Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata)

Origin 

Natively from Western Africa- tropical region.  

Light 

Place your plant near a window to receive bright indirect sunlight. Ideally an east facing window will provide it with bright light without the heat of the afternoon sun.  

Temperature 

The Ficus Lyrata originates all the way from the tropical region of Western Africa. Therefore ideally you would like to resemble the conditions of the tropics. The plants thrive in temperatures between 15-24°C and does not like extreme temperature variations. Try to keep it away from air conditioners or other heating machines as this will cause the humidity to drop and damage the leaves.   

Fertilizer 

In nature plants will receive the adequate nutrients through the soil and the nutrients get replenished as other plants and animals decomposes. Your pot bound plant in your home may use up all of the nutrients and therefore you should fertilize. However, Ficus Lyrata does not need remarkable fertilizer- it is a forgiving plant that can grow excellent in a good soil mixture. Fertilize once a month with diluted/weak liquid fertilizer during spring if you would like it to thrive. 

Water 

Best water practises for this plant is to water it as the top soil layer dries out- you can feel this with your fingers. This plant does not like to be overwatered- rather forget to water it than water too much as the soil will have no air left and no oxygen can be absorbed by the roots which cause root rot. During winters months, lay off watering even more- as this is not the growing season and little water is used by the plant 

Humidity 

No specific needs for humidity, however, if you like turning on your heater during cold winter months you may want to increase humidity with a humidifier to help the plant along. 

Cleaning 

This big, violin shaped leaves love to collect dust and therefore wiping it clean is a must as the dust particles obstruct the sunlight to reach the food making machines (leaves). Use a damp cloth and wipe it down gently. It will in return reveal its glossy appearance again.  

Soil 

Any good draining soil will do the trick.   

Re-potting 

While the plant is still young re-pot it every spring as the roots grow aggressively during this stage. Re-pot it in a bigger size pot until the plant reaches the size that you would like it to be. Keeping it in a certain size container control the growth thereof.   

Propagation 

The Ficus is not the easiest plant to propagate, but, if you are up for the challenge why not give it a try. Cut the stem, add rooting hormone to the cut and plant the cutting. Keep the soil temperature moderate as heat will fasten the proses and increase the chances of a successful propagation. Air layering is also an option. –Wat is dit? It is more difficult. But can be more rewarding/ higher chances of success.  

Pruning 

You can prune the top of your tree to the desired height, but you don’t have to prune. Pruning will encourage side growth and your tree will become bushier