Ficus lyrata is one of our most popular plants at Flora Grubb Gardens, our nursery in San Francisco, and we almost always have it in stock. Come get yours right now! Continue reading for advice on how to grow and take care of these plants.
The fiddle-leaf fig, or Ficus lyrata, is the ideal interior specimen plant. The plant has erect, violin-shaped leaves that are enormous, densely veined, and tall. Our retail plant shop in San Francisco almost always has Ficus lyrata on hand.
These plants are indigenous to the tropics, where they flourish in hot, muggy weather. As a result, the home grower may find it difficult to replicate these steamy circumstances, making them a little more difficult. Fortunately, they are rather resilient plants that can endure less-than-ideal conditions for a fair amount of time. Last but not least, F. lyrata are really produced as larger specimen plants. If you can place them in a floor-standing planter that will allow the plant to grow to at least 6 feet, that would be ideal. In tropical settings, trees frequently reach heights of 40 feet or more. These are not naturally trimmed down to reasonable sizes due to their enormous leaves, though they can be shaped with light trimming.
Ficus lyrata plants don’t require much maintenance. Spotting on the leaves, which is particularly obvious in a plant with such huge leaves, is one of the most prevalent complaints about these plants. This spotting is typically brought on by a leaf injury, such as mechanical harm or a mite infestation. When exposed to air, the sap of Ficus lyrata can produce these brown patches. The plants are also vulnerable to a number of leaf-spotting and fungus diseases, which are often brought on by poor air circulation and an excessive amount of moisture that collects on the leaves. By keeping the plant well-trimmed and eliminating any dead leaves or twigs that you spot, you can assist stop this form of attack.
However, if your plant is dropping leaves, it’s probably due to inadequate moisture at the roots, low humidity, and cold, dry air. To raise the surrounding humidity, try spraying the plant frequently. Finally, because these plants are particularly sensitive to high salt concentrations, flush your potting soil completely on a regular basis, preferably once a month, to avoid salt buildup.
Pests include aphids, mealybugs, mites, scale, and whiteflies can harm Ficus lyrata. If at all feasible, locate the infestation as soon as you can and use the least hazardous remedy.
Repotting: Healthy specimens have vigorous, quickly developing roots (which is pretty typical for any ficus). Try to repot the plant once a year, increasing the pot size by two to four until the plant is the required size or you can no longer handle the container. After placing plants in large containers, remove the top few inches of soil and replace it once a year with new potting soil.
Advice: Avoid often turning or moving this plant. The plant should be placed permanently, and to keep it clean, use an old T-shirt to dust it. As necessary, stake and prune. Only leaves facing the light will remain on Ficus lyrata; ones facing a darker wall or corner will wither away. Expect your ficus to loose leaves whenever you move or re-position the plant.
Ficus lyrata need strong, filtered light. Even a little sun won’t kill them, especially if they’re in an eastern-facing window. When housed in a too-dark environment, plants won’t develop quickly.
Water: Keep it moist, but don’t let it stand in water because that will cause it to lose leaves and develop root rot.
Fertilizer: For plants that are not in ideal conditions or are recuperating from stress, apply Maxsea All Purpose Fertilizer seasonally and up to monthly.
How often should a ficus Lyrata be watered?
Watering: Always keep the soil evenly moist. (about 2-3 times weekly) Avoid overwatering or letting the plant sit in water.
During the growing season, fertilizer should be applied every two weeks as a mild liquid solution for green plants.
Repotting: Every year, switch the soil and move the plant to a bigger pot. This plant needs both height and space for its roots to spread out because it naturally wants to grow big.
Other – A lot of people discover that their Ficus lyrata plant is losing leaves or developing brown spots on the foliage. As long as they don’t occur frequently, both of these traits are typical and part of a growing plant. The plant produces a sap that, when placed on top of leaves and exposed to air, induces browning. Be careful that incorrect air movement and a lack of humidity in the home can also lead to excessive browning and leaf-dropping. Humidity can be increased by placing a humidifier nearby or sprinkling the area around the plant (NOT directly on the foliage). Make sure to fully water the plant once every month to remove any salts, toxins, or contaminants that accumulate in the soil. Ficus are well known for being chemically sensitive. Use the least chemically strong insecticide if there is a danger of pests.
How is a ficus Lyrata maintained?
Secret No. 6: Avoid letting a sick fiddle-leaf fig tree fully dry up. Make sure any extra water drains out the bottom of the pot when watering it once or twice per week. (I water mine in the shower and keep it there for a couple of hours so the pot can drain, then I put it back on the plant saucer.)
Secret No. 7: Even if the container is so tight that roots are visible at the surface, wait to transplant it until you notice fresh growth.
In conclusion, letting your fiddle-leaf fig tree heal slowly on its own is the greatest thing you can do to ensure its survival. Give it filtered sunlight, water once a week, and warm environments (a room temperature between 60 and 90 degrees would do). Furthermore, if there is even a remote chance that the temperature may drop below freezing overnight, don’t leave it outside.
