This is the story of a young fiddle leaf fig named Leif. We brought him home in January of 2016, and after five months of tending to him and keeping him alive, I wrote this post about how to care for fiddle leaf figs. (Como se dice, “Eat crow?”) Since then he was moved several times around our old apartment, then moved from our apartment to our house in the dead of Texas summer. He was not happy about any of that, and it showed.
You can see his slow demise in the pictures below, in chronological order:
After moving to the house, things really took a turn. Cue the horrible plant-mom feels:
This was about three weeks after moving. I posted about Leif’s “Last (Plant) Stand” on Instagram and was worried he wouldn’t pull through. I had heard fiddle leaf figs don’t like to be moved, but I underestimated the impact. He lost so many leaves! And just generally looked so sad. Is this what it’s like to move with a surly pre-teen? “I hate this stupid new house, Mom!!” ::glares out the window::
We had a few problems: a traumatized plant dropping leaves like flies, hot Texas summer and bright sun, and a new-to-us house where we weren’t sure what light would be best for Leif.
Around this time, a few different blogs that I read recommended a miracle product for fiddle leaf figs. It was supposed to perk up even the droopiest of fiddles, and most importantly, it was supposed to help with new growth. Eager to cheer up Sadpants McLeif, I Primed that fertilizer without thinking twice.
After adding it to his water every other week for a few weeks, new leaves started showing up! I get borderline too happy each time I see a new leaf. (So does Matt. Either that or he deserves an Oscar this year.)
But that was just part one of our two-part approach. I needed to be able to find the right spot in the house for Leif, but the hefty weight of his planter meant that I liked moving him about as much as he liked being moved. Um, guys. Did you know that plant dollies are a thing?
Hoooly crap. Consider the game changed. That $11 product meant that I could now easily glide Leif around to find the right sun. Right now, that’s behind the kitchen table, but as the direction of the sun changes with the seasons, I can move him around without throwing my back out and jostling his roots around.
Since moving him to the right spot in the house with the plant dolly and adding the magic fertilizer to his watering schedule, he has sprouted over ten new leaves. He is looking fuller, perkier…guys, I think he might even make some friends at his new school and stop glaring out the window.
He actually is getting so many leaves up top that I feel like I need to stabilize his twiggy little legs – maybe by securing them together?
I know a lot of people are promoting faux fiddle leaf figs (and faux plants in general) – and I do think those have an application. Like never making you feel like a bad plant-mom. And always looking good. But they also never sprout new leaves, and we know how happy that makes Matt. How could I rob him of that? 🙂