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05.17.12 / Fiddlin’ Around

Ah, the ever popular fiddle leaf fig tree. Can a houseplant be trendy? If so, then this one probably is. I’ve seen fiddle leaf figs sprouting up indoors over the past few years.

I’m not one to jump on the trend bandwagon. I just do, use or buy what I like and many times I walk to the beat of my own drum. But this is one bandwagon I’m willing to join. Which is odd because I’m typically a practical gal and a fig tree would be a perfectly impractical choice for me and my family.

For starters, I don’t have a green thumb – not even a mint pinky. I’ve heard figs need careful attention. Something about trimming their roots?! What the….?! Up until this discovery, I’d only heard of trimming plants’ upper bodies. You know, everything above the dirt line. Then there’s the whole direct vs. indirect lighting thing. Not to mention pruning for a bushier tree that doesn’t topple over from its own weight. Oh, and figs need water. But not too much. Not too little. Just right. Boy, these figs are finicky lil’ things, aren’t they? I can barely keep succulents alive and that’s just what I need right now…something else to nurture. Ha! This doesn’t bode well.

The fact that I have two rowdy boys bouncing around the house at all times isn’t favorable either. I see that fig getting knocked over during a brotherly wrestling match. And when Mabrey becomes mobile {you take your sweet time, baby girl}, I see her pulling up on the planter and digging in the dirt. Possibly even stuffing baby fistfuls of nutrient rich soil into her mouth.

About the only thing I have going for my fig + me romance is no pets to rummage the tree. Although if the male members {yes, I realize that says male members…laugh with me} of our household get their way, that could change.

And yet I still want a fiddle leaf fig tree. Badly. I’ve already thought about how I would decorate it like a Christmas tree for the holidays.

So, here’s my question for you: Have you ever done/chosen something for your home that you knew from the get-go was completely impractical but you were stubborn enough loved it enough to give it try?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

images: 1) source unknown 2) Grant K. Gibson Interior Design 3) Annette Joseph 4&5) Emily Henderson 6) Marion House

50 Comments

17.May.2012

Oh my gosh…those trees are gorgeous! I can see why your impractical side is winning out on this one! I don’t have much of a green thumb either…I would probably end the tree’s life wayyyy before it’s time.

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17.May.2012

Completely impractical for me is not giving up on having a healthy fiddle leaf fig plant. I too, cannot resist them and every one I’ve ever owned has had the leaves fall off until it is no longer a pleasure to look at. That, however does not stop me from purchasing them when I see them (luckily I don’t see a lot of them).

Good luck with it and if you’re successful…I want your secret!

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17.May.2012

I bought a white duvet cover even though our dog sleeps on our bed. With frequent washings it held up for three years and I still loved it’s neutral color and pin tucking detail. However eventually the pin tucking started coming undone and even with the washings it looked dingy. We changed to a more “practical” duvet cover but I have to say, I don’t love it like I loved that airy white duvet.

so maybe if the plant brings you enough joy it will be worth the hassle? Although I’d definitely tuck it away where wrestling boys can’t knock into it. That just sounds like a miserable mess:)

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replied on May 17th, 2012

Oh, I too have a king sized West Elm pintucked duvet (Sea Spray, not white!), and a very grotty, black, mud loving, dirty-pawed dog. Its lasted a year and a half now, well, two winters as its only on the bed for four months a year here in Texas. Lots of Oxiclean and two delicates cycles one after the other. I too love the cloudy pillowy goodness!

My impractical side purchased a cream linen-cotton-hemp blend, all natural couch so that our lovely puppy could put her paws all over it. I’ve given up, and now it stays brown unless we have company – I knew the cover was machine washable, but failed to take into account how much natural cotton etc shrink even in a cold wash! It is the most enormous bitch to put the wet, shrunken covers back on. I made the mistake of letting them dry once – they were about 1/4 the size they were meant to be! Le sigh.

