Fiddle Leaf Ficus: Hard to find?

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Fiddle Leaf Ficus

By drdawg
July 8, 2014

Have you ever wondered why Ficus lyrata, aka Fiddle Leaf Ficus, is so hard to find? Well, here's the scoop.

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Name: Carole
Atlanta (Zone 7b)
Cat Lover
Taxicat
Jul 12, 2014 6:20 AM CST
Dr Dawg,

Thank you for your article!

Here in the Atlanta area, these gorgeous plants, are readily available at Home Depot and sometimes Lowes. Usually when they have a 12.99 sale on tropicals that are usually 2 ft tall or more.

We have them here at work. All 4 plants have been here about 9 yrs and are about 10 to 12 feet tall and multi branched.

When they have gotten too tall or wide for their space, I just lop off a cutting that is at least 12 in long and put them in a vase with water. I have never had a cutting that did not root.






Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 12, 2014 6:41 AM CST
Thanks for the information, Carole. I have shipped several fiddle leaf's to the Atlanta area. I will tell people (there) who inquire about fiddle leaf ficus, to check out their Home Depot and Lowe's. I have standing orders for my air-layered plants from people in OR, NC, TX, and MN and just shipped out several seedlings to OK, CA, and VA. I bet I have shipped plants out to 25 different states since I started my small tropical plant business almost three years ago.

I never even considered trying to root them in plain water. I just root them like I do my other "hard" stem plants, in a mix of perlite and horticultural charcoal. I am going to take some cuttings and follow your rooting method. I will let you know what happens.

P. S. I have never seen a fiddle leaf ficus available in any big-box stores and I "visit" Lowe's at least once a week. After having dozens of people contact me , telling me they simply could not find a fiddle leaf ficus tree (I could not believe they were unavailable), I googled several big-box store's web sites, including Lowe's and Home Depot, and the only fiddle leaf ficus any of them carried were artificial. Perhaps I did the wrong search.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Adeniums Plant Identifier
Image
Carter
Jul 12, 2014 7:41 AM CST
Interesting article. I wonder if their commonality is a regional thing? F. lyrata is readily available here around Houston at just about anyplace you go, including Home Depot & Lowes. Coincidentally, I just bought one yesterday at Houston Garden Center. They had 8 or 10 plants, 2-3 trunks each, between 4-5 feet tall for $16.99 - and then 50% off on top of that! (They have a big 50% off sale starting summer ever year to start liquidating to make room for Christmas trees - in another couple months, it will jump to 75% off!)

I bought one of the larger triple trunk ones. I plan to make it single trunk and root the 2 side trunks. I also have one of the "dwarf" ones that Angels Exotic came out with a number of years back. It seems to be a slow grower. I'm not sure it even grows a foot a year like the species!

I also have a nicely variegated one that I bought off of eBay recently. It's currently only about a foot tall.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 12, 2014 7:59 AM CST
Carter, can you take a couple of pictures of that large fiddle you just bought, showing the three trunks? Are the trunks from three different plants or are they from one plant? How large is the pot you have it/them in? I would also love to see pictures of the variegated ficus. I have never seen one.

Perhaps you are right about the regional availability. I just don't know. All I know is the feedback I have gotten from people all over the US about not being able to find fiddle leaf ficus trees for sale. Growing (and selling) the fiddle is simply a novelty plant for me, since orchids, staghorn ferns, and bromeliads are my main interests. If people did not ask for it, I would not bother air-layering the mother plant.

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Adeniums Plant Identifier
Image
Carter
Jul 12, 2014 10:51 AM CST
Sure, Ken. It's a single plant with 3 trunks (really, a single trunk with 2 really low side branches). I guess it's currently in a 2 gallon pot? I haven't repotted it yet. Growth tip is about 5' in height.

Thumb of 2014-07-12/Carter/c00bc7

Here's the "dwarf". About 4' tall at the growth tip, not a super fast grower, I've had it about 5 or 6 years, I think. It's largest leaf is about 1/3 the size of the species plant.

Thumb of 2014-07-12/Carter/de0f1b

Here is the variegated F. lyrata. It's small - only about 12" tall at the growth tip, but very pretty. And doesn't seem terribly finicky (so far). It came with the leaves with the dried edges, so far in the time I've had it the two new emerging leaves are healthy. Time will tell how fast a grower it will be, but I don't expect it will be exactly speedy. :)

Thumb of 2014-07-12/Carter/784ab3
Thumb of 2014-07-12/Carter/7956bb
Name: Debra joeswife
Derby,Kansas (Zone 6b)
Image
joeswife
Jul 14, 2014 12:45 PM CST
I have never seen one around here, but I "rescued" a rather large one that had been hard cut and stripped of it's leaves and used as a Prom decoration with tiny lights, and then put out to the dumpster afterwards, at a small community College. I just happened to be waiting for my college girl at the dorm as we were loading up her stuff, and saw this huge tub of stems and decided to load it up. It was a tight fit with all the college stuff, but here we are 4 years later, and this tree thrives in our dining room between two windows. I have not tried cuttings or rootings, it was very tall when I came home with it and is even taller now, with two main trunks and some newer shorter ones.
Your Mind is a Garden, Your Thoughts are the Seeds, You can grow Flowers or You can grow Weeds.
Name: Carole
Atlanta (Zone 7b)
Cat Lover
Taxicat
Jul 14, 2014 3:26 PM CST
Interesting info about availability of this plant in various regions.

Carter....that varigated will be a beauty!

Dr Dawg......glad you have found a market for this plant :-)). I think it is quite stunning.
The cuttings I have rooted were at least 8 inches. They did take forever to root.

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