Friday, January 22, 2016

My Favorite Decorating Accessory

Well hello and happy Friday! I'm back today to talk about one of my favorite ways to decorate our home and it's not with a typical accessory. I've talked about using plants as decor before and I love them so much I'm going to keep talking! 

Years ago the fiddle leaf tree became THE plant -- it was so trendy. I usually avoid trends purely just because they are popular and then start incorporating them when they aren't cool anymore. But the fiddle, that has staying power. I don't know where it was all that time before but oh how I love it!

I did some research before I got my first plant and was a little nervous -- they can be finicky for some. I spent a pretty penny on my first one and it immediately stuck out it's tongue at me in the form of dropping nearly every single leaf. 

Soon I figured out exactly what they like…water and sun, can you believe it? They LOVE sun. Here is my first fiddle after I started nursing it back to life: 
caring for fiddle leaf figs

And here it is now: 
Fiddle leaf figs in decor

Not a ton taller but much fuller. Considering it was nearly bare a couple years ago, this is progress! This is by far my slowest growing one.

I love their full, dark green leaves. When the leaf is new it grows in very light green and it's much thinner than the others: 
Tips for caring for fiddle leaf figs
I shared how I've had success caring for these plants here and a very unusual way to make the leaves shine. :)

I've had a larger leaf version in our master bathroom till recently -- I moved it to a new spot in the bedroom and so far it's done really well there: 
Fiddle leaf fig plant

It's only been a few weeks though -- I have a feeling it will need more light but we'll see. 

I know lots of people find these at IKEA and I finally came across one a couple years ago but it was in bad shape -- I had removed most of the burnt/dead leaves when I took this photo: 
caring for fiddle leaf figs
This guy LOVES this spot with direct sun. Look at him now!:
Growing fiddle leaf fig plants
I've found fiddle leaf plants at IKEA, Home Depot and at my local nursery. The large leaf versions are at IKEA and HD -- and if you can't find them in your local Home Depot look online -- last I checked they sell them there for around $15, which is a great deal compared to nurseries. 

One day last summer I was in my favorite home decor shop/nursery in Indianapolis and came across a different version that I loved -- they call it the small leaf fiddle: 
Small leaf fiddle leaf fig

I've never seen these with such small leaves anywhere else but I loved the look, of course. 

They offered it to me for half price because it wasn't doing great -- even though it looked pretty good to me! But soon after I got it home the leaves that were half dead started falling -- so it was definitely on it's way out. Now it's growing much taller but it's not as full: 
Fiddle leaf plant with small leaves

The thing about these is if they lose leaves at the bottom (or I guess anywhere?) they don't grow back in that spot. So like with this one that lost most of it's bottom leaves, it will stay bare down there. It sprouts from the top only. I guess that's normal for a plant? I don't know. 

But my favorite fiddle? The DEAL of the CENTURY (echo echo echo…) was the huge one I found for our living room. Here it is last summer: 
Large fiddle leaf fig
That same nursery where I found the small leaf version had this one and they had the price knocked down from $130 to $30!! Wowza. Again, it didn't look to be in too bad of shape but about a third of the leaves had started dying (and subsequently fell off). 

I was really hoping I could save it -- the height and fullness was just what that corner needed! Six months later it's doing beautifully! A teensy bit less full but it's grown at least a foot: 
Successfully growing fiddle leaf figs

I've moved that top row of art up about four inches since the before pic, so that helps to give you an idea of how much it's grown. LOVE this beauty! There's something so satisfying about "saving" a plant. :)

I love plants and have many of them, but I've actually found the fiddle leaf to be the easiest to grow. I water well once a week and put them in a sunny spot (either direct or indirect) and they eat it up. That's all! I really think the sun is the key with these plants. If you've had problems with them I would suggest moving to a sunny spot -- I don't think they can get too much light.

Have you tried one of these trendy beauties? I love their fullness and how they fill up a space so well. Every time I find one for around $15 or cheaper I grab it and find somewhere to put it. I'm a sucker for plants in general -- they are the perfect finishing touch as far as accessories go, and as you can see the bigger ones are great space fillers.

The only question -- what do I do when they get too tall? Do you prune them? I don't know! Thankfully it will be years before I have to figure it out!


28 comments:

  1. I have one and it has been so easy to care for. We move it out to the porch for the summer months and it thrives in the sun here in Georgia! I really need to look for another one.

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  2. You are a Fiddle Leaf Fanatic! (I am a preserved boxwood fanatic!) I avoided getting a fiddle leaf just because it was in. I honestly couldn't find one when looking for a filler this past year. I agree that plants are the best decorating item out there. Starting out in our first new town home (and second bigger one--single family) many years ago, I used ALOT of plants to fill spaces and corners. The less furniture the more large plants! :)

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  3. I have fiddle-envy! i have been looking for one for a while ..but no luck!!
    I will check out Ikea!
    Maggie

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  4. Great post! I live in Indy. What's the shop/nursery you alluded to, if you don't mind sharing?

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  5. Are all your plants kid/animal safe?