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17.May.2012

My dining room table. It seats six and is way too big for the space. Just like my husband warned me it would be, darn it. But I desperately wanted something that would fit more than the four of us when company comes over. It has white legs and a natural wood top and I am thinking painting it all over white will make it appear smaller… /ponder. Probably another disaster waiting to happen! :D

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replied on May 17th, 2012

Now is that Benjamin Moore magical white shrinking paint or magical disappearing white paint…..sooo hard to decide. lol

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17.May.2012

DITTO. on all. i want a fig tree so badly! i was actually hoping you were going to clue us in on a great, high-quality faux fig tree. because that’s what i really need. help!!

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17.May.2012

Gorgeous! I would love one of those in my home. I would definitely kill it in less than a month though, I’m sure. I echo the previous sentiments on purchasing a high-quality faux fig tree. Any live plants that require so much maintenance are just not practical for my family. Do tell if you decide to go faux!

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17.May.2012

I just realized that I need to add a fig to our living room! We had one growing up and I always loved it.

I’m quite the master of impractical home choices. We’re renovating our mid-century modern and there are so, so many times that I say “well, since we’re already do this, why not just do that too.” The latest has to be the ceiling. It had a plaster texture that had never been painted (the entire ceiling had never been painted?!) so the plaster would flake and fall. Not to mention collect a ton of dust. I took my putty knife and just started scraping and scraping and scraping. Now we have a texture free ceiling that makes the entire house (open floor plan) feel so much bigger. Everyone thought I was crazy until they saw the end result. :)

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17.May.2012

I just bought a fiddle leaf fig 2 months ago! I had seen them everywhere and was in love, like you. So far, it has been very, very easy and seems to be quite happy. It keeps sprouting new leaves. We love it! I water it once a week with a pitcher of water. I replanted it when I first got it to one pot-size larger (only one pot-size at a time was recommended). I shouldn’t need to trim roots for years (not sure how long, but there is now plenty of room to grow). I am going to add either moss or river rock to the top of the pot, which may help with your concerns about young ones eating mouthfuls of dirt (would moss or rocks be better?!). For what it’s worth, I’m happy with ours and my thumbs aren’t so green either.

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17.May.2012

what about a high quality artifical one?

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17.May.2012

I have a pair of beautiful light-colored NOT slipcovered chairs. Love them to pieces, but totally not practical for a house with children…

I say get it and put the beautiful tree in your bedroom. While I’m sure you leave the door open for children to use the room, it’s going to get a bit less traffic and you’ll see it morning and night to make sure that you keep it well taken care of.

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17.May.2012

For me it is white bedding. I married into two 70lb dogs and they are just messy, no matter what I try. I LOVE the look of an all white bed, so I desperately tried that for the longest time. The stinkers learned that they couldn’t be on the bed when we’re home, but I couldn’t stop them when we were gone. So I finally abandoned ship on the white bedding and have a patterned quit now. I still wash it all the time because I know it still gets dirty, but at least I don’t SEE it as much any more. Oh well.

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replied on May 17th, 2012

I had the same problem but the solution i found was to put a couple of clear Vinyl runners those ones for like halls and front doors with the Vinyl spikes on the underside.

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202280466/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=Clear+Vinyl+Runners&storeId=10051

Place the mats on the bed with the ‘Spiky’ side up and use safety pins or something to make them stay on the bed. When they jump up on the bed and try to get comfy the ‘spikes’ are enough that they dislike the feeling and make it uncomfortable for them but will not cause them injury or pain. Keep this up for a month or so and they will never jump on on your couch or bed again…..train them mentally….they will not associate you bed with comfort anymore, that it is not a comfortable place to lay down and they will avoid going there when your gone.

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17.May.2012

I have a Fiddle Leaf Fig that I’ve owned for 10+ years and have not had a single problem with it. It just keeps getting bigger and better with each passing year. I water it once a week and it sits in a room where it gets lots of bright, indirect light. Try one….I think you’ll be surprised just how easy they are to grow/maintain!

