Ficus Lyrata, commonly known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig, is a popular houseplant that has gained a lot of attention over the years. Known for its majestic presence, the Fiddle Leaf Fig is not only a great addition to your home decor, but also an easy plant to care for even though it does have specific plant care needs.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry too much about that because once you read this article, you’ll know exactly how to care for this gorgeous indoor plant. As a master gardener, I’ve had the pleasure of growing this plant for many years and have loads of tips that I’ll share in this article.
This tall indoor plant has very broad, deeply veined, violin-shaped leaves that develop upright. It has large lyre-shaped green leaves that can measure up to 18 inches long. They work best if you can place them in a floor-standing container that will allow the plant to reach a height of 6 feet or higher.
These plants are indigenous to the tropics, where they thrive in warm and humid environments. This makes them a tricky plant for the average home grower, who will likely have difficulty replicating these steamy conditions.
Nonetheless, they are thankfully relatively resilient plants that can endure less-than-ideal conditions for a reasonable period of time.
In this article, I will discuss various aspects of the plant’s care, including its light requirements, water needs, soil preferences, and temperature and humidity conditions. We’ll also explore different types of Ficus Lyrata, how to propagate the plant, and common pests and plant diseases.
Botanical Name: Ficus lyrata
Common Name: Fiddle-leaf fig, banjo fig
Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Hardiness Zones: 10 – 12 (USDA0
Sun Exposure: Part shade
Soil Type: Loamy, medium moisture, well-draining
Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0
Height: 50 ft. tall (outdoors), 10 ft. tall (indoors)
Native Area: Tropical western Africa
Ficus Lyrata Care
Ficus Lyrata, also known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig, is a popular houseplant that has gained a lot of attention in recent years. Its large, violin-shaped leaves make it a striking addition to any room.
Before we dive into the specific details of Ficus Lyrata’s care, it’s important to understand that this plant isn’t complicated to care for. It’s one of those low-maintenance plants that can thrive with minimal attention.
However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to Fiddle Leaf Fig care and once you master the basics you’ll be able to grow it easily at home.
One of the most crucial aspects of Ficus Lyrata’s care is light. These plants require bright indirect light to thrive. If you place your Fiddle Leaf Fig in direct sunlight, especially hot afternoon sun, the leaves may burn and dry out.
On the other hand, if you position the plant in a spot with insufficient light, it may not grow or produce leaves at all. So, find a sunny spot near a window that provides plenty of indirect sunlight.
If you notice that your plant is leaning toward one specific direction, it’s because it’s reaching towards the light. To prevent this, rotate your plant every few weeks to ensure that all sides receive equal amounts of light.
Plus, if you live in an area with harsh winters or limited sunlight, you may want to consider investing in a grow light to supplement your plant’s light needs.
Ficus Lyrata thrives in well-draining soil. This means that the pot you choose should have drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
Use a mix of well-draining potting soil and sand to create a soil blend that allows the roots to breathe. You can also add perlite to the soil to improve drainage and aeration.
However, it’s important to note that Fiddle Leaf Figs don’t like to be repotted too often. Only repot your plant when it becomes root-bound, which means the roots have outgrown the pot and are starting to grow out of the drainage holes.
Watering your Fiddle Leaf Fig can be a bit tricky. The plant doesn’t like too much water or too little. You need to strike a balance to ensure that your plant receives the right amount of water.
As a rule of thumb, water your Ficus Lyrata when the top 1-2 inches of soil feels dry to the touch. Water thoroughly and be sure to let the excess water drain out of the pot to avoid waterlogging. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other plant diseases.
If you’re unsure about when to water your plant, you can also use a moisture meter to measure the soil’s moisture level. This can help you determine if your plant needs water or not.
Last but not least, because these plants are also more sensitive to high salt levels, flush your potting soil thoroughly, preferably once a month, to avoid salt buildup from fertilizer.
Temperature and Humidity
Ficus Lyrata is a tropical plant, which means it prefers warm and humid conditions. Optimal temperatures for the plant are between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit (15-24°C). Keep your plant away from cold drafts and air conditioning or heating vents, as these can reduce humidity levels and cause the leaves to dry out.
