Updated: Sep 9, 2020
I am admittedly a houseplant serial killer, but lately I have been coveting these fiddle leaf fig trees. I love the sculptural effect and height that they bring to a room. It is always a plus to bring a bit of greenery into every well decorated space.
Have you noticed that they seem to pop up in every shelter magazine spread and design blogs? There’s a reason they are so popular. Fiddle leaf fig trees are almost like natures’s sculptures. They are big and bold, and a breath of fresh air. What’s not to love!
Fiddle leaf fig trees are commonly used as indoor potted plants. They are relatively easy to care for and have a slow growth rate. If you love the fiddle leaf fig tree as much as I do, and plan to own one or two, pay close attention to these maintenance tips:
Make sure your plant has right amount of light. Abundant but not direct light is recommended. Too little light will cause the plant to lose leaves and thin out. It also tends to grow towards the light giving the impression that it is leaning. Rotate the plant every so often to keep it growing straight and to ensure bushyness.
Don't over water the plant. The Fiddle leaf fig does well with short dry periods between waterings. The frequency of watering depends on the amount of light the plant gets. One good way to determine how often you should water is to let the pot dry out until the new growth at the top begins to wilt slightly. Calculate the time that elapsed from the last watering and subtract a day or two to determine the ideal frequency of watering. This way you will be watering the plant just before it starts to wilt the next time.
Prune to encourage branching and bushyness. The Fiddle leaf fig tends to grow a tall single stem when indoors. This long stem will normally not be able to keep itself upright and will require some sort of support. To encourage a more “tree-like” form prune the plant at a desirable height while the plant is still fairly young. It is recommended to do this in early spring before the new growth forms.
Be careful not to expose the plant to dry heat or drafts. Like other Ficus tree plants the Fiddle leaf fig has a tendency to drop its leaves when exposed to too much dry heat or drafts and go into a sort of dormant recovery mode for a period of time.
Clean the dust off the leaves once in a while to allow the plant to absorb as much light as possible. Often in indoor settings a layer of dust builds up on the leaves without us being aware of it, and that reduces the effective light that the plant gets. Every so often gently clean the leaves off with a soft cloth. Don't try to do this with your hands as rubbing the leaves can damage them slightly and cause them to bleed little drops of white milky sap. Use latex gloves if you are allergic to this plant.
Move your plant to an outdoor setting during the summer so that it can get more light. If you do this however, transition it back indoors gradually at the end of the summer to avoid shocking the plant.
Trim the roots every year or two. The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a tree capable of growing 40-50 feet tall with a normal root system for a tree that size. When roots grow in a small container they have little room to grow in and end up wrapping around the base of the container or growing out the bottom of the pot. Trimming the root system back during the dormant season will help keep the plant growth slow and will help maintain healthy roots.
If a live fiddle leaf fig tree is not your thing, there are definitely faux alternatives that look so much like the real thing…….and are maintenance free!
This faux fiddle leaf fig tree is from Natural Decorations Inc
This faux fiddle leaf fig tree is from Lux Art Silks. Can you tell the difference?
So what is your thought on this tree trend? LOVE it or LEAVE it? I know what my choice is! 🙂
Thanks for reading. Please don’t forget to comment and share this post if you found these tips and information useful!
Have a fabulous weekend! And maybe pay a visit to the garden center to pick out your very own fiddle leaf fig tree! 🙂
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