...because home doesn't happen overnight.

My kids haven’t had a full week of school in over a month. Cabin fever doesn’t even begin to describe the pent up energy and general irritability that we’re experiencing. Saturday the temperature reached 45ºF and it felt like summer. We took two long walks hoping they hold us over until April.

fig tree

Last Tuesday my kids had yet another snow day so I did what any parent with three bored kids would do on a Tuesday. I hit up Ikea for the Kids Eat Free Tuesday ploy. Of course, I ended up buying stuff so it wasn’t all free. I had a small shopping list going in and stuck to it save for one tempting item.

fig tree 1

Meet Mr. Fig. (And, yes, I’m officially a design blogger now.) I have always wanted a fiddle leaf fig but could never justify the money against my consistently black thumb. Fiddle leaf figs love rainforest climates so they aren’t all that common in Ohio and prices usually reflect that contradiction. I’ve seen them from $50-$100+ in local nurseries and home improvement stores.

fig tree 3

But when I spotted this guy for only $12.99 at Ikea, I just had to give him a go. If my black thumb conquers all, I’m only out thirteen bucks and I know not to ever buy another fig. He’s so brave, isn’t he?

Getting him to the car was quite comical and I liken it to taking my first newborn out on a cold winter’s day. “Gotta keep him warm! He will freeze! Protect him! We need more blankets! Is he still breathing? Oh, wait. He’s sweating.”

I left him on a trolley inside the store while the kids and I fetched the car and warmed it up all nice and toasty like. Only then did Mr. Fig leave the building. (In my defense it was 0ºF.) I don’t know much about plants but it seems reasonable that they can suffer frostbite much like a human. That was my thinking anyway. And I wasn’t going to jeopardize the one shot I had at a fig. He survived the car ride and I promptly ran him inside while my kids waited in the car. Figs > kids.

fig tree 4

The planter is vintage (I bought it at our house’s estate sale) and I picked up a cheap stand on wheels so I can move Mr. Fig around easily. When it’s spray-painting season, I’ll probably paint the stand. I haven’t actually transplanted him to the pot yet. Waiting for a warm day?

fig tree 5

I did some reading up on figs and decided my guy would probably do best in front of the french doors in the kitchen. (Ahem, sneak peek of my workspace. Full reveal coming soon!) He should receive plenty of indirect light from the north-facing doors and skylights. The doors lead to our grilling patio and, seeing as how we haven’t grilled anything for nearly three months and probably won’t for another two, we don’t use them right now. When it’s warmer and we’re no longer using the fireplace, I’d like to roll him over to the TV wall (similar to the location of our Christmas tree) but I think he’d shrivel up over there in the winter with all the dry heat. I have a feeling this guy is going to get moved around a lot. So happy he’s on wheels.

The other evening Steve asked, “So, is this thing staying here?”

This thing, I thought. Hmph. Clearly, he has no idea what high stature the fiddle leaf fig has in the design community. Forgive him. He knows not what he sees.

Me: Why? You planning on doing some grilling tonight?

Steve: Well, no. But I might someday.

Me: I’m going to move him over by the TV when it gets warmer but the fireplace would fry him right now.

Steve: Did you just refer to it as “him”?

Me: Maybe.

fig tree 6

So he’s living here for now. So far, so good. These days our house is really dry with the fireplace or furnace running. Before Mr. Fig came to live with us, we were considering the purchase of a humidifier but haven’t acted on the thought yet. I read to water figs thoroughly and allow the soil to dry out in between waterings which has equated to watering every three days over the past week. That will probably vary as the seasons change and it’s going to take some effort and attention on my part but I’m fully committed at this point.

fig tree 2

I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I’ll take any advice or tips you have to offer. I’ve heard occasional showers (in the bathroom) can do wonders for figs. I might be the weird mom throwing her kids in the shower with a tree.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

88 Comments

04.February.2014

Good luck with your fig! I’ve had one for over a year now and it started out about your size and is now half way up our window that it sits in front of. I have found it to be pretty easy to care for. It is in a window on the side of our home so gets plenty of light, but nothing super glaring and I water it when it is dry and that is about it. I ended up ordering mine online from Home Depot and it was very, very strange to have a plant shipped in a box to my home, but it has survived just great. I do think that plants suffer a bit from being out in the cold when you transport them home as my oldest and I just went to the garden store last week to buy cactus and the girl at the checkout wrapped them all up and secured them in a box before putting them in a paper bag to shield them from the cold.

