The Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree

My friend Michelle was in town, so I met up with her yesterday we went to Sprout Home. I bought a couple of air plants (that don’t look as cute as I thought they would in their intended home), some beautiful flowers (out of season peonies!) that you’ll see in tomorrow’s post, and this guy. A fiddle-leaf fig tree (ficus lyrata).

A Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree in Making it Lovely's Library

I had to take pictures right away, while it still looks lush and full. I don’t consider myself to have a black thumb anymore because I’ve been successful with plants as of late, but I’ve heard that these are fickle. Right now, it’s beautiful, healthy, and green.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves

It’s a nice balance to all of the hard and straight lines in the room too. Books cozy up the space, but a plant gives it life.

A Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree in Making it Lovely's Library

All the cool kids seem to have a fiddle-leaf fig these days, and I had bemoaned my inability to find one to Jules before. I would have probably walked right this one had it not been for Michelle (she spotted it, and noted that it was only $50).

I have high hopes for it — literally. I want to see it grow to the ceiling.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

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  • Danielle
    October 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Congrats on the trendy tree! ;) I’ve never grown anything that large so I don’t have any specific words of wisdom to share. But I wonder if it’s possible that your former plant troubles had anything to do with your cats? A friend of mine has 2 cats and can’t keep any cut flowers or potted plants indoors becuz her cats will nibble on them! Not sure if that’s unique to her cats or not…?

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Yes, my cats want to eat my plants. Delicate ferns are especially appealing to them.

  • Jessica
    October 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Oh, I love your fig tree. It’s beautiful. It definitely softens up the space!

    Also, and I may have asked this before and apologize if I have, where is that couch from?

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      It’s the Petrie chair from Crate & Barrel, but it is available as a couch too.

  • The Lazy Fair
    October 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    How do you stop the kiddos from playing in the dirt? Between my two dogs and my toddler, I’ve lost many plants.

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      I guess I’ve been lucky. August was interested in the bird’s nest fern in my living room when I first brought that home, but he learned pretty quickly not to play with it. Eleanor is old enough to understand what’s off-limits, and the dog isn’t interested. The cats are, but it depends on the plant and I’m hoping they won’t be interested in the big rubbery leaves.

      • Veronica
        March 14, 2014 at 9:43 pm

        Have the cats been ok? These are listed as toxic to cats on the aspca site.

        • Making it Lovely
          March 15, 2014 at 10:22 am

          They pay no attention to it. One time I did find a cat curled up and sleeping on the dirt in the pot (so goofy), but it was an isolated incident!

  • Carin
    October 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    From what I remember about fiddle leaf figs or any ficus for that matter is that they don’t like to me moved. If you are going to have it in that location, leave it there. Don’t move it around your house throughout the year or else it will drop leaves. Also, think about using a systemic pesticide, yes the dreaded pesticide word. Ficus can be susceptible to pests in the home and a systemic is something you put in the soil, water it in and the plant absorbs it thourghout. If an insect starts to nibble on the plant it takes in the pesticide and it dies. A lot safer and easier to control the pests in the house then treating when there is a bigger problem.

  • Nataliya @ IBeltEverything
    October 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I’ve wanted one of these for a while too. Just a few days ago I picked up two of them at the local Ikea for $15 for both (in one pot, but two separate plants). They are not as tall as yours, just to my waist, but I still think it was a great deal.

    LOVE yours in the library :) all these years I too thought I had a black thumb, but now can’t walk past a plant or planter without draging it home :)

  • Jules
    October 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I have one, too, but since I’m not a cool kid I understand my exclusion from the list. ;)

    F Lyrata grow in spurts–I think they have 3 a year?–with a slow growth season in the winter. I hear the spring time is when they really take off. I bought mine last spring, and it was too busy freaking out and dropping all its leaves to do any growing. (That’s a ficus for you.) Now that it’s deigned adequate my spot for it by the window, it seems to be doing alright.

    Ficus: cat of the plant world.

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      You are so a cool kid! I linked to you in the next sentence though, so that’s that. ;)

      • Jules
        October 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

        I saw that. NOT GOOD ENOUGH, BALCH.

