Houseplant of the week: Ficus lyrata | Gynelle Leon

In our new column, the founder of the plant shop Prick looks at this highly popular tree, loved for its big, glossy, fiddle-shaped leaves

Why will I love it?
Ficus lyrata is the most popular indoor tree right now, loved for its unusual glossy leaves: with a narrow middle and broad top, they resemble violins.

Light or shade?
Indirect, bright-to-moderate light; avoid direct light or extreme shade.

Where should I put it?
It likes to be close to an east-, west- or south-facing window. There’s a dwarf “bambino” variant that looks great on a desk or bedside table.

How do I keep it alive?
The fiddle-leaf fig is fussy: too much or too little light – or water – will cause it to drop leaves. Water weekly, and remember that the larger the pot, the longer it takes to dry out. They are sensitive to draughts and to sudden drops in temperature to below 12C. Mist the leaves frequently, and clean them with a damp sponge to remove dust, restore their glossy appearance and improve photosynthesis.

Did you know…
In its natural habitat, this plant can grow to 15 metres; but this is reduced to three metres indoors. If it does grow too tall for your room, prune the top using clean, sharp shears to cut just above a node; growth may continue below the node but won’t above, thereby limiting the height.

Contributor

Gynelle Leon

The GuardianTramp

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