Have a great week!
Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

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04.February.2014

I’m so jealous! I know Ikea has these, but they must not have them (ever) at our Ikea in Utah, because they’re never there when I go – even when the Ikea website says they’re “most likely in stock at your location”. Liars. But still, I live in eternal hope.

I love how your home is coming together! Yours is one of the few blogs I read from the very beginning. And by that I mean I went back through your archives and spent about two days reading every last post.

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replied on February 4th, 2014

Aw, bless you for missing two days of your life! Maybe figs will come to Utah soon?? I go to my local Ikea frequently and this is the FIRST time I’ve seen them in stock.

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replied on February 4th, 2014

You give me hope that maybe they finally will be in stock at our Ikea! ~runs off to obsessively stalk Ikea website~

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That is a good looking fig. And I really like the pot. We just took advantage of IKEA’s Kids Eat Free Tuesday today, except I bought a sofa, so yeah, glad I saved that $6 on the girls’ lunch! Maybe I should have bought a fig, too. Nah, it was tricky enough dealing with two kids and a sofa.

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04.February.2014

You are so legit now!!!!! Ha!

I am jealous! I have had my eye on them and want to take the plunge. But, I want to make sure I find a planter that will do ‘him’ justice! Yours is awesome.

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04.February.2014

A friend of mine recently bought one from the Ikea in MN, and sure enough, by the time she got “him” home, there was definite frostbite! So, you’re not crazy at all. It turned really ugly for several days, then all the leaves fell off. Just as she was about to trash it (waiting for the garbage pick-up day), she noticed new, tiny leaves poking through, so hers is on the mend but it will certainly take a long time.
I actually bought one from Ikea for myself a little over a year ago {thekimcollective.com/fiddle-leaf-fig-trees/}, and now she (her name is Fabiana) is about 5 feet tall! I give her a deep watering every 7-10 days, stick her outside during Spring & Summer, and she’s thriving. Good luck with your little guy!

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replied on February 4th, 2014

I love that you gave yours a name! Where do you live? Just trying to gauge your climate against mine.

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replied on February 4th, 2014

I’m in NJ – agricultural zone 6a, I think. I’m trying to reverse my black thumb, too! Though I don’t have a lot of sunlight in my home, surprisingly Fabiana has been pretty happy in my care. ;)

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replied on February 4th, 2014

I agree with the 7-10 day watering method. Figs are very sensitive to being over watered so look out for dark spots developing on the leafs. That’s a sign to slow your roll with the H2O. Good luck and I hope he thrives :)

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replied on February 4th, 2014

Good to know that black spots are from over watering! I mentioned to the woman at our local garden store where I got my Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree and her suggestion was to spray it with a fungicide? Too high maintenance for me.

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replied on February 4th, 2014

I agree with the watering every 7-10 days. Every 3 days seems like alot so look out for spots and water less if you see any. Most plants only need water ever week or so.

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replied on February 5th, 2014

Yep, every 3 days sounds like a lot (and I live in dry AZ)! Dig down a bit with your finger and if it’s still damp under the thin top layer, it’s fine to go a bit longer- maybe once/week? Most plants die from overwatering. I deep water about every 7-10 days….put the plant in the sink and water until the water drains all the way through the bottom, then I leave it overnight and put it back in the morning. Good luck!

replied on February 5th, 2014

I think my problem was not watering it enough the first time I watered it…so it was completely dry after just 3 days. I watered thoroughly the second time so hopefully that will keep it happy longer.

04.February.2014

Our IKEA does not sell live plants, so jealous!! Dana, what is the wall color of your kitchen? I’m having the hardest time picking out a gray paint color for our living room.

