Ficus lyrata, commonly known as the fiddle-leaf fig or banjo fig, is a houseplant native to tropical western and central Africa. It can reach a height of over 50 feet in its natural habitat, but when used as an indoor plant, it seldom grows taller than 10 feet.
It is considered by many to be the most beautiful of the figs, with large, showy leaves that create an eye-catching display in any room of your home or office. It is also one of the easiest houseplants to grow indoors.
- Ficus Lyrata Main Characteristics
- Ficus Lyrata Care
- Propagating Fiddle-leaf Fig
- Potting and Repotting Fiddle-leaf Fig
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- How to Take Care of your Fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) (Video)
Ficus Lyrata Main Characteristics
|Fiddle-leaf fig, banjo fig
|Tropical western and central Africa
|USDA Hardiness Zones
|10 to 12
|Height: 60-100 feet; Spread: 30-60 feet
|Rarely flowers indoors
|by seed, leaf-bud, or semi-hardwood cuttings
|Full sun to partial shade
|Moist but well-drained
Ficus Lyrata Care
The Fiddle-leaf fig tree requires very little care but knowing some basic information can mean a healthy plant for years to come. So let’s have a look at what they need.
Light and Location
The Fiddle Leaf Fig grows best in bright, indirect sunlight. Place the Fiddle Leaf Fig near a window to capture sunlight in the morning. But move it away from the direct sunlight in the afternoon because the leaves can burn very quickly.
Note that this plant doesn’t like moving once it has settled into a spot. So find a warm place for it, and don’t move it afterward.
Ficus lyrata does not require a lot of water. In fact, they prefer to dry out between watering times. It is best to allow the top couple of inches of soil to dry out before watering again. In winter, reduce watering frequency.
These plants don’t like overwatering, so leaves may start to fall off if you don’t allow the soil some time to dry.
Ficus lyrata prefers average room temperatures of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). Even in winter, the temperature shouldn’t fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius). If the plant is in a drafty area, it may start dropping leaves.
The humidity for fiddle-leaf fig plants is essential to keep the plant healthy. The optimal humidity for this plant is around 30-50%. A humidifier can help maintain a moderate humidity level inside your home if it’s particularly dry. Misting the leaves daily also works.
Ficus lyrata only require fertilizer once every month during their growing season (spring and summer). Feed more often if you wish, but not during the winter months when growth has slowed or stopped.
Propagating Fiddle-leaf Fig
To propagate a fiddle leaf fig, you will need to take a cutting from a healthy branch (with 2-3 leaves) and place it in water or soil. If you are using water, make sure the cutting is wholly submerged and change the water every day. If you are using soil, make sure the cutting is planted in moist soil and keep the soil moist at all times. The cutting will begin to show roots in about a month.
Potting and Repotting Fiddle-leaf Fig
When potting your fig tree, you want to make sure that you are using the right type of pot. A drainage hole is necessary to let the soil drain properly and not get waterlogged. In addition, it would be best to use a somewhat large pot to accommodate the plant’s root system.
When repotting fiddle leaf fig, you should use a pot about two inches larger in diameter than the current pot. After removing the plant from its container, gently tease out the roots from the soil before putting it in the new pot. Only repot after the roots have begun to spill over slightly from the current pot.
Mildly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but the effects are mild. Leaf sap can also cause skin irritation if it comes into contact.
Unfortunately, fiddle leaf figs are susceptible to many pests, including mealybugs, scale insects, aphids, thrips, and spider mites. These pests can cause significant damage and be challenging to get rid of if not treated properly.
Sudden leaf loss?
Most commonly, leaf loss occurs due to sudden shifts in location. Give it time to acclimate, and it should be fine. But there could also be other reasons for this to happen:
- Over or underwatering – Fix your watering regimen.
- Over or underfeeding – Remember to give less feed during winter. And once a month in the growing season.
- Temperature – Don’t let it go below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Draughts – Move away from windows and open doors.
- Dry air – Increase the humidity using a moist bed of pebbles.
Increase the humidity around the plant if it is too dry. For example, use a humidifier or mist the leaves daily. Also, check the watering schedule and stick to a routine in the future.
Dark patches or spots on leaves?
It’s either sunburn or leaf spots. Move out of direct sunlight in case of sunburns. And if it’s leaf spots, remove any affected leaves and use a fungicide to treat the rest of the plant.
How to Take Care of your Fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) (Video)
How often to water fiddle leaf figs?
Water regularly and often. Let the first layer of soil dry before the next session and avoid overwatering. Once you’ve decided on a watering routine, stick to it. These plants don’t like to be watered erratically.
How to propagate fiddle leaf fig?
You can propagate these plants using cuttings and layering methods. The recommended approach is to use cuttings. Take a sharp, clean knife and cut a stem with two or three leaves. Bury the cut end of the stem in moist soil or water and wait a month for roots to take shape. Once the roots form, you’re the proud owner of a brand new Ficus Lyrata.
The best soil for fiddle leaf fig?
These plants love moist but well-drained soil. You have the choice between clay, loam, and sand-based soil. In addition, they tolerate acid, alkaline, and neutral pH.
Are fiddle leaf figs toxic to cats?
These plants are mildly toxic to cats. Ingesting them might result in vomiting and diarrhea, but effects fade quickly. Leaf sap also causes skin irritation.