Position: Full sun to bright indirect
Soil: Moist, well drained
Flowering period: N/A
Eventual Height: 15m
Eventual Spread: 10m
Hardiness: 11, 12, 13
Ficus lyrata is an evergreen tree with an upright habit. Its dark green glossy leaves are ovate with entire margins, emerge directly from the stem, up to 45cm long and 30cm broad (although usually smaller). Its flowers are insignificant. Its green fruit is a spherical fig and up to 3cm across.
Ficus lyrata, commonly known as Fiddle Leaf Fig or Banjo Fig, is native to West Africa, from Sierra Leone to Cameroon west to. In its native habitat it grows in lowland tropical rainforest. It should be noted when the stems of this plant are cut the plant exudes a milky sap which may cause skin irritation.
The etymological root of the binomial name Ficus is from the Latin name for the edible fig. Lyrata is derived from the Latin lyra meaning ‘lyre’, in reference to this plant’s leaf shape.
Ficus lyrata may be useful to the landscape architect as a large foliage houseplant. It may be used in atrium and conservatory type planting schemes. This plant dislikes cold drafts.
Ecologically, Ficus lyrata is of little value to UK wildlife.
The Royal Horticultural Society have given Ficus lyrata their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.
Ficus lyrata prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.
When maintaining Ficus lyrata as a houseplant its soil should be watered regularly but never wet. Watering should be reduced during the winter months. Its preferred active growing temperature rages from between 15ºc to 24ºc, although it will tolerate a temperature as low as 12ºc. Feeding with weak fertiliser solution should be carried out once a month during the growing season. Old leaves may be removed to keep a tidy apearance. The removal of the top of the plant may be carried out to keep the height of this plant in check.