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replied on February 4th, 2014

It’s Benjamin Moore tapestry beige.

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replied on February 6th, 2014

It doesn’t look beige AT ALL!!! I hate when the names of the paint color do that. It messes with my brain.

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replied on February 6th, 2014

I know! During our renovation I told people we were painting our kitchen “tapestry beige” and they were less than excited. It’s a very granny name, isn’t it?

04.February.2014

Love the fiddle fig! One piece of advice…mine tends to thrive best when I leave it in one place. I learned the hard way that it doesn’t like being moved from room to room. However, that could also have to do with the fact that I am terrible with plants!

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04.February.2014

I am also a serial plant killer, but have been eyeballing a fiddle leaf fig tree for a while now. I can’t wait to hear about your experience with him! ;)

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04.February.2014

enough with the snow days! tomorrow is not looking good here in Columbus–we’re out of calamity days and our district is sending ‘blizzard bags’ (by email) so the kids are supposed to work on a snow day.

we’ve been waiting for it to warm up enough to get our roof repaired…the tarp that has been up there since December just blew off, of course on an evening when my husband is teaching. this is not going to be a fun night!

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04.February.2014

That is hilarious! I have noticed them a LOT in design stuff over the last few years. You’re right about it being like a ‘design right of passage.’

I’ve been wanting one for a while now too. I knew we’d be moving (moved in September) so I’ve held off because I’ve heard such rumors about them being hard to care for! (need lots of light & warmth, keep them in one place and never move them, etc.)

I’m anxious to see how yours does and how you like it (since I am a regular reader). Now I’m just waiting on it to warm up a bit before I go get one (like you I am scared to take it outside to get it home!!). Love it in your estate sale planter!

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04.February.2014

I love these! I found my first one over the summer at a market in downtown Charleston, WV. It was only $25 and I was convinced they had no clue what they hand on their hands and that I had just struck gold…plant gold. That one isn’t holding up as well as I would like but I grab one at Ikea a couple months back and it’s doing better. Loving the little peek of your work station, I’m so glad you found a stool that works!

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04.February.2014

I bought one from home depot in September and it has since almost dropped all its leaves but two :(. I believe its from over watering. I was told that if you see it browning in the veins of the leaves and the edges that is the plant trying to push out the extra water…. which is what mine was doing, when I watered it every week to week and a half. Just a warning! :)

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04.February.2014

Good luck with this little guy. I think it would bring out more of the design blog READER in me to also have a fiddle leaf fig (a phrase I love, by the way)….but I can barely even keep a poor succulent alive. The good news is that we have one at work, out in the lounge. I can see it from here. It’s GIANT. And awesome. It fits the mid-century vibe of the building and makes me happy when I walk by it. I know yours will too.

jbhat

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04.February.2014

My Ikea fiddle leaf has survived 3 glorious years in my Portland, Oregon home! He has shed a few leaves {and gained a few new too!} but staying in one sunny spot and irregular watering has proven to be a good system. They are slow growers but mine is about waist high now.

Good luck! You can do it!
xo~

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04.February.2014

I purchased one of the Ikea fig trees as well last summer, and I read somewhere that wiping the leaves gently on occasion to remove any dust buildup is recommended too. Something about helping the leaves with photosynthesis, since the leaves have such a large surface area. I started to do it with mine occasionally, and I swear it helps! It grew lots of new leaves shortly after I started, and it had been on the brink of death before I read that tip.

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04.February.2014

Does he have a name? I dragged two live Christmas trees into my entryway (root bulbs and all) for Christmas this year. Their names are Chester and Fester, and they’re currently enjoying the back yard. Or, at least, I hope they are. The landscaper instructed us to keep them cold and wet, which the weather has been doing for us (ugh).

Your tree is so cute, I love the planter and … well, pretty much everything. Serious kitchen envy. SERIOUS. I have been toying with the idea of getting one, on the grounds that I like the way they look and “all the cool kids are doing it” – which is part of the reason I got the sheepskin throw-thingie for my tractor stool (the rest of the reason is that the metal tractor stool gets COLD and STAYS COLD).

