Auburn, Ala.- Named the “It” plant of the Design World by New York Times, the Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree is among the newest trend in Home Décor. These dark green, relatively small trees are being seen in homes, office spaces, restaurants and retail shops.
Although the trees are a staple for any room, they require specific care to thrive in homes. “These plants aren’t difficult to maintain if you have the time to care for them. They are more water-intensive than other houseplants,” said Taylor Vandiver, an Alabama Extension regional agent in home grounds, gardens and home pests.
The Fiddle-Leaf Fig is native to the rainforest in Africa, and is use to humid, moist conditions. “It does not like to be soaking wet and it does not like dry conditions. It likes to be somewhere in the middle,” Vandiver said.
How to Care for Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig
Overwatering the plant is one of the worst things you can do. Water the plant only when the top soil becomes slightly dry to the touch. “It is helpful to stick your finger into the soil. The topsoil often dries out in our homes, so check if the soil is dry a couple inches down before watering,” added Vandiver. The plant requires different amounts of water based on the season.
Plant in a fast-draining pot. The Fiddle-Leaf does not like to sit in water. The plants have a relatively large root system, but only require repotting annually. “If you notice roots coming out of the bottom or top of the pot, either prune the roots or repot the plant in a bigger pot,” said Vandiver.
These plants do best with high, indirect light exposure. Find a brightly lit spot in your home. Do not place your plant in front a window or door that will give it direct light. The best sunlight is southern exposure.
- Find one spot for the plant. It takes time to get used to its new habitat. These plants do not like to be moved from place to place.
- Mist. These plants enjoy the humidity, so misting the leaves increases the humidity and allows the plant to grow better, especially in colder months.
- Dust. The massive leaves collect a lot of dust, which prevents the leaves from absorbing the sunlight and completing photosynthesis. It is important for the plant’s health to clean them. “Every 1 to 2 weeks, dust with water and a cloth and mist your plant,” Vandiver added.
- Rotate. Rotate your plant every couple days so it gets equal sun exposure.
- Fertilize. “Every other week, mix in a fertilizer with the water. The Fiddle-Leaf will not be unhappy with a little bit of fertilizer,” said Vandiver.
My Fiddle-Leaf Fig Seems to be Dying. What do I do?
Many problems with Fiddle-Leaf Figs occur when a plant is first placed in a home. It may experience dropping leaves and browning as it adjusts to its new home. Do not get discouraged if this happens. Here are some things that might cause certain problems.
Brown Spots on Leaves
If the plant’s leaves have begun turning brown or have brown spots on them: this can mean a couple of things:
Often, when these plants get too much water, the leaves turn brown. Check to see if there is too much water on top or in the bottom of the pot. It may require replanting if the soil is too dry. Remember, it is better to under water than to saturate it with too much.
When you first place the Fiddle-Leaf Fig into a home, it will take time to adjust and get used to its new environment.
These plants are use to humid climate. When they are right under an air conditioner vent, the plant does not like the cold temperature. Try to increase the heat in the room or move it away from the direct flow of the colder air.
The Leaves Are Falling Off
If the plant keeps losing leaves, it can mean a couple of things:
- New Growth
If new leaves are growing on the top of your Fiddle-Leaf, often bottom leaves on the tree will drop to promote the growth of the new leaves.
- It is Either Thirsty or Too Quenched
If leaves are dropping, most likely you are overwatering, or underwatering. This is hard to tell specifically so try to observe your watering habits and make the adjustments needed.
Leaves Are Yellow or Discolored
- Water less
This is a definite sign that the plant is getting too much water