Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush
Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush (ficus lyrata) is the plant you’ve been looking for to fill that large empty space in any bright room in your home or apartment.
Mature Height: 6 to 12 feet if unpruned
Mature Width: 6 to 8 feet
Sunlight: Indirect sunlight.
Indoor Temperature: 60 to 70F
Humidity Level: Prefers a humid environment, Mist occasionally
Water Requirements: Allow to dry out between waterings.
Does Not Ship To: CA, WA, OR, AZ
Placing a little piece of nature inside the house or apartment does not necessarily mean it will be difficult to maintain. Many plants that offer a beautiful and elegant look in the house are also easy to grow, such as fiddle leaf fig (ficus lyrata). Fiddle Leaf Fig is well suited for growing indoors because it does not become excessively large and at the same time remain noticeable. Fiddle Leaf Bush form is grown with multiple “plants” per pot (typically 2 to 3 stems).
Planting Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush:
If you live in a northern are where you must plant your Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush in a container we suggest first that you select the right size pot with adequate drainage holes. A Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush typically wants to grow in about a 12” diameter pot. A large plastic pot such as the 14″ Brunello Planter that is part of our Crescent Collection of Resin Planters. These are ideal because it allows the moisture level of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush to be maintained at a constant level between waterings. This is very important for proper growing of Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush. Any pot will do however you will need to be sure the pot will drain. We suggest putting a layer of stones or gravel approximately 1 to 1.5 inches thick at the bottom inside of the container you choose. This will allow for proper drainage and assure the drainage holes in the pot do not become blocked over time.
Use a soil mix that is lightweight and drains well such as Ocean Forest Potting Mix from Fox Farm. If the mix you choose contains a large proportion of dense, absorbent material, such as peat moss, amend with 1/4-1/3 volume of pine bark. Before you fill the new pot with soil, now is a great time to add BioTone starter fertilizer to the soil mix before planting the Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush. Bio-tone starter fertilizer is a great starter fertilizer that provides plants with mycorrhizae fungus. It is a naturally occuring beneficial fungus that colonizes on the new growing roots of plants. It creates a barrier between the roots of the plant and fungi and pathogens that can cause root rot. We love this product and use it on all plants we install at our own homes. Bio-tone is a gardeners best friend and can help guarantee your success.Water in the Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush thoroughly. Once the roots have settled, we prefer using Jacks Classic Houseplant fertilizer. Jacks classic fertilizer is specially blended for houseplants such as a Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush. it is mixed with water and applied to the plant during watering.
Watering Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush:
Develop a watering schedule so the roots maintain even moisture, but are not waterlogged. Water just often enough to keep the soil slightly moist but let the top 1 inch surface to dry out between waterings. Elevate pots on stones in a saucer to keep them above standing drainage water. A moisture tester can be an excellent tool to help determine when roots are in need of a drink. Because most commercial moisture testers rely on an electrical conductivity method, however it is possible to get miss-readings due to high salinity caused by fertilizers or other conditions. An alternative method recently shared with us by a New England tropical plant enthusiast simply employs a plain wooden dowel about the diameter of a pencil. Sharpen it with a whittling method (sharp knife) or pencil sharpener. Then insert this into the pot at varying depths, shallow to deeper, determining moisture using your direct senses (feel, smell, etc.).
Consistency is the key to success with a Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush. Fiddle Leaf Fig trees require soil that is moist but never soggy. Watering frequency will vary with soil porosity, tree size, and environmental factors. DO NOT WATER IF THE TOP OF THE SOIL IS DRY WITHOUT CHECKING THE SOIL AT ROOT LEVEL! Again a simple moisture meter, available at garden supply stores, will read moisture at the root level. This inexpensive tool will allow you to never have to guess about whether or not a plant needs water. A wilted tree that perks up within 24 hours after watering indicates the roots got too dry. Adjust the watering schedule accordingly. A tree with yellow or cupped leaves, or leaves that don’t look perky AFTER watering can indicate excessive watering and soggy roots. Give your tree water less often.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush will prefer infrequent, deep watering to frequent, shallow sprinklings. Deeper watering promotes deeper root growth and strengthens your tree. Be sure to adjust based on weather conditions! In the summer it will require frequent waterings but in winter you should reduce the watering frequency to avoid root rot. In general, it is probably best to water in the morning, but if plants are dry or wilted it is better to water them right away than wait until morning.
Fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush:
Fertilize your Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush about once a month with a water soluble houseplant fertilizer such as Jacks Classic. In our opinion it is best best to water monthly with the low rate as specified on the fertilizer label. This will avoid buildup of salts in the soil from over fertilization. Its best not to feed indoor plants during the winter months as the plant will not be in an active state of growth and therefore will not require as much nutrients. To put it simply avoid feeding when it is not in active growth, usually in winter.
Never fertilize a plant with a chemical fertilizer if the plant looks sick or wilted. If a plant is struggling due to a disease or root problems, the fertilizer will only add stress to it’s life. Try to cure the problem before adding fertilizer.
Understang Fertilizer Labels:
When looking at most fertilizers, they are described by three numbers on the container. An example would be 10-10-10 or 12-4-8. The first of these three numbers refers to Nitrogen, which is the primary element necessary for good, balanced growth within the plant. Plants that are deficient in Nitrogen are usually not growing vigorously, and sometimes exhibit pale colored foliage as in the case of most plants. Not all Nitrogen deficiencies result in stunted growth. Sometimes, the growth is taller and longer with less than desirable branching when Nitrogen is deficient. The second number in the fertilizer equation is representative of Phosphorus. A deficiency of Phosphorus may affect the energy transfer in the plant, and result in stunted growth as well. Also, plants with insufficient amounts of Phosphorus may have poorer root systems. Potassium is the element represented by the third number on the fertilizer bag. Potassium is the major element required for fruit trees to produce fruit. Plants that are deficient in Potassium, are usually growing more slowly than normal, have fewer flowers and seed, and are more susceptible to disease than plants with adequate levels of Potassium. Although the three elements just mentioned are the major elements necessary for good plant performance, there some minor elements that are just as important in consideration of plant nutrition.
Minor elements that are not included in the three numbers listing on the front of fertilizer bags are very important considerations when choosing your plants fertilizer. Elements such as Magnesium, Sulfur, Calcium, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Boron, and Molybdenum play very important roles in providing plants with adequate nutrition. Many times, less expensive fertilizers are sold that contain only the major elements needed, but not the minor elements. Always be sure to look on the fertilizer label on the back of the bag to see exactly what is included in the fertilizer. Always, read the label on your fertilizer bag, and follow the instructions.
Proper fertilization of your Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush will lead to healthier and more disease resistant plants, as well as provide you with many more enjoyable years of successful indoor plant growing.
Pruning Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush:
Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush will look fuller with occasional pruning to shape leggy branches, and can be shaped as desired. Pruning is fine any time of year, except in the winter for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush. Some Fiddle leaf figs may develop erratic juvenile growth from time to time. If so, prune for shape and balance. Don’t be afraid to completely prune off an erratic branch if it is too irregular or crossing another branch. Other healthy branches will replace it.
Cleaning the leaves of a Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush:
Cleaning the leaves is an important fiddle leaf plant care step. Its large feathery foliage becomes dusty quite often. to clean the leaves simply place one hand on the underside of the leaf and gently pull a damp cloth over the upper surface of the leave. Use a soft cloth so you will have no worry about scratching the surface of the leaf. After the leaves dry you can give your Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush a glossy look by using Bonide Leaf shine and Moisture Guard.
Repotting a fiddle Leaf Fig Bush:
Every 2-3 years repot the Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush or whenever you find that it is root bound, providing a container slightly larger than the previous one.