Originally from West Africa, the fiddle leaf fig is one of the most popular houseplants for apartments today. Its name refers to the shape of its leaf, which can look like a fiddle or violin. In an outdoor environment, this flowering plant can actually grow between 10 to 15 metres in the ground – it’s also a common ornamental tree in tropical gardens.

Fiddle leaf figs do make for reliable and tough indoor plants, but it’s important to remember a few basic plant care instructions. Here are some tips.

When to water

Water your plant only when it is dry to touch or if the pot feels light. If the potting mix feels moist, then leave it and check it again after a few days. When it’s time to water, one of the easiest ways is to sit it under a shower or place it in bath, allowing the excess to drain away. The roots do hate wet feet, so avoid having them submerged in wet saucers.

Light and position

As indoor plants, fiddle leaf figs love indirect natural light. Try to avoid placing it at dark corners, inside an air-conditioned room or under hot sunlight coming in from a window.

Fertilising

It’s good to apply a liquid feed when you are watering the plant. Otherwise, a nitrogen based fertiliser works as a general houseplant food.

Re-potting

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Credit: 123RF

One of the most common problems is when your fiddle leaf fig becomes root bound as the fig family are big rooters. Roots that quickly fill any pot, making it hard for the plant to absorb water and nutrients.

The solution is, of course, to give the roots a new home by re-potting it into a bigger pot. If your plant is 20cm in diameter, then buy a 30cm pot – if you have a 30cm diameter plant, then buy a 40cm diameter pot.

Text: Homes To Love