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I’d love to get a fig but I read they’re poisonous to cats and dogs. Do any pet owners have a fig? I thought they might be okay if the leaves don’t shed.

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replied on February 8th, 2014

I have 2 cats and they plant nibble all the time. Never had any ill effects. Vets do not all agree that the Fiddle Leaf is toxic for cats and dogs and the Merck Veterinary manual does not list it as a hazardous house plant.

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04.February.2014

Dana, congrats on your new addition!:-). That’s awesome that IKEA offers such an affordable fig tree. I scored a beautiful fake one for $10 on Craigslist this past Fall. And I’m happy to report I havent killed it yet (yep, I have such a black thumb I could probably even kill a fake plant) :-). Anyways, I feel your pain with having kids bouncing off the walls due to all the snow days…it’s been a rough winter that way!
Looking forward having 45 degree weather again sometime.:-)

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04.February.2014

Love your new addition! Beautiful styling around it too. Will love to follow along on how he adjusts. Thanks for sharing.

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04.February.2014

Hi Dana,
We are currently looking to build our patio and I am wondering how big is your whole patio slab , just to give me ideas of the size of the patio for a setting like yours. Thank you.

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I’m still adjusting to HH= steve. Like who is Steve?! But Mr. Fig? I know him. I’ll probably buy one in a year since I can never commit to a trend until it’s over [seriously- why?!] … and then kill it. That’s what I do. Good luck!

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04.February.2014

A few pieces of advice…water a lot less. When they say dry, it means sticking your finger in the soil an inch or two and the soil is dry. I am in MN and I water mine about once a week or longer and it is thriving. Also, you might want to think about moving it once a year as the light changes. The more you move it, the more stress you cause the plant. Basically, every time you move it, the plant has to adjust to the amount of light/intensity/source and that can cause leaf drop.

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04.February.2014

What part of Ohio do you live in? I live near Cleveland. I loooove plants and have been pining away for some bigger ones. I got a zz plant from Ikea a few years ago and its doing great. The fern I got there is super luscious too. Maybe a fiddle leaf would be happy in my bathroom with the big north facing window.

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replied on February 5th, 2014

We’re in southwestern Ohio.

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04.February.2014

Yay for the fiddle leaf fig tree! I’ve read online that they can be found at Home Depot, but everytime I wander around the garden area at ours (I’m in southeastern Michigan), they are nowhere to be found. To IKEA I must go! (as if I need an excuse)

Thanks for the tip – and good luck with yours!

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04.February.2014

Something about the fiddle leaf fig encourages excessive attachment. I call mine Figgy (so creative) and spend an inordinate amount of time discussing how he “feels”… “Figgy is too hot!” “Figgy hates this dry air” “I think Figgy doesn’t like being by the door… it’s too drafty.”

I would be embarrassed but my bf has a money tree that he refers to as his “son.” So, I am not even the weirdest plant lover in our household.

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I got my little fiddle aka Farrah (ours is a girl) from Ikea some months ago and she’s doing wonderfully. I have her sitting in front of the sliding glass doors in our family room and she loves it. I will say this though, Dana. Fiddles are quite finicky. They are actually quite particular about being moved. If you find a place it likes, leave it there. Also only water when needed. Once a week I poke my finger in about an inch and feel the soil. If there’s still moisture don’t water it, if its dry give it a good drink. Also try and wipe off the leaves every couple weeks or so to keep it lint free. It helps it absorb the sunlight better. If you keep those couple things in mind, you’ll be good. When I first brought her home she was the size of yours, now she’s tall and I’m in the phase of pruning her to give her a more tree-like look as opposed to looking bushy. So excited to see you add more plants to the mix. Good Luck with Mr. Fig.

