The High Maintenance Houseplant: Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Guide

The High Maintenance Houseplant: Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Guide

The fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is a stunning houseplant known for its large, glossy leaves that resemble violins. While undeniably beautiful, this rainforest native has a reputation for being a bit fussy. However, with the right knowledge and care routine, your fiddle leaf fig can thrive indoors and become a cherished part of your home.

Light: The Sunshine Savior

Fiddle leaf figs crave bright, indirect sunlight. Think dappled light filtering through the trees, not harsh afternoon rays. South-facing windows are ideal in the Northern Hemisphere, while north-facing ones are better suited in the Southern Hemisphere. If natural light is limited, consider supplementing with grow lights to mimic their rainforest habitat.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Soil: The Foundation for Growth

Proper drainage is key to preventing root rot, a common fiddle leaf fig enemy. Go for a well-draining potting mix specifically formulated for houseplants. Adding perlite or orchid bark to your mix can further improve drainage.

Watering: The Balancing Act

Fiddle leaf figs prefer consistent moisture, but not soggy soil. The key is to water thoroughly when the top inch of soil dries out. Avoid letting your plant sit in water; ensure excess water drains freely from the pot. Sticking your finger into the soil is a good way to check for moisture – if it feels dry to the touch, it's watering time. Or better still, invest in a good quality moisture meter, to take the guess work out of watering. 

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fertiliser: A Boost for Growth (and Morale)

During the growing season (spring and summer), a balanced fertiliser can give your fiddle leaf fig a nutritional boost. Follow the package instructions for dilution and application frequency. You can continue fertilising during the colder months, just less frequently. Avoid over-fertilising, which can damage the roots. You can opt for a liquid fertiliser such as Growth Technology Foliage Focus. Or if you are more into an organic fertiliser also would prefer to fertilise less frequently. Then We the Wild Support Slow Release Pellets or the new Ferti Grind - Bean to Green Organic fertiliser are the way to go. 

Humidity: Keeping the Air Moist

Fiddle leaf figs hail from a humid environment. While they can tolerate average indoor humidity, providing extra moisture can benefit your plant. Regular misting with filtered water or using a pebble tray filled with water can help. Consider a humidifier for consistent humidity levels, especially during dry winter months.

Protect Spray: A Shield Against Pests

Fiddle leaf figs are generally pest-resistant, but prevention is always better than cure. Using a protect spray formulated for houseplants can deter common houseplant pests like mealybugs and spider mites. Apply the spray according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Bonus Tip: Location, Location, Location

Fiddle leaf figs dislike sudden changes in environment. Once you find a spot with the right light conditions, avoid moving your plant around too much. They are also sensitive to drafts and cold temperatures, so keep them away from air vents and windows during winter.

With a little patience and these care tips, your fiddle leaf fig can reward you with lush, vibrant foliage for years to come. Remember, the key is to mimic the rainforest environment it evolved in – bright indirect light, well-draining soil, consistent moisture, and moderate humidity. So, grab your watering can, and get ready to enjoy the beauty of this iconic houseplant!

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