Indoor plants have many benefits, including their irresistible curb appeal. One of the plants that you can be proud of is the indoor fig tree.
This particular plant variety does not require much maintenance. It is very resilient to pests and diseases and bears attractive foliage.
However, taking care of a fiddle leaf fig tree is a must. If you want to get the best out of this indoor tree, you have to do everything presented in this article.
This is a complete guide on how to grow and care for a fiddle leaf fig tree. It also includes some of the problems you are likely to face with it.
- What Is A Fiddle Leaf Fig? Is A Fig Tree Easy To Care For?
- 8 Things To Keep In Mind When Care For Indoor Fig Tree
- Common Problems In Fig Tree
- Tips For Fig Tree Indoor
What Is A Fiddle Leaf Fig? Is A Fig Tree Easy To Care For?
Ficus Lyrata, commonly known as the fiddle leaf fig tree, is one of the most common indoor plants you will find in many commercial and residential properties.
Undoubtedly, you must have seen this attractive plant in the front pages of magazines and living spaces of luxurious homes.
The fiddle fig tree is a plant native to West Africa. It usually grows to a minimum height of 40 feet if left unpruned or untrimmed.
This means you have to do your best to control its vertical growth if grown indoors. This tree grows well in hardiness zones classified as zones 9-11.
This indoor tree grows by a few feet every year under standard conditions and proper care. Their towering structure has made them the most popular indoor plants of our generation.
8 Things To Keep In Mind When Care For Indoor Fig Tree
Every plant, whether grown indoors or outdoors, needs optimum growth conditions.
As the custodian of the fiddle leaf fig tree, you need to ensure enough quality light, water, nutrients, temperature, and humidity. Additionally, you should carry out routine maintenance practices.
Fiddle leaf fig trees require pruning, pests and diseases control, and repotting. All these practices must be carried out at the appropriate time.
Light is essential for the growth of every green plant, and the fiddle leaf fig tree is not exceptional. In fact, this particular plant requires a lot of light.
To ensure it receives quality sunlight, place the potted plant near an east-facing window.
Over time, the plant will grow towards the window. This bending structure can ruin the aesthetics of the plant.
Ensure the plant is rotated at least once every month to cancel the effects of auxins that make fiddle leaf fig grow towards the window or source of light.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants are native to tropical rainforests. This means they cannot survive in places with less soil moisture. In fact, they are well adapted to damp and humid conditions with short dry periods in between.
Water your potted fiddle leaf fig plant with enough water and as often as possible. Keep the soil moisture content at the recommended level.
However, do not waterlog the pot as this will have adverse effects on the plant. The plant should be given time to breathe in between watering periods.
Use your bare hands to determine when it is time to water the plant. If the soil feels damp, you do not need to add water but check again after a few days.
Suitable Soil And Fertilizer
Fiddle leaf does not require much fertilization, but it is a good idea to give it an extra boost. Match the feeding program with the growing season.
That is to say, apply appropriate fertilizers in the spring and summer months.
Fertilization is not necessary if you choose the best potting soil. Fiddle leaf fig plant requires well-drained soil. The roots need to respire.
That is compromised when they sit in damped soil for too long. The recommended soil is the light cactus soil with a pH value of about 6.5-7. Acidic soil should be avoided as it prevents the plant from absorbing nutrients.
Temperature And Humidity
Fiddle leaf fig plants are tropical plants that will only perform well in warm and humid conditions.
The appropriate temperatures for growing them range from 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit and above 50% humidity. This means you need to set up humidifiers if you live in regions with very low humidity.
These plants should be potted and kept away from direct wind and heating vents. This is necessary to keep leaves in shape and increase the growth rate.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil
Pot Size Suitable/Repot
Fiddle leaf fig plants can grow well in any potting material provided there is enough drainage.
Ensure the drainage holes are about 2-3 larger than the root balls of the plant. Proper drainage is the key to healthy plant growth. Poor drainage can lead to root rot and hinder nutrient uptake.
As the plant will outsize the pot. Roots growing too close to the pot edges or protruding out are signs of time to repot the plant.
More space is necessary to encourage root growth, which supplies the plant nutrients and offers the support needed.
Tip the pot on the sides to loosen the soil. Carefully remove the plant without breaking the roots. You might need to massage the plant roots once they are out of the pot.
Find an appropriate container, place the soil, and put back the plant. Fill the side with soil, leaving a few inches on top. Water it and place the repotted plant next to the window.
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Routine Maintenance/Clean The Leaves
Apart from watering, you might need to clean leaves to remove dust, the way you do with all other indoor features. Fiddle leaf fig trees have green leaves.
This means dust will be visible and will ruin the curb appeal of the plant. Find time, maybe once a week, to clean the leaves and remove old ones.
Prune The Plant. The Key Is To Prune Properly
Fiddle leaf fig plant pruning is done to encourage growth. By removing damaged leaves, you give the plant more time to feed the healthy ones.
Removing lateral branches will also improve air circulation and sunlight penetration for healthy growth.
You can also reshape your tree according to your preference through pruning. This means you can control both lateral and vertical growth by cutting back either the shoot or branches.
To do this properly, use the recommended pruning knife and make a plane cut at least an inch away from the main stem.
When pruning, avoid causing injuries or damaging the main stem. Only prune when necessary and never overdo it.
Eliminate Its Enemies/Pests
Fiddle leaf fig trees can be infested by pests such as mealybugs, mites, scales, and aphids.
Some bacterial diseases can also affect the growth of the plant. You need to find this on time and eliminate all the pests and diseases.
Holes on the leaves or other odd growth characteristics are signs of pests and diseases on the plant. Check the leaves and manually wipe them off with a mild insecticide or soapy water.
Common Problems In Fig Tree
Regardless of how much you try to keep your fiddle leaf fig tree healthy, it can still experience some problems.
These issues can take various forms, such as leaf discoloration, unexplained falling of leaves, drooping, and many others. You need to find the cause and solutions to the problems on time.
Change Color Of Leaves
Leaves can turn yellow or have unsightly spots when the plant is not getting enough light or is affected by diseases and pests. The inadequate nutrient can also cause leaf discoloration.
First, check the possibility of diseases or pest infestations. Secondly, test the soil pH and nutrient constituents and make adjustments as necessary.
Checking the pot size and quality of light that your fiddle leaf fig plant receives can also help solve the problem.
Falling of leaves is normal if only the bottom ones are affected. The old leaves droop and fall off over time. It becomes a problem if the entire plant has drooping leaves, which eventually fall off.
This can be caused by drafts, excess heat, or lack of enough moisture in the potting soil. Try adjusting these parameters to appropriate levels.
Tips For Fig Tree Indoor
- Always make sure not to provide too much or too little of all the above elements, including water, light, soil, fertilizer, etc.
- Fiddle Leaf Figs need a lot of natural light and do best when placed directly in front of a window.
- Rotate your tree once a month to keep it standing straight and tall. Fiddle Leaf Figs, in particular, like to reach towards the light, so if you don’t rotate it, you’ll notice them bending over time.
- Repot the plant when appropriate. The roots need enough space to grow and absorb enough nutrients to support the healthy growth of the plant.
Maintaining a fiddle leaf fig plant isn’t easy, but the efforts are rewarding. If you do everything as mentioned and keep it free from pests and diseases, this plant will add immense beauty to your living space.
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