Are you also attempting to preserve your fiddle-leaf fig? The Fig and I: 10 Tips for Caring for a Fiddle-Leaf Fig has more advice. Visit Fiddle-Leaf Fig Trees: A Field Guide in our selected plant guide for Tropicals 101 for additional growing, maintenance, and design advice.
Finally, consult our Creeping Fig: A Field Guide for additional guidance on how to effectively plant, nurture, and maintain a creeping fig.
Get additional tips on planting, growing, and caring for fiddle-leaf fig trees by reading our Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree: A Field Guide.
Finally, use our Houseplants: A Field Guide to learn more about how to grow and care for different houseplants.
Are you looking for additional tropical plants for your indoor or outdoor space? With the help of Tropical Plants: A Field Guide, you can learn more about how to cultivate and care for different tropical plants.
Finally, consult our Vines & Climbers: A Field Guide for more guidance on how to cultivate and maintain a variety of vines and climbers.
Is Ficus Lyrata challenging to maintain?
Even though not having a green thumb isn’t the worst thing in the world, things can get pretty frustrating if you’re also cursed with the inability to keep plants alive and the desire to turn your house into an Instagram-worthy plant paradise. Being a good plant parent to a few succulents here and there (and even those may be difficult!) is one thing, but maintaining a towering tree like the fiddle leaf fig alive and well is quite another. And it doesn’t help that you are always surrounded by happy, healthy plants on influencers’ Instagram accounts, virtually in droves, mocking you with their gorgeous, lush leaves and making you, ahem, “green with envy.” Sorry, but I had to.
The good news is that you can maintain a fiddle leaf fig even if it seems impossible and even if you struggle with the simplest, lowest-maintenance plants available. All you need to do is know what you’re doing, and then everything will be alright. Grab your watering can, take a deep breath, and get ready to learn.
Is it necessary to mist my ficus lyrata?
Our preferred approach for giving your violin humidity isn’t misting, but fresh leaf buds are the one exception.
The emergence of new baby leaves from their leaf sheaths can result in tearing since they are thin, sensitive, and have a tendency to stay together (see, that almost rhymes!).
New leaf buds should be misted, but only the lead buds, and not so much that the water runs off onto the surrounding leaves.
Give your new baby buds a nice sprinkling a few times each week, and if you’d like, gently dab up any surplus water with a clean, soft towel.
In a dry climate, you can still grow a healthy fiddle leaf fig. It requires a few additional tools, but it is entirely possible! Even if you reside in the middle of the desert, follow these recommendations for a beautiful, healthy tree.
Does a ficus require sunlight to grow?
Ficus enjoy a lot of direct, bright sunlight. In the summer, your plant will appreciate being outside, but avoid exposing it to direct sunlight until it has gotten used to it. Keep your plant out of drafts and out of spaces that are too cold during the winter (between 55 and 60 degrees F).
How can I cheer up my fiddle leaf?
Here are the essentials for maintaining the beauty, health, and greenery of your fiddle leaf fig.
- Make certain that the drainage on your fiddle leaf fig is ideal.
- Use a Soil That Drains Quickly.
- Provide your plant with a lot of sunlight.
- Water with caution.
- Take Soil Aeration Into Account.
- Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Needs Food.
- Befriend your plant.
How can I tell whether my fiddle leaf fig is content?
Akin developed the website and published the book to share how to grow strong fiddle leaf fig plants. Although many indoor gardeners wish to grow the plant, she discovered that there is very little reliable and comprehensive information on cultivating them.
You will find all the information you require in this comprehensive, simple-to-read guide to succeed with fiddle leaf fig plants. This involves determining whether your plant is healthy or whether it needs some additional special care and attention.
Akin lists numerous symptoms of fiddle leaf fig plant illness along with their causes. Brown stains on leaves, which may indicate over- or under-watering, are one of these. Fungal disease, which develops when leaves are overwatered, is what causes brown blotches in the middle of leaves. Browning on the leaf edges is a sign of dry, drafty air and inadequate irrigation.
Your fiddle leaf fig plant may be suffering from a lack of sunlight or inadequate nourishment if it is dropping leaves all over the plant and the leaves are yellow.
If your fiddle leaf fig has new growth and the new leaves are bigger than the old ones, your plant is likely healthy. Additionally, the plant will have glossy, brilliant green leaves and a beautiful overall appearance.
1. Ensure adequate drainage.
Plants of the fiddle leaf fig don’t respond well to wet soil. The plant roots’ ability to breathe and maintain good health depends on adequate drainage.
2. Prevent overwetting.
Every time you water, give the soil a little time to dry out. The plant will die from root rot if the soil is kept wet. The book contains details on how much water was used to water fiddle leaf figs.