Fiddle leaf ficus..The dark side

This gorgeous trendy plant is also named the Banjo fig as well as Fiddle Leaf Fig due to the shape of it’s leaves which resemble the musical instrument, the fiddle. It comes from the deep jungles of Africa where it enjoys high humidity and lush warm surroundings. While in Africa, this tree becomes HUGE! Outside it can reach heights of 60 feet and leaves almost 3 feet long! Although this plant will never get that big indoors, you can control the size of the plant mostly by restricting the roots in the pot and by pruning the top of the plant. You can easily take cuttings from your Ficus and propagate them with rooting hormone. New roots will appear in just 3-4 weeks! In the wild, the young seeds begin their life on the tops of other trees, eventually sending down their roots and strangling the host tree while enjoying all the nutrition taken from the tree it has chosen to grow on. What kind of sneaky murder is this? Luckily, for those who are uncomfortable about inviting a murderer to come live in the home, rest easy knowing that the ones we buy have been propagated without killing another species. However, understanding where a plant comes from makes a huge difference in our understanding on how to take care of any plant once its been removed from its natural environment. Keep your Fiddle Leaf Ficus healthy by supplying lots of humidity around it. Mist it as often as you can. The soil should be kept moist but allow it to dry slightly between waterings. Like most plants, avoid wet roots or allowing the plant to sit in water. You know how dark the rainforest is? This plant does NOT need direct sunlight, and in fact, will burn if placed in front of a sunny window with no protection. It does like light though, so keep it in a well lit spot of the house, avoiding direct sun. Like all figs, the plant can be slightly temperamental, so once you have placed your prized plant in the house, give it some time to adapt. Moving the plant around can cause leaf drop. Don’t panic if you loose a few leaves when you first bring your baby home. Its not unusual until it becomes climatized to its new home.

So, is there a dark side to this magnificent tree? Only if you cannot forgive it’s shady past.