A plant with large leaves in an elegant dark green tone, widely used both outdoors and indoors. Today we will talk about the care of the fiddle-leaf fig, or ficus lyrata, one of the most spectacularly beautiful ficus species to decorate your home.
Fiddle-leaf fig: description, cultivation and care
The ficus genus is part of the Moraceae family. The species we are going to talk about today originates from the western part of tropical Africa. Its surname lyrata(meaning lyre) is due to the shape of its leaves, which are slightly reminiscent of this stringed instrument, well known among lovers of Greek mythology.
From one or more of its main stems emerge spectacular leaves of an intense green colour, with strong marked veins, of a lighter, almost yellow tone. Their growth is mainly observed on the vertical axis.
Between 800 and 900 species of this genus have been identified. Among them are some of the most popular in home and garden decoration: ficus benjamina, with small leaves, which became very fashionable in the 1990s, ficus elastica, of a more robust type and larger dark leaves, or ficus retusa, also with small leaves and an easily mouldable stem, especially valued among gardening specialists.
But in addition to all its qualities as an ornamental plant, we are going to give you other good news. ficus in general, and fiddle leaf in particular, are very easy to grow and require very little attention! With a little patience and some basic care, the lyrata will enhance every corner of your home with its magnificent leaves.
Although Ficus trees adapt well to all kinds of locations, they do not like to be moved around too much. Therefore, before placing them in a specific spot, make sure that the conditions are right: that it is not in a passageway, that there are no draughts, that the temperature, light and humidity are correct, etc.
This species adapts well to all types of soil, so it is sufficient to provide it with a nutrient-rich substrate that allows drainage. A mixture of peat, mulch and a small amount of river sand to encourage drainage will make the plant feel very much at home in its new home.
The best choice will be a well-lit area that does not receive direct, but rather, mitigated light. Direct sunlight can cause burns on the surface of its beautiful leaves. Cold draughts are also not good for its well-being and development.
The fiddle leaf requiresquite specific temperature conditions. Ideally, it should be kept in a temperate climate where there are few fluctuations in the thermometer. the ideal temperature is 25 degrees above and 15 degrees below. For all these reasons, the ficus lyrata isa perfect plant for indoor cultivation. It also does very well outdoors, where it will probably reach imposing proportions, but where you will also have to pay more attention to it.
Although, as mentioned above, the fiddle-leaf ficus is undemanding, it does require some general care, for example, in terms of watering and fertilising:
It does not need large quantities of water. Just enough to keep the substrate moist. When the heat is more intense, 2 or even 3 waterings per week may be necessary. During this period, the sporadic use of a sprayer to moisten the leaves will be favourable. In the other seasons, one application per week will be sufficient. Drainage is also very important, as too much water can have fatal effects on the plant. It is much more drought tolerant than waterlogging.
- Fertilisers and fertilisers
During the spring, dissolve a small amount of liquid fertiliser in the irrigation water. We recommend a specific fertiliser for green plants or, failing that, a universal fertiliser. One application per month will suffice.
Transplanting should be done every two years or so in early spring, when the frost season is over.
Ficus lyrata can be attacked by various pests. The most common of these are the mealybug, the spider mite and the rust fungus.
The main symptom of the presence of mealybug is the appearance of tiny spots on the upper side of the leaf. They may be brown or whitish in colour, depending on the type of mealybug (brown or cottony) that has invaded the plant. If they are detected, try to remove them manually, with a small piece of paper with alcohol, or with a sponge and neutral soap as a first option. If this solution does not work, apply a specific insecticide.
Spider mite leaves yellowish or reddish spots on the surface of the leaves, which can cause them to fall off in severe cases. The cause of its appearance is dryness, so the number of sprays should be increased to raise the humidity.
The rust fungus is a well-known enemy of plants, which imprints round-shaped spots on them. If it is detected, the best remedy is to remove the damaged leaves and place the plant in a place where it receives good ventilation. If this does not work, try a chemical product specifically for this disease.
To encourage lateral growth of the branches and the appearance of new leaves, it is advisable to remove recent shoots. This will give the plant a more compact appearance. This process should be carried out in the spring. If you want to stop growth, it is best to act directly on the branches when winter is coming to an end.
So much for our ficus lyrata care recommendations. A beautiful plant that looks equally at home in a modern designer home, in the office, at the health centre, or at the grandparents' house.
now all you have to do is think about where to place it yourself!
There is something that plants and content creation have in common: natural geometry. I love creating visual content and managing Be.Green campaigns.