Fiddle leaf figs (Ficus lyrata) have been popular among houseplant lovers for a while now, mostly known for their tall stature and large leaves. Compared to most houseplants that stay smaller in size, fiddle leaf figs can quickly become the centerpiece of your living room when they complete their growth.
If you have been paying attention to the name, you may have noticed that a fiddle leaf fig also belongs to the fig (Ficus) family, which may leave you to wonder whether your fiddle leaf fig will grow figs, just like the common fig tree (Ficus carica) does.
So, do fiddle leaf figs grow figs?
While fiddle leaf figs can indeed grow figs, they need to be in their natural habitat to do so. As a home environment lacks the necessary conditions for a fiddle leaf fig to bear fruit, it’s practically impossible for your plant to grow figs at home.
Even though this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to grow a healthy fiddle leaf fig at home, the conditions that must be satisfied for a fiddle leaf fig to bear fruit include a few key factors that can only be found in nature.
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Why Can Fiddle Leaf Figs Only Grow Fruit Outdoors?
While things such as soil and water can easily be provided at home, there are a few things that your fiddle leaf fig can’t have at home, no matter how well you are taking care of it.
The first of these factors is light. Even if you place your fiddle leaf fig where it gets a large amount of sunlight, the amount of light it gets at home can’t possibly be compared to the amount of light it would be receiving in its natural habitat. While it’s certainly possible to provide enough light for your fiddle leaf fig to grow healthily, the amount of light required to allow your plant to bear fruit is a completely different story.
Even if you somehow manage to get the light down, a greater problem awaits you. Fiddle leaf figs are native to Australia and Western Africa, and they require a certain type of wasp that can only be found in these regions to be pollinated.
On top of this, fiddle leaf figs are dioecious plants, meaning that your plant has either the male or the female reproductive organs, but not both at once like monoecious plants. Hence, for a fiddle leaf fig to flower and bear fruit, the pollinators would have to pollinate the plant with the pollen of the opposite sex of the same plant, essentially requiring both a male and a female fiddle leaf fig to be in close vicinity of each other.
As the chance that this type of wasp somehow makes its way into your home after gathering the pollens of an opposite-sex fiddle leaf fig is practically impossible, so is pollination.
Considering that fiddle leaf figs cannot bear fruit without pollination, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the chances of your plant bearing fruit at home is extremely minimal.
Are the Fruits of a Fiddle Leaf Fig Edible?
Fortunately, there is no need to be sad about your fiddle leaf fig being unable to bear fruit at home, as the fruit of a fiddle leaf fig can’t exactly be considered to be edible.
Even though the fruit of a fiddle leaf fig certainly resembles the fruit of the common fig tree, they taste nothing alike. While you can safely consume the fruit as it’s not toxic, it’s simply not the best thing to eat when it comes to taste and mouthfeel.
If the fruit tasted any good, we would have seen it being sold in the grocery store anyway, so there is no surprise here.
Tips to Keep Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Healthy
While this list is by no means extensive, it contains a few valuable tips that you should follow to keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy.
- Allow your fiddle leaf fig to have plenty of natural light. Fiddle leaf figs love light, which is why it’s best to keep them close to a window where sunlight can get to your plant without any obstructions. That being said, too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves of your plant. If the sun is directly shining on your plant, it may be a good idea to move it to a spot where the sunlight is more indirect. Lastly, to ensure that your fiddle leaf fig gets an equal amount of light, remember to rotate it now and then.
- Keep your fiddle leaf fig away from drafts and cold air. Fiddle leaf figs and drafts, or any source of cold air for that matter, don’t get along. For this reason, make sure that you locate all sources of cold air and place your fiddle leaf fig accordingly. As the most common culprit behind drafts hitting plants is open windows, it’s a good idea to think about the windows you regularly open and keep your plant away from them.
- Water regularly and thoroughly, but don’t overwater. While watering your plant is extremely important, overwatering can easily kill your plant. Rather than using pre-determined times for watering your plant, decide whether it’s time for watering or not by checking the soil. As checking the surface of the soil isn’t enough, breaking the soil up a little and diving deeper is the best way to understand whether the soil has dried out or not. If it’s time to water, make sure that you spread the water evenly throughout the soil with room temperature water. As a rule of thumb, you should be watering until water starts dripping into the drip tray and then get rid of the excess water in it.
- Dust the leaves. The existence of dust both creates opportunities for pests and also prevents your plant from absorbing the maximum amount of sunlight possible. Give the leaves of your plant a light dusting with a damp towel now and then to ensure that they stay in top shape.
- Consider investing in a humidifier. While humidity is a very important factor for your fiddle leaf fig to stay healthy, it’s also something that is often overlooked. As your home may not be humid enough for your plant, especially during the winter, where the air is dry, a humidifier is a great investment to keep your fiddle leaf fig and also most of your other houseplants healthy.
- Aerate the soil now and then. Soil can get clumped up at times and block the flow of water in certain areas. As this can prevent water from reaching parts of your plant’s roots, make sure that you gently shuffle the soil around and break the clumped pieces up.
Fiddle leaf figs do grow figs, but not in the sense we know. You will most likely never witness your fiddle leaf fig growing fruit due to the strict conditions required for it, but you won’t be missing out either as the fruit isn’t very appetizing after all.
Considering that we don’t buy houseplants for their fruit-bearing capabilities anyway, we can ignore that fiddle leaf figs can grow fruits and appreciate the beauty it brings to our home instead.
If you have been looking forward to eating the fruit of your fiddle leaf fig, it’s probably a better idea to hit the grocery store and enjoy some good old figs instead.