Alocasia Care

Alocasia Care

Alocasia Care

Alocasias are part of the Arum family. They are rhizomatous perennial (recurring every year) plant. They thrive in a bright, warm and humid atmosphere. They originate from tropical rainforest of South East Asia. There are about 70 different varieties of alocasia. They can grow very tall. They have ribbed, often oval leaves. Alocasia’s nickname is the elephant ear for a reason. Some Alocasia can reach up to 1 metre depending on which variety you have.

“If you want an ornamental plant, it is plant is for you. They are not the easiest to look after”

Overview

 

Family Origin Temperature
Araceae Asia 16º+
Humidity Light Shape
Love it Indirect bright light Tall group of stem
Watering Toxic Growth
every 3 weeks Yes Medium to rapid
Dormant Period Dislike Repotting
October to March To be overwatered Spring/Summer
a bedroom with a fiddle leaf tree next to a window

Alocasia Stingray, Credit: Patch Plants

Alocasia’s Golden rules

Do not leave your plant in a cold draft or near a cold window
Do not leave your plant next to a radiator
Do not overwater it or let it dry out, keep it moist
Do not leave the roots in constant contact with water for an extended period of time
Do not place it in direct sun

^

There are not for novice houseplant lovers

^

They like moist soil and bright indirect light

Light and Location

They like to be in bright indirect light, a West facing window is ideal. If you put your alocasia in the North facing window, put it next to the window where it has a good amount of light. They need light to grow. They can tolerate a little shade. 

Watering

Watering can be tricky. They don’t really like to be completely dry. The soil needs to be moist but not soaking wet. When the soil is three quarters of the way dry, water it. I typically wait for the top to be dry before watering. Always use water at room temperature. It is better to water your alocasia more often but in small quantity.
In summer, you will have to water your plant more often.
In winter, it all depends on your home environment. If it is very hot and dry, you will have to water more often. You will have to adjust your watering routine to your home’s environment. In general, I reduce my volume of watering and check more often.
If your plant is in the shade, you probably won’t have to water so often.
The key is to water more often but not fully soak the soil.

Alocasia Yucatan Princess

Temperature & Humidity

Alocasias like temperature between 18 to 22° which is perfect for our home.
They love humidity. The higher the humidity, the better they will grow and thrive. Increasing humidity around your plant is a good idea by having a peddle tray under the pot. Fill the tray with stones, add water without covering the stones, and put your pot on top of it. The roots do not like to be in constant contact with water.
Like most tropical plants, they do no like to be near a cold draft/window or next to a radiator.

Repotting & Compost

They like to be root bound and do not like to be repotted too often. The more root-bound your plant is the more often you will have to water them. If the roots are coming out of the pot, I suggest you repot them with new soil but in the same pot. The pot needs to be full of roots before you repot your alocasia.
When you repot your plant, only repot one size up pot.
You need to make sure that your soil drains well. If it does not drain well you will end up with root rot and bacterias. The soil need to be aerated, well drained and keep moisture.

My compost mix is:
15% pumice
10% agricultural charcoal
85% houseplant compost.
I always use terracotta pots as they retain moisture and they are breathable which is great for the roots.

The first time I repot my plants, I always add Rootgrow which is a mycorrhizal fungi. It is entirely natural and plants friendly fungi. Always read the directions for the right dosage.
The horticultural charcoal will get rid of impurities. It airs the soil and helps to increase the drainage and to grow healthy roots. It adds a source of carbon to plants, speeds water drainage, allows good airflow in the subsoil and inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Alocasia Amazonica Polly,  Credit: Hortology

Fertiliser

They love to be fertilised since they have big leaves and they grow big and tall. You can ferlitise them more often when it is most active but do not give them a full dose. 1/4 of a dose each time your water them is good.
I use Plantwork from Empahy. It is a natural plant stimulant that helps plant development.
Worm casting is also another good option.

Propagation

The best time to propagate your Alocasia is in spring or early summer. This is when the plant is coming out of dormancy. If your plant has grown big, pull out your plant from its pot, you should see long tubers. Carefully divide them if you have more than one and repot the mother plant and the division with the appropriate compost mix.

Alocasia Portodora, Credit: Hortology

Cleaning the leaves

Clean the leaves regularly to get rid of the dust. They are prone to spider mites and a regular check is necessary if you do not want to lose your plant.
You can shower your plant to clean it or use a damp cloth and clean the leaves by supporting the leave in your hand. You need to be gentle as the leaves are delicate.

Growth

They are medium to fast growers. They are as quick as dropping a leave as they are to grow a new one. It all depends on where it is placed in your home and your watering routine. They slow down in winter. 

Pruning

They do not require any pruning. When a leaf becomes floppy, you can cut it as it will have reached the end of its life. In my case, my personal preference is to wait until the leave starts yellowing. 

Common Problems

Dropping leaves is often the case when the leaf reach its end of life. It can also be caused by dormancy which is triggered by low light exposition and drop in temperatures. 
Leaf curling and brown leaf tip can be the cause of low humidity.

Leaf transpires is often a case of under watering and low humidity. 

Pests

Always put your plant in quarantine if you have any pests on our plants.

Spider mites can do some damage to your Alocasia.  They are the main pets of the Alocasia.They suck the sap of the leaves and can kill the plant if undetected. They are very hard to detect as they are tiny. You can see their spider web. Use a fungicide to resolve this problem and repeat treatment two weeks later. Ensure that your plant has enough water.

Another way to get rid of pests is to clean your plant with a damp cloth and a little amount of washing liquid. Repeat every week until your plant is cleared. Top up with fungicide.

