Plant of the month: Fiddle leaf fig

Our plant of the
month comes from
Katherine Beauchamp,
Palmers Miramar.

This big leafy plant is a sensitive soul and prone to the odd temper tantrum. Here’s how to keep the peace.

Names such as these:
It’s a familiar name, ficus lyrata, and there are a few about. The fiddle leaf fig has a thousand or so cousins; think Benjamina, Ruby, Sophia, bambino, elastica, etc. But why the fiddle, you ask? It’s obvious really, the plant gets its name from the violin-shaped foliage.

Let’s have a look:
Although strong in stature it has a delicate nature (some even say emotional) and you must resist the temptation to move it about your home. Even a trip from the garden centre to your lounge can result in a few well-established leaves falling to the ground. Do not fret, if you have chosen its location well it will settle in and command attention in no time.

When placed in bright, dappled light – and well away from drying heat pumps, heaters, and the glare of the sun – it should be a happy plant. Water well, thoroughly soaking the soil. Leaving it to sit in water will guarantee leaf drop and a full-blown sulk. The lyrata is not one for constant fertilising – just a few times over the warmer months will do the trick. Only repot when the roots start showing at the bottom of the pot.


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