Fiddle Leaf Fig

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If you’d like a funky, ‘land of the giants’ plant for indoors but you don’t want to spend much time on maintenance, think about the fiddle leaf fig. Its foliage is spectacular. Each glossy, violin-shaped leaf grows to around 38cm (15″) long. The good news is that there is now a dwarf form available, known as ‘Bambino’.

Plant details

Common name: Fiddle leaf fig 

Botanic name: Ficus lyrata 

Description:

An evergreen tree from tropical Africa growing to around 30m (100’) tall. It has leathery, glossy fiddle-shaped leaves with wavy margins and hairy undersides       

Best look: indoors in a large pot

Good points:

big, glossy leaves
low maintenance
troubled by few pests
can be trained to grow in braids and standards

Downside:

older specimens appear scraggy because the leaves are held only at the end of branches

Care:

The fiddle leaf fig grows best in a well lit position.
Water sparingly. Lower leaves fall off when there is excess water in the soil.
Fiddle leaf figs are slow growing but some do reach ceiling height in optimum conditions. As they grow the trunk becomes progressively thinner. Removing the growing tip encourages the plant to thicken and provide more support for the giant leaves.

Getting started

Fiddle leaf figs are difficult to obtain, but you can ask your local nursery to order one for you. Expect to pay around $50, or $25 for the dwarf fiddle leaf fig.