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Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

Fiddle Leaf Fig Overview

Scientific name:

Ficus lyrata

Size:

Large

Water requirements:

Moderate

Light requirements:

Indirect Sun

Benefits:

Air Purifying

Table of Contents

The fiddle leaf fig, with its large, violin-shaped leaves and commanding presence, has become a staple in offices and homes. Scientifically known as Ficus lyrata, this tropical plant is native to western Africa and goes by the common names fiddle-leaf fig, banjo fig, or lyre-leaf fig. Its beautiful, distinctive foliage makes it a popular choice for adding life and greenery to indoor spaces.

Unique Qualities

What makes the fiddle leaf fig truly stand out is its leaves. They can grow over a foot long, with prominent veining that gives them an eye-catching, rippled texture. Their vibrant green color and graceful shape create a striking look. Beyond aesthetics, the fiddle leaf fig offers practical benefits as well. As a tree, it is effective at purifying indoor air and can help reduce stress and increase productivity.

Ideal for Offices

The fiddle leaf fig thrives with the right care, making it an ideal office plant. It is low maintenance, adjusts well to indoor conditions, and can grow over 15 feet tall to make a dramatic statement. The plant also filters airborne toxins like formaldehyde and benzene that are common in office environments. Its tranquil presence can have psychological benefits like improving mood and concentration.

Distinctive Features

A mature fiddle leaf fig develops a thick, sturdy trunk with low branches and glossy oval leaves emerging from every direction in a bushy canopy. The leaves have a leathery texture and prominent veining. Slow-growing, the fiddle leaf fig can live over 50 years with proper care. It sheds its leaves gradually, making clean-up easy. For all these reasons and more, the fiddle leaf fig makes offices happier, healthier places to work.

Detailed Description of the Fiddle Leaf Fig

The fiddle leaf fig, with its large, glossy, violin-shaped leaves that give it its name, makes a striking addition to any indoor space. This plant is known for its distinctive foliage – leaves can grow over a foot long and are a deep green color with prominent veining. They emerge vertically, then gracefully arch outward as they mature.

Appearance

The leaves of the fiddle leaf fig fan out from the top of a single slim, upright trunk, which can grow quite tall over time – up to 10 feet indoors! The trunk is a light brown color and has a rough, textured appearance. As lower leaves drop off, the trunk becomes more visible, displaying the unique marks and scars from past foliage.

Growth Habits

The fiddle leaf fig is fast growing when provided with sufficient bright, indirect light. In optimal conditions, it can grow up to a foot per year. It has an upright, columnar shape when young, then expands outward as it reaches maturity. Pruning is recommended to maintain its shape and prevent legginess. Like other fig plants, its branches and leaves emerge directly from the main trunk.

Other Features

One special trait of the fiddle leaf fig is how its leaves move throughout the day, orienting themselves to follow the sunlight. The red-brown fruits this species produces are fairly insignificant visually, and rarely appear on indoor plants. Its sap can cause skin irritation. The large, elegant leaves truly stand out as its most defining feature.

Optimal Care Guide for the Fiddle Leaf Fig

The fiddle leaf fig thrives in warm, bright, and humid conditions. To provide optimal light indoors, place the plant near a sunny south or west-facing window. Bright, indirect light is ideal as direct hot sunlight can scorch the leaves. Rotate the plant occasionally so all sides receive equal light exposure. Supplement natural light with grow lights if needed to provide 12-14 hours of bright light per day.

Watering Needs

Fiddle leaf figs prefer a thorough watering whenever the top inch of soil becomes dry. Water until it runs out the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, then allow any excess water to drain completely. This helps prevent root rot. In general, water 1-2 times per week in warmer months and every 2-3 weeks in cooler months when growth slows. The plant’s soil should be allowed to dry out slightly between waterings.

Temperature and Humidity

Fiddle leaf figs prefer consistent warm temperatures between 16-24°C. Avoid cold drafts which can cause leaf drop. Maintain a humidity level around 50-60% to replicate the tropical environment this plant naturally grows in. Use a humidifier, pebble tray, or group other plants together to boost humidity. Misting the leaves occasionally can help as well.

Other care tips include fertilizing monthly in the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. Repot every 2-3 years in spring using a well-draining potting mix amended with perlite or orchid bark. Prune only when necessary to shape the plant or remove dead leaves.

Soil and Potting Tips for the Fiddle Leaf Fig

When it comes to potting soil for fiddle leaf figs, proper drainage is key. These plants do best in a lightweight, porous mix that allows excess moisture to drain away readily. An ideal potting mix contains:

  • 2 parts peat or coco coir for moisture retention
  • 1 part perlite for aeration and drainage
  • A little compost or worm castings for nutrients

You can make your own mix or purchase a commercial cactus/citrus potting soil. Just be sure it’s fast-draining. The soil should be slightly acidic, around 6.0-6.5 pH.

Choosing the Right Pot

Pick a pot that’s 2-4 inches wider than the current roots with drainage holes. Terracotta pots work well as they allow air flow. Make sure to use a drip tray underneath to catch excess water. You can also plant in breathable fabric grow bags or baskets.

Repotting Tips

Repot young fiddle leaf figs annually in early spring. More mature plants only need repotting every 2-3 years. Carefully remove the root ball and loosen any circling roots before placing into a slightly larger pot with fresh soil. Water well after repotting.