        (Pleeeeease know I’m kidding.)

        (Not a cool kid, and totally okay with it. I’m perfectly content with coolness by association.)

        (Colds make me parenthetical, apparently.)

  • Christina W.
    October 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I had one of these in my house for few years (it went with the roommate when we parted ways) and I found it to be quite hardy. Maybe they just do better further south? I am terrible with plants too, but my guy refused to die.

  • Anne At Large
    October 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    These guys like lots of light and lots of water. Don’t let it stay soggy but keep it moist. If the leaves start yellowing. It is too dry. The picture makes it look like it gets lots of bright, indirect light which is ideal. I would do some reading about fertilizers if you want it to stay lush and grow tall.

    Also, $50 is a great deal!

    And I wouldn’t consider a pesticide BEFORE I saw pests, best is to leave these babies alone as much as possible

  • Norma Neesin
    October 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    have had 2 and both got this horrible black spot disease so I took them back

  • Anna
    October 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Ahhh I just bought one on Sunday! And I had originally planned on buying it from the Brooklyn location of Sprout (I ended up going to another place, but I spent about 30 sweaty minutes pacing Sprout before leaving). I almost had a stroke just now because I thought you bought the one I walked away from.

    Hi, my name is Anna and plants get my heart racing.

  • katie
    October 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    what a steal! i’ve heard about ikea’s (which nataliya also mentions above), but didn’t find any on my recent trip. still on the lookout, trendy or not!!

  • Holly
    October 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Please keep us updated on the status of this beauty. I love the look of it and it’s certainly a hot commodity right now. I’d love to know how it does in your home and what seems to work with it. I just did a post recently on some plants that I’ve had success with. One that I’ve added recently is the Fittonia. It’s got white veining and should cascade nicely once it grows some more.

  • Jesse
    October 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I LOVE these plants! I’m a huge houseplant person anyway, you’re absolutely right, they cozy up a space without cluttering it. Great choice!

  • Sarah @ 375th Street Y
    October 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    You are right. The plant softens the harder, straight lines in the room and is a good addition. The green also pops among the surrounding colors.

  • dervla @ The Curator
    October 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    ooooh gorgeous. Love the wavy leaves and the way it pops against your bookcases.

  • Jessie {My Mod Style}
    October 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I really would love one of these! I love big plants, but I’m scared of what my cats may do to them?! It looks beautiful, especially in the red pot.

  • Nancy
    October 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    What a beautiful tree! I can’t get enough of those. I think I’m up to three right now. I have one that has been moved four times. I thought I almost lost it once, but it came back and continues to grow really well. I have a small plant that literally only had one leaf on the branch. I moved it around and now it’s really full and happy! I haven’t had a hard time caring for them; just water.

    I recently read somewhere that they’re poisonous. I haven’t fact checked that, but I thought I’d let you know if you have pets that nibble on plants.

  • Carla
    October 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Oh it is so beautiful! I have wanted one for so long! And now that my toddler is old enough to not dig in its dirt, I think it’s time I splurge. And I think I need a red pot!

  • RD
    October 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Beautiful. Made me a little nostalgic. I had one of these for years and years–it was tall. But I had to leave it with a neighbor when we moved out of state. I came back and sometimes I’m tempted to go ask for it back. :-(

  • Catherine
    October 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Wow, this brought back memories because my mom had a huge potted ficus when I was growing up. I’ve been looking for something to spruce up a corner I have, and this might do the trick! Congrats on your new plant baby!

  • Kristina
    October 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Wow your plant is beautiful! I definitely have the black thumb, all of my plants just died on me.

  • Yelle
    October 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    That is one gorgeous tree! We have a different kind of fig tree outside, but I love the look of bringing on inside in the bright white room!

  • Shelly
    October 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I love that you said “all the cool kids” haha. As soon as I saw it I thought of Anna over at Door Sixteen. They really are stunning!!!

  • Ilana
    October 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I killed my previous one about a year ago, but I picked up another at Home Depot on the weekend for $10. $10! It’s only about half the height of yours, but $10! If I hadn’t already filled every possible spot in my house with plants, I would have bought a couple more.

