I like to think I have a green thumb.
When I moved out of NJ for a few years, I gave all of my plants to friends and family.
Well, they’re back and better than ever.
My pothos is overflowing and the little palms are thriving.
The ficus iyrata, otherwise known as the fiddle leaf fig (or as I call her, Fiona) on the other hand is a shell of her former self.
When I bought Fiona, she had just won the Miss America Pageant and was looking good with tons of leaves with just a few brown spots on them.
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Can’t find them near you? You can buy fiddle leaf figs online HERE.
Here’s what the fiddle leaf fig looked when I first got it (can you believe the palm is a faux HomeGoods find)!
I brought her home and showered her with love.
Four months later, Fiona seems depressed (many leaves have fallen off) and she’s taken to eating gallons of ice cream late at night while watching sappy romantic comedies.
I’ve been nursing her back to health and she seems to be making a comeback.
If you’ve yearned for a fiddle leaf fig, I’m sharing my trial and error tips to keep yours happy and healthy.
Our air conditioned and heated houses are nothing like the dark, moist tropical climate where fiddle leaf figs are native.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Tips
Fiddles don’t like to be moved and when you bring one home, don’t be discouraged if it drops some leaves. That is perfectly normal and should stop if you follow these tips.
Buy a fiddle leaf fig tree online HERE if you can’t find one near you.
Water – I went through lots of trial and error and found that when the top inch of soil (stick your finger in) is dry, it’s time to water. Once a week works for Fiona but weather changes may mean I’ll need to water more or less often. I stick her in the sink, soak her and let her drain then pop her back in the pot. If dry, brown patches appear on your leaves, you’re under watering. If leaves flop and turn yellow, over watering is probably the issue.
Sun – bright, indirect sunlight is key for survival. Fiddles don’t like direct sunlight (southern or western exposure) so I put my fiddle in my family room where it gets morning sun and lots of light (eastern exposure). I first had it in my living room and then kitchen trying to find the perfect spot for it which leads me to mention … DO NOT MOVE YOUR PLANT! Sorry for shouting but once you find the perfect spot for your fig, leave it there.
Fertilize – once in spring and a few times in summer but never in winter or fall. Use a weak, water soluble fertilizer or you will risk burning the leaves with anything stronger.
Temperature – keep your fig away from cold drafts. It’s a catch 22 because you want your fiddle near a window for sunlight but that is where it’s drafty. Think about weatherstripping your windows if it’s really drafty.
Clean – get rid of dust with a little bit of melted coconut oil to really shine up the leaves!
Spritz – keep your plant happy by giving it showers – mist it often during the winter months. I bought a plastic spray bottle that I leave near the plant.
Repot – when your plant seems to be outgrowing it’s pot (you’ll see roots coming out of the bottom of the plastic pot), it’s time to repot. I may need to do this soon and I’ll look for a pot that is not more than 2″ larger in diameter than it’s current pot. This is a fast growing plant and you may need to repot every year!
Now that Fiona is in the right location and getting all the love and care in the world, she’s been doing much better and I know she’ll soon be sprouting tons of new leaves.
So there you go. It’s not as simple as Keeping a Succulent Alive but it’s worth the effort. I’ll report back after winter to let you know if Fiona survives.
I’ve got to run, she’s demanding mint chocolate chip ice cream while she watches The Notebook.