So you've got yourself a lovely Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata)- now what? The FLF is actually apart of the Moraceae family- just like the Mulberry Tree! So it's almost strange that this fig has become a staple in many indoor styling shoots! Who would have thought that it'd end up being so popular as an indoor plant! It's unusual fiddle shapes leaves are most likely the reason as they are extraordinary to look at. Although labelled as a beginner plant, the FLF isn't as easy too keep happy as it may seem. See below for common problems and care instructions.
CARE: Your new plant will need bright light. However not direct sunlight as this will burn and crisp it's beautiful lush leaves. If your stems start to lean, simply swivel your plant around so that the other side gets enough of the bright light aswell.
SOIL/POTTING: You will need well draining soil for this one! I always suggest getting premium potting mix. These guys like to be root bound- so no giant pots. Once a year check the roots to make sure that they aren't spilling over trying to creep out. If they are- upgrade your plant into a slight bigger pot but again- not huge! You will NEED a pot with drainage holes.
WATER: Watering these guys is the tricky part for new owners. Water only when the soil is dry to touch. Over watering is a common killer for these fussy little babies! These guys love to dry out so make sure you stick your finger in the soil to the second knuckle to check for dryness before even considering giving it some water. Once it's dried out give it a thorough soak until water runs out of the drainage holes. Make sure it's in a plastic pot and not sitting in a decorative pot or tray so you know it's not sitting in a puddle of water after this. Once the water runs out. Decorative pots are fine too, just make sure they are the correct one for your plant. Leave it to dry right out again. Over love is the biggest killer for these ones.
FEEDING: These guys need a feed during growing season (when it starts to warm up). Use a water soluble formula, and feed once a month when you water.
NOTES: Have you ever noticed on Instagram/Pinterest Fiddle Leaf Figs are often portrayed with glossy leaves? Common misconception! Leaf shine is often added to these guys to give a really glossy/glassy effect. Personally I don't use leaf shine, plants receive the nutrients they need from the sun through the pores in their leafs. Simply wipe down the leafs with a damp cloth occasionally when dust starts to build up. This will help add to the glossiness and also assist the photosynthesis cycle.
OEDMEA: This is very common for FLF's and often a cause of panic for new owners. Oedema or Edema are small clusters of maroon/brown small spots. They sort of look like freckles! Oedema comes from inconsistent watering- as you've just read these guys are super fussy about when they get watered. When you receive your plants you'll most likely have this for many reasons. But don't panic! Your plants have been watered a certain way for a reason- especially by nurseries. If your plant is coming to an area with low humidity often they'll be watered thoroughly and inconstantly to prepare them for the journey. Especially in the central west! Most new leafs will produce them, and eventually they will dissapear when they go to their forever homes with a consistent watering routine. The worst thing you can do is google black dots and assume root rot! This isn't root rot! TIP: Grab a moisture meter from Bunnings for $12!
ROOT ROT: Now your in trouble! If your googling brown spots on plant's and your leafs look like this. This is the first indication of root rot. If your recognizing these signs ACT QUICK. Remove the root ball from it's soil- is it wet? Are the roots dark and mushy to touch? You will need to cut all this off and get new fast draining soil. Repot your plant into a smaller pot with excellent drainage and consider moving it somewhere with bright light so that it drys out the soil quicker. I always suggest cutting off the damaged leafs. If all leafs are damaged cut the worst off and leave the rest. Give your plant time to recover. Most importantly- if you've over watered your plant grab a moisture meter and make sure your root ball is dry before you water again. As much as I love to suggest a root conditioner to strengthen your plant- adding water won't help.
TIP: In winter the lack of heat makes soil dry out a lot slower- be careful when watering in winter.