FIDDLE LEAF FIG
Ficus Lyrata, or the Fiddle Leaf Fig, has been a very popular plant over the past couple of years, gracing the rooms of many beautifully styled interiors. If you are considering buying one, or are already the owner of a beautiful fiddle leaf fig plant, and want to know how best to care for these beautiful plants, read on.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig tree can be a little temperamental, so read on to learn the tricks to keeping this plant at its glossy leaf best.
Watering your Fiddle Leaf Fig
As with so many plants, getting the watering right is such an important part of fiddle leaf fig care.
The key thing is to water your fiddle leaf fig sparsely. Don’t overwater it! So what does sparsely mean? Before you water your plant dig down into the soil with your fingers. When the top inch is dry then it's time to water your Fiddle Leaf. When you are watering, make sure you water across the whole of the pot, so that pockets of air don’t form in the soil.
Make sure that all the water drains out of the pot, and that your fiddle leaf doesn’t sit in water.
Best Position for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
It's worthwhile taking the time to find the perfect spot in your home for your Fiddle Leaf to make sure it thrives. They don’t like drafts – so keep them out of the way of the hot, dry air from the heater, and they also don’t like cold drafts, so try and avoid placing them in corridors.
Find a spot in your house with bright but not direct light.
And remember to dust the leaves of your Fiddle Leaf regularly – use a soft damp cloth, and luke warm water to keep them looking glossy and gorgeous.
How big will my Fiddle Leaf Fig Grow?
Fiddle Leaf figs will last for many years, and grow to be quite large plants, but don’t be tempted to put them into too large a pot size! They grow best when they are in pots that look almost too small for the plant. Only repot them when it becomes really necessary – either there are a lot of roots growing out through the drainage hole, or a network of fine roots appearing on the surface. Ficus Lyrata will be happiest if they are repotted in spring, and are only moved up one pot size at a time.
Remember - Fiddle Leaf Figs take their time growing, so it will take a very long time for them to reach even a lofty two metres as an indoor plant.
Help! My Fiddle Leaf Fig has brown leaves..
Keep in mind that your Fiddle Leaf Fig is temperamental and slow growing – these are both really important points to note when thinking about why it may have brown leaves & how to deal with them.
Leaves turning brown on Fiddle Leaf Figs are often a result of extreme temperatures – being left outside overnight when it’s frosty, a constant cold draft inside, direct sunlight or being near a heater.
If your Fiddle Leaf develops brown spots on its leaves or starts dropping leaves, don’t panic and definitely don’t start trimming them off.
The best source of action:
• Don’t pull off any leaves – you can trim away brown outer edges without harming the plant, but don’t pull the leaves off, just let the plant do its thing.
• Don’t prune a bare branch unless they are mouldy. In Spring, new leaves should sprout.
• Remember – this is a slow growing plant and it goes dormant in winter, so you’ll need to be patient.
Ficus Lyrata is not an easy care indoor plant but it is a gorgeous plant and well worth the extra effort.
MOTHER IN LAWS TONGUE
Mother In Law’s Tongue goes by lots of different names –officially it’s the Sanseveria, to some it’s the Snake Plant, the Tiger’s Tail, bow string hemp, or even devil’s tongue, but most commonly in Australia, they are known as Mother’s In Law Tongue.
The most common variety of the plant is the Sanseveria Trifasciata laurentii – its leaves are 30 – 45cm tall, dark green in colour with some marbling & the distinctive yellow outlining the leaf.
How to care for Mother In Law’s Tongue Indoors
Sanseveria can live indoors or outdoors equally happy, but here’s our guide to keeping you Mother In Law’s tongue plant thriving indoors.
The good news is that this is a very easy care indoor plant, which makes them perfect for someone who is either starting out with indoor plants or isn’t particularly confident with plants.
Tolerant to Low Light
While they like well lit areas and can even stand bright sunlight, the Mother In Law’s Tongue is still very happy living in a low light environment. They will grow more slowly with less light but this can be a bonus for the novice plant person who doesn’t want to have to re-pot.
Tip – if you are moving your Sanseveria from a low light position to a very bright position with direct sunlight, try to do it slowly, gradually exposing the plant to more light otherwise the leaves may burn.
How to Water a Mother In Law’s Tongue
There are some really simple rules for watering your Mother In Law’s Tongue to make sure that it thrives:
• How do you know when to water it? Dig your finger into the soli – if its dry about 2 cm down then its ready to be watered.
• Give it a good soaking and let all of the excess water drain away. But what does that actually mean? For a Mother In Law’s tongue planted in a 19 – 26cm pot give it approximately a litre of water. Water the plant outside or over the sink and let any excess water drain away. Don’t let the plant sit in a saucer of water – it will rot.
