Ficus lyrata, the fiddle ficus

Potted short fiddle leaf fig

Ficus lyrata, the fiddle-leaf fig, is a very beautiful indoor plant. Many find its thick, shiny green leaves very appealing.

Key facts

NameFicus lyrata
FamilyMoraceae
Type – indoor plant

Height – 10 feet (3 meters) indoors
Soil type – soil mix
Exposure – abundant indirect light
Foliage – evergreen

The fiddle ficus is always a favorite houseplant. With proper care, its magnificent lush green leaves will catch the eye year in, year out!

Caring for Ficus lyrata

This tropical plant, like other Ficus, abhors dry air and must be provided with as much moisture as is possible to compensate this lack.

  • It must be set in a luminous room but cannot be exposed to sunlight.
  • It likes temperatures from 60 to 75°F (15 to 25°C).
  • Watering is needed when the soil is dry, but not abundantly and always with water at room temperature.

Moisture needs and watering

Aside from regularly misting leaves, the fiddle leaf fig’s pot can be set on a 1 inch (3 cm) bed of clay pebbles. These you can drench in water from time to time, so that evaporation can bring moisture up to the leaves.

Exposure

Good light without being in direct sunlight is best. Avoid moving it too often because this plant needs time to adjust to its new setting.

Watering Ficus lyrata

The Ficus lyrata tree is a tropical plant that needs water and high air moisture.

  • Water at least 1 time a week, but wait for the soil to be dry before watering again.
  • Oppositely, in winter, you may space the watering somewhat.
  • Feel free however to mist the leaves on a regular basis, this will increase leafage quality and keep the leaves from drying up, especially in winter when the heating runs at full blast.

Pruning and trimming Ficus lyrata

Ficus lyrata copes with pruning very well.

  • Pruning fiddle-leaf fig on a regular basis will lead it to branch out more.
  • You can prune it once or twice a year, better at the end of summer and at the end of winter.
  • No need to cut the tree back severely, light pruning is enough.
  • This helps keep the foliage lush.

Ficus lyrata diseases

When it’s well cared for, F. lyrata is a pretty resistant houseplant, but there are a few mistakes that will lead directly to disease and to pest invasions.

Falling leaves

  • Potted fiddle leaf figThis may be connected to a change of pots or of place.
  • It may also lack light, in which case you must provide more light to it.
  • Ficus lyrata loses its leaves if its roots wallow in water.
  • It should quickly bounce back more vigorous than ever.

Leaves turn yellow

  • The most common cause of this is a red spider mite attack.
  • Simply treat it with organic mite killer sold in garden stores.
  • Avoid chemical products, especially indoors!

White blotches on leaves

Stunning Fiddle leaf fig varieties

Different varieties of ficus lyrata differ in sizeThough most Ficus lyrata are simply sold as such – Fiddle leaf fig – some varieties stand out. They deserve the extra recognition that uniqueness offers!

  • The ‘Bambino’ fiddle leaf ficus is a dwarf variety. It grows smaller than the normal Ficus lyrata. Perfect for apartments!
  • The ‘Variegata’ Ficus lyrata has beautiful light-colored markings on the leaves.

Smart tip about Ficus lyrata

It is a plant which which doesn’t like being moved around. It also doesn’t cope well with being in drafty spots of the house.


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Leaves shaped like fiddles by Kara Eads under Unsplash license
Wicker basket with plant by Lauren Mancke under Unsplash license
Fig-shaped leaves by Kira Laktionov under Unsplash license