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replied on May 17th, 2012

I’m curious…where abouts do you live? Just wanting to know climate-wise. Do you have warmer and colder seasons? Do you do anything special to the tree during those times? Fertilize? I NEED TO KNOW YOUR SECRET!!

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replied on May 17th, 2012

I live in Southern California so no extremes in temps during the year. I guess I’m lucky in that regard and take it for granted. I fertilize during the summer months with Jack’s Classic All Purpose 20-20-20, which is GREAT stuff. I use it on all my houseplants and they all really thrive because of it. Hope this helps!

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I bought a cream colored sectional off CL’s. We have two kids (and one of the way), but I really wanted a light neutral colored sofa, it’s only been a few months and its secondhand so I didn’t pay too much for it, but everyone questioned the choice…I’m happy with it though, so there you have it. :)

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17.May.2012

I love the fiddle leaf trees… they really are beautiful- I don’t know about the root trimming thing though… eek! Still though- sometimes a girl’s just got get something that makes her happy in the midst of all the chaos, you know? Give it a try- I’d love to see how it goes.

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Hubster and I purchased a Meyer lemon tree last year despite the fact that it sounds like we’re similar in our lack of green thumbs. I kill most plantlife. The tree was much harder to ignore so it actually gets watered and has survived (and even blossomed!) thus far. I bet you could work a fiddle tree into your life and I’m pretty sure they’re not very expense. We all have to splure now and again… even if it’s on something we know won’t last.

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17.May.2012

Your timing is amazing! I saw one of these in a picture on another site today and was wondering what type of tree it was.

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17.May.2012

We have white bedding with 2 black and white cats. We have a blanket at the end folded hotel style and we’ve trained them to only sleep on the blanket, which they seem to prefer anyway. Hurray!

We have a lime tree and a kumquat tree. We bought them last summer. Our over winter care wasn’t stellar but I have high hopes that they will strengthen again this summer. I think you should get the tree, it’ll be beautiful for at least a few months even if you kill it. My mom has had a rubber tree since 1975 (it’s still alive!), I don’t remember playing in its dirt as a kid… but it probably would have helped my immune system if I had!

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Our slate tile floors are a pain with a once crawling/now running kid who likes to face plant on a daily basis. Plus they show dirt like crazy so I practically sleep with a Swiffer in my hand. But I love them. We have the Zanizibar Gem (or ZZ plant) in our house and those suckers have survived two years of my neglect and a toddler who likes to touch the leaves and go “oooooh”.

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17.May.2012

I’m so in love with those trees too, but I’m awful with plants so I’m refusing to let myself invest in one yet. Maybe someday!

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17.May.2012

Now, is this plant “NASA” recommended? :) either way it is gorgeous… The pictures are so pretty.

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replied on May 17th, 2012

Nothing NASA about a fig tree. {That would be a practical reason to get one!} I just want one.

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replied on May 17th, 2012

Funny! I say go for it! I live vicariously through your shopping endeavors as it is… It is good for my budget. The down side is that my house desperately screams for tweaking. ;).
Seriously, it is not quite that bad yet… And reading your blog gives me great ideas!

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17.May.2012

I had a fiddle leaf fig once. Then it, well, geez, didn’t know about trimming the roots!

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I have a white duvet that our dog (R.I.P) used to sleep on all the time and a palm tree for our bedroom that gets very little light. The duvet made it but the tree died shortly after purchase.

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17.May.2012

Greetings from Planet Toddler. We crash landed here about 4 months ago and, having been here before 6 years ago, had quite forgotten what a busy place this is. Choices that seemed sensible on Planet Earth suddenly aren’t. Who would have thought kitchen cupboards weren’t sensible – add one 18 month old and you have chaos. We are renting so can’t affix safety catches. Every morning, within minutes of waking, we have a trail of tupperware from one end of the kitchen floor to the other. Plates, chemicals, vases, platters, mugs, rubbish and other seemingly harmless items are now up high out of reach. It won’t last of course, she keeps growing. Indoor plants are now enjoying a peaceful life outside and they have never been better. So enjoy your fig tree indoors for a few months and then retire her gracefully to your patio.It will only be for a few years and the plant will thank you for it!

