She is not nearly as full as she once was, but I am happy that she is still alive and still sprouting new leaves! After having her for almost two years, I know what kind of watering system to use and I now know what spot in the house she likes (we have tried 3 different spots and finally found the sweet spot). I'm hoping to get her back to her full glory at some point, but as with most good things, patience is the key!
A few months ago I was worried I was killing her. She was dropping brown leaves and no new leaves where sprouting. I have done so much research on these plants, watched several You Tube videos, and have troubleshooted many things. I decided to move her from the space in the dining room to a different corner in near our kitchen table. I also decided to take a look at the roots to see if that was part of the problem. If your plants have bad roots, they will never grow or thrive no matter what you try. A few months ago I posted a picture on Instagram of when I carefully took Jewel out of the pot she came in, threw out all the old soil, trimmed up the root ball, and repotted her in the same container she came in (with new soil and freshly cropped roots).
A few weeks after trimming back the root ball, new leaves started sprouting from existing branches and a new branch is also forming! Woo hoo! I think the roots where overgrown and suffocating and weren't getting the right amount of water. Getting new growth in November is a good sign since it will most likely go dormant in the winter. Fingers crossed!
I recently added some moss to the base of the tree for some added color. I love the added pop of lime green next to the woven basket (basket is from Homegoods). You can also see that I have a vent cover blowing any drafts away from the plant.
Here are some things that I do to help keep this finicky thing alive…
1. Only water her when very dry. And even when I think it's time to water, I wait a few more days just to be sure. I was told by the professionals at the nursery where I purchased it to soak the plant when it needed watering (up to 1 gallon at a time) and then wait several weeks to water again. You will know when you have added enough when the water starts coming through the bottom of the pot. Never let your FLF sit in the standing water. Take your drip pan and empty it if too much water has seeped out. Also, if you are watering a large pot and the water starts coming out of the bottom immediately, there is something wrong with the soil. Your roots will not be able to take up the water if it is leaving the pot too quickly.
2. Wipe the leaves every few weeks with a plant cleaner and a soft cloth. These leaves are large and will collect dust. If the dust doesn't get wiped away, the plant can't take in all that indirect sunlight it needs to thrive!
3. Find the right, sunny spot. Our fiddle leaf sits in a north facing corner that gets lots of bright, indirect light. You don't want direct light or it will burn the ends of the leaves. After trying three different spots, she seems to like this one, and I just leave it alone. Once you find the right spot and a good watering system, you can basically leave them alone and forget about them.
4. I fertilize every couple of times I water with a basic plant food.
I have also recently tried to propagate one of the leaves of my fiddle leaf fig. This means I trimmed a healthy leaf (that was hard to do!) and stuck it in some water and put it in a sunny spot. After several weeks, it started growing roots! I couldn't believe it was working! Once the roots were long enough, I planted in soil in a small pot and now have the start of a new FLF!
I hope this helps if you have your own fiddle leaf or are thinking of getting one. I know several people have scored these at Home Depot and IKEA, but I have yet to encounter any at my local stores. For all of you locals, this one was purchased at Family Tree Nursery in Overland Park. Happy Monday!
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