Ficus lyrata care guide

In this guide you'll learn: How to care for your Ficus lyrata plant and
answers to FAQs to keep your plant happy

The Ficus lyrata, also known as the fiddle leaf fig, is an incredibly popular tropical foliage plant native to west Africa and features large and vibrant, violin-shaped glossy dark green leaves that capture attention wherever it’s placed.

Despite being one of the most popular house plants, it is sometimes tricky to take care of, but with the correct environment it can thrive and fill your home with an abundance of attractive leaves.

While the tree can reach 15 metres in lowland rainforests of the African coast, the fiddle leaf fig rarely eclipses 3 metres as an indoor plant, and can be easily controlled to a suitable size with regular pruning.

While it is a close relative of the fig tree (ficus carica), fiddleleaf figs very rarely produce fruit and it is unfortunately not too palatable and is often considering to be inedible.

Ficus lyrata are quick growers and can put out new leaves regularly, adding another one to two feet in height each growing season. Dwarf varieties are available that grow much more slowly and are much smaller than many of the photos that you’ll see online.

If you’re looking for your first plant, this is a good option that is long-lived and is very rewarding. If this is the plant for you, read our buyer’s guide below to get your plant delivered direct to you.

Ficus lyrata in the House & Office

The Ficus lyrata is a favourite of interior designers who are looking to add an attractive, naturally powerful, and tropical image to their room.

With such solid growth and large violin shaped leaves, it is a perfect plant to help clean the air, improving indoor air quality by producing ample amounts of fresh oxygen while the leaves make for excellent dust traps. 

This plant thrives indoors when given bright indirect light, typical indoor temperatures, high humidity and a consistent watering schedule. For offices, this makes it a great option if you can perfect all of these conditions, but the plant can be tricky to please and may show signs of distress by dropping lower leaves or developing brown spots if the environment is not suitable enough.

Ficus lyrata Size

As this tree can grow tall and to a significant size in the wild, it can still become a very large plant when grown indoors. While it can reach up to 300cm indoors, it often doesn’t reach this size and can be controlled by providing it with less fertiliser and by reducing light, as well as through pruning. 

Dwarf varieties are available which achieve half of the typical size or less.

Height: up to 300cm / 118in / 9.8ft

Spread: up to 180cm / 70in / 5.9ft

Ficus lyrata Care

Light: Your fiddle leaf fig tree will thrive in bright indirect light, but should be kept away from strong, direct light such as through a south-facing window. Keep your plant within a few feet of most bright windows, but at least five feet from a south-facing window to give it good and bright light that isn’t too strong.

Soil: A well-draining potting mix which still retains a good level of moisture is most appropriate. If creating your own mix, combine standard potting soil with a 30% mix of perlite and other materials to increase drainage, and ensure that your pot has a drainage hole so that the soil doesn’t become water-logged.

Watering: Your Ficus lyrata will benefit from a small amount of water once a week, or whenever the top one inch of soil feels try. Daily watering is not necessary and can contribute to root rot.

Humidity: While these plants can be happy enough with most indoor climates, they do prefer humidity levels over 50%. For optimal growth, provide a humidity level of more than 60% by grouping your plant together with others, turning on a humidifier or by sitting the pot on top of a tray of pebbles and water. Keep your plant in a well-lit bathroom or kitchen where the humidity is highest in the home.

Feeding: Fertilising your lyrata plant can be done with a standard houseplant feed every couple of weeks during summer, but should be cut back to once per month during spring and early autumn, and not at all during winter.

Temperature: Your plant will be comfortable at most indoor temperatures down to 15°C / 60°F’, but ideal temperatures for it to thrive are 18-24°C / 64-75°F’. Growth will slow to a halt as the temperature approaches freezing, and your plant may suffer some damage if exposed to freezing temperatures.

Ailments: These plants can be prone to leaf drop, which can happen if watering too much or too little, after transplanting, suddenly changing its environment, or if exposed to strong, direct sun for too long. If your plant starts to drop leaves, start by determining if you need to change the watering schedule and then look at changes to the environment.

Further care: Read our full care guide to help your plant thrive.

Where To Buy Ficus lyrata Online

  • Ebay (UK) / (USA)
  • Etsy
  • Bloombox Club (UK) / (USA)
  • Local Facebook Groups

The Ficus lyrata fiddle leaf fig tree is an easy-to-find and popular houseplant that is available at most plant retailers and garden centres.

We would recommend that you buy from a well-rated, positively-reviewed retailer online which can show a respectable return policy.

Marketplaces like Ebay and Etsy are often great places to find plants, where you can even choose the exact plant you’re looking for.

If you do buy online, you should inspect your plant after receiving the delivery and be sure to not introduce an infected or infested plant to the rest of your plant collection, to prevent any possible spread.

If you are unhappy with the plant you receive in any way, contact the retailer and begin the return and refund process, and never settle for a houseplant that is damaged or otherwise unhealthy.


Is Ficus lyrata an Indoor Plant?

While no plant has evolved to grow indoors, plants like the Ficus lyrata, also known as the fiddle leaf fig, can thrive indoors when provided with the right environment and proper care. This plant is extremely popular as an indoor plant and many plant owners do have success with growing incredible plants.

Is Ficus lyrata Poisonous?

Yes, the sap of this plant any many related Ficus plants is an irritant which can affect the eyes, nose, mouth and skin. The sap is toxic if ingested and can also affect animals. Please be careful when handling a cut or damaged plant and keep these plants away from children and pets who may nibble on the leaves.

Similar plants I think you'll love:

Ficus microcarpa

The Ficus microcarpa, also known as the Chinese Banyan tree and sometimes as Ficus ginseng, is a striking and fast-growing tropical plant from Asia, often grown indoors as a bonsai tree for its bushy nature and unique aerial roots. This tropical tree grows large with a wide and dense canopy in the wild, but is

View More
Ficus microcarpa

The Ficus microcarpa, also known as the Chinese Banyan tree and sometimes as Ficus ginseng, is a striking and fast-growing tropical plant

Read More

In this guide you'll learn: How & where to buy the Ficus elastica 'Shivereana', how to care for your plant and answers

Read More

About Ficus elastica 'Belize'The Ficus elastica 'Belize' is a vibrantly variegated cultivar of the incredibly popular and easy-to-grow rubber tree, with stunning

Read More

About Ficus benjaminaThe Ficus benjamina is an elegant and quick-growing tropical plant from Asia which has been popularised in homes and offices

Read More

In this guide you'll learn: How & where to buy the Ficus elastica 'Robusta', how to care for your plant and answers

Read More

In this guide you'll learn: How & where to buy the Ficus elastica 'Tineke', how to care for your plant and answers

Read More

About the Author

Follow me

Plant-lover with a life-goal to buy land across the UK to plant his own forest, James specialises in horticulture and botanical research, and has been growing and rewilding forests with trees, including endangered species, for over 15 years. He is an avid gardener, allotment owner, and aids in the running of a carbon neutral initiative in companies across the UK.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}