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17.May.2012

I just bought a black and white chevron rug for the living room. I have a dog who occasionally has diarrhea and a cat who coughs up hair balls. I love the way the rug looks. Or looked. I picked it up and put it away as my dog is sick again. I used to have a brown rug that didn’t show dirt, hair, vomit, etc. I knew it got dirty I just couldn’t see it on a daily basis.

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17.May.2012

If you’re willing to put money into it, you could get a fake version. A high-quality one would look real enough to fool those who don’t look very closely and you wouldn’t have to deal with dirt or watering/pruning/etc. It’ll be expensive, but the expense will pay off in time thanks to its longevity (and never turning a sad yellow or brown).

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replied on May 17th, 2012

But never bother to buy a cheapo fake plant. It’ll *look* cheap and you’ll regret it every time you look at it. Pay for quality or don’t get a fake plant.

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17.May.2012

Yes, definitely yes. I have seagrass dining chairs and four cats (with claws). Everyone told me it was a terrible idea, but I loved them so much I couldn’t get the idea out of my head long enough to consider any other chairs. White kitchen cabinets, despite a crazy-busy kitchen. Light colored couch even though our dogs are allowed on the furniture. The list goes on . . . . in my experience, if I love it enough, I’ll make the effort to take really good care of it, protect it from whatever disaster I know is going to happen imminently and find a way to make it work. I’d rather not compromise—money is hard-earned, why spend it on something you don’t really love, you know?

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18.May.2012

Really, these are pretty hardy, easy care plants. I used to work in horticulture & these were often installed in big office lobbies , banks & restaraunts. I think the relatively high maintenance plant you’re thinking of is the Ficus Benjamina or weeping fig- not the fiddle leaf fig- Ficus Lyrata ( Or in some very old refferences- Ficus Pandurata) I’ve never heard of anyone root pruning any fig- We never did. Diffuse light just means – some sunlight- but not hot sun from a south window shining right on it. Put it in a heavy planter- I have mine in a ceramic pot on a plant dolly or keep in in it’s plastic pot (with drainage holes & a saucer under it ) & put this inside a wicker basket with big stones or small bricks to keep it upright. If you’re really drawn to these give one a try !

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18.May.2012

Wow, they look big. I have one of these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50120062/ and they are absolutelyeasy to take care of. They need water only once in about three weeks and that’s what I like about them – I like their looks, of course. We have two of them in the house now and when they grow too big I just cut everything off (they look a bit funny then) and they start to grow leaves again… my perfect plants because I have the black thumb – I kill plants at regular intervals and buy new ones all the time. We’ve had these PACHIRA AQUATICAS for two years now… seems like it makes sense. ;)
Jule

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18.May.2012

About 8 years ago I was obsessed with this white, slip covered sectional from Restoration Hardware. I spied it for months and visualized how great it would look in my living room. I had a young daughter and another baby on the way. I finally went in to the store and asked if they would sell the floor model and they did! I got it for 1/2 price. The day the couch was delievered my husband was home and I was at work. He called me to say that we got the wrong couch because this one was white and he asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I picked a white couch and we’d have to just take care of it and make sure the kids didn’t ruin it. Well 8 years later it’s still white and has had everything from pomogranite juice to blue paint to pen mark on it, but all has washed out. I got hell from all my friends and family, but I loved it. We finally switched to a leather couch a few weeks ago, but I totally enjoyed my white, down-filled sectional all these years and ‘got it out of my system’. I also think that just because you have kids doesn’t mean your life has to be put on hold and your decor has to be ‘kid friendly’. I took every opportunity to teach them to respect my stuff and what to touch and not touch. I think they do great and my house stays pretty, most of the time :)

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18.May.2012

I bought mine a few years ago from Home Depot. It was a total impulse buy…totaly giving into the trend. Well, it’s been super easy and worth every penny. I have it next to a window that gets Eastern light. I have no window treatment on the upper portion of the window( I live in New Orleans, so our windows ares super tall), so it gets to drink in the light all day. I water it once a week and maybe feed it with a little Miracle Gro once every two months. It has tripled in size, so it’s a happy plant. I would give it a try. It really makes a statement, and it has been incredibly easy to keep alive. :)
I would send you a picture of mine, but I don’t think there is anyway to send you snaps. Good luck.

