The Fiddle Leaf Fig! This beauty queen has survived quite a few out-of-state and out-of-country travels of mine. She (yes, it’s a her) only needs to be watered once every 10 days or so, and her big waxy green leaves stay perky all year round. So, here is some background and care tips if you decide you need some green in your life.
Why Fiddle Leaf?
The Ficus Lyrata is part of the mulberry family and is distinctly known for its violin-shaped big waxy leaves- hence the name “fiddle leaf fig”. Or maybe it has something to do with the music that comes to my ears every time I return from a trip and see that it’s still alive? Either way.
The fiddle leaf fig is naturally found in Western Africa, in a range from Cameroon to Sierra Leone. Here, fiddle leaf figs grow in lowland tropical rain forest settings. This means that in your home, they like semi-humid locations with constant warmth.
The fiddle leaf fig is a lone wolf, meaning you don’t want to plant it with any other plants. In fact, because the root ball is used to small spaces in the wild, it is not advisable to pot the tree in a container too large for its size. They do great in medium-sized pots which fit right in a nice corner of your home.
Your fiddle leaf fig should be watered once every 10 days, or until the soil is dry to the touch. Because mine is spoiled, she only drinks bottled water but I’m sure regular tap will be fine. Try to give it sunlight, placing it next to a window is usually ideal. Oh, and if it’s out of the way of the cold draft from you’re a/c vent, that would probably do your plant good as they are used to warm, tropical climates.
But She’s So Dusty!
Fiddle leaf figs, when living inside, tend to collect a film of dust on their big, waxy leaves. It is important to clean the dust off regularly, as the dust prevents the plant from photosynthesizing properly. Once a month, I take a gallon of water and a spoonful of dish soap, mix the two well, and gently clean the layer of dust off each of the leaves. Sometimes they will still leave a residual film or water marks, and I’ve read something online about using coconut oil to keep the shine and color of the leaves.
The fiddle leaf fig is my favorite houseplant because it gives so much beauty and asks for so little care in return. Once you get the hang of taking care of it, the plant will reward you with a picturesque corner of your home! Happy planting!