There are many kinds of fig trees, ranging from the hardy Brown Turkey Fig to large jungle trees. The Fiddle Leaf Fig is one of the most attractive, with large leaves that are shaped a little like the body of a violin. This evergreen tree will grow outdoors in any area free of frost, but everywhere else it makes a great houseplant, with a real personality. It can often be seen gracing the pages of interior design magazines, as it has just the right look for modern interiors. It is also a great plant to bring height and bulk to your solarium or screened terrace, perhaps mixed with other tropical plants.
The leaves can be up to 18 inches long and 12 inches wide. They are leathery, with clearly-visible veins and a wavy margin. It grows well indoors or in a solarium, either in sun or light shade. If it is growing in a pot it can be placed outdoors during warmer weather, only being brought in when there is a risk of freezing. During warmer weather it makes an attractive plant on a patio or terrace, or around your pool. With its large leaves it brings a ‘tropical’ feel to any space, and it is easy to grow too. If you do not have a suitable place outdoors it will live happily indoors all year round.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig, Ficus lyrata, comes originally from the tropical rainforests of western Africa, in countries like Sierra Leone. It has been taken to most tropical and subtropical regions, and it can be seen in tropical gardens everywhere. If you live in a frost-free zone it makes a dramatic medium-sized bushy tree, that can reach 30 to 40 feet in height, and be up to 30 feet wide, although it can be kept much smaller with regular trimming. It will grow in full-sun or the shade of larger trees, and its big leaves give it a real ‘presence’. Outdoor trees develop non-edible figs, but indoors trees rarely have these. Our trees are produced by a specialist grower, and they are sturdy and well-developed plants, quite unlike cheaper weak, seedling plants.
Usually the Fiddle Leaf Fig is grown as a houseplant, either permanently indoors, or placed outdoors during the summer months. Indoors it will grow to around 6 feet tall, or taller in time. It has an upright form, with several side branches decorated with those attractive leaves. It has a strong form and looks great against a white or pastel-colored wall. It should be grown in a place with bright light, or direct sunlight, and turned occasionally if it begins to lean towards a window. Plant it in a good-sized pot with drainage holes, in regular indoor house-plant potting soil. Water regularly, whenever the top inch or so of the soil becomes dry. Always water thoroughly so that water runs out of the drainage holes into the saucer. Do not leave it standing in a saucer of water. Use liquid house-plant fertilizer designed for foliage plants, normally every two weeks from early spring to late fall, or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. During winter, when light levels are low, do not feed your tree, and let the soil become a little drier than normal, but do not let it dry completely.
You can place your tree outdoors during warmer weather, and it will benefit from the outside atmosphere and the activity of birds and beneficial insects in controlling any pests that may develop. Move the tree outside, and back inside again, when the outdoor night temperatures are close to the temperature in the indoor space where you normally keep it. Never expose your tree to freezing temperatures. Place your tree outdoors in similar light-levels as those it has indoors, as a sudden increase in light levels may burn the foliage, as a sudden drop may cause leaves to fall.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a terrific houseplant, with just the right look for modern décor. It is easy to grow, and its fascinating leaves bring just the right touch to your home. Taken outdoors in summer it gives you garden or terrace a tropical look. Planted permanently outdoors in areas without winter frost, it makes a wonderful garden tree. We have a good supply of top-grade plants, but demand is high, so order now to enjoy this fascinating plant in your own home.