Houseplant Spotlight: Fiddle Leaf Fig
A native to West Africa, the fiddle leaf fig has taken the houseplant world by storm. It's tall stature and large, lush leaves make a bold statement. It is revered in minimalist spaces and brings character to any room it is in. Chances are you've seen this plant all over social media since it is so perfectly dramatic and photogenic.
The fiddle leaf fig tree prefers bright, indirect light. The leaves can burn if the plant is in a place where it gets to much continuous direct light. An east-facing window is best. This tree will lean into the light so be sure to turn it every few months to keep it standing up straight.
And, don't forget to dust. The large leaves soak up and thrive on light. If they are too dusty, the photosynthesis process will be hindered and the leaves can "suffocate". Unfortunately, it seems the leaves are a dust-magnet so it is really important to keep an eye on this.
When the top inch of soil is dry, it is time to water. This is usually about once a week. Drench the soil thoroughly until the water flows into the saucer. Empty the excess water from the saucer to prevent root-rot. Do not skip this step – root-rot is a common problem.
If the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig go limp or turn yellow, it is a sign the plant needs watering. If the leaves have dark brown spots or darkened edges, it is a sign the plant is overwatered.
Being a tropical rain forest plant, humidity is especially important for fiddle leaf figs. A humidity level of at least 65 is best. Most indoor spaces do not have this high a humidity and you will likely need to invest in a humidifier or plan on misting the plant frequently.
The fiddle leaf fig tree should be fertilized once in the spring and then once a month throughout the summer. Over-fertilizing can cause your tree to get leggy and may kill it.
The best potting mix for the fiddle leaf fig tree is cactus/palm potting soil. It has sand in it which provides extra looseness in the soil and assists with drainage. Good drainage is extremely important for this tree.
The fiddle leaf fig originated in West Africa and in its' native habitat grows between 40-60 feet tall. It got its' name from the large leaves which are shaped like a fiddle. It is also called the banjo fig. Fiddle leaf figs don't produce flowers or fruit as indoor plants.
Repotting and Reblooming
When the roots start coming through the bottom of the pot, the tree can be repotted. The bigger pot you put it in, the taller the tree will grow. Since they can grow quite tall, you may not want to repot, especially when it is reaching up to your ceiling!
To keep a fiddle leaf fig at its' current size, trim the root ball. Do not trim more than 20 percent of the roots because that can damage the root system itself.
Fiddle leaf figs do not like to be disturbed or moved around. Once you have it in a location, refrain from relocating it unless absolutely necessary. The fiddle leaf fig is easily stressed and will drop its' leaves if it gets too disturbed.
If you are looking for a plant to stand out in your house, then you need a fiddle leaf fig tree. Tall and eye-catching with its' lush deep green leaves, this tree will add depth and color to any room. Who knows, maybe your fiddle leaf fig will be the next social media star. With this tree, it seems all things are possible.