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replied on May 19th, 2012

You could definitely email me a pic!…danarmiller {at} hotmail {dot} com

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18.May.2012

You have plenty of property to grow a beautiful mission fig outside. Lots of wonderful fruit, too!

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18.May.2012

oh my my….first, if you LOVE something it is never impractical. love means happiness, contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment. hence, it’s a need. second, there are health benefits to indoor plants…they remove toxins and help to purify the air and they can add humidity. and it’s been proven that houseplants make people feel calmer. they add energy and life to a space. girl, all of this makes your fiddle leaf fig tree an absolute essential!!! go for it. life is fragile. enjoy what makes you happy.

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18.May.2012

They are very pretty, I want one too. I’ve never seen any thou, where do you buy one. Also I’d like to add that this Fiddle leaf Fig tree is on the list of poisonous house plants. They can be harmful if they are ingested. Just something to take into consideration.

http://houseplants-care.blogspot.com/2007/04/poisonous-houseplants.html

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replied on May 19th, 2012

Yet another reason that makes them completely impractical!!

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replied on May 22nd, 2012

Actually, there are hundreds of common plants that are poisonous, much more so that this Fig. The foliage of all Ficus (and this tree is just a type of Ficus) releases a latex that is highly allergenic to certain individuals. In reality, I would be more afraid of certain ornamental and edible plants that are commonly grown outside than this tree. Check out these plants to be really afraid: Castor Beans, Moonflower, Morning Glory, and even Tomato leaves!

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18.May.2012

Get a faux one!!! I think they are gorgeous, and have (surprisingly?) never heard of them!

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21.May.2012

I would NEVER have another poisonous plant/tree in my home again after a VERY scary incident involving my daughter. PLEASE- if you have kids or pets opt for a high quality faux instead.

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19.September.2012

I really, really want a fiddle leaf fig tree too – yes, trendy, but so pretty!

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16.October.2012

I hope you bought your tree by now, if not just go to IKEA and get a small ($12) one. I got mine about a month ago. It’s still alive.
Answering question a have to say that I wanted a white sofa for SOOO long but knew it is not practical with my messy family and my husband will never agree. I finally found one that I liked @ Macy’s. So one day I dropped my husband to the airport (he was going to the business trip). I stopped at the store and ordered my white couch. Purchasing a protection plan made me fell even better but I haven’t used it yet since July. My husband had no clue when he came back from his trip. I made this “surprise” look like it his Birthday present. I don’t know what I would come up with if it wouldn’t be his B-Day. I was glad he liked our new living room with white couch. I’ve been very happy with my white sofa and SOOO glad I made the decision to buy it without my husband’s influence ;-)

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10.January.2013

I found your site when I was searching online to see if fig trees were still in style in home decor. I have one in almost every room of the house. I love them! I think they warm up everything! I put white lights on all of mine and they are on a timer so only run during the night…perfect night lights around the house!
PS – mine are FAUX except for one that hates me :(

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11.March.2013

I found your fabulous site while looking for care instructions for my new fiddle leaf fig- so glad I did! If you haven’t purchased one yet I encourage you to do so soon. Buy from Home Depot, they offer a 12 month guarantee on all of their plants, so that’s two chances to get it right!

Nice dishes are always an impractical buy for me. My kids have dish duty and seem to break a dish a week unless I stick to plastic or Correl. But I love nice dishes! My grandmother purchased me a set of beautiful china a few years ago. I use it several times throughout the year on nights when I have time to do the dishes myself. ;)

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