How you’re killing your fiddle leaf fig

Are you leaving it to die or loving it to death?
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It’s time to take stock of your fiddle leaf fig situation. If you jumped on the trend or simply fell in love with this sculptural green wunderkind to bring it lovingly into your home, you may have discovered by now that the fiddle leaf fig is a plant that’s a little tricky to keep happy…

Fear not! We’ve taken a glance at the sad crunchy stems in the corner of your living room and done the research to troubleshoot what you may be doing wrong.

1. Under watering

Your fiddle leaf fig prefers regular watering with good airflow but not daily watering, so allow time for the soil to dry out between waterings. Give it a good soaking now and then under the shower, or to bring back a fiddle leaf that has completely dried out.

2. too much sun

Fiddle leaf figs prefer filtered or indirect sunlight – morning sun for preference. Direct heat from harsh sunlight may burn and dry out the leaves, turning them brown and crunchy. If this sounds familiar, try another indoor position with a little more shelter.

A flourishing fiddle leaf fig adds a homely touch, while a handcrafted wooden surfboard hints at the wonders outside, in the living room of this backyard cottage retreat on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

(Credit: Photographer: Rebecca Lu | Styling: Rachel Peters)

3. over watering

Ironic yes, but the appearance of rusty spots on the leaves of your fiddle leaf plant is likely to be a sign of over watering. Water can collect at the base of the pot, either through over watering or poor drainage and provides a perfect environment for a fungal infection to develop, first in the roots of the plant, then spreading up and through the leaves.

Move it to a well-ventilated area or give short visits outside where the plant can enjoy good airflow. Consider repotting to dry out the rotting roots, or treat with a commercial anti-rot solution such as Yates anti-rot.

4. Too much hot air

If your fiddle leaf sits near a heater inside you might find it struggling as it keeps drying out. Move to a spot where there is good airflow at a constant temperature – not too hot, not too cold.

5. Neglect

Keep an eye on your fiddle leaf to ensure its happiness. Enjoy its company! It’s a very slow growing plant, particularly in the winter so may seem to be doing nothing, but as long as you’re watering at least once a week, feeding it occasionally and it’s not sitting in the water at the base of your pot, it will remain happy and flourish.

Relaxed family style prevails in this beachside Sydney home, courtesy of a custom velvet sofa from H&J Furniture, a rug bought by Lou in Morocco, oak flooring and a large fiddle leaf fig.

(Credit: Photographer: Simon Whitbread)

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