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. If you move or reposition your ficus, be prepared for leaf loss.
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 frequently should I water my Lyrata ficus?
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, fertiliser 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.
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.
Is Ficus Lyrata challenging to maintain?
Even if not having a green thumb isn’t the worst thing in the world, things can get quite irritating if you’re also burdened with the inability to keep plants alive and the want to make 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.
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 draughts and out of spaces that are too cold during the winter (between 55 and 60 degrees F).
How can I tell if the light reaching my fiddle leaf fig is adequate?
Measuring the space between the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig tree is another proven way to determine whether it needs more sunlight.
The leaves of a fiddle will grow more closely together than those of a fiddle that must reach for its solar energy.
Here is an illustration of a fiddle leaf fig that displayed these precise signs. Just two years ago, I gave my mother this beautiful plant:
As you can see, the leaves were able to remain near to one another without suffocating one another due to the abundance of sunlight offered by the greenhouse environment. It was flawless.
I sent it over to my mother without checking for a bright spot in her home. The greatest spot she could locate in her house was close to a window, although it received little natural light.
After a year, she was able to move the large plant outside for some summer heat and humidity, but as you can see, the branches had already started to spread:
This fiddle leaf fig tree had a terrific summer, but when winter arrived, it had to return indoors.
It is now as follows:
Watch for this lanky, “reaching” appearance and address it right away by moving your plant steadily closer to the sun.
How do I determine the health of my fiddle leaf fig?
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, draughty 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.
Where in a house should a fiddle leaf fig be placed?
The Ficus lyrata, commonly known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig, is featured on the covers and in images of numerous design journals. Its tall stature and large, graceful leaves add drama and height and unify entire rooms. Despite where you’ve seen Fiddle Leaf Figs in pictures, some individuals don’t aware that they need to be placed just in front of a window. They can be challenging to care for until the plant adjusts to your environment and until you figure out when to water them. Continue reading to discover how to keep your fiddle leaf fig alive and healthy for many years to come.
The best setting for Fiddle Leaf Figs is in front of a window that gets direct morning or afternoon light. The ideal window to choose has a primarily unobstructed eastern, western, or southern exposure. You don’t want the window to be shaded by nearby trees or buildings. If your Fiddle Leaf is positioned right in front of the window, a north facing exposure can also work if there is enough room and nothing blocking your view of the sky. You should gradually adapt your tree to being in several hours of direct sunshine if you plan to set it in front of a southern exposure. The leaves could burn and develop brown scorch scars if they receive too much direct sunshine too rapidly. Over the course of 1 to 2 weeks, gradually increase the amount of time it spends in front of a southern window.
The amount of light your Fiddle Leaf Fig need to thrive depends in part on its size. The amount of light a plant needs will increase with its size. For instance, a window would need to be much taller to accommodate a 7′ tall tree than it would a 4′ tall tree.
In general, your fiddle leaf fig will require more light to preserve its existing leaves and spur the growth of new ones the more leaves it has. In order to tell us that it isn’t getting enough light to support all of its leaves, a plant will respond when it isn’t getting enough light by losing lower and interior leaves.
It’s crucial to maintain your plant in front of the window during the winter months when natural light isn’t as abundant but also ensuring sure it doesn’t catch any chilly air from draughts that blow in. If your windows are draughty, try moving your Fiddle Leaf 2 to 3 feet away from the window to observe how it reacts. In most cases, keeping plants at this distance allows them to avoid any sporadic cold air blasts while yet receiving an equivalent quantity of light. For more advice on winter maintenance, keep reading.