A variegated fiddle leaf fig is a stunningly beautiful addition to any home or office. The leaves have a beautiful variegated pattern on the underside of them. Not only are they striking in appearance, but they’re also relatively easy to care for and maintain.
Growing and caring for a variegated fiddle leaf fig can be quite a challenge. However, with the right knowledge and effort, you can keep your variegated fiddle leaf fig healthy and thriving.
This guide will provide tips on successfully growing and caring for a variegated fiddle leaf fig.
What is a Variegated Fiddle Leaf Fig?
The variegated fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata’ Variegata’) is a beautiful, evergreen plant native to western Africa. This unique plant is a member of the Moraceae family, which also includes mulberry and breadfruit trees. The fiddle leaf fig gets its name from the shape of its leaves, which are large and have a fiddle-like shape. The leaves of this plant are variegated, meaning they have different colors on them.
The most common colors are green and white, but you may also see yellow, pink, or purple. This plant is popular because it is relatively easy to care for and looks great in any room. If you are thinking about adding a variegated fiddle leaf fig to your home, the following tips will help you get started:
- This plant does best in bright, indirect light. Grow lights can provide your plant with the light it needs if you live in an area with little natural light.
- Water your plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. Be sure to use lukewarm water and let it drain completely before putting the pot back in its place.
- Liquid fertilizer is recommended every two weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Dilute the fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions and stop using it altogether in the fall and winter.
Types of Fiddle Leaf Fig Varieties
Many different types of variegated fiddle leaf figs are available today. Some of the more popular varieties include:
This variety is among the most popular fiddle leaf fig cultivars. While most Ficuses are acceptable for bonsai, Ficus retusa and Ficus microcarpa are the most widely utilized trees. Ficus trees are ideal for bonsai beginners since they are resilient and react well to wire training and trimming.
Ficus Benghalensis “Audrey Ficus”
While the leaves seem similar to fiddle leaf figs, they are significantly thicker, smaller, lighter in color, and slightly fuzzy. This cultivar, like the fiddle, will grow to reach 8-10 feet in height indoors. This attractive tree has less stringent watering needs than the ordinary fiddle leaf fig, but it still prefers lots of bright sunshine.
This cultivar features oblong leaves like the rubber tree, but they’re lighter green, more pointed, and have pronounced veining. It’s practically a hybrid of Ficus Audrey and the rubber tree! Most altissima plants have a little lemon-lime color variation and may grow up to 8 feet tall indoors.
Ficus Longifolia, often known as the narrow-leafed fig, has elongated leaves that point downward and are lance-shaped. One of the finest features of this tree is that its new leaves start taking on a crimson or pink color before gradually becoming green! This tree grows 5-10 feet inside and can handle lower light levels than many other Ficus kinds.
Ficus Elastica “Rubber Tree”
This variety has huge, glossy leaves that are a deeper green and more rectangular than fiddle-shaped. The rubber tree prefers fast-draining, uniformly moist soil, abundant bright, indirect sunshine, and plenty of nutrients. These trees grow up to 8 feet tall and come in lovely variegated variants with exquisite leaves that are light green, cream, dark green, and pink.
Growing Variegated Fiddle Leaf Fig
Propagating variegated fiddle leaf fig is done through stem cutting and will require clean scissors/knife, filtered tap water, and stem cutting. The steps are as follows:
- Cut a 6-8 inch piece off of a healthy stem, making sure to cut just below a leaf node.
- Ensure the leaves are above the water line when you place the cutting in a glass of water.
- Ensure the soil is always moist and not soggy in the container, and place the container or pot in an area with plenty of bright, indirect light.
- Always change the water every 2-3 days to keep it fresh.
- After a few weeks, roots should start growing from the stem’s bottom. Now that the cutting has emerged in the soil, you can plant it.
Caring and Finding Space for Maintenance
To properly keep your variegated fiddle leaf fig healthy, it is important to give it the proper care. This procedure includes watering it regularly, ensuring it gets enough sunlight, and providing the occasional pruning or fertilizing.
- Watering – Your variegated fiddle leaf fig will need to be watered about once a week or when the soil feels dry. Be sure to use room-temperature water, as cold water can shock the plant and damage its leaves.
- Sunlight – Variegated fiddle leaf fig loves lots of bright, indirect sunlight. Your plants’ leaves may scorch if placed in a particularly sunny climate. Hence, you may need to provide some afternoon shade to prevent the leaves from burning off.
- Pruning – You’ll only need to prune your variegated fiddle leaf fig occasionally, but when you do, be sure to use sharp, clean shears.
- Fertilizing – A slow-release fertilizer for foliage plants is ideal for feeding your variegated fiddle leaf fig. Apply it according to the package directions during the growing season (spring and summer).
Repotting a Variegated Fiddle Leaf Fig
When it comes to repotting a variegated fiddle leaf fig, the process is relatively simple. The root ball should be slightly larger than the pot, and the potting mix should drain well. Keeping the roots of the plant safe is most important. To complete this task, you need to follow these steps:
- Choose a new pot that is only slightly larger than the existing one. This larger pot will help reduce stress on the roots.
- Remove the plant from its current pot and gently loosen the roots.
- Place the plant inside its new container or pot and fill it with fresh potting mix. Firmly press down around the base of the plant to ensure good contact with the soil.
- Water generously and allow the excess water to drain away.
- Place your fiddle leaf fig in a bright, filtered light location and enjoy!
The Great Outdoors: Knowing Your Climate/ Variation of Figs
Arguably one of the most difficult climates to grow a fig tree is a cold climate with freezing winters. The best way to protect your fig tree from the cold is to wrap it in burlap or straw, which will help insulate the roots and prevent them from freezing. It would be best to mulch around the tree’s base to warm the roots.
Knowing your climate and fig variation will help you put measures in place to protect your variegated fiddle leaf fig tree from fluctuating temperatures. Providing shade for the tree during the hottest hours of the day is the best way to accomplish this. You can plant other trees or shrubs around your variegated fiddle leaf fig or build a sunshade out of fabric or latticework.
Fig trees are also very sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. If there are sudden changes in either of these, it can cause your fig tree to drop its leaves or fruit. To avoid this, keep the area around your fig tree as consistent as possible.
Pests, Diseases, and Prevention
Variegated fiddle leaf figs are susceptible to the same pests and diseases as their non-variegated counterparts. These include fungal diseases such as leaf spots and root rot, and insect pests like scale, mealybugs, and spider mites. But it’s not all bad news. It is quite easy to resolve these problems if they are identified much earlier before they cause long-term damage.
You can protect your variegated fiddle leaf fig tree from pests by following simple steps. Here’s how.
- Start by keeping the area around your tree clean and free of debris. This procedure will help discourage pests from residing in or near your tree.
- Inspect your plant for holes in the leaves or webbings for signs of pests.
- Take action immediately if you see any signs of pests or diseases by using the appropriate pesticide or fungicide to remove them before they can do serious damage.
- Keep an eye out for new pests that may infest your area, such as through new plants or visitors from other areas.
- If you suspect that there may be a pest problem, contact a professional pest control company for assistance.
With the right care, a variegated fiddle leaf fig can make a stunning addition to your home. These tips will help you keep your plant healthy and looking its best. Your plant will thrive if it gets plenty of indirect light and is watered regularly. With a little love, your variegated fiddle leaf fig will flourish and remain healthy for years.