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05.February.2014

Woo-hoo! Your fiddle leaf fig looks luscious! Have no fear, he will survive! I’m a black thumb myself, and I’ve managed to keep mine alive since last summer….and I live in Stockholm, Sweden!!! Hello, we have looong and dark winters here! I water mine once a week. I just stick my finger in the soil, and when it feels dry I just water it. Not sure if this has made a difference, but last winter when I visited my people in FLA (God, I miss the warm, humid weather), my Mother gave me a small bag of Better Gro (Controlled Release 11-11-18) because I was having problems with my orchids. I added some pellets to every house-pant including Mr. Fig, and everything is copacetic. At first, ignorant moi shoved Mr. Fig in the corner of our living room, and believe it or not, he started moving towards the window! So I’ve had him next to the window since then, and he’s been happy as a clam. I’ve read that figs prefer indirect light…and they’re usually hard to kill. Btw, I’ve had my orchids in the bathroom (window = indirect light), and they love it there! I now have four blooms. :)

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replied on February 5th, 2014

When I wrote “moving towards the window, ” I meant leaning towards the light. Just wanted to clear that up. :)

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05.February.2014

What a lovely little chap! We have these in our local ikea (Manchester, UK) and I too have so far resisted but really need to bite the bullet. I worry about the light as the winters here are G-R-E-Y and gloomy with not any snow reflections to brighten things up, and I have so far killed 2 ferns, but plants add so much to a space. You’ve inspired me, I’m going to do it!

PS On the note of orchids, I have loads of (ex-ikea) orchid plants and find that instead of the indirect bright light they say they need, that mine like a south/west facing window with direct light. I put them there as my orchid nursery and when they grow a new flower shoot and are ready to bloom I move them to their new location. (Strong sun tends to fade the flowers.)

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05.February.2014

If I know one thing about plants, it’s that they love a little sweet talk! Nothing weird, just casual chats while I make dinner. “How was your day, can I get you anything, like eternal life…”

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replied on February 5th, 2014

I’ve heard of people singing to their plants, too!

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05.February.2014

Definitely water less. Most plants actually die from over watering which causes root rot. I water mine every one to two weeks. The soil needs to be completely dry down deep in the ball of the plant not just dry to the touch on top. I also rotate mine occasionally to try and keep it upright as it likes to reach for the sunlight. Other than that, an occasional wipe down of the leaves is about all they require. I admit, I love mine so much I am planning to buy a second. Glad to see the Ikea in Ohio has them as I live in Indy and as soon as this weather breaks I will be ready for a road trip! Good luck with your fig!

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05.February.2014

Ooh, fun! I am a (somewhat proficient) gardener in Missouri, so I have a collection of potted plants that have to make the transition inside every winter in order to survive. Right now my sun room is full of jasmine, hibiscus, and geraniums! I love the idea of a fig but definitely don’t have any room left right now.

Also, so jealous of your Ikea trips. I am 7 hours from an Ikea and have been once (though oh, what a marvelous day it was)! :)

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05.February.2014

I bought one too! 3 months ago. Brought it to the office (9th floor in Atlanta-Buckhead) where it gets great light but dries out quickly. I’m watering every 5 days or so. I would agree with comments about moving. Once a fig is in place, it doesn’t liked to be moved (won’t kill it but lots of leaf drop). However, maybe if you move regularly it will be ok. Ask Mr. Fig his preference. When the weather warms up, be sure to take him outside–just not in direct sun.

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05.February.2014

Oh you Easterners! A fig as a houseplant? No way! Living in Southern California, I avoided planting a fig, because the tree becomes huge and takes over the yard and plops figs everywhere. The same for Jade – I really wondered Dana, when you planted one in your kitchen wall display – those grow into bushes five feet wide. (Don’t get me started on Rubber Trees.)

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replied on February 8th, 2014

The Fiddle Leaf doesn’t flower or fruit when kept as a houseplant.

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05.February.2014

Hi there! Love the plant too, but I am commenting more on the “gazillionth” snow day! Yes, as I sit here, the kids are loving yet another snow day! We live in Ohio too! (not too far from Ikea ourselves, so I might just be headed that way when all the ice melts! :) )This winter has been unbelievable! Hope you survive! We will be in school until July… Hope you have a great day!

