The Fiddle Leaf Fig, or Ficus Lyrata, is a gorgeous plant named for—you guessed it— how its broad leaves resemble a fiddle or a lyre. Its dramatic, dark green leaves, wavy-edged and thick and scored with deep white veins, make this plant a captivating presence in any room. The trick is in making it feel at home far from its native habitat in the wild rainforests of the West African Coast. So, here are some tips:
Location: Fiddle Leaf Figs can be finicky. Though they came a long way to get to your living room, they don’t want you going on a re-decorating lark and taking them along, deciding you want to move them to the other side of the couch, for example. I did mention they are dramatic. They may rebel against your moving them by turning brown and wilting—or die outright. FInd a good spot and let them settle in.
Light: The best spot, Ideally, for your fig is in front of an east-facing window,: they will get plenty of indirect light and some direct light, yet avoid intense afternoon sunlight from the south and west.
Cool Tip: If your fiddle leaf is ailing, you can revive it by chopping off the top of its trunk, which I know doesn’t sound very kind, but it will encourage your plant to sprout from top of the trunk and may grow back several new leaves and come back fuller than before.
Water: Keep soil consistently moist, but do not soak. You can also place the plant in a draining pot. Water when the top layer of the soil is becoming dry and, if using a draining pot, allow water to flow out the bottom. Fiddle figs love warm and humid conditions, which typically isn’t how you want your house to feel, so you can meet halfway(ish) by misting once a week . And, if you really want to ensure success, place a humidifier nearby.
Food: Fertilize sparingly, maybe three times a year, mainly in spring and summer.
Dig this: fiddler figs have been on earth for millions of yeas and are technically considered epiphytes, plants that grow on other plants. They can happily grow upright and alone in your home, but in the forest they grow from the tops of the crowns of other trees, going to great heights to ensure they compete for the most sunlight in the forest. They don’t play nice: the fig tree’s seeds germinate and its roots wrap around the trunk of the host tree, eventually strangling it as it envelops it completely. I did tell you they had a captivating presence.