Ficus lyrata

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Ficus lyrata
Starr 031108-0130 Ficus lyrata.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Genus: Ficus
Subgenus: F. subg. Urostigma
F. lyrata
Binomial name
Ficus lyrata
An indoor fiddle leaf fig tree

Ficus lyrata, commonly known as the fiddle-leaf fig, is a species of flowering plant in the mulberry and fig family Moraceae. It is native to western Africa, from Cameroon west to Sierra Leone, where it grows in lowland tropical rainforest. It can grow up to 12–15 m (39–49 ft) tall.

Above: an example of a lyrate leaf. Ficus lyrata leaves are lyrate, meaning that they resemble a lyre.

The leaves are variable in shape, but often with a broad apex and narrow middle, resembling a lyre or fiddle; they are up to 45 cm (18 in) long and 30 cm (12 in) broad (though usually smaller) with a leathery texture, prominent veins and a wavy margin.

The fruit is a green fig 2.5–3 cm (1-¼ in) diameter.

Cultivation and garden uses[edit]

It is a popular ornamental tree in subtropical and tropical gardens, and is also grown as a houseplant in temperate areas, where it usually stays shorter and fails to flower or fruit. It requires indirect natural light.[1] It is hardy down to 10 °C (50 °F), so specimens may be placed outside during warm periods.[2]

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[2][3]

Indoor use[edit]

A commonly tricky houseplant despite its popularity, the fiddle-leaf fig does not respond well to being moved, especially from a spot where it is thriving. Being a tropical plant, it does not tolerate cold temperatures well or survive prolonged freezes. Proper drainage, adequate sunlight (direct but not harsh), and misting with water will help keep a fiddle-leaf fig bright green with its signature glossy finish.[4]

Humidity and Temperature Requirements[edit]

The optimal relative humidity for the Fiddle-Leaf Fig is between 25%-49%, but it can tolerate lower humidity. When it comes to the temperature requirements, the optimal temperature for the Fiddle-Leaf Fig is between 65°F- 75°F (18°C- 24°C).[5]

Light Requirements[edit]

Grown indoors, light is the most limiting factor for Ficus Lyrata. It is a full sun plant (it grows in direct sun most of the day in the natural habitat), but it can also grow well indoors in bright indirect light.

Soil Requirements[edit]

The best potting soil for Ficus Lyrata is a well-draining and porous soil mix. It should have a soil pH between 5.5 and 7.0. A good, well-draining potting soil will provide enough macronutrients to the Fiddle-Leaf Fig and help it thrive and grow.


Ficus Lyrata can be propagated in multiple ways:

  • By division
  • By stem cuttings, and
  • By air layering

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alix Martichoux (13 August 2019). "No matter where I go, I can't stop seeing this trendy plant in San Francisco". SF Gate.
  2. ^ a b "Ficus lyrata AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  3. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 39. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  4. ^ Kurutz, Steven (April 30, 2016). "The 'IT' plant of the times; Designers love the fiddle-leaf fig for its Dr. Seuss feel while othersjust say it makesa statement". National post (Toronto).
  5. ^ "Growing Indoor Plants with Success". Retrieved 2022-10-01.

External links[edit]