Friday, January 29, 2016

Living with Plants: Fiddle Leaf Fig

Do you grow houseplants? I can't live without them. You probably already knew that. Some of you who know me might say I have a green thumb. But I don't really like that term, or its opposite (black/brown thumb). I don't like the implication that some people have the ability to grow plants and other people lack it. I think anyone can grow plants. And everyone should. It's good for you. Good for your spirit. Good for the air. Plants are pretty. They bring you joy.

I recently shared my newest Houseplant Portrait here*, but I thought I'd share it again in today's post because I wanted to talk a bit about growing fiddle leaf fig plants.

fiddle leaf fig, watercolor fiddle leaf fig, houseplant portraits, watercolor houseplant, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

My fiddle leaf fig plant is my newest houseplant; I've only had it since last summer, but I'd wanted one for years.

I'm not one to go in for trendy, but fiddle leaf figs are very trendy plants right now. For good reason. They're big and dramatic -- when mature they become sizable trees -- and they look good with many different decorating styles.

I was a bit hesitant when I first brought my plant home because I'd read that they're finicky, sensitive to drafts, moving or even the slightest change in their environment.

houseplants, fiddle leaf fig, begonias, orchids, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I shouldn't have worried (and you shouldn't either). I've grown finicky plants before and this is not one of them.

I give it bright light (a southern window). I pay attention to the soil (always important with any plant), watering it when it's dry. I've noticed that if I let it go too long between waterings it might lose a newly forming leaf. It will grow another, though, and no permanent damage is done. I turn the pot every once in a while to help it grow evenly. I dust off the leaves when they get dusty. And that's about it. My plant has doubled in size since I brought it home.

houseplants, fiddle leaf fig, amaryllis, orchids, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It seems happy and I'm happy every time I see it.

If you are yearning to grow a fiddle leaf fig of your own, don't hesitate. Give it a sunny window (with plenty of space), pay attention to the soil and you'll be good.

It's not surprising that my plant has been an inspiration in my art.

fiddle leaf fig, sketchbooks, watercolor, drawing, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's appeared in my sketchbooks and I painted a tiny portrait of it during my month-long painting challenge last fall. Proof that inspiration is everywhere.

Have you fallen under the spell of the fiddle leaf fig?


*(The painting is now available in my web shop and prints in two sizes are available on Etsy).

6 comments:

  1. What a beautiful watercolor, Anne! One of your best!
    It seems that even I could grow a fiddle leaf - you make it sound easy! :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Judy. :)

      I'm sure you COULD grow one.

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  2. I agree with Judy. This is a beauty.
    I have just added a spider plant and some ivy to our new space. My Meyer lemon has 5 fruit on it and another amaryllis is ready to pop. Green and growing things really help me get through the winter on grey days! xo

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    1. Thank you, Karen.

      All your plants sound lovely. I haven't had a spider plant for a while and I miss my citrus.

      I'm with you all the way on indoor gardens helping to get through the winter!

      :)

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  3. Hi Anne,
    I love houseplants. I have many different plants in our home. I think this fiddle plant sounds lovely.
    Carla

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    1. So glad that you're another houseplant fan, Carla! :) They sure do a lot to brighten our Wisconsin winters!

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