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05.February.2014

Here’s an idea…I don’t have a fiddle leaf fig, but I do have several other plants. I keep a gallon (milk) jug under the sink with half strength fertilizer and use it to water all my house plants all the time…so much easier to get around to feeding them…you can’t believe the difference fertilizer makes!!

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05.February.2014

totally jealous it hit 45 there! the highest we have seen is 38 and i think i have cabin fever worse than the kiddo =/

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05.February.2014

I’ve yet to see a fiddle fig plant at our IKEA (Seattle!), lucky you! But I LOVE the way it looks with the pot it’s in. The black ties in with your black door and cabinets and I think a solid color (any color) of spray paint would be boring. I’m on team don’t paint the pot! ;)

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replied on February 5th, 2014

Oh no, I meant spray paint the metal stand with wheels that the planter is on! I’m NOT painting the planter.

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replied on February 7th, 2014

Oh! Misunderstood. We have the same metal stand with wheels, and yeah, no biggie if it gets painted. Thanks for clarifying!

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05.February.2014

Plant nerd, here! I (literally) keep green things alive and growing for a living.
The light in your house should be great for Mr. Fig. I agree that you might be watering too often, but that depends on the amount and how dry your house is. This can be tricky and there is no set rule, so it is best to water well and then (as others have said, yay, others!) use the finger test to determine if the soil does have moisture before watering again. As long as it is in the plastic nursery pot, you can also lift it a bit to see if it is heavy or light. Point being, the way the surface looks can and will lie to you.
Next, that is a lovely planter pot, quite beautiful- BUT- plant nerds like me are always freaking out about drainage. To know that your larger plant is getting water to it’s roots, you should give enough so that the water runs out of the bottom of the pot, just a little. For this to happen your pot needs drainage. If your plant is a difficult one to take care of (figs can be temperamental, and are prone to leaf-throwing tantrums, much like the ficus) then you really don’t want to chance getting the water amount wrong, so a layer of stones or terra cotta pieces at the bottom might not cut it. My suggestion, if the pot has to be a keeper, is to leave Mr. Fig in his plastic nursery pot, and that way you can simply pour out any excess water that collects into the ceramic one. It is very important that he should never sit in water. And yes, he would love showers, about room temp. And the wiping of the leaves with a damp soft cloth is also lovely for them.
As for fertilizer, you give less in the winter than in the summer, try not to feed while the soil is very dry (this can burn the roots, they are very fragile and sensitive if they are dry), and moving him around is okay as long as it doesn’t happen too often (about once per season). Also, you were totally right about not letting cold air nip at Mr. Fig. At the very least cold temps can be stressful, worst, they die. You took the necessary precaution.
Sorry I wrote a novel, Dana, but I really geek out about this stuff. Good luck with Mr. Fig, I hope you two are very happy together.

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replied on February 5th, 2014

All of your information was so helpful! Thank you and thank you others!

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05.February.2014

Ahhh so jealous as those are never in stock on my monthly trips to Ikea! I have two orchids named Frannie and Margie so a male fig is normal to me :D

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05.February.2014

What a great fig at a great price. My closest Ikea is six hours away and I like to whine about it whenever I can!
Seems to me that these guys don’t like too much moving around. They drop leaves like a Ficus. I’ll watch and see if you kill yours before I get one.

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05.February.2014

“Clearly, he has no idea what high stature the fiddle leaf fig has in the design community. Forgive him. He knows not what he sees.” this had me laughing… i have thoughts like this all the time and it reminded me of when I got a couple 17″ sample size pieces of chiang mai dragon fabric for pillows, and my hubby was like whats with the weird dragon fabric… i had to hold back from lecturing him!

i hope your tree does well, i have a black thumb so i have no advice, but please keep up posted on how he’s doing! we take an annual spring ikea trip so i’ll be looking for a fig if yours does well

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05.February.2014

So glad you posted this about the fiddle leaf fig. I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments everyone has posted. I live in south Louisiana and bought two of these in early fall at the local Home Depot (for only $9.99 each!!). I’m usually good with plants, but I’m having a hard time with these. I don’t think I’ve got my water timing down yet. They are still alive, but I’ve lost a few leaves and a few have brown tips. I would love an occasional update. Everyone posts that they have purchased a new fiddle leaf fig, but very rarely give updates. And I’m trying to learn how to keep the alive!!

