Fiddle leaf fig - Ficus lyrata

The Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is a large leafed member of the ficus genus and one that is valued as an ornamental tree for both indoor and outdoor environments. This is not the tree that "edible" figs come from (that would be the Ficus carica) but its fruit does come close in size and resemblance. One difference is the characteristic spotting on the the Fiddle leaf figs.
The leaves of the Fiddle Leaf fig are some of the largest among the fig family (if not the largest, although I´m not sure on this point). The leaves can measure up to 45 cm long and 30 cm wide. The common name in English comes fromt the "Fiddle shape of the leaves - sort of like a pear).

It is very common to find this tree in parks and gardens in Southern Spain. It is also very commonly sold as an interior potted tree. I have seen them in size from 75cm tall up to 3-4 meters tall.
Below is the fruit which is about 4cm long and pretty round in shape. The one on the right is a dried one I found on the ground.

25 comments:

  1. Oh...I fell onto your blog, and love trees myself, so will enjoy browsing your site! The fig is gorgeous. I don't think I've seen one before...I know they grow here in Florida though...my Grandma used to have one!

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  2. We have one in our yard 7m tall and still growing = a magnificent specimen, came out of a pot plant given to us 12 yrs ago

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  3. I have a indoor potted fiddle leaf fig which very happily keeps on producing leaves from its single stem and growing taller and taller -- it's almost 5 feet tall now. but how does one encourage branching? i've seen beautiful indoor fiddle leaf trees with much woodier stem-trunks and multiple branches, though usually not as leafy as mine. i'm timid about pruning but i'll do it if it'll encourage horizontal growth as well as vertical! thanks for any insight...

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  4. Sophia, I also have an indoor Fiddle Leaf Fig that has only a single stem although mine is shorter than yours. From what I have read this is a very resistant tree and handles pruning well. It is possible that with enough time and light the plant will branch out on its own but pruning it will most likely encourage it to branch sooner. If you do I would prune it soon before the active growth season begins (depending on where you live)

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  5. Can these trees be bought online? I would love to have one in my house as I recently saw a couple in the "Coach Purse" store in Tulsa. Anyone know?

    -Brad

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    1. You have to get your plant man to order you one from Flordia, That is how I got mine and they keep going up in price.

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  6. Hi I have a fiddle leaf fig that is about 2 feet tall in a very large pot and I do not know if it likes it or not.I bought it in a 8inch pot.Thanks Rena

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  7. I live in Palm Harbor, FL (Clearwater area), and have a large 15 ft fig tree beside the north side of our house and overhanging the roof. It was hit badly with frost this past winter, has lost a lot of leaves, has some small new ones appearing along the inside branches, but the extremities of this tree appear dead. Rec'd quote on palms from tree/palm pruner today who said you can't 'top' these trees or hard trim them, that it was dying anyway, and to cut it down completely. If there's a chance this tree can live, I'd like to save it, but he says with certainty that it's dying. Do I trim it or cut it down?????

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  8. I would NOT cut it down yet. Ficus trees look pretty pathetic with they have been shocked and loose their leaves. They can look like they are dying when in fact they are resting up for a new growth cycle. If you see some new leaves or branches appearing then I think there is still hope. It may be that the extremities have died back to the point where you see signs of new growth. I would not prune it while there is hot weather but rather wait and see if the tree will form new leaves in its next growth cycle. Since these trees are from more tropical regions their growth cycle does not always match up with our "spring". If you know when your tree normally forms new leaves then try pruning the dead extremities about a month prior.

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    1. These are very easy to propagate as well, you could save your tree that way.

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  9. I have a lot of fruit on my f l fig. Are they edible?

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    1. Very dangerious to eat. Keep away from pets and children.Just read this on another site.

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  10. I don't think that the fruit of the Fiddle leaf fig would be dangerous to eat but I don't think it would be very pleasant to eat either. I've cut a few open to see what they look like and observe their texture. They seem to be a good deal harder than edible figs. Don't take my word for it though as I don't have any reputable source to go by.

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  11. I have a 3 1/2 foot Fiddle Leaf that I have had just about a year. It has good color and has only lost several small leaves since I bought it. However, it has only put on 2 new leaves in one year. It will put on a leaf start and then the new green sprout dries up and falls off. I have been watering with constant feed (as per directions on the fertilizer), and I finally repotted it because the soil did not look good. The roots were healthy. It is in an east exposure with a large tree outside to block strong sun. What do I need to do? Help Please!