To increase humidity levels, you can use a humidifier or place the plant on a pebble tray filled with water. Another option is to mist the leaves with water every few days to increase humidity levels around the plant.
To maintain the health and growth of your Fiddle Leaf Fig, you’ll need to fertilize it periodically. Ficus Lyrata thrives on a balanced fertilizer that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You can use a slow-release fertilizer to fertilize your plant every 6-8 weeks during the growing season. However, it’s important not to over-fertilize your plant, as this can lead to salt buildup in the soil and cause damage to the roots.
In addition to these care tips, it’s also important to keep an eye out for any pests or diseases that may affect your Ficus Lyrata. Common pests include spider mites and mealybugs, which can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Leaf drop and brown spots on the leaves may be a sign of fungal or bacterial infections, which can be treated with fungicides or by removing the affected leaves.
With proper care, your Fiddle Leaf Fig can thrive and grow into a beautiful, statement-making plant in your home.
Types of Ficus Lyrata
Ficus Lyrata, also known as Fiddle Leaf Fig, is a popular houseplant that has gained a lot of attention in recent years due to its striking appearance and ease of care. This plant is native to West Africa and can grow up to 50 feet tall in its natural habitat. However, when grown indoors, it usually reaches a maximum height of 6 feet. Ficus Lyrata comes in many shapes and sizes, each with its unique characteristics. Here are some of the most common types of Fiddle Leaf Figs you’ll find:
- Ficus Lyrata ‘Bambino’: This type is a smaller version of the original plant, with smaller leaves and a bushy growth habit. The Bambino variety is perfect for those who want to grow a Fiddle Leaf Fig in a smaller space or want to add a touch of greenery to their desks or tabletops. This variety is also great for beginners as it is easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of conditions.
- Ficus Lyrata ‘Compacta’: Similar to the original plant, this type has smaller leaves that are more compactly arranged on the stem. The Compacta variety is perfect for those who want a Fiddle Leaf Fig but don’t have enough space for the larger variety. This plant is also great for those who want to grow a Fiddle Leaf Fig in a container as it has a slower growth rate than the original plant.
- Ficus Lyrata ‘Variegata’: This type has leaves with white or cream variegation, adding an extra touch of visual interest to your houseplant collection. The Variegata variety is perfect for those who want a Fiddle Leaf Fig that stands out from the crowd. This plant is also great for those who want to add a touch of color to their home or office space.
Regardless of the variety you choose, Ficus Lyrata is a great houseplant that can add a touch of greenery and elegance to any space. It is also known for its air-purifying properties, making it a great addition to any home or office environment.
How to Propagate Ficus Lyrata
If you want to expand your Ficus Lyrata collection, you can propagate the plant through stem cuttings. Here’s how:
Propagating Ficus Lyrata is a great way to expand your collection and share the beauty of this plant with others.
- Select a healthy stem that’s at least six inches long and has a few leaves.
- When choosing a stem for propagation, make sure it is healthy and free from any signs of disease or damage. The stem should be at least six inches long and have a few leaves. This will ensure that there is enough foliage to support the growth of new roots.Cut the stem below the leaf node, making sure to use a clean and sharp pair of shears.
- It is important to use a clean and sharp pair of shears when making the cut. This will help to prevent any damage to the stem and ensure that it is able to root properly. Cutting the stem below the leaf node will provide the plant with the necessary hormones to encourage root growth.Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone to encourage root growth.
- Rooting hormone is a natural or synthetic compound that helps to stimulate root growth in plants. It is available in powder, liquid, or gel form and can be found at most garden centers or online. Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone to help encourage the development of new roots.Place the stem cutting in a container with moist potting soil and cover it with a plastic bag to create a humid environment.
- Moist potting soil will provide the stem with the necessary nutrients and moisture to encourage root growth. Covering the container with a plastic bag will help to create a humid environment, which will also encourage root growth. Be sure to check the soil regularly and keep it moist, but not waterlogged.Place the container in a bright, indirect light and keep the soil moist until new growth appears in a few weeks.
