Caring for a Ficus Lyrata Indoors
The ficus lyrata is a species in the fig tree family. The lyrata is most popular for its suitability for being grown indoors. If you are looking for a large and impressive looking plant to spruce up one of the rooms in your house then this might be a great option for you!
The ficus lyrata is also known as the fiddle leaf fig because it has very large, broad leaves that taper down towards the stem, which looks remarkably similar to the shape of a violin or fiddle. The leaves of this plant are dark green and can be as much as a foot and a half long. This species of tree usually grows to an average height somewhere between 60 and 100 feet with a spread between 30 and 60 feet. Although this plant can produce flowers it typically will not be able to do so indoors. This species hails from Africa and while it can grow to be quite tall, it usually won’t grow to its full height potential if it is planted in a pot and grown indoors where environmental elements can be better controlled. Most ficus plants are well known for being easy to care for and even individuals who have little or no experience growing plants can probably manage to keep the ficus lyrata happy.
Where to Buy a Lyrata
If you think that the ficus lyrata is a good fit for your lifestyle and your home then it’s time to learn a little about what you need to get started. If you’ve seen this type of ficus in a local garden nursery then the good news is that you already know where to obtain the plant. If you don’t know whether your local garden supply shops have this particular species of ficus then you might want to stop in for a visit or call up the nurseries to check. Chances are pretty high that even if the nursery doesn’t have the plant in stock they could probably place a special order for you and have the plant delivered within a few weeks. If this isn’t an option for you then you might try looking online. There are many reputable online retailers that specialize in shipping plants to places all over the country and, indeed, even the world! The advantages to shopping online are that you can compare different stores both in the stock that they have on hand as well as the price, shipping speed, and shipping costs.
Planting the Ficus Lyrata in a Pot
Once you have chosen or ordered your ficus, it will be time to pick out a pot and gather together a few necessities for a smooth planting process. The best type of pot for a lyrata is one that provides ample room for the tree’s roots to spread out. Containers that are too small can cause your ficus’ roots to become bound, meaning that they reach the walls of the container and then grow back into itself, causing entanglement of the roots as well as stunted growth and failure to thrive. The pot should ideally have drainage holes and a drainage plate or base to allow excess water to be passed through the pot. This will greatly cut down on the growth of mold and bacteria, both of which can harm your plant and aren’t very nice things to have growing in your home, especially if you have pets or a toddler that might occasionally get into the plant’s soil.
When your plant arrives try to soak the roots in a bucket of water for about an hour before transferring it to a pot. Gather together a good quality potting soil, preferably one directed at potted trees, a pair of gloves, a trowel or garden spade, and a watering can. Start by filling the bottom of the pot with a bit of soil. Gently unwrap the roots of the lyrata from any packaging that they may contain, such as burlap or a temporary pot. Place the roots downward into the pot until the roots are no longer above the lip of the pot. Ideally you would like to have a good inch or two of soil covering the top of the roots. Fill in the rest of the pot with soil while keeping your ficus erect and steady. This can be a difficult task if you’ve ordered an older plant, so consider getting someone to help you with this step. Once you’ve filled the pot with soil scrape an inch or two layers across the roots of the tree. Make sure that the plant is steady and doesn’t uproot itself by falling over. If this happens then you might need to place the plants roots deeper into the pot. Finally top the process off by giving the soil a nice, deep watering. Place the ficus in a very sunny location, such as near a window that receives a few hours of direct sunlight.
Caring for a Ficus Lyrata
Long term care for the lyrata is very simple. When the first half inch to inch of soil in the pot becomes dry to the fingertip you will know that it is time to water the plant. Water the plane enough so that the top layer of soil is moist, then add a bit more until you hear or see water starting to drain from the holes in the bottom of the pot. Over time you may need to break away any leaves that have shriveled or become brown as they can still take nutrients away from the healthy parts of the tree.