    I think it will take me less than 3 months to kill it.

  • Trina
    October 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    OMG…I was trying to hunt down a fiddle leaf fig in Chicago just yesterday!!!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU. I hope Sprout has more! xo . trina

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      They do! There was at least one more for $50 and a gorgeous one that was huge, but that one was $150 or so.

    • justlemmon
      October 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      Jayson home and garden has them and I got one at Walmart that is very healthy

  • Wendy
    October 25, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Gorgeous tree. I have never heard of this one!

  • Sarah
    October 25, 2012 at 8:46 am

    We have one of these! It’s amazing how much difference a plant like this can brighten up a room! I’m now feeling like ours isn’t doing well after seeing your brand new, lush green one! Ours has grown upwards pretty fast, but the stem hasn’t gotten much thicker (so now it has kind of a gangly teenager effect). Good luck with yours, I love the planter you chose for it!

  • Ashlee
    October 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Too funny!!! I had bugged nurseries and my husband about finding one of these plants forever. My husband was clever enough to find me one on Amazon….$12 later, my little one arrived. It is doing well, but will take a while to get really big. I’d say you got a great deal on your plant! So glad you think all the cool kids are doing it. I just had to share that with my husband…We are cool… :)

  • AP
    October 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Wow, $50 for a fiddle leaf that tall. I had one for years in college, but left it with my roommate one summer. She thought it needed more sun so left it outside in direct sunlight. Needless to say, it died by the time I came back. Partial sunlight and once a week watering will keep it alive.

  • Lo
    October 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I want one of these beautiful trees but I’ve always held back from buying one because I read that they are poisonous and I know my cats will get into it. Since they drop leaves pretty regularly, I’m afraid it would just be more of a fight to keep the cats away from it. I hope it works out for you!

  • designgratis
    October 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Oh I adore these! More here-
    I think Ikea sells them now, so please let us know how hard (or easy) it is to look after!

  • Jenna
    October 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Soooo jealous; I want one too!

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  • gretchen
    November 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    where did you find the beautiful red pot?

    • Making it Lovely
      November 3, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      I bought it at Sprout Home too, the same place I bought the fiddle-leaf fig from.

  • Veronica
    January 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    LOVE IT! I am actually going to home depot tonight to buy 2!!! they are on sale… I just moved into a lovely townhouse in uptown New Orleans and with such high ceilings I have high hopes that it will grow very tall as well :) Yours looks lovely… love your decoration style!

  • Crystal Cecil
    January 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Don’t fret! We used to live in Seattle and had a huge Fiddle Leaf Ficus. It did quite well for years and years. When we moved to North Carolina, my mom adopted our ficus and it is now doing very well in sunny Cali. Ours was quite hardy and has been in our family for nearly twenty years at this point. Yours looks like a beautiful fit.

  • CeltChick
    January 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    For larger potted plants, one issue in the “catted” home has to do with the attraction to fresh soil! I’d heard that covering the soil with sharp gravel helps a lot, so I used that for my ficus — and it did keep the kittehs out. Unfortunately, I did not have a well lit situation for the poor thing, and it just faded away.

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  • Fay
    February 27, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Hi There! I have been looking for a tree fig for a client of mine and everyone keeps telling me that they loose their leaves during the winter, which won’t be suitable for the project as it is in London.. Is this the case with the fiddle-leaf fig as well, or this species keeps the leaves throughout the year?

    • Making it Lovely
      February 27, 2013 at 10:01 am

      I haven’t heard that, but maybe that’s if it’s outside? Mine lost a few leaves initially, but after I learned to care for it properly it has been fine.

      • Fay
        February 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

        Thank you for the info! Now I just have to find one in London! :-)

  • A Mom
    June 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I ordered two online from Home Depot for only $17 and they were full and 24″ tall. They were delivered in perfect condition and had no problems til I gave them to our daughter for Christmas and now they are probably dead! (put outside in dead of winter and no watering oftentimes!)

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    September 7, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    How about an update on your tree? I. Just bought one and would like to hear more of it long term condition along with any further tips you may have from experience for its care.
    Glad to have found you through google search

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