Ficus Lyrata is more commonly referred to as the ‘fiddle-leaf fig’ or ‘Banjo Fig’ due to the shape of its leaves, which in displaying a broad apex with a narrow middle resemble the shape of a violin. With unusually large and full leaves this is a robust plant of exotic appearance yet is suitable for both the home or greenhouse.
This member of the fig family is a popular pot plant but in tropical and sub-tropical climates can become an ornamental tree with its large, , glossy green leaves. In these conditions, the Ficus Lyrata can grow 12 to 15 metres high or can live in the canopy of a host tree, with its root system descending down the host or from its branches.
The fiddle-leaf fig’s natural habitat is low-land rain forests in Western Africa. As a result this plant thrives in a bright and warm environment. .Although it prefers to be watered regularly during its growing phase, it can be allowed to dry out between waterings. With the plant dependent on a specific wasp for reproducing, there is no danger to nearby trees.
Popular all over the world, the Ficus Lyrata is often kept as a larger plant in gardens in sub-tropical climates, as well as a pot plant in cooler climates. The base of each leaf will eventually produce a new branch which means the plant can often be as tall as it is wide when it reaches maturity.
The Ficus Lyrata is of the Ficus (meaning fig) species and is a member of the Lyrata genus. The plant is also sometimes called Ficus Pandurata or, even though it is not of the same species, a ‘Banyan Fig’, the latter name being given due to its similar survival techniques.
Give plant food monthly, or bi-monthly (depending on the conditions and plant size). Benefits from the occasional misting. Can drop leaves due to dry air or over-watering. Only prune during the winter.
Did You Know?
The larger Ficus Lyrata plants can produce small hollow flowers which contain fruit.
The Ficus Lyrata often grows high atop another tree, but this plant can prove to be the stronger of the pair as it gradually strangles its host tree.