Indoor plants are certainly making a huge comeback in interior design of late, and ruling the pack is Freddy, the Fiddle Leaf Fig. The ‘root’ cause behind the sudden surge in popularity of the Fiddle Leaf Fig or Ficus lyrata is hard to pinpoint, but they’re certainly not a new kid on the block. Have you binge-watched any naughties tv series recently? What about House? For those of you playing at home, you may remember a Fiddle Leaf Fig sitting proudly in Wilson’s office for many years. Back to now, and it has become the ‘it’ plant of this decade.
Thinking of incorporating one into your interior design? Well here’s some useful tips for keeping them healthy and happy.
Watering your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Like all indoor plants, moisture management is critical. Too much or too little and you will quickly lose your little fig. Homes with air conditioning or heating can throw out your watering regime, so keep a close eye on your potting media. Water your fig weekly moderating the amount of water depending on the size of the pot and weather. Between half and one full cup should be all it needs, maybe a touch more in hot weather or when running the heater.
Stick your finger into the potting mix and water only when the top few centimeters are dry, after a few months, you should learn your figs requirements. Preempt seasonal weather changes, as recovering from neglect can be difficult. If you’re losing leaves low on the tree, you’re probably watering too much!
Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will need a bright spot out of direct sunlight. A northerly aspect wall near a window protected by broad eaves is a perfect place. If you’re thinking of decorating an outdoor space, choose a southerly facing deck or patio and consider moving it indoors through the winter, they hate the cold.
Feeding your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Fortunately, Freddy will need less food them some other house pets, but give it some fertiliser once a month during growing seasons, but not in winter. Use a weak solution of liquid fertiliser such as Thrive by Yates, Seasol or Powerfeed. Give it a break through the winter.
Cleaning the Leaves
All plants, both indoors and out, absorb light through their leaves, and your Fiddle Leaf Fig is no different. This process called photosynthesis is the essence of life for your little guy, and Freddy’s uniquely shaped large leaves are vital to this process. Without fresh air provided by mother nature, dust and oils will accumulate on the leaves limiting the ability to process light energy into chemical energy. Help him out by carefully wiping the leaves regularly with a damp micro fibre cloth.
To encourage branching and a denser foliage, prune the fiddle leaf fig regularly (every year or so). If you’re looking to create a tree, prune from the top, for more compact look prune more evenly around the whole plant. It’s best to prune through the spring and perform regular maintenance throughout the year by removing dead foliage.