Last Year’s Media Darling


This is the fiddle leaf fig (ficus lyrata). Last year, it was everywhere. This year, it’s still popular, but not quite so much as last year. My theory on that in a moment.

Just “google” fiddle leaf fig care. The first thing you’ll see is the amazing number of contradictory instructions. So that’s trouble right there. If even the so-called experts can’t tell us how to take care of it, what hope do folks who are growing this thing for the first time stand?

I am actually trying it for the second time. My first one made it through 2 winters in my chilly New England house. What it didn’t do was grow–at all. Not one inch or one leaf, not even when I put it outdoors in a protected location for the summer (in between my 2 chilly winters).

I finally gave up with that one, composted it and am starting over. This may turn into “how many fiddle leaf figs can one person kill….”

What I can tell you is that the plant is native to tropical parts of Africa–so about as far from New England as you can be. It’s going to hate the next 6 months around here. Perhaps I can redeem things and make it up to it next summer. If not, there’s always the compost pile.

3 thoughts on “Last Year’s Media Darling

  1. tonytomeo November 3, 2018 / 10:42 am

    It has already been around. It may be less popular now than when it was a brief fad, but is probably no less popular than it was before it was a fad. Although not my favorite, It is a bold houseplant for those who appreciate it. It seems to me to be more reliable than other specie of ficus.

  2. gardendaze November 3, 2018 / 1:02 pm

    Seriously? I have at least 5 different types of ficus that can survive me and my cold house and my neglectful watering but this one eludes me. I think my house is far too cold. Humidity isn’t usually the problem, even in winter. We’ll see.


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