The fiddle-leaf fig is the common name for Ficus Lyrata or Ficus Pandurata comes from the family Moraceae.
The plant gets its name from its large leaves which resemble the case of a fiddle or violin.
The leaves are much bigger the popular weeping Ficus benjamina.
Other species under the fig family (Moraceae) include:
- Ficus elastica (rubber plant)
- Ficus carica
- Ficus benghalensis
- Ficus microcarpa (green island ficus)
- Ficus rubiginosa
- Ficus glumosa
- Ficus myrosensis
- Ficus sycomorus
- Ficus lacor
- Ficus pumila “creeping fig”
- Ficus hispida
- Ficus drupacea
- Ficus nitida
- Ficus callosa
- Ficus retusa
- … and more
Indoors large, the green leaves of ficus lyrata plants can grow to reach 12 inches long and capable of almost the same width.
Pandurata leaves which are rather thick and leathery always seem to have a luxuriant shine as if someone had shined it. This Ficus tree is generally considered easy to grow.
Like its relative the “weeping fig,” Ficus lyrata care requires plenty of light and room – in height and width.
Although, as indoor plants, I’ve seen some handsome fiddle leaf ficus grown as a column rather then cutting the tops back and allowing it to branch.
I’ve also noticed that many home renovation and flipping shows feature the fiddle-leaf fig as “the tree” in the reveal part of their show.
You’ll also find many of these 30+ cool plants to grow indoors.
Give Ficus Lyrata Room
The Fiddle leaf Fig ficus lyrata grows best when it is given plenty of space.
A sun-porch would provide some ideal conditions, where the plant can grow very rapidly. With lots of bright light, side shoots often develop allowing the pandurata almost as wide as it is tall.
As the plant grows, it will lose its lower leaves, which is normal. This leaf loss exposes the dark brown and unique trunk which has “cracks” in it.
Fiddle Leaf Pest and Problems
The larger, thicker leaves compared to Ficus benjamina does not transpire (lose as much water), therefore they require less water. Do not overwater. Provide a well-drained soil for the ficus plants.
When humidity is low or lyrata does not get enough water, leaves may droop and edges of leaves may dry and crispy in areas.
Remedy: Completely soak the soil. (I like to dunk the whole pot in a 5-gallon bucket of water).
If the plant gets too much watering, the large “fiddle leaves” can turn yellow and drop off.
Remedy: Reduce water and move the plant to a brighter area. With such large leaves you cannot afford to lose too many leaves.
Mealybug shows up as fluffy spots around the base of leaves.
Remedy: Clean leaves regularly, remove mealybug by “wiping” them with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol. Leaves have tiny, pale yellow dots and spots and there are webs are present. Look for spider mites!
Wipe down leaves with a homemade insecticidal soap, use neem oil for plants or other chemical control.
When selecting a plant look for one that has dark leaves, which are shiny and “lush” or succulent. A small plant unless grown as a tree should have leaves top to bottom.
If leaves have dropped off or started dropping the plant may have undergone some stress.
Plants bought at the garden-center are usually study and compact.
After a few months indoors the plant will “open up” and leaves grow their “fiddles” much larger.
Most of the fiddle leaf ficus grown today are from tissue culture and should have a pot full of leaves.
Pandurata can be bought anytime of the year and with proper care provide years of enjoyment.
Once the plant is acclimated indoors it should stay indoors.
Moving the plant out during the summer can easily burn the leaves which could take a while to replace.
Use the Pandurata as a houseplant. For figs you can eat, read our article on How To grow the edible fig tree outdoors.