Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) Indoor Care and Common Problems with Remedies


Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) is a good choice for a specimen plant. The striking large violin-like leaves are excellent for the large spaces.

Ficus lyrata is relatively tough and can withstand less than perfect conditions fairly well.

The leaves are up to 1.5 ft long, leathery in texture, have prominent veins and a wavy margin.

Fiddle Leaf Fig, Ficus lyrata

Botanical name: Ficus lyrata
Family: Moraceae
Common name: Fiddle Leaf Fig

Origin

Ficus lyrata is native to western Africa from Cameroon West to Sierra Leone, where it grows in lowland tropical forests.

Size

When grown in a container Fiddle Leaf Fig can grow to a height of 6-10 ft. The leaves are about 1.5 ft long.

Toxicity

According to Petal Republic, Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) is toxic to both humans and pets if ingested.

It produces a sap that may cause skin irritation on sensitive skin. Always wear gloves when handling Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Where to Buy

Ficus lyrata is a magnificent plant to add to your plant collection. You may acquire these plants online.

Ficus lyrata Care Indoors

Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Ficus lyrata requires regular pruning to keep it neat and also encourage a bushy growth. Repotting is only needed when it becomes pot-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Fiddle Leaf Fig, Ficus lyrata

Watering

Water Fiddle Leaf Fig liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Lessen watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time.

Avoid overwatering and soggy soil as it can lead to leaf drop and root-rot disease.

Use tepid, chlorine-free water to water Ficus lyrata to avoid spots on the leaves.

Light Requirements

Fiddle Leaf Fig grows best in bright, filtered light with 4-6 hours of morning or late evening sunshine.

Under lower light conditions, the plant may drop its leaves and if the conditions are not corrected, it die. Ensure it receives bright, indirect light for optimum growth.

However, shield or Keep the Ficus lyrata awar from hot direct sunlight as it can lead to scorching of the leaves.

Turn the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth to prevent lopsided growth.

You may also grow Ficus lyrata under grow lights if the natural lighting is inadequate. Check out these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Temperature and Humidity

The best temperature for growing Fiddle Leaf Fig indoors is an average warmth within the range of a minumum of 15-260C. Keep it away from draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature as it can lead to leaf drop.

Average room humidity is ideal for Fiddle Leaf Fig. If the air is too dry especially where temperature is high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestation.

Fertilizer

Feed Fiddle Leaf Fig monthly during the growing period with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer to promote a lush growth.

Stop feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn.

Repotting

Repot Fiddle Leaf Fig at the beginning of the growing season only when it has become pot-bound. Avoid frequent repotting as it prefers to be pot-bound.

Repot only when it has outgrown its current pot; when roots begin to grow through the drainage holes.

Use a pot 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot. Check out this Ceramic Pot with Drainage Hole and Saucer on Amazon.

Pot the plant in a heavy pot as it can become top-heavy and topple over. Never allow the roots to sit in soggy soil as it may lead to leaf drop and root-rot.

For the large plants which may be difficult to handle, annually replenish the top 2-4 in. of soil with fresh soil.

Soil

Soil for Fiddle Leaf Fig should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Potting mixes designed for Aroids are ideal for Ficus lyrata. Here are 10 Best Potting Mixes for Fiddle Leaf Fig Grown Indoors.

Pruning

Pruning Fiddle Leaf Fig is easy. Remove dead and yellow leaves to maintain the plant neat and reduce pest and disease infestations.

When the plant has reached maximum height or it has become leggy, cut back the branches to rejuvenate growth.

The foliage emanating from pruning can be used to propagate new plants.

Propagation

Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) is best propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem tip cuttings or by air layering. The stem tip cuttings can be rooted either in soil or in water.

Fiddle Leaf Fig, Ficus lyrata

Ficus lyrata Problems

Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) problems include leaf drop, yellow leaves, leaf spots, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Pests

The common pests in Fiddle Leaf Fig are Aphids, Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects and Spider Mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other plants and treat with Neem oil or Insecticidal soap. Keep the plant properly pruned at all times to reduce the hiding places for these pests.

Diseases

Fiddle Leaf Fig is prone to root-rot disease. The disease is promoted by soggy soil due to poor drainage of the pot or the soil.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is free-draining. Read more on root-rot disease and how to treat it.

Leaf drop

There are four possible causes of leaf drop in Fiddle Leaf Fig. One possible cause of sudden leaf drop is any changes in the growing conditions like soggy soil.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

The second possible cause of leaf drop in Fiddle Leaf Fig is low temperature.

Keep the plant away from cold draughts to avoid a drop in temperature to maintain an average warmth with a minumum of 130C.

The third possible cause of leaf drop in Fiddle Leaf Fig is too little light.

Move the plant to a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving bright light away from direct sunshine or instal a grow light where natural light is not adequate.

The fourth possible cause of leaf drop in Fiddle Leaf Fig is overfeeding. Feed the plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing period.

Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time, thus, the plant does not need it.

Loss of the lower leaves

Loss of lower leaves is a normal occurence in Fiddle Leaf Fig. As the plant matures, it losses the lower leaves leaving a bare stem with a crown of leaves at the top.

Cut back the stem at the desired height to rejuvenate growth. New growth should start below the cut.

Yellowing leaf edges

Yellowing leaf edges in Fiddle Leaf Fig are due to underfeeding. Feed the plant monthly with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing period.

Brown leaf spots

Brown leaf spots are natural for Fiddle Leaf Fig. The spots are due to mechanical injury or attack by spider mites. The plant produces a mildly causatic sap that causes these spots when exposed to the air.

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