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fiddle leaf fig

How to Grow a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Posted by David Epstein March 6, 2014 01:01 PM

One of my favorite plants to grow indoors is a fiddle leaf fig or Ficus lyrata. This plant has become very popular and can get quite large so it’s not for everyone. The advantages of this plant are it can take lower light, has beautiful large leaves and is relatively easy to grow. The plant can get very tall, but you can keep that in check.

The best place for this plant is a bright window with lots of light and little or no direct sunshine. The plant doesn't want temperatures which are too hot or too cold. You can move it outside in the summer, but be sure to not place it in an area with direct sun or the leaves will burn. The plant must be moved back inside in early September when the nights begin to get cooler.

If the plant isn’t looking healthy or you want to shorten it, I recommend tip pruning it in May, which means just cutting off the outer inch or two of the branches. Tip pruning will help the plant be fuller and bushier. If your plant gets too tall, you can prune it back in late June. After this time the plant will start growing again. Always make your cuts at a 45 degree angle.

You can tweet me a question at @growingwisdom.

Remember, the leaves of any plant are gathering nutrients to get the plant through the dormant season. If you cut the plant back too much or remove too many leaves, the plant will not be able to make the necessary nutrients to sustain itself.

If the leaves get dusty, wait until the day your suppose to water the plant and then put it in the shower to wash off the dust. Plants like the water on the tepid side.

When watering the fiddle leaf fig let the top inch or two dry out before watering. One of the bigger mistakes people make with most houseplants is killing them with water. Most plants can come back from a missed watering easier than then can service over watering.
If the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig are spotted with black or brown spots, it’s more than likely an inconsistent watering issue.

About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and now freelances for WGME in Portland, Maine. In 2006, More »

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