Ficus lyrata - the fiddle-leaf fig - is a species in the mulberry and fig family Moraceae, native to western Africa where it grows in lowland tropical rainforest. It is a popular ornamental tree in subtropical and tropical gardens and is grown as a houseplant in temperate areas.
It is a banyan fig that starts as an epiphyte high in the crown of another tree, then sends roots down to the ground which envelop the trunk of the host tree and slowly strangle it. It sometimes also grows as a free-standing tree on its own, growing up to 12–15 m (39–49 ft) tall in the wild. The leaves broadly resemble a lyre or fiddle, with a leathery texture, prominent veins and a wavy margin.
Sowing & planting
100 - 300
6.6 - 7
Identify my fiddle-leaf fig
Ficus are a genus in the family Moraceae including trees, shrubs or lianas.
The fiddle feaf fig free is recognizable by its large alternate leaves, coriaceous, shiny green, wavy, with rather conspicuous yellow veins.
Plant my fiddle-leaf fig
The fig tree grows indoors in a temperate climate, in a greenhouse or under a veranda in summer, since its preferred temperature is between 18 and 25 ° C and it will not support cold below 7 ° C. Place it in full light, without direct sun, in a rich and draining soil.
Avoid tanks with water reserve: the roots of ficus do not support to have their feet constantly in the water.
Water my fiddle-leaf fig
As soon as the soil becomes dry on one centimeter, water so as to moisten all of it. During the growth period (spring, summer), watering should be regular - once or twice a week - but measured in order not to asphyxiate the roots of plants. In the fall, space the waterings gently, until winter when a simple influx of water once a month should suffice.
Spray my fiddle-leaf fig
In dry weather, spray your ficus with water not too hard, clean the dust on the leaves: it will be all the more beautiful and you will protect it from red spiders - its main enemy!
Prune my fiddle-leaf fig
Simple pruning will give your ficus the perfect pick-me-up!
At the beginning of spring, when you can smell the first growth of vegetation, arm yourself with a good pair of pruners, shears, gloves and — pro tip! — with a tarp or an old sheet. This will help protect the soil, since ficus produce a sticky, white sap (latex), while also making collecting and disposing of the trimmed branches a breeze! Latex is a good thing — it protects wounds in the tree from diseases!
You can do a quick spring trim by cutting back most of the branches about 10 cm to encourage growth, or more radically by completely getting rid of any bare or dry branches. Your ficus will appreciate it and come back looking even more beautiful!
Fertilize my fiddle-leaf fig
In summer, add liquid fertilizer for green plants every 2 weeks. You can also add slow release fertilizer pellets to the soil mix when planting or repotting. Stop all fertilizer treatments at the end of summer.
Repot my fiddle-leaf fig
Every three or four years, at the end of winter, repot your ficus!
You can also repot your ficus when you purchase it, especially if the pot falls or tips too easily. That's a sign your ficus cramped for room!
Choose a large clay pot, approximately 5cm larger than the original, with heavy, thick walls to help your plant balance. Ficus benjamina has a very high centre of gravity and tends to lean and tip over.
Thoroughly spray down the original pot and place any leftover stones, clay pellets and drainage rocks in the bottom of the new pot. Mix potting soil for green plants with a little jardin soil, and fill a a third of the pot.
Remove the ficus from it's pot. If the pot is stuck, you can cut it shears or pruners.
Clean off the roots, place the root ball on the potting soil mixture and cover with more potting soil.
Tamp the soil firmly, and finish by watering!
The next water can be down in one week. Let your ficus dry a little so it can lay down it's roots.
Propagate my fiddle-leaf fig
There isn't really a specific season to take a cutting from you ficus!
Using sharp pruners, cut a section of healthy branch at a 45 degree angle, then remove the oldest leaves and keep only the four or five newest leaves at the tip. Finally, soak the cutting in a glass of water and leave it in a warm room.
Change the water regularly. It will only take a few weeks before you see roots appearing at the cut end of the stem.
When you're confident that there are enough healthy new roots, you may plant the cutting in a light substrate.
Check on my fiddle-leaf fig
The ficus are very sensitive to mealybugs, small brown insects often present in large numbers on the leaves.
You can also see white felting on the back of the leaves. To fight against mealybugs, simply clean the affected leaves by passing a cotton swab above: the mealybugs will hang on it.
Put outside my fiddle-leaf fig
If you can, place your ficus outside, in half-shade.
Shelter my fiddle-leaf fig
Tuck your ficus indoors in a room at a temperature of 18-22 ° C, not going down below 15 ° C for the whole winter. Place it near a window, in bright light, without direct sun, sheltered from cold drafts.