Gardening Tips

Ficus lyrata: care

Ficus lyrata: care

The Ficus lyrata, also called ficus pandurataficus lira or fiddle-leaved fig tree, among others, is a unique plant in its appearance, especially when grown indoors. And it is that, although outdoors it can reach heights of up to 20 meters, even in a pot its size is markedly arboreal, making it possible to have a plant that practically looks like a tree inside the house.

If you want to learn how to grow this beautiful plant and what kind of care it needs, join us in this EcologíaVerde article where you will see a complete guide to caring for ficus lyrata.

Characteristics of the Ficus lyrata

To start with, let’s get to know the ficus lyrata characteristics.

  • Scientific name: Ficus lyrata Warb or Ficus pandurata Hort. Sander.
  • Perennial.
  • Native to tropical Africa.
  • Commonly used as an indoor plant.
  • Large, lyre-shaped, very shiny leaves.

Discover many more species of ficus trees with this EcologíaVerde guide on +35 types of ficus, their names, characteristics and photos, such as the Ficus benjamina, the Ficus robusta or the Ficus elastica. Now that we have seen some of its features, we are going to learn about several more and see how to care for a lyre ficus.

Ficus lyrata: care - Characteristics of Ficus lyrata

light and temperature

Due to its origin, this plant needs high or hot temperatures to develop properly. Ideally, the temperature should be around 20ºC for this ficus, since exposing it to temperatures below 15 ºC will end up killing the plant. It can withstand quite high temperatures for short periods of time, but they are not good for it either.

Lighting is one of the great requirements of this plant and probably the most important. The ficus lira needs to receive a large amount of light, but yes, indirectly. The direct incidence of the strong sun tends to burn its leaves, so it is convenient to place it in a well-lit area but away from the windows or, behind the curtains indoors or in semi-shade outdoors. It is especially important that the plant collects light in its upper part.

Ficus lyrata: care - Light and temperature

Pot and substrate

Any pot with drainage holes and with big enough is suitable for this ficus, although hydro-gardens help maintain a good level of humidity without excessive watering. Simply, when you see too much of the roots of the plant, it means that it has grown a lot and needs a transplant to a larger potor outside to be directly on the ground.

As for the substrate for Ficus lyrata, a universal substrate for indoor plants will usually suffice. If you want to make sure you give it a good base, you can always prepare your own universal substrate with a third of peat, a third of coconut fiber and a third of earthworm humus. This leaves a light, oxygenated mixture, with good drainage and very rich in nutrients, which will improve even more if you add a little vermiculite and perlite.

Irrigation and fertilizer

Watering a Ficus lyrata It is not complicated, it is simply necessary to keep the substrate moist most of the time, thus providing it with a tropical-like humidity environment. Of course, it is very important that you never water until flooding or letting your soil dry out completely, preventing the plant from suffering water stress. In the cold months, space out your waterings a bit to once a week or so.

As in most plants, fertilize the Ficus lyrata during the warm months It will help your growth to be more energetic and the plant to be in its best shape. You can use universal fertilizer for green plants, or make an organic fertilizer yourself. In this other article you can find a guide and a video on How to make homemade organic fertilizer for plants.

Ficus lyrata pruning

How to prune a Ficus lyrata? In principle, it is not necessary to prune this plant indoors. Outdoors, on the other hand, if we let it grow naturally it will acquire the shape of a tree, so if we want to keep it bushy, it will be necessary to carry out a more aggressive annual pruning. As a tree, it will be enough to sprout the main stem once the desired height has been reached.

How to transplant a Ficus Lyrata

Another of the ficus lira care is to know when it is convenient to transplant it. at the time of seeing when to transplant the Ficus lyrata, there are two main possibilities: transplant it to another pot or outside. If it is the first case, transplant it when the roots are visible on the ground, which will happen every one or two years. The second case will simply happen when the plant has grown too large to have it inside the house. Here are the steps for your transplant:

  1. Sterilize the tools you are going to use, both for pruning and to help you transplant.
  2. Maintain the plant by removing dry leaves or parts in poor condition.
  3. Loosen the soil on the edges of the pot, moving the plant around a bit so that the root ball loosens.
  4. Extract the plant trying not to damage it. You can loosen overly compacted roots.
  5. Put the plant in its new location, cover the root ball with substrate and water.

We recommend you learn more with this other guide on when and how to transplant a plant.

Ficus lyrata: care - How to transplant a Ficus Lyrata

My Ficus lyrata is sick: what do I do?

It may be that over the time that you have this type of plant at home you will see that it has a problem. For example, you may detect Ficus lyrata with weak leaves or that you see your ficus with yellow leaves or brown. Here are some tips for troubleshooting and caring for a sick Ficus lyrata:

  • If you see that the edges of the leaves of your plant are dry, they have probably been burned either by too much direct sun, or by being exposed to dry air currents, such as air conditioning or heating. In this case, move the plant away from that area and remove the leaves in poor condition.
  • An excess of humidity will attract pests and fungi: do not exceed the amount of watering. It is preferable to water more frequently and less.
  • If the leaves are curled or limp, you are not watering the plant enough.
  • If the leaves turn yellow, it is probably just the opposite and we recommend you water less.
  • If the leaves drop too much, it probably needs more light.

Now that you know how to take care of a lira ficus, you may also want to know the care of the ficus benjamina.

Ficus lyrata: care - My Ficus lyrata is sick: what do I do?

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