Need advice on my Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle leaf bush)

nycab(7a, NJ)March 11, 2014

I looked at all the messages on this board about this plant. I bought this plan in late October of last year from a Garden Center. It was doing fine until we went on vacation in late Nov. (it didn't receive much light and needed water).

Most of the leaves turned yellow and fell off until it was down to 6 leaves (3 on each stalk). Well one of the stalks lost all the leaves and dried up. I cut that one all the way to the soil and put the plant in better light and have watered it and started to give it a bit of fertilizer that was recommended by Al (thanks). My husband said to throw it out since it was so sad looking. I said I would wait until Spring and see.

I couldn't believe it but I noticed in the last couple of weeks, buds have popped up on the bottom 1/3 of the stalk (about 4 and a leaf has sprouted). This plant definitely needs some root pruning and new soil (but I am holding off until it's warmer here in NJ. Should I cut down the upper stalk to encourage growth throughout or wait until those buds produce bigger leaves? Any advice appreciated. I have attached photos.

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nycab(7a, NJ)

A picture of the buds.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:08PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Right now, the large leaves are the only source of food for the plant. Fertilizer isn't plant food. It only supplies the building blocks plants need to grow, keep their systems in order, and to make their own food during photosynthesis. You can see now why the large leaves should be left to feed the new growth until the new leaves are about 75% their mature size - that's when they stop being an energy sink and become net producers of energy. After that, or around Father's Day if the plant is doing well, you can cut the plant back to just above a vigorous new branch that will become the new leader.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 4:40PM
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nycab(7a, NJ)

Thank you for the advice. I have 2 others that are smaller (which I purchased after this one) and they are doing well (they started to grow new leaves in the last few weeks). I will wait and see what happens.

This post was edited by NYCab on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 17:02

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:39AM
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