How to Care for a Ficus Lyrata

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The "Fiddle-leaf" fig, Ficus lyrata, gets its name from its large fiddle-shaped leaves. A favorite indoor container plant of many home gardeners, the "Fiddle-leaf" fig belongs to the Ficus genus, a group of plants native to Asia that have now spread throughout many of the world's tropical regions. One of the main attraction of the FIcus lyrata -- the relatively low amount of maintenance it requires -- helps busy plant lovers spend less time caring for their plant and more time enjoying it.

Things You'll Need

  • Gravel
  • Pruner
  • Pesticide
  • Fertilizer

Locate your Ficus lyrata in an east or west facing window. Make sure the plant gets about four to six hours of sun each day, but avoid giving it full sun during the hottest months.

Keep the container medium moist, but not wet. Water as needed to keep the soil moist. Wait until the medium has just started to dry on the surface to water, advises the Cornell Cooperative Extension. The more light the plant receives, the more frequently it needs watering.

Make sure you use a well-draining potting medium to avoid any possibility of root rot. Place some gravel at the bottom of the pot to assist in drainage.

Prune your plant to control its size if necessary. Make your cuts above the node or where a stem branches off, advises the University of Minnesota Extension.

Monitor your "Fiddle-leaf" fig regularly for insects such as aphids and scale. Use appropriate pesticides, if needed.

Clean the leaves if too much dust accumulates. Place the plant in a tub or sink and spray with a low-pressure stream of water.

Fertilize about once a month with a water soluble fertilizer, unless the plant is dormant, which it typically is during the winter months. Follow label directions.

Tips & Warnings

  • For a porous potting medium with good drainage, the Cornell Extension recommends a mixture of 3 parts fertile loam, 1 part peat and 1 part coarse sand. Re-pot, if necessary, in late spring, after growth has resumed for the year.
  • Watch for leaves dropping on the lower part of the plant. It might need more light or more water if this occurs.

References

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