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Garden Topics: Tropicals & Houseplants

Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Ficus lyrata

Fiddle-Leaf FigWhy you may want to grow it: The fiddle-leaf fig, is a perfect indoors specimen plant. There's something about a pretty green houseplant that can pull a whole room together and this tall upright plant with its very large, heavily veined and violin-shaped leaves does just that. These plants are native to the tropics, where they thrive in very warm and wet conditions. This makes them somewhat more challenging for the home grower, who is likely to have trouble duplicating these steamy conditions, but they are fortunately relatively tough plants also that can withstand less-than-perfect conditions for a fairly long time. Finally, the fiddle-leaf figs are mostly grown as larger plants and are perfect if you can situate them in a floor-standing container where the plant is allowed to grow to 6 ft. or more.

How to care for it: Ficus lyrata are not especially demanding plants. One of the most common complaints about these plants is spotting on the leaves, which is noticeable in such a large-leaved plant. This spotting is usually caused by injury to the leaf, either mechanical injury or an attack of mites. The plants are also susceptible to leaf-spotting caused by lack of air flow and too much moisture sitting on the leaves. You can help prevent this kind of attack by keeping the plant well-trimmed, removing dead leaves and twigs as you see them. If your plant is losing leaves, however, it's likely a sign of too little moisture, especially humidity, or cold, dry air. Try misting the plant regularly to increase the ambient humidity.

Light: Bright, filtered light is best. They can even tolerate some full sun, especially if placed in an eastern-facing window. Plants that are kept too dark will fail to grow.Water: Water your fig tree when only the top inch of soil is dry. Fiddle-Leaf FigTest this by sticking your finger into the soil. Pretty soon you'll figure out about how often you need to water. Keep in mind that the amount of water required fluctuates with the season. Much less water is needed during the winter.

Fertilizer: Fertilize once a month during growing seasons with a liquid houseplant fertilizer such Maxsea. Hold off on the fertilizer during the winter.

Repotting: Healthy specimens are fast-growing plants with aggressive root systems. Try to repot the plant annually, stepping up the pot size until the plant reaches the desired size or until you can't manage the container anymore. Once plants are in large containers, scrape off the top few inches of soil and replace with fresh potting soil annually.

Cleaning the Leaves Because of their large surface, fiddle leaf fig leaves can collect dust. To keep the plant healthy wipe dust off with a soft cloth.

For More Information Check Out Wikipedia:  Fiddle-Leaf Fig

 

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