Plant Care: Ficus, Lyrata

Plant Care: Ficus, Lyrata

Maintaining a Ficus lyrata, or Fiddle Leaf Fig, involves several key practices to ensure it grows healthy and vibrant. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to care for this popular houseplant:

1. Lighting

The Fiddle Leaf Fig thrives in bright, indirect light. Place it near a window where it can receive plenty of light, but shield it from direct sunlight, especially during the harsh noon hours, as this can scorch its leaves. East-facing windows are ideal because they provide morning sunlight that is gentle.

2. Watering

Water your Ficus lyrata when the top inch of soil becomes dry. Check the moisture level by inserting your finger into the soil. Ensure you water thoroughly until it drains from the bottom of the pot, but avoid letting the plant sit in water. Over-watering or letting the soil stay wet can lead to root rot, while under-watering can cause the leaves to wilt and brown.

3. Humidity and Temperature

Fiddle Leaf Figs prefer humid environments, which mimic their native tropical habitat. If your home is dry, especially during winter months, use a humidifier or regularly mist the plant to increase humidity. Maintain a temperature between 60-75°F (15-24°C), avoiding any sudden temperature drops or cold drafts which can stress the plant.

4. Feeding

Feed your Fiddle Leaf Fig with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce feeding in the fall and withhold fertilizer completely in the winter when the plant’s growth naturally slows down.

5. Pruning and Cleaning

Prune your Ficus lyrata to maintain its shape and remove any dead or diseased leaves. Use clean, sharp scissors to cut back any overgrown branches. This will encourage the plant to develop a dense, bushy growth. Regularly wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust and help the plant efficiently absorb light.

6. Repotting

Repot your Fiddle Leaf Fig every 1-2 years to encourage growth and prevent it from becoming root-bound. Choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current one. Use fresh potting soil with good drainage to give your plant a nutrient boost.

By following these guidelines, your Ficus lyrata will remain a stunning feature in your home or office, bringing beauty and a touch of nature’s serenity to your space.