How To Care For a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
If you are wondering how to take care of a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, then you’ll most certainly need a few tips, but believe me, your efforts to care for this unique plant will be well rewarded.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree [Ficus Lyrata], is one of the most popular houseplants due to the way it brings a little of the African jungle into your home or office.
Originating from Western Africa it can be tricky plant to take care of, but like the Prayer Plant, its’ strikingly beautiful leaves, make some extra TLC more than worthwhile.
By way of background, the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree is part of a family of plants known as Ficus. This category also includes the Rubber Plant and the Creeping Fig.
As a plant lover, I find the Fiddle Leaf Fig to be one of the most fascinating houseplants due to its such unusual leaves.
As an animal lover be warned: Fiddle Leaf Figs are toxic to dogs and cats if ingested, causing oral irritation, excessive drooling and vomiting.
Although the plant does not grow flowers if it’s placed inside, it does tend to adapt very quickly to its surroundings.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Care Indoors
The Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree does require some care indoors.
This plant doesn’t like being moved around often, so keep that down to a minimum if you can, to avoid stressing the plant.
When you first bring the plant into your home, don’t worry if the Fiddle Leaf Fig takes some time adapting to its’ new space. Sure, it may take time to adjust, but once it’s through making itself at home, it will thrive and grow to its potential.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Care – Instructions
One of my favorite things about the Fiddle Leaf Fig plant is how flexible they are!
If they are growing outdoor in a jungle, they can expand to 40 ft. Huge, isn’t it?
Of course, if you’re growing it indoors, the expansion will be slow. Not only this, but the plant can also be pruned to fit a shape that suits you.
As an indoor houseplant, you have around 10 years to enjoy its presence before it’s likely to have outgrown its space.
There are Fiddle Leaf Fig plants with braided trunks that look amazing. They require the same amount of care as the regular varieties, so you don’t have to worry about any extra care and attention.
This plant does really well when exposed to bright light but moderate light works for it also.
If natural light is not available, you can always use a fluorescent light to fulfil its light needs.
Keep the plant in a moderate to warm temperature. This means temperature should be between 60 – 85 F (16 to 29C).
Water and Humidity
The Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree is a houseplant that requires more water and humidity than many other indoor plants.
Water from spring to fall when the top inch of soil dries out, making sure that you don’t over water. In summer in may pay to mist. Soil meters are a great way to check .
Avoid dry or draughty locations.
This plant requires a heavier diet of nitrogen-rich fertilizer to thrive. It should be fed once a month in summer, spring, and fall. No feeding is required for winter.
Repotting should take place annually and the plant should be placed in a small container especially if you don’t have much space in your house. Also, if the pot is heavy, it will prevent the plant from toppling over.
The plant can be propagated using a healthy stem. Submerge the stem in a rooting hormone and place it in a place that receives moderate light with a bit of shade.
There are a number of varieties besides the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, which are smaller in size and make a good addition to indoor plants. One such variety is the Little Fiddle plant, which is smaller in size than your average Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree and has a more bunched leaf arrangement.
You’ve probably spotted this plant in offices and even on TV! If you plan to make it a part of your family of houseplants, keep it tidy by regular dusting and removing any dirt that may settle on the surface of its leaves.
Problem: Sudden leaf loss.
Cause: Environmental stress.
Solution: The best solution to dealing with an anxiety-ridden plant is to let it be. I know it may be distressing to see leaves dropping off but you will have to resist the temptation to repot it. The plant will be healthy and stop shedding in a few weeks’ time.
If shedding doesn’t stop then check your watering regime or for dry or draughty conditions.
Problem: Leaf tips turning brown.
Cause: Plant not being watered properly or magnesium deficiency.
Solution: It is quite possible that when you’re watering the plant, the water doesn’t reach all the roots. This, in turn, affects the leaves because the moisture reaching them is inadequate.
Be careful that the whole root system gets enough water. If magnesium deficiency is the problem, then water the plant by mixing Epsom salt in it.
Problem: Dark patches or spots on leaves.
Cause: Burning from direct sunlight or spots from leafspot.
Solution: Make sure your plant is not in direct sunlight, especially in warmer months.
If leaf-spot is found, remove affected leaves and treat with a suitable fungicide.
Problem: Healthy leaves falling off and feeling a bit sticky
Cause: Scale infestation.
Solution: Get rid of the infested branches and take the plant outside. Once you’ve done that, the plant needs to be sprayed with soap-oil. Give the plant a rest and physically wipe the leaves with warm water.
I hope this article has given you some helpful tips on how to care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree.
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