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replied on February 6th, 2014

I will definitely post an update – good or bad. (Hopefully, good.)

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06.February.2014

Just saw this on Pinterest. http://blog.westelm.com/2014/02/05/gardenista-houseplant-guide-fiddle-leaf-fig-tree/

Seems to be on point with what others are saying. Good luck!

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replied on February 6th, 2014

I have read that article!

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06.February.2014

I’ve been talking about getting a fiddle leaf fig for about a year, but the house I was in didn’t have enough light. Now that we are finally in a place that has the appropriate windows, I am obsessing again. My boyfriend has accused my of just wanting everything like you, so he’ll laugh his head off over this, but c’est la vie. :)

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06.February.2014

I have two of those figs from IKEA & I love that each pot contains TWO plants, so technically, I have 4! I nearly killed my first one by placing it next to – but not in from of – a French door. It lost most of its leaves and just looked generally angry at life. It’s so much happier next to a window and I’ve noticed that some of the smaller leaves on top will go limp when the soil is fully dried up. As soon as I water it, those leaves perk back up in about 30 minutes. So, I watch for limp leaves, water them, and then leave them alone, and they seem pretty happy.

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06.February.2014

What?! $12.99?! *Driving to Ikea as I type* LOL hopefully this weekend. Looks awesome and the conversation with your husband was hilarious :)

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06.February.2014

I love that plant/tree! I bought one at IKEA as well, and well….I wasn’t as lucky. Mine died 3 weeks after having it. Since then I have read up on how to take care of it, I am very certain that I over watered it. I am determined to get another one and this time REALLY take care of it. I mean it is so beautiful. Good luck Dana. Could you update us with your progress? sounds weird but give us so much information for a plant but it really is a beautiful living thing. I cant wait to see the office reveal. I have been wanting to get the linen lamps for my spare room and haven’t bit the bullet? would you say they are bright?

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replied on February 6th, 2014

Mine is still on backorder! It’s the one thing I’m waiting on.

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06.February.2014

I totally recommend getting some humidity in the house to deal with the dryness. We just took the plunge and got two humidifiers and our skin among other things has been immensely better.

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08.February.2014

Lovely. Here’s the $11 secret to my fiddle leaf fig success—a moisture meter. I don’t add a single drop of water until the meter reads dry. I bought mine on Amazon. http://amzn.com/B0012GMIQ0 And thanks for the tip about putting them in the shower. Good way to replicate the rainforest.

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replied on February 10th, 2014

Whaaaaaat? This changes everything.

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08.February.2014

I’m a little late to the game, but here’s my 2 cents.

I have 3 of them – 2 downstairs and one up in my bedroom (it’s in the front and get the most light). Mine thrive on benign neglect. I water them every once in a while (when I remember) … which is usually about 2x a month. I move them all the time depending on the weather and the available light. The 2 downstairs I frequently take outside for the day to get a little more sun or to sit in a nice drenching summer rain. I move the one in the living room every Christmas to make room for the tree. The one in the bedroom I take to the shower about 2x a year to give it a solid soaking and then move it from window to window. I rotate them all frequently because they are very prone to leaning all the leaves towards the light. I wipe the leaves down maybe 2x a year (or when they look dusty and I notice).

So far with that non-routine, all of mine have thrived. I live just outside of Atlanta, GA, if that helps.

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10.February.2014

I’m late to the fiddle leaf party, but I wanted to add my congrats!

I was set on getting one from ikea since they are so cheap, but after months of checking and not having any luck I stumbled upon a bunch at my local CVS. Since there was three trees in one pot I split it and got two fiddle leaf figs for $24.

