried out. Then I refill the pan until just below the holes in the bottom of the pot.
What to do if the wick dries out
If you went too long between waterings and the wicking material is dry to the touch, then you simply need to water it again from the top until the water runs out the bottom like you did when it first arrived. After that continue adding water to the pan as usual.
Overwatering your fiddle leaf fig
Red spots on new fiddle leaf fig growth
There are many signs you over overwatering your fig, but the one that I had happen, was little red spots on my fiddle leaf figs new growth. After touching them and determining that they were not mites, I determined that my new growth had edema from over watering! I felt terrible, but it is any easy fix, just go longer between waterings and let the new growth recover. It should continue to grow and heal .
Light is Everything
Fiddle leaf figs have gotten a bad rap as being picky when it comes to light, but all they really need is bright INDIRECT light. Those big beautiful leaves can get sunburnt with too much direct light. Who would’ve known? So if it’s in front of a west or east window, you will need a curtain of some sort to gently filter the light. The next best place in a southern facing window. Of course in my house, both of my trees are in north-easterly windows but have done remarkably well.
Feeding your Fiddle Leaf Fig
I had a hard time figuring out exactly when to feed the figs because it seemed like there was a lot of conflicting opinions on the subject. Some sites say to only feed them quarterly, some say feed with each watering during the growing season and every other water in the winter.
I will tell you what I have ended up doing that has resulted in a healthy, happy plant in the winter and then growth in the summer.
Feeding your fig during the winter
On average, I watered the figs every 7-10 days during the winter, only feeding them every other time I watered. The frequency of watering will depend on your climate, home environment and growth cycle of your plant.
I was a little worried about my heat damaged plant making it over the winter, but it has really come to life this summer. Since I didn’t get them until later in the year, they had already done their growing and were heading into dormancy for the winter. This meant I was really nervous about them living because I didn’t see any positive growth from them until the next April.
Feeding your fiddle leaf fig in the summer
So now I feed my fig once a week. I use the liquid fiddle leaf fig plant food from Amazon. The instructions say to add 1 tsp to 2 cups of water, but I just add it to my watering can when I’m filling up the tray and it has been working well.
Trimming your fiddle leaf fig
You do not have to trim your fig at all if you like the way it looks. My fig had a few leaves lower down that still had some heat damage so I wanted to remove those. I trimmed off the really damaged part of each leaf that was affected, but I did not want to traumatize the plant further by giving it too aggressive of a trim.
So cut the leaf off at the node where it attaches to the stem. You can press these leaves in between large books and keep for decoration.
Topping your fig is a totally different topic. This is important if you are wanting to grow another one. I am not going to broach that subject today because I haven’t personally done it.
Bottom line is, if you have always wanted a fig tree, go for it! They are beautiful and easy to maintain.
Go out and try something new!