Fiddle Leaf Fig
The fiddle leaf fig is native to western Africa, specifically Cameroon, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. It is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 50 feet tall in its natural habitat. The fiddle leaf fig is part of the Moraceae family, which includes other fig trees.
Habit: Indoors plants are grown in the shape of a small tree (standard) or a multi-stemmed shrub up to 2 m tall with woody stems and branches bearing solid green or rarely green and white or green and yellow variegated leaves. The large fig fruits are rarely produced on indoor potted plants.
Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.
Light Exposure: Fiddle leaf figs thrive in bright, indirect light. They do not do well in direct sunlight, which can scorch their leaves. If your fiddle leaf fig is not getting enough light, its leaves may turn yellow and fall off. On the other hand, if it is getting too much light, its leaves may develop brown spots.
Indoors, both the solid green leaf and variegated leaved plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to direct light. If placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow rapidly and fall and the plant will start to decline.
Watering: Fiddle leaf fig likes a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 5-10 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season.
Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once or twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).
Pruning/Repotting: Remove any yellowing or brown and dry leaves as needed; occasionally small to medium sized branches will die back and dry and these stems should be pruned out. Weeping figs can stay in the same pot for a number of years if you want to keep the plant from growing larger; if you want the plant to grow larger repot in spring to a slightly larger pot.
Fiddle leaf figs are prone to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. If you notice any of these pests on your plant, remove them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. You can also prevent pest infestations by regularly cleaning the leaves with a damp cloth and keeping the plant in a well-ventilated area.
In conclusion, the fiddle leaf fig is a beautiful and elegant houseplant that can add a touch of sophistication to any home. By following the proper plant care guidelines, including providing it with the right amount of light, fertiliser, potting, watering, humidity, and pest control, your fiddle leaf fig can thrive for many years to come.