The Ficus Lyrata, more commonly known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig, is native to Western Africa where it grows in lowland tropical rainforests. It is known for its large, fiddle-shaped leaves with pronounced veins and lush green color. There are 3 varieties of the Ficus Lyrata: the “original” Ficus Lyrata, Ficus Lyrata ‘Bambino’ (Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Fig), and the Variegated Fiddle Leaf Fig.
The plant has become a popular choice for interior designers and is sure to anchor the décor of any room in the house with its upright, single-trunk growth. In its native environment, the Ficus Lyrata can grow over 40 feet tall, but as a houseplant it will grow 6-10 feet tall in just a few years.
It is important to keep the fiddle leaf fig’s large leaves clean by wiping them down with a damp washcloth a few times a month. This will deter pests, allow more sunlight to reach the leaves, and keep the plant looking shiny and healthy.
The fiddle leaf fig grows best in bright filtered light. Keep it out of the intense afternoon sun to avoid burning. Rotate your fiddle leaf fig every couple of weeks so that the whole plant receives equal sunlight. This will promote even growth and prevent the plant from leaning in one direction toward the light source.
Fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants and prefer a moderate amount of moisture in their soil. Water your plant whenever the top inch or two of soil becomes dry during its growing season (spring-fall) and slightly less in the winter.
The fiddle leaf fig plant thrives in warmer temperatures that range from 60 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They should not be exposed to temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit which will turn the leaves dark purple. Avoid placing your plant in drafty spots or near air conditioners to prevent sudden changes in temperature that can shock the leaves.
Fiddle leaf figs prefer a humid environment that mimics their natural tropical climate. Most homes have a humidity level that is sufficient for growing a healthy fiddle leaf fig. If your home is particularly dry, misting the leaves, placing the plant on a pebble tray with water, or running a humidifier will help your plant get the humidity it needs.
Fiddle leaf figs do well in most potting mixes that are well-draining. A cactus, succulent, or peat-free mix are great soil options. You can also add perlite to a standard potting mix to promote water drainage.
Make sure your plant is placed in a pot with adequate drainage holes to prevent the roots from sitting in standing water.
If it is cut or nibbled, the fiddle leaf fig will ooze a white latex that is mildly toxic. This secretion can be irritating to the eyes and mouth. If consumed in larger amounts, the fiddle leaf fig can cause vomiting and diarrhea.