Fiddle-leaf Fig (scientific name: Ficus Lyrata) is a flowering plant from the Moraceae family. It’s also known as the fig or mulberry family. According to the Phytotaxa journal, It has over 1100 known species at present with varying sizes, shapes, and growth rates. This plant comes from the tropical and temperate zones and is epiphytic in nature.
Epiphytic plants generally grow on other plants or trees and are dependent on them merely for their support but not for food purposes. They procure their nutrients from air, rain, and water. Upon acquiring stability on the host plant, they might compete for sunshine outdoors.
It has soothing green color shiny leaves that make it an excellent choice for indoors. Leave size can also attain a maximum size of 18’x 12’. Outdoors, it achieves a height up to 40 feet, whereas when adopted as a houseplant, they grow as long as 6 feet. Due to their size, these are floor plants, but they can be placed on shelves when they are small.
Fiddle-leaf fig requires medium to high filtered light to grow properly. Its large leaves need a sufficient amount of light for cells to produce figs. Therefore, it should be placed next to a light-facing window to get all the light it needs indoors. Due to their delicate state, over-light would cause it to die, whereas under-light would cause drooping of leaves.
Fiddles also require watering as per prevailing conditions, which include temperature and light of the area. If the soil is dry, water it so that there is a mist in the ground, keeping in mind not to sog it. If the soil is soggy, make sure it gets enough light to dry it out and then water it again. Experts at The Sill suggest that in ideal conditions, watering once per 2 weeks is fine.
Temperature and Soil
Being tropical and temperate, fiddles are generous to warmer and humidified areas. The ideal temperature indoors is 18°C- 24°C. Although it can endure up to 35°C, the falling of temperature below 10°C would cause the leaves to turn brown. Sudden temperature changes will cause problems. A mixture of peat moss and organic moss is best if it is to be grown in a pot or container.
Houseplants generally come from tropical and temperate zones where humidity is higher, ranging from 40%-60%. To increase humidity levels, more plants can be placed near fiddle-leaf fig. They can survive up to 75%-90%, but it distorts their growth cycle.
Every houseplant has different requirements for adequate performance. Fiddle-leaf figs require 3-1-2 fertilizer. It has 3% nitrogen, 1% phosphorus ,and 2% potassium. Liquified doses of 3-1-2 fertilizer should be fed in the spring and summer months when fiddle-leaves are growing for the finest results.
Fiddles are generally highly toxic to children and pets. Ergo, special care is advised for adopters as its leaves contain calcium oxalate, which can be fatal for children and pets. They shouldn’t be ingested; otherwise, they cause stomach irritation.
By and large, fiddle-leaf figs are a good source of air purification because of their giant leaves. Their leaves have more surface to transpire; thus, they take in microbes from the air and filter them to produce a higher oxygen volume.
According to Swanson’s Nursery, they can be repotted every once in 2-3 years. They should be re-planted to a bigger sized pot for further growth, but if one wants to keep the current size, they should trim the root ball and plant it back in the same pot.
This plant doesn’t require much attention, but the essential factors should always be kept in mind. These include light, temperature, watering, soil composition, and optimum humidity. This plant is prone to movement. Once set-up, relocating it even a yard would cause it to shed its leaves or dry out.
Fiddle leaf figs often face the following issues:
Leaf drooping (over and under-watering, light, and temperature issues)
Susceptible to pests
The plant’s diseases include:
Sunburn, fertilizer burn, and root rot.
Bacterial and fungal infections
Infestation (spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and fungus gnats)
Leaves (drooping, curly, yellowing, and brown and red spots)
Fiddle-leaf fig is a popular houseplant that adds value to the interior. It doesn’t demand much attention once set-up. Their ability to produce a higher level of oxygen makes them suitable for households and the environment.
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