For this month’s blog I would like to highlight one of the most striking and unique plants for the interiorscape: the Ficus lyrata, or Fiddle Leaf Fig. With uniquely shaped leaves that can measure up to 12” across, the Fiddle Leaf Fig makes a statement in any room it graces. Its bold texture works well with contemporary designs, yet it also looks at home in more classic settings.
To care for this lovely plant give it the best light available. A location by a large south or west-facing window is best, although it will also do well under bright fluorescent lighting.
Like most Ficus species, the Fiddle Leaf Fig prefers to stay moderately moist, but abhors sitting in excess water. A specimen in good light will likely drink much more than one growing in lower light conditions. Overwatering generally results in blackish leaf tips or edges, while underwatering can result in the lower leaves turning bright yellow, then crispy brown and falling off.
While the Fiddle Leaf Fig can live for several years in the same container, it will benefit from the occasional addition of fresh soil. Watch for roots growing out of the bottom of the pot, and trim these off promptly. Don’t hesitate to remove the plant from the container if necessary and give it a light root trim. Add more soil to the bottom of the container before you place your Ficus back inside.
This species will also appreciate the regular application of fertilizer, especially if it is being grown in a very bright location. Apply fertilizer once a month from March to September, and let it go dormant during the winter months.
Like its famous cousin Ficus benjamina, the Ficus lyrata dislikes being moved around or subjected to drafts, and may shed a few leaves as a result. Try to keep it between 60 – 80 degrees for best results.
Fiddle Leaf Figs are generally pest free plants, but be aware that they occasionally play host to spider mites, mealy busy, or scale insects. Treat promptly before these baddies have a chance to run amuck on your plant!
It can be pruned to fit a specific area, or allowed to grow over time to form a magnificent specimen. With proper care the Fiddle Leaf Fig is a vibrant and long lived addition to any home or office.