Fiddle Leaf Fig

Scientific name: Ficus Lyrata
Synonyms: Fiddle leaf fig

Enormous leaves shaped like violins make Fiddle Leaf Fig a dramatic accent. 

In its native habitat, this fig tree from the Moraceae family will reach 12 m tall. Fortunately, it grows very slowly and stays much shorter when grown indoors. Its bold, prominently veined leaves grow to 30 cm long and 15 cm wide with wavy edges. Keep the naturally glossy leaves clean by wiping them often with a damp cloth. This tropical native also loves to be misted. 

Controlling its height is easy to do. Prune off the top of young plants to promote branching and to control its growth. You can also control its size by keeping it in a small container. You don't have to cut it back, though. The broad leaves of this fig tree make it a beautiful, live structural accent in a room with high ceilings. 

Although a bit fussy, fig plants make long-lived and beautiful indoor trees. Give your plant what it wants and you'll enjoy your Fiddle Leaf Fig for many years.

Please note: Toxic to pets and Humans

Common Symptoms

  • Leaves dropping is fairly common with the Fiddle Leaf, especially when they have been moved to a new environment. In addition, changes in light levels and temperature can cause the leaves to drop. It may take a few weeks for your Fiddle Leaf to adjust to its new space, so don’t give up. While it may be tempting to repot, overwater or fertilize a shedding fig tree, don't do it. It'll only cause more stress to the tree and make the problem worse. 
  • Brown leaf tips: this is sometimes caused by soil that is too dry. Increase your watering. You can also run several cups or jugs of water through the potted plant (until water is running out of the drainage holes) to ensure that the roots are properly watered. 
  • Soft leaves with brownish patches: the likely problem here is overwatering, cold temperatures or a combination of both. If the plant continues in this regard, it will eventually die. Check if the soil is too wet from the top and through the drainage holes at the bottom (if possible). If, several days after watering, the soil is very soggy, you need to change your watering cycle, move the plant somewhere warmer or consider replacing the soil with a better draining type. 
  • Pests: Scale and Spider mite are the most common pests to invade a Fiddle Leaf. Look out for small brown insects that cling to stems and leaves, secreting a sticky residue on the plant which will indicate scale. If webbing appears between branches and leaves, it’s a tell-tale sign of a spider mite invasion.

    Care Instructions

    • Origin Western Africa (Cameroon to Sierra Leone) 
    • Height: 90cm - 3m indoors and 12m outdoors
    • Light: Bright indirect light year-round. Give your plant a quarter turn every week or so to expose all sides to light. 
    • Water:  Keep soil evenly moist. Reduce watering in winter.Watering Tip: Give you Fiddle Leaf a good soak once a month for 10 – 20 minutes. Do this only if your plant is still small enough to move. To be water efficient, place the plant pot in a round pan within the bathtub or kitchen sink and, using a smaller jug, continue to water the plant with the water that has already drained out. 
    • Humidity: Average to medium-high humidity. 
    • Temperature:  Average room temperatures 16-24°C. Keep it away from heat/AC vents or drafts from entryways. 
    • Soil:  Any good draining potting mix. 
    • Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks during the growing season (spring-summer-autumn) with a balanced liquid fertilizer, and reduce this to monthly during winter. 
    • Repotting: When the plant is young you can re-pot it every spring into a slight bigger pot, but once it reaches your desired height, you can just replace the top soil each year. If the plant is top-heavy use a heavy plant to prevent the tree from falling over. 
    • Pruning: Remove leaves that have seen better days as soon as they start deteriorating (check that the leaf deterioration is not due to plant problems). To keep the Fiddle Leaf at a desired height you should prune the top. 
    • Propagation: Stem tip cuttings and air layering. Propagating large-leaf fig trees is not easy for the amateur to do at home. These trees are slow to root from either method.

    If in stock, shop for Fiddle Leaf Fig here.