- Placing the container in a bright, indirect light will help to provide the stem with the necessary light to support growth. Be sure to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged, to prevent the stem from rotting. New growth should appear in a few weeks, indicating that the stem has successfully rooted.Once the plant has established roots, you can transplant it to a larger pot and continue caring for it as you would with a mature Ficus Lyrata.
Once the stem has successfully rooted, it can be transplanted into a larger pot with well-draining soil. Ficus Lyrata prefers bright, indirect light and should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. It is also important to keep the plant away from cold drafts and to fertilize it every two to four weeks during the growing season.
Potting and Repotting Ficus Lyrata
Ficus Lyrata, commonly known as the fiddle-leaf fig, is a popular houseplant that can add a touch of greenery and elegance to any room. To keep your Ficus Lyrata healthy and thriving, it’s important to know how to properly pot and repot it. Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you along the way:
Choosing the Right Pot
Choosing the right pot size is crucial when it comes to potting and repotting your Ficus Lyrata. As mentioned earlier, the pot should be slightly larger than the previous one to allow for growth. However, it’s important not to go too big too soon. A pot that is too large can cause the soil to stay wet for too long, leading to root rot.
When selecting a pot, make sure it has drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom. You can also add a layer of gravel or stones at the bottom of the pot to improve drainage.
Preparing for Repotting
Before repotting your Ficus Lyrata, it’s important to prepare the new pot and soil. Choose a well-draining potting mix that is rich in nutrients. You can also add some perlite or sand to improve drainage.
Soak the soil in water before filling the new pot to ensure that it’s moist. This will help the soil settle around the roots and prevent air pockets.
Repotting Your Ficus Lyrata
Now that you have your new pot and soil ready, it’s time to repot your Ficus Lyrata. Here are some additional steps to follow:
- Clean the new pot with soap and water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Carefully remove the plant from its current pot, being careful not to damage the roots.
- Inspect the roots and trim any that are damaged or dead. This will encourage new growth and prevent disease.
- Place the plant in the center of the new pot and add soil around the roots, gently pressing it down to remove any air pockets.
- Leave about an inch of space from the top of the pot for watering.
- Water the plant well and place it in a spot that receives bright, indirect sunlight.
Remember to water your Ficus Lyrata regularly and keep an eye out for any signs of stress, such as yellowing leaves or drooping stems. With the right care and attention, your Ficus Lyrata can thrive for years to come.
Common Pests and Plant Diseases for Ficus Lyrata
While Ficus Lyrata isn’t susceptible to many pests and diseases, a few common ones can occur. Here are some of the most common plant problems you might encounter with your Fiddle Leaf Fig:
- Spider mites: These tiny insects can infest your plant and cause yellowing leaves and webbing on the foliage. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to eliminate the pests and keep them at bay.
- Scale insects: These pests can form a sticky residue on the leaves, causing them to wilt and drop. Use rubbing alcohol or insecticidal soap to remove the insects and keep them from returning.
- Root rot: Overwatering can lead to root rot, causing the plant to wilt and show signs of stress. Make sure to check the soil’s moisture level before watering and use well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging.
With the tips and guidelines provided in this article, you should now be well-equipped to plant, grow, and care for your Ficus Lyrata. Keep in mind that this plant can significantly enhance your home decor with its captivating presence and foliage.
Common Problems for Ficus Lyrata
Spotting on the leaves, which is particularly obvious in a plant with such large leaves, is one of the most common complaints about these plants. This spotting is typically brought on by a leaf injury, such as mechanical harm or a mite infestation.
When exposed to air, the sap of Ficus lyrata can produce these brown spots. The plants are also vulnerable to a number of leaf-spotting and fungal diseases, which are typically brought on by poor air circulation and an excessive amount of moisture that collects on the leaves.
By keeping the plant well-trimmed and removing any dead leaves or twigs that you see, you can help stop this kind of attack.
However, if your plant is dropping leaves, it is probably due to inadequate moisture at the roots, low humidity, and cold, dry air. To increase the humidity in the air, mist the plant frequently.
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Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa's work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.