Ficus Lyrata: The Ultimate Guide for Plant Parents

If you’re looking to fill that empty office corner or add a statement piece to your living room, the Ficus lyrata, also known as the fiddle-leaf fig, is a fantastic choice. This trendy plant has been making waves on social media for its stunning, violin-shaped leaves and its ability to elevate any space. But before you rush out to get one, let’s dive into how to care for this beauty so it thrives in your home or office.

1. Choosing the Right Spot

Ficus lyrata loves bright, indirect light. Think of a spot near a large window where it can soak up plenty of light without being scorched by direct sun.

  • Ideal Locations: Place it in your living room, bedroom, or even a well-lit office corner. It’s perfect for filling up empty spaces and adding a touch of greenery.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Too much direct sunlight can burn its leaves. Filtered light is best, so a spot with sheer curtains works wonders.

2. Watering Routine

Consistency is key with watering your fiddle-leaf fig. Too much or too little can cause problems.

  • When to Water: Water your potted Ficus lyrata when the top couple of centimetres of the soil feels dry to the touch. This usually means watering about once a week, but it can vary based on your home’s humidity and temperature.
  • How to Water: Water thoroughly until you see water draining out of the bottom of the pot. Make sure your pot has drainage holes to prevent root rot.

3. Humidity and Temperature

Ficus lyrata loves a bit of humidity, so it’s perfect for a bathroom with a window. If that’s not an option, here’s how to keep it happy: If your home is dry, especially in winter, an easy way to raise the humidity is to place a tray of water near the plant.  Keep your Ficus in a warm spot, avoiding cold drafts and sudden temperature changes (make sure that it is placed well away from airconditioners or fans).

4. Feeding Your Plant

Feed your plant with a balanced liquid fertiliser every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). In the autumn and winter, reduce feeding to once every 2-3 months.

5. Common Issues and How to Solve Them

While Ficus lyrata is generally a hardy plant, it does have a few quirks.

  • Brown Spots: These are usually a sign of overwatering or inconsistent watering. Make sure you’re letting the soil dry out between waterings.
  • Drooping Leaves: This can indicate either too much or too little water. Check the soil moisture and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
  • Pests: Watch out for spider mites, especially in dry conditions. If you see tiny red bugs, spray your plant with a natural insecticide. Regularly wiping down the leaves with a damp cloth can also help prevent infestations.

6. Ficus Family Alternatives

If Ficus lyrata doesn’t quite fit your style or space, there are plenty of other fabulous Ficus plants to consider:

  • Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig): This plant has smaller, delicate leaves and can be trained into beautiful tree shapes.
  • Ficus elastica (Rubber Plant): Known for its thick, glossy leaves, this plant is easier to care for and can tolerate lower light conditions.
  • Ficus moclame (Laurel Fig): With its long, narrow leaves, this Ficus offers a different look while still providing the lush greenery you love.

With these tips, you’re all set to make your Ficus lyrata thrive and become the envy of all your friends. Happy planting!