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Fiddleleaf Fig: Care Tips For This Fabulous Houseplant

Fiddleleaf Figs are a houseplant which truly makes a statement. Their huge, glossy foliage says: "look at me". Get care tips here.

Houseplant Love: Care Tips For The Fabulous Fiddleleaf Fig

The Fiddleleaf Fig, or Ficus lyrata, is one of my very favorite houseplants and always has been. I’m crazy for its huge, tough, leaves which are shaped like violins and look like road maps.

The Fiddleleaf Fig plant is especially favored by people by those who are fans of a groovy, modern environment. I believe it would fit into a Palm Springs lounge with ease. It has a very different look from its more common leaf-laden Ficus benjamina cousin, that’s for sure.

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 2 Fiddleleaf Figs are better than 1!

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  As you can see, even the smaller Fiddleleafs have huge leaves.

Be sure to watch the video below which was shot in a grower’s greenhouse for more care tips. There’s a bit of noise in the background but that’s the water running down the walls which is part of the cooling system as well as ventilation fans.  These plants grow outdoors here in Santa Barbara so if you stroll all the way to the bottom, you’ll see pictures of one in the great outdoors.

You can find the Fiddleleaf Fig in various forms like single stemmed, multi-stemmed, full to base and standard (that’s industry speak for “treelike”). As they age, the lower leaves tend to fall off and their stems twist and gnarl a bit. Quite a cool look.

Here’s the encapsulated version of what they need:

Light

Medium to high. One reason why they die or look bad is not enough natural light.

Water

Average. More on watering houseplants here.

Fertilizer

I give most of my houseplants a light application of worm compost with a light layer of compost over that every spring. Easy does it – 1/4 to 1/2? layer of each for a larger sized houseplant. Read about my worm compost/compost feeding right here.

Pests

They’re susceptible to mealybugs & scale.

If you want more info on this plant and many others, which you’ll welcome into your home, please check out our book Keep Your Houseplants Alive. It’s a practical guide written in simple terms with lots of pictures.

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This Ficus, like all the others, produces fruit.

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 Love that glossy foliage. Each leaf is a fan in itself!

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Here’s what it looks like in all its outdoor glory. They get even bigger in Hawaii.

Happy (houseplant) gardening,

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15 comments:

  1. What’s the age of the one out doors? Is the fruit eatable?
    Thanx

  2. Hi Michael – All Ficus’ fruit but the only Ficus carica, the Common fig, is eaten by us humans. The good-sized fruit of the Ficus lyrata is not edible but it’s not poisonous either. I’m not certain, but perhaps some birds enjoy them. Nell

  3. They are fabulous specimens. My friend planted his little houseplant fiddle in the center of his south Florida yard and now he can’t see the street, it is so happy! (And so is he.)
    Rennie

  4. Aren’t they beautiful Rennie? They grow like crazy outdoors here & most likely enjoy south Florida even more. What a wonderful plant to screen out the street! Nell

  5. Nell, your neighbors that have the fiddle tree plant outdoors. Is it in full shade? I may want to do that in my backyard too here in SB. Thanks, Patti

  6. Hi Patti – My neighbor’s FF gets morning & early afternoon sun. At SBCC, there’s one about 30′ tall in full sun. This one, however, is showing signs of stress because of our drought. They grow in Hawaii in full sun but get much more moisture. To answer your question, it would be fine in full sun (no reflected heat though, ie, up against a south facing wall) if you water it regularly & deeply. The problem these days is that we haven’t gotten adequate winter rains. I hope that helps! Nell

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  8. Annie. Morrison

    Please tell me how I can propagate a fiddle leaf fig tree from a cutting 🙂

  9. Hi Annie – I’ve found the best way to propagate a Fiddleleaf Fig is by air layering. You can also propagate a 8-12″ cutting in a light mix. Just be sure to remove most of that big foliage. Hope that helps, Nell

  10. thank you for the video. I bought one! Live in the desert with very low humidity. Is it doomed? Thanks for your help.

  11. Hi Gabby – You’re certainly welcome! I just moved to the desert & my Ficus elastica (Rubber Tree) is doing just fine. These tend to be a bit easier than the Ficus lyrata which you have. It’ll be fine but you’ll probably get dry leaf edges from the lack of humidity. I grow orchids here in the desert & have trays filled with pebbles & water underneath each 1. You might consider doing that to boost the humidity around your new baby a bit. Just don’t let the roots sit in water! Nell

  12. Nell, all the leaves have fallen off my fiddle leaf plant. Is it savable? What can I do to get it to regrow leaves??

  13. Hi Maribel – Fiddleleaf figs can be fickle to maintain indoors. If the stalks are shriveled & soft, it can’t be saved. Give the plant as much light as possible & don’t let it dry out. And, don’t prune it for now. Nell

  14. Hi Nell,

    Please could you help me as I don’t think I’m caring for my ficus very well! I bought it from a nursery several months ago and it has not grown at all! It spouted one new leaf last week which then fell off! How do they grow into bushy trees? Mine is a single stemmed/trunked plant but I would love for it to gain some branches!

  15. Hello Nell,I have this Fidle plant in house I love this Plant,I`m a question and for fruit produce this amazing plant Nell,I want to know it.Thank you

  16. Hi Luthmilda – I think you’re asking how to get the a Fiddleleaf Fig to produce fruit indoors. Outdoors they produce readily. Indoors, it’s much less common & the ones I’ve seen with fruit, have been older specimens in high light. Nell

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