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The legendary Fiddle Leaf Fig

We don’t use the term legendary lightly here at TLB, but we think the fab Fiddle Leaf Fig has earned it. This gorgeous green beauty with his large, paddle-shaped, vibrant green leaves is ever-ready for his close-up. Check out #fiddleleaffig on insta and you’ll see what we mean. His statement size and super shiny leaves, along with his relatively low maintenance care credentials have made him one of the most popular houseplants in the world. You won’t be surprised to hear that the TLB team agrees that the Fiddle Leaf Fig plant is pretty special.

The botanical name for the Fiddle Leaf Fig is the Ficus Lyrata and he is also sometimes known as a Banjo Fig. Just like his relatives in the Ficus family (Ficus Benjamina and Ficus Elastica) it’s important to note that you should avoid this plant if you have a latex allergy. And as special as he is, unfortunately, he is toxic to cats and dogs so should be avoided if you have a furry, four-legged housemate.

This week’s blog will provide you with all the info you need to care for your Fiddle Leaf Fig, the all-important styling inspo and lots more, read on and enjoy plant people.

A Complete Guide to Caring for the Fiddle Leaf Fig

You’ll be pleased to know that this tropical beauty is quite a hardy guy and so Fiddle Leaf Fig care isn’t too demanding. Read on for our top tips to help you keep yours thriving.

How much light does a Fiddle Leaf Fig need?

As a tropical plant, native to parts of Africa, the Fiddle Leaf Fig loves lots of natural light. Pop this big botanical buddy in a spot that receives plenty of indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight as this will cause the leaves to scorch. And keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig away from radiators and draughts.

What is the best way to water a Fiddle Leaf Fig?

How often to water your indoor plant is, in our experience, a question that’s top of mind for many plant parents. When it comes to the Fiddle Leaf Fig, he prefers to be underwatered than overwatered. For best results, give him a drink about once a week, making sure that the top level of soil has dried out in between each watering.  He is likely to need less water in the winter, when he’ll be in a slower growth period, than in the summer months.

A top tip for watering large houseplants is to fill the sink with 2-3cm of water. Place the plant into the water for about 10 minutes, allowing them to absorb as much water as they need. This helps to avoid the risk of overwatering which can cause root rot and dropping leaves.

Does a Fiddle Leaf Fig like humidity?

Again, thanks to their native, tropical climes, the Fiddle Leaf Fig loves humidity. To keep your plant flourishing, use a mister on his leaves daily to keep his moisture levels up. Positioning lots of plants together, tropical jungle style, will also help humidity levels as they all act as humidifiers for one another. If you’re concerned your Fiddle Leaf Fig isn’t getting enough humidity, placing a humidifier in the room with him will help.

How do you care for Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves?

Give those gorgeous leaves a gentle wipe down with a damp cloth every couple of weeks or so. This will improve your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s photosynthesising power and also keep him gorgeously glossy.

Does a Fiddle Leaf Fig need food?

Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will benefit from a monthly feed during the summer when he’s in his growing period. He won’t need this during the winter.

Shop the Fiddle Leaf Fig at The Little Botanical

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a perfect choice if you are looking to bring some tropical, botanical vibes into your space and take your green styling up a notch. Here at TLB, we’re here to help you do just that with our range of vibrant green Fiddle Leaf Figs in gorgeous pots or baskets; all ready to take centre stage in your home.

Make a big statement

For a show-stopping focal point in your indoor jungle check out our Large Fiddle Leaf Fig. In your choice of our stylish signature, handwoven belly baskets or our chic, grey ceramic pots, this beautifully eye-catching, green beauty will brighten up a dull corner or fill a bland empty space with heaps of botanical style. He will keep growing after purchase so make sure you give this beauty plenty of space to really shine. If you have the space, take a look at our bundle of large plants for big spaces. This trio of impressively big proportions is a fab choice for bringing the outdoors in and will add an oh-so-tropical vibe to your indoor jungle, taking you from bland to bold in an instant.

Same style, smaller size

Whilst the Ficus Lyrata is very well known as a strikingly large houseplant, those of you who don’t have the space for such a big beauty might be pleased to know that here at TLB we do have a smaller option available. Our medium-sized Fiddle Leaf is available in a choice of stylish stoneware that will bring the same tropical charm as his larger buddy. When it comes to green style the best things come in small and large packages!

With a green beauty this fabulous, small guy can still make a big impact.

Fun Facts

You may have heard that you can grow a new Fiddle Leaf Fig just from a single leaf. Sadly, despite the rumours, this is not the case. To grow a new Fiddle Leaf you would need a 6-inch stem attached to a single leaf. However, even when you have that, the results are pretty poor, you’re likely to be waiting a long, long time – much longer than TLB’s delivery times!