• In winter water it really sparingly. Sanseveria’s grow in summer & they don’t need the water in winter.
• In Summer they’ll need a little more water and this is the season to fertilise, if you want to. They are very hardy plants though, so don’t feel obliged!
Best Temperature Conditions
Lets just say it again - these really are a hardy plant. While they’ll thrive between 18 and 27 degrees, they are very happy outside of this range too. They don’t really like the cold, but as long as they aren’t in a really cold draft, and not heavily watered they will get through winter just fine.
They are happy in Summer too – while they might need a little more water, as long as they aren’t suddenly moved from lowlight to bright, direct sunlight they’ll be happy too. Leaf burn can happen in really hot & bright conditions.
And they don’t need any particular humidity.
Air-Filtering Qualities for your home or office
And finally there’s one last advantage of keeping a Mother In Law’s Tongue plant – they are great at filtering the air. They absorb up to 107 different toxins – all nasties that are much better removed from the air that you are breathing.
The Rubber Tree is a winning indoor plant. Not only does it look great, but it's hardy and easy care. What more could you want from a plant? If you are just starting out with indoor plants, this is a great beginner’s plant and one to boost your confidence.
Different Varieties of Ficus Elastica
Its scientific name is Ficus Elastica, and it’s a member of the fig family. There are three common varieties available as house plants – the pink variegated, the cream variegated and the black. They all have large, shiny, leathery leaves and grow up from a central stem.
Known as the Ficus Elastica ‘Tricolor’ has pink ad cream coloured patches on a green background.
Known as the Ficus Elastica ‘Schrijvereana’ has squarish patches of cream and pale green.
Black Rubber Tree
Ficus Elastica ‘Black Prince’ has leaves that are an impressive green black as their normal colour. Adding to its dramatic appearance are the bright red protective sheathes that new leaves emerge from.
How to water a Rubber Tree
The Rubber Tree is seriously an easy care plant. To know when it needs watering, simply dig your finger down about an inch into the soil, if it is dry an inch down then your plant needs watering.
For a plant in approximately a 26cm pot, give the plant a good soaking with a litre of water. Let all of the excess water drain out - Don’t let the plant sit in excess water. Your plant will need less water is winter than in the summer months.
Best Position for your Rubber Tree Plant
Rubber Plants love a well lit space in your home, but do try and avoid direct light; the rubber tree will be happy in a bright position.
Rubber Trees love to have their leaves cleaned, plus the leaves look great when they are free of dust and glossy. To clean the leaves, use a soft cloth damp with luke warm water. Remember to use one hand to support the leaf from underneath when you are cleaning so as to avoid any strain on the leaf stalk.
The Monstera Deliciosa is a fabulous, striking looking plant. It can grow quite large, and last many years. Its slightly rambly form – it will grow wide as well as tall, can be used to create a real focal point in a room. Here’s our practical guide to caring for your Monstera.
Watering your Monstera
As with most plants, it’s really important to give your Monstera just the right amount of water. This is a plant that doesn’t like too much water, so water sparingly. For best results give the plant a good soaking, maybe a litre for a plant in a 26cm pot, but the key thing is to let all of the water drain out. Don’t leave the plant sitting in a saucer of water, the Monstera doesn’t like having wet feet and the plant can begin to rot.
How do you know when its time to water your plant?
This is a really simple trick, but one that you can use with lots of your indoor plants. Using your finger, dig down about an inch into the pot, if its dry an inch down, then its time to give your Monstera Deliciosa another soaking – but remember let all of the water drain out of the pot.
Getting your Monstera to thrive
The best position for an indoor Monstera is in a bright, well lit room with filtered light. Direct sun in winter is OK, but in summer the large glossy leaves will burn if in direct sun.
It has beautiful large glossy green leaves, and it’s the distinctive holes in its leaves that give rise to some of its names – the Swiss Cheese Plant, or the Hurricane Plant. It’s also known as the Fruit Salad plant but that’s more about when it fruits than its leaf shape. The plant will benefit from its leaves being regularly cleaned with a soft, damp cloth and luke warm water to remove any dist.
How big do Monstera’s grow?
In the garden a Monstera Deliciosa can grow to be a really large plant. When you are growing a Monstera indoors, the size of the pot will dictate the size that your plant will grow to. They are slowing growing though, so repotting isn’t something you’ll need to worry about often.
In the wild, a Monstera grows climbing up the trunks and along the branches of trees. To help the support the plant when it is growing in a pot, tie the stem to a moss covered pole, and encourage the aerial roots to attach to this.
Preferred temperature for growing Monstera’s indoors
The Monstera prefers conditions above 21 degrees Celsius, with some humidity, but it really is a forgiving plant and will do well outside of this temperature as long as it isn’t affected by direct sunlight in Summer or frost in Winter.