Who knew the tale of my endless search for the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree would become one of the most popular posts on my blog? I get hundreds of views every week for that post alone - apparently the entire planet of Earth is also looking for it.
That may or may not be a gross exaggeration.
The other day one of you wrote asking for an update on how it's doing, so I thought I'd show you all a modern-day miracle:
ALIVE AND WELL. It hasn't been without it's bumps in the road - I almost lost her about three times, but I think I've got it figured out.
For comparison, here she be, about four months ago when I purchased her:
I realize the angle between the two photos is a little off, which is a common trick photographers use to trickity-trick the eye in before and after photos to make the reveal even more DRAMATIC AND AMAZING - but rest assured I did not do that here - I do not have to forethought, attention span, or photography know-how to even attempt such a trick on you, my dear readers. I promise you it is not to hook you into believing I even have a semblance of a green thumb, but instead is purely due to an amateur's accident.
But seriously, this thing is doing awesome and has grown a ton. And look, MORE NEW GROWTH:
Yes, those are little fiddely-leaf babies and I am one proud momma. Through about three near-death experiences for the tree, I finally figured out how not to kill it.
Lots of water. As in, I give it about a half gallon of water every two or three days. Just stick your finger into the soil, about an inch down, and if it's dry, water it. (And please be sure to promptly wash off your finger in the sink instead of wiping it on your white shirt only to leave a big, black soil mark on it. No matter how much you try to, it will be very hard to blame that spot on your four month old baby because your husband is smart like that, and you will have to admit that you were too lazy to wash off your finger and therefore used your shirt as a napkin, like a child. And you're a mom, so you can't do that kind of stuff any more. And no, this has never happened to me.)
Lots of sun. I kept getting thrown off by the "lots of indirect sunlight" advice that came on the tag of the tree. Like, does that mean it just needs to be in a really sunny room, but not IN the sunshine that comes through the window? Or does it actually need to be in the sunlight that is streaming through the windows, that's maybe filtered by shade or something? Does that mean it needs a north or south facing window, rather than east or west? Ah, the questions! The confusion! The stress!
See the corner of my dining room that I have it in? Turns out that spot is actually a little too indirect for the plant. Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees need LOTS of sun and can in fact handle being in the actual sunlight that shines on your floor - does that make sense? (I'm quickly realizing trying to describe sunlight is like trying to describe time. Or the wind. Or the way I love my new skinny jeans. IMPOSSIBLE.) It was an easy fix, all I needed to do was move the plant forward into the actual sunlight so it was hit by the sun's rays. But it is kind of annoying because I purchased the plant thinking it'd be perfect for the corner, and it now typically sits awkwardly behind one of my dining room chairs.
True confessions alert - I actually move it back to the corner anytime we have company so it doesn't look like it's sitting in the middle of the room. I then move it back when everyone leaves. That tree owns me people. I'm hoping that when it gets larger and starts to curve out more, it'll work in the corner because it's leaves will fall in front of the window.
Every once in a while I'll also put the tree on our front porch which is actually pretty shaded, just to give it a little more of that "indirect sunlight." It LOVES it. I swear it grows faster than Eli when I put it out there.
So that's the current state of my little Fiddley. Anyone else snatch one up recently? I've had a few friends get them, but most people have just bitten the bullet and purchased the full grown size (pssst... if you live in Twin Cities, Bachman's has a TON of the big ones. When I'm there, I always like to stop and ooo and ahhh over them, while dreaming big dreams for my little tree.) I'm getting nervous because I think I'll need to start pruning mine soon and I'm terrified to ruin the good thing I've got going.
Oh and guess what else? Look what I found last time I was at Ikea:
Of course they would start carrying them after I found mine.