Like the name suggests, the Ficus is a tree and is more commonly known as a weeping fig. It is usually found in both subtropical and tropical regions such as Southeast Asia and Australia; however, it is more popular as an indoor plant. The Ficus is a flowering plant from the Moraceae family.
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.
The best part about the tree is that no matter the size, whether big or small, this particular houseplant maintains a tree’s shape. The leaves are glossy and dark, grown on slender branches that emerge from a grey trunk. The size is perfect for an indoor plant that grows up to 6 feet inside.
Ficus plants require 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.
If you want to keep the tree outside during summers, make sure the pot is in the shade. Be careful not to expose them to direct sunlight as the leaves tend to burn.
The Ficus tree likes water; however, it doesn’t prefer the soil to be soggy. Hence, before watering the tree, you can touch the soil’s top to check if it’s wet. If it’s wet, that means you don’t need to add any more water for the time being.
You have to figure out a moderate balance of feeding the tree with water. Either way, the roots shouldn’t be soggy at any given point in time.
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 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 the humidity is higher, ranging from 40%-60%. To increase humidity levels, more plants can be placed near the fiddle-leaf fig. They can survive up to 75%-90%, but it distorts their growth cycle.
Like most houseplants, the Ficus tree requires high humidity to bloom. There are many ways to create humidity, such as regularly spraying a water mist on the plant or plugging a humidifier nearby.
During the summer months, which are the growing months for this tree, a liquid fertilizer will do wonders for the plant at half its strength. As an alternative, a slow pellet fertilizer once the growing season starts will also provide the plan with a boost.
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.