My Husband thought I was crazy to take on such a sensitive plant when I can only keep succulents alive, but it turns out they’re incredibly easy. I just ignore them. Watering every two weeks here in Northern California. I’ve had them for almost a year now, and still get so excited when I see new leaves sprouting.

Enjoy your new designer badge!

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11.February.2014

The office I work in has an enormous fiddle leaf. Seriously, its at least 15 ft high and in the time I’ve worked there (12 years) it has been repotted twice and cut back at least 4 times since it keeps hitting the ceilings. The plant man waters it every 2-3 weeks and wipes down the leaves. It’s so beautiful, everyone thinks it fake. I wish I could bring it home:)

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15.February.2014

Good luck with your plant! Excellent deal. I just wanted to suggest getting a soil probe to test dryness. Sometimes they seem dry on top but are actually still moist. A good garden store should have them if Home depot or Lowes doesn’t.

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My Ikea fig has been alive for a little over a year now! Hooray! I even added another one a few months ago because I was feeling so darn confident in my fig skills. Here’s what I’ve learned:
-Direct sunlight in the winter is OK, in my experience. But DO NOT let it touch the plant when the sun gets stronger in the spring! I learned that the hard way when my leaves got sunburned. :( It’s true that they don’t like to get moved a lot, but you can move them a couple times a year to get them the right level of light.
-It’s better to underwater than to overwater. I personally find it difficult to judge dryness based on the soil (I have a moisture meter, but I don’t think it’s very accurate). When the leaves start to droop, that means it’s thirsty — just count the days since you last watered it, and then subtract one or two. That’s how often it should be watered! This will change depending on the time of year and the strength of the sun, so I do the droop test every couple months.
-Don’t forget to dust the leaves when they start looking grimy! I just gently wipe them with a moist paper towel.
-I kept mine in the plastic nursery pots, and placed those inside of the decorative planters. My upstairs fig gets removed from the decorative planter and watered in the bathtub, and the downstairs one sits on top of an upside-down plastic plant saucer thing. This way, when the water runs out of the bottom of the nursery pot, the plant is never sitting in the water.
Hope that helps!

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replied on February 18th, 2014

Great tips! Love the “droop test” idea.

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[…] not one but two, Fiddle Leaf Figs that I often refer to as people which seems to be something us bloggers have in common across the […]

03.March.2014

My Fig plant came from Ikea also. Had trouble for a while with big brown spots on leaves. Right now only one leaf has one spot. My plant is 4 feet from a large east facing window. My daily routine is to rotate pot a quarter turn every morning and in the last couple of weeks I mist the plant. I do this over top of the leaves and under the leaves. I have also taken to talking to it.
Every so often I feed it. I appreciate the warning not to feed plant when soil is dry. I will also be carful about relocating my plant very often. I do plan to move my fig plant a bit farther from window when the sun gets more intense this spring.
I really like my Fig plant and hope it does increase in size.

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[…] love all the trees I see in the beautiful homes (like this one and this one) but I didn’t want to do the typical fiddle leaf fig so I went with a palm. I […]

11.April.2014

[…] been over two months since Mr. Fig came into my life. From the get-go I made a promise to myself to share whatever became of him – good or bad. […]

11.June.2014

What size pot do you recommend for a 2 foot Fiddle Leaf? I want to prepare their homes before they arrive… yes, I am going through “nesting” for these plants.

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12.August.2014

[…] *http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/02/04/the-cheapest-most-loved-fiddle-leaf-fig/ […]

30.September.2014

I also bought a fiddle leaf fig from Ikea and it looks great so far! I am eager to see how it does compared to the one 10x its price and size from a local nursery:

http://www.recipris.com/2014/09/29/fiddle-leaf-fig/

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replied on September 30th, 2014

Your figs look great! Love the basket you used with the larger one.

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02.December.2014

[…] do a live garland on the mantel and a live tree but those were nowhere to be found pre-Halloween. Mr. Fig was a somewhat believable stand-in. I rummaged through red and green totes in the attic. I saved […]




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