Benefits of Having the Fiddle Leaf Fig in an Office Setting

The fiddle leaf fig is an excellent choice for improving indoor air quality in office spaces. With its large, broad leaves, this plant naturally filters out harmful toxins through transpiration. Formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia are just some of the chemicals that fiddle leaf figs can help remove from indoor air. By purifying the air, the plant can reduce headaches, lethargy, and irritation among employees. This in turn may increase productivity and focus.

Beyond air purification, the fiddle leaf fig also enhances the aesthetics of any office. Its lush, deep green foliage and gracefully arched stems provide a tropical feel. The plant’s unique violin-shaped leaves add visual interest as well. Studies show that offices with plants receive higher satisfaction scores from employees. Greenery is linked to reduced stress and increased creativity and well-being. The fiddle leaf fig’s presence can make an office space more enjoyable and inspiring to work in.

On a psychological level, interacting with plants is shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. Having a fiddle leaf fig or two around the office gives employees an opportunity to connect with nature. This can boost mood, focus, and even empathy. With proper care, the fiddle leaf fig also sparks conversation and brings employees together through shared responsibility.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with the Fiddle Leaf Fig

The fiddle leaf fig is generally a hardy plant when provided the right care, but it can still run into issues. By monitoring your plant closely and making adjustments as needed, you can keep it healthy and prevent many problems from occurring.

Leaf Drop

If your fiddle leaf fig is dropping a large number of leaves suddenly, it’s likely due to an environmental stressor. The most common causes of leaf drop are incorrect watering, low humidity, or drastic temperature changes. To prevent further leaf loss:

  • Check that you are not over or under-watering. Water only when the top inch of soil is dry.
  • Mist the plant daily or use a pebble tray to increase humidity.
  • Keep the plant away from air vents and other sources of temperature fluctuations.

Pests

Spider mites, mealybugs, and scale are common fiddle leaf fig pests. You may notice webbing, white fuzzy spots, or bumpy brown spots on leaves and stems. To treat pests:

  • Isolate and inspect infected plants closely. Remove any heavily infested leaves.
  • Wipe leaves down with a damp cloth to physically remove pests. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil as needed.
  • Introduce predatory insects like ladybugs or lacewings for severe infestations.

Diseases

Fiddle leaf figs can suffer from bacterial and fungal diseases like root rot, leaf spot, and botrytis blight. You may see spots, yellowing leaves, rotting roots, mold, or sudden leaf loss. To prevent disease:

  • Allow soil to dry adequately between waterings and discard excess water in drip trays.
  • Sanitise pruning shears before each use.
  • Improve air circulation and avoid overcrowding plants.

By staying vigilant and making adjustments when issues arise, you can maintain a healthy and thriving fiddle leaf fig for years to come.

Fun Facts and Trivia about the Fiddle Leaf Fig

The fiddle leaf fig has an intriguing history. Native to western and central Africa, it has been admired for its distinctive violin-shaped leaves and graceful form for centuries. In fact, ancient Egyptian art depicts what appears to be the fiddle leaf fig over 4000 years ago!

Unique Properties

The fiddle leaf fig has some unique properties that add to its appeal:

  • Its large, vibrant green leaves can grow over a foot long. When mature, the leaves can be up to 10 inches wide!
  • It’s one of the fastest growing houseplants. If cared for properly, a young plant can grow over 6 feet tall in just a few years.
  • The sap of the fiddle leaf fig contains irritants that can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some people.

Cultural Significance

The fiddle leaf fig features prominently in some cultures:

  • In Asia, it is seen as a symbol of good fortune and prosperity.
  • In Africa, it is called “strangler fig” due to its aggressive growth habits in the wild.
  • In interior design, it has become a staple houseplant that adds an elegant, tropical look.

Fun Trivia

  • Fiddle leaf fig leaves can vary quite a bit – no two plants have exactly the same leaf shape and patterns.
  • The plant produces a small fig-like fruit, though it rarely does so when grown indoors.
  • Fiddle leaf figs can live for over 100 years! With proper care, they can be passed down through generations.

Conclusion

We have explored the many benefits of incorporating the fiddle leaf fig into office spaces. With its air-purifying properties, aesthetic appeal, and potential to reduce stress and increase productivity, the fiddle leaf fig makes an excellent addition to any office environment.

To summarise, the fiddle leaf fig thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. It prefers humid conditions and well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. With proper care including consistent watering, pruning, and pest management, the fiddle leaf fig will reward you with its iconic glossy, violin-shaped leaves.

Key Takeaways

  • The fiddle leaf fig purifies indoor air while enhancing the visual appeal of office spaces
  • Proper lighting, temperature, humidity, watering, and soil are essential to keeping a fiddle leaf fig healthy
  • Pruning, pest control, and fertilization will prevent common issues like leaf drop
  • Having plants like the fiddle leaf fig in an office can reduce stress and increase productivity

If reading this has convinced you to bring the beauty and benefits of the fiddle leaf fig into your office, Aztec Plants offers convenient fiddle leaf fig hire. Their team of experts will deliver and maintain gorgeous, healthy plants to enhance your workspace.

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