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  12. I have a Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf) tree inside my loft for almost 20 years. I got it as a castaway saved by my next door neighbor. At the time it was very close to death and about 6-7 ft tall in a 5 gallon grower container. It thrived as soon as I transplanted it. Over the years, it's grown as tall as 15 ft - the height of my ceiling - under a skylight.
    I've aggressively cut it back numerous times over the years trying to get it fuller instead of taller, and it always comes back
    beautifully, so I wouldn't hesitate to prune.

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  13. do the roots of this fig rip up concrete once it gets going? I've just transferred mine from a pot to the backyard, now I'm starting to worry.

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  14. I live in Tarpon Springs , Fl. zone 9...I purchased a Fiddle Leaf Fig recently. So many websites, but some say sun and others partial sun... What is best??? Also, is it best to grow in a pot or in the ground?. I did transplant to 2 sizes bigger of a pot. I loosened the roots as they were starting to wrap around. Thanks for any info.

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  15. If you live in zone 9 then you probably get freezing temps once in a while which your Fiddle Leaf Fig would not like at all. In sub-tropical areas where temps never reach the freezing point these trees can be planted right out in the open under full sun with no problem at all. The ones that are kept indoors are much more sensitive to the amount of light for some reason. I keep mine outside during the warm months but in a location that get lots of light but very little direct sun. I also water it more often in the summer and it seems to thrive quite well.

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  16. I live in Phoenix, AZ and have a 5 foot fiddle leaf fig tree in my outdoor courtyard. I have it in the southwest corner where it gets a lot of light, but no direct sun because anywhere else it seemed to burn. It was growing at a pretty good rate. I have kept it outdoor for 2 full years. It's November now (still in the 70's during the day and 50's-60's at night). The leaves are starting to get brown at the tips. What is causing this? Also, how do I prune to get a fuller tree instead of one that just grows straight up?

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  17. My guess would be that the leaf tips turning brown would indicate that the plant is going through (or went through) a period of being too dry. Another posibility might be that your plant is outgrowing its pot and either needs to have its roots pruned or needs a larger container. As for your question about pruning to encourage branching I´m not sure what the secret is since I have pruned mine to encourage branching but only one new branch grew in place of the top that I removed. I think that what I will try next is to replant to a larger pot, place it in an outdoor location (next spring) with more light and prune it again so see if I can get the plant to come back with more branches.

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  18. One month ago I purchased a 6 ft tall fig (ficus lyrata). It has about four branches, and freat folliage that is slowly but surely turning brown and falling. When I got the tree, I transfered it into a bigger pot to give room for future growth. Now I woder what can be wrong with the tree? I am triyng to save it, but not sure how.
    I keep in indoors (we are in Canada), not direct sunlight, and water it every 7 to 10 days and the temperature is 24 degrees Celsius. Can you please advise how to save this tree?

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  19. Your tree is probably going through stress response stage. It is not uncommon for trees in the Ficus family to respond to a stress event (drought, prunning, replanting etc.) by dropping a number of leaves and going through a dormant period that gives the impression that the plant is dying. I have three different types of Ficus trees as indoor pots and each one of them has done this at one time or another and each one has come back after a period of rest. The key is to not over react and to give the plant as stable a set of conditions as possbile with constant amount of light, constant amount of moisture and regular feeding. If your conditions are in fact adequate for you plant it should come back. The problem sometimes is that you can end up with long branches bare of leaves except at the tips. To remedy this you would have to prune the braches back at some point to encourage new branch growth with new leaves.

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  20. About 2-3 weeks ago I bought a fiddle leaf plant for my apartment. The tallest leaves are about 5'4". In the past couple of days, two leaves have fallen off, and some of the leaves are brown at the edges, although that was the case when I bought it, so I am not sure if the brownness is worse. Possibly I should not have gotten it because my room gets little light--my windows look out on a tiny courtyard with buildings on all sides. I put it close to the window that gets the most light, but the radiator is next to the window, so I am wondering if the heat is a problem. I just cleaned off the leaves so they can absorb sun, but is there anything else I should do? I moved it away from the radiator, but now it's further from the window. Would it help if I put a humidifier next to it? Anything else? Thank you!

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  21. Help! my flf tree has lost all but two leaves, one on each of its two branches. The remaining leaves are browning and getting very dry and crispy on the tips. Do you think it has a chance of coming back? The stems are only green about three to four inches down from the remaining leaves. I am afraid its a goner. Any suggestions? Just received it as a gift in July. It was very full and happy, then a coworker re-potted it. Ever since it has been losing all its leaves. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  22. I have two fiddle leaf fig trees on either side of my fireplace. Is this going to be a problem with the heat?

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