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    1. Yes, but I've found conflicting info on these. Our three cats have never touched them -- instinctively they seem to go for the easier "food" like our palm plants.

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  6. http://youtu.be/XBnc7mEUAfw

    Very helpful YouTube video explaining how to get your Fiddle Leaf Fig to thrive (I hope the link above works, I copied and pasted it from the video).

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  7. When you say you water really well once a week, about how much water do you give it?

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    1. Till the soil is wet on top -- I'm guessing a couple to three cups?

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  8. Gorgeous plants! Do you repot them in a certain soil after buying them, or just set the plastic pot they came in from the nursery inside of an empty pot or basket?

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    1. I usually use the same pot they come in. Most plants I replant but so many of my fiddles have been unhealthy when I got them, I just wanted as little trauma as possible. :)

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  9. Did you know you can propagate your own from a cutting? I have one that I clipped from my mother-in-law's, stuck it in a jar of water until it had decent roots and then planted it! It was doing great until this winter--still alive but not growing so much. Sunny corners are hard to come by at my house.

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  10. I think you've done a great job with your plants. I love them too but have to be selective be cause we have two cats who like to dine on them. Does Colby leave them alone? Do you know if they are poisonous? I have seen them at our IKEA in Houston but didn't know if they were safe. Have a great weekend.

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    1. I read conflicting info about that years ago when I got my first but the leaves are so big they don't touch them. They prefer palms. :)

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  11. Fiddle Leaf Figs will often drops leaves due to over or under watering or lack of light. If you want your plants to fill in there are two things that will help. The first is moving your plant outside in the spring when the day and night temperatures are above about 55 degrees. When you move it outside you need to gradually increase the light. Full shade outside is still more "sun" than a full sun, south or west window in your house. So start out in the shade and gradually increase. Once your plant has adjusted you can prune it, even if it doesn't need the height adjustment I recommend it. This is what really promotes new growth and bushy, full trees/bushes. It will sprout from the top, but it will also fill in on the lower branches where the leaves have fallen off. A mild water-soluable fertilizer (I don't recommend Miracle Gro) every month throughout the growing season will also promote new growth. I highly recommend this method. I have a Fiddle that comes inside every year and drops several leaves. In the spring I move it back out to our east facing porch and it fills in nicely. This year, after 3 years of this process, we have a completely new branch with 3 leaves sprouting in the middle of winter! Good Luck!

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  12. Wow, I must be super lucky. I bought one at Ikea 2-3 years ago - it was at most 2 ft tall, and I have trimmed it back hard 3 times since then, and it is at least 7 ft tall right now, with leaves top to bottom. I am in FL, and it lives in our sun room, w moderate sun (I keep the shades partially pulled all the time). It is in good soil, in a large pot. And I water when leaves look droopy. I love it, but it grows pretty quickly.

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  13. Hello, Where do you get your plant baskets? What type of pot is inside?

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  14. Hello, Where do you get your plant baskets? What type of pot is inside?

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  15. I never had that plant but had spider plants. Started with one and they produce "babies" which start another. I was always giving them away! They grew quite well!

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  16. Interesting...I've always liked the fiddles pictured in your posts, but didn't care for the one in bedroom by the fireplace and your new vingnette, but now realize it was moved from the bathroom for more light!!! That is good enough reason, but just realize it tends to crowd the space, and the problem I have with plants is they are the perfect proportion for a time but "naturally" can't help being too small or too big at some point. We get so used to them that after awhile we don't really notice...like when one day I noticed the TREE by my front door that was mostly Trunk, from the plant I had placed there a couple of years earlier ;)

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  17. I need to bring more plants into my house. I just don't have a green thumb so I'm always scared!

    Mel | www.thegossipdarling.com

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  18. I got one of these when I moved into my new house and so far it's still alive although like yours it lost a bunch of leaves in the beginning. I'm excited to try the tip for shining the leaves!! And I just moved it yesterday in front of a window so hopefully it will do even better now. Thanks for all the tips!!

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  19. I love your fiddle leafs!! I too am a fan, and have several I have bought from Ikea that are doing fairly well. I prefer the look of the long trunk with only leaves on top that look more like trees but mine look more like plants with leaves from top to bottom. Do I take the leaves off myself to encourage the shape, or are there different types of fiddle leafs?

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  20. How do you keep your kitties out of your plants? I want plants so badly, and I gave up the last time I was in IKEA and bought faux plants. Do your kitties go outside? My cat is strictly indoor (because we have dogs and kitties poop candy, you know...!) Any plant I have, that cat simply shreds. So far, he's left the Christmas cactus alone - but I don't want to be limited to raising cactus. Any suggestions?

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  21. Gosh, now I must have one!! I love seeing them in others' homes but kept hearing how difficult they were. I love how much life they add to your spaces. Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Well after looking and looking locally since your post first came out in 2014, I finally just bought one on HomeDepot.com. I cannot wait! Can you tell me where you got the basket with the chalkboard sign - or at least where is the best type of places to look for a basket like that. Home Goods? Target? Any direction would be appreciated!

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