When provided with the right care, a ficus lyrata plant can grow up to two feet in a year. Thankfully, when indoors and potted they will stop growing at about 1m in height. By comparison, their outdoor counterparts have been known to grow up to fifty feet tall!

Unsurprisingly, given how insta-famous he is, the Fiddle Leaf has caught the eye of all manner of celebrities and design experts. Michelle Slatalla, former editor in chief of Gardenista, a popular style blog, interestingly named the Fiddle Leaf Fig as ‘the houseplant equivalent of a newborn’. While we can’t guarantee that this green beauty will bring you as much joy as a newborn baby, it’s safe to say that caring for it shouldn’t leave you sleep deprived either.

Is the Fiddle Leaf Fig pet safe?

Sadly, the answer to this question is no, the Fiddle Leaf Fig is not safe for cats and dogs as the sap and foliage can make them unwell. We are huge animal lovers here at The Little Botanical and we know how important it is to ensure that our furry friends can enjoy our indoor greenery as much as us. For that reason, we have compiled a selection of pet-friendly houseplants so you can shop easy, knowing whatever you choose, your plant and pet will get along.

Meet the Family

The Ficus family is a big one; the Ficus Lyrata is one of eight to nine hundred species belonging to the Mulberry and Fig family. This makes it the largest genus in the Moraceae, a large family of flowering plants. As you can imagine in a family this size, there are a huge number of Ficus plants, and you may already be familiar with some of the Fiddle Leaf Fig’s relatives as they are also popular as houseplants; the Ficus Elastica (Rubber Plant) and the Ficus Benjamina (Weeping Fig).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the leaves dropping off of my Fiddle Leaf Fig?

The most common causes of leaves dropping from your Fiddle Leaf Fig are over or under watering or exposure to extreme temperatures; either hot or cold. Check the soil of your plant, if it is completely dried out give your plant water or if it is too soggy allow it to dry out before giving it any more water. On balance, too much water is worse for your Fiddle Leaf than not enough so always ensure that the top layer of soil has dried out before giving your plant more water. Your plant is likely to need watering about once a week in the spring and summer and less frequently in the winter.

The Fiddle Leaf is native to warm, tropical regions where he is naturally shaded from the sun’s glare, so ensure he is kept away from cooling vents or draughts and away from direct sunlight.

Why does my Fiddle Leaf Fig have browning leaves?

There are a couple of potential causes of browning leaves on your Fiddle Leaf Fig. If the leaves are showing brown spots the likely cause is overwatering. Allow your plant to completely dry out, this could take up to two weeks, and trim away the brown leaves to boost the overall health of your plant.

If the browning on the leaves starts at the edges and the leaves are also curling and your plant looks wilted at times, then your Fiddle Leaf is most likely too dry. To rectify the problem, ensure that your plant isn’t positioned too close to a radiator or other heat source. Soak the soil in water to fully rehydrate him and going forward mist his leaves regularly and water him about once a week.

How much light does my Fiddle Leaf Fig need?

As a tropical plant, the Ficus Lyrata loves lots of natural light. However, in his natural environment, he gets shade from the trees around him. To keep your Fiddle Leaf happy and thriving place him on a spot that gets lots of natural, indirect light.

Why is my Fiddle Leaf Fig dying?

A number of things could be causing a Fiddle Leaf Fig to die; in particular, under watering, overwatering, lack of moisture or not enough light. The good news is that if you spot the signs early and take the necessary action, in most cases your plant can be saved. If you discover that your plant is not getting enough water, allow it to soak in the sink to fully rehydrate and then continue to water him regularly; about once a week or when the top layer of soil has dried out.

If the soil is soggy, the cause of your plant’s ill health is likely to be overwatering. Allow the soil to fully dry out before watering again. The Fiddle Leaf Fig thrives in moist but not sodden soil, aim to water him about once a week and not before the top layer of soil has dried out.

If your plant needs more moisture, ensure he is not sitting near a radiator and regularly mist his leaves to keep the moisture levels high.

This plant enjoys lots of bright, indirect light so ensure his spot is not too dark and that he is getting plenty of dappled sunlight.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about this gorgeous, green beauty and can now see why he is so fabulously insta-famous. If you still have questions, please do get in touch at [email protected], we’d love to hear from you. And when you’re happily snapping your Fiddle Leaf Fig for his insta-ready close up don’t forget to tag us too; @thelittlebotanical, we love to see our plants in their forever homes! Until next time plant gang.

Lots of love

Team TLB xx

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