Truly Yummy Things

Truly Yummy Things

Welcome! Truly Yummy Things is an interiors, outdoor living blog and sourcebook of truly beautiful things to inspire you for your home and garden.
It is also a sourcebook for houseplants and outdoor plants with a manual to keep them beautiful for many years to come.
I am a firm believer in recycling old furniture and sustainable products for your home. I like to think that truly beautiful things in our home has the power to improve our mood and make us smile without always spending a fortune.

Recent Posts

Calathea Care

Calathea Care

Calathea Care

Credit: Patch Plants

Calatheas can be seen in most nurseries as they have attracted our attention with their beautiful striking foliage. 
There are many different varieties of Calathea on the market: rattlesnake plant, zebra plant, peacock plant, pinstripe Calathea, the list goes on. They originate from the jungle of the Amazon in South America. Most Calathea won’t flower in our indoor environment apart from the Crocata Calathea. Calathea belongs to the Marantaceae family. Once the plant is mature, its height can reach 30 to 50cm.

These plants are relatively easy to look after. You will find that the leaves react to the light at a fixed time of the day. They are open in broad daylight and close when the light drops.

“If you want an ornamental plant, which changes shape throughout the day, it is plant is for you.”

Overview

 

Family Origin Temperature
Marantaceae South America 15 – 24º+
Humidity Light Shape
Yes Indirect light, light shade Bushy
Watering Toxic Growth
Moist soil, not soggy Not known of Medium
Dormant Period Dislike Repotting
Slower in winter To be near a cold window or a radiator Spring/Summer
a bedroom with a fiddle leaf tree next to a window

Credit: Palm Centre

Calathea’s Golden rules

Do not leave your plant in a cold draft or near a cold window
Do not leave your plant next to a radiator
Do not overwater it or let it dry out, keep it moist
Do not leave the roots in constant contact with water for an extended period of time
Do not place it in direct sun, it will scorch the leaves.

^

There are so many varieties

^

They need some use to, once you have a good routine, Stick to it

Light and Location

These plants thrive in bright light but no direct sunlight. If you put your Calathea in direct sunlight, the leaves will fade. The sun can also scorch the leaves.
A North facing window is a good location for these plants. However, they can be in any location as long they are away from direct sunlight. They also like a shady spot.
The key is to keep them in indirect light and they will be happy.

Watering

Calatheas like moist soil, but not soaking wet.
In summer, water twice a week with rainwater if you can. If you do not have access to rainwater, let the tap water sit in a watering can overnight, the chemicals inside will evaporate overnight.
The soil should dry out slightly between waterings.
In winter, weekly watering is enough, providing the temperature of your home is not too high. If it is too dry or too hot, spray the underside of the leaves daily. You will have to play by ear about watering your plant and base your watering routine on the temperature of your own home.

Credit: Palm Centre

Temperature & Humidity

Calatheas like warm temperatures. They love temperatures between 15 to 25º+. You can put them outside in the shade during the summer months in England. If the temperatures drop out, as it can often be the case in England, bring it back inside. I would mention that you should not leave your Calathea near a cold draft/window or next to a radiator.

Repotting & Compost

The best time to repot your Calathea is the end of Spring. Yet, if you think your plant needs repotting because the roots are showing at the bottom of its pot, just repot it.
Generally, you can repot your plant once or every one or two years, depending on how much you want them to grow and how they grow.
When you repot your plant, only repot one size up pot.
Calatheas like their soil slightly acidic. Ensure there is good drainage by adding a layer of small clay balls at the bottom of the pot.
The way I make my compost which has proved to be successful is:

50% houseplant potting mix;
30% Ericaceous compost;
10% garden pumice (for drainage);
10% horticultural charcoal.

The first time I repot my plants, I always add Rootgrow which is a mycorrhizal fungi. It is entirely natural and plants friendly fungi. Always read the directions for the right dosage.
The horticultural charcoal will get rid of impurities. It airs the soil and helps to increase the drainage and to grow healthy roots. It adds a source of carbon to plants, speeds water drainage, allows good airflow in the subsoil and inhibits the growth of bacteria.
In their native environment, Calatheas live in moist sandy soil.

Credit: Patch

Fertiliser

Fertilise your plant every two weeks from spring to autumn with half-strength fertiliser. This will promote new growth.
I use Plantwork from Empahy. It is a natural plant stimulant that helps plant development.
Worm casting is also another good option.

Propagation

You can divide your plant if you want to propagate it. Be aware that it will change its appearance.
After you have repotted them, water your plants and keep them in a shady, warm corner for 3 to 4 weeks. Water it when necessary. As soon as you see new growths, you will know you have succeeded.

Cleaning the leaves

Wipe any dirt or dust with a damp cloth. Be gentle not to break the leaves.
Showering your Calathea is an excellent method to get rid of the dust.
Do not use leaf shine on these plants.

Growth

These plants grow at a slow to moderate rate depending on which variety of Calathea you have.
The location of your plant in your home will also determine how it grows. When it is happy and has received the right balance of care and light, it can grow faster.

Pruning

There is no need to prune a calathea plant. You only have to cut yellow or dead leaves.

Common Problems

Rolled and brown leaves is a lack of humidity. Make a humidity tray to increase humidity. You can spray your plant with rainwater or soft water especially in hot weather. You can also cluster a few plants together to create a mini greenhouse.
Brown edge of leaves/tips indicates too much fertiliser, a lack of humidity or fluoride in water. Once more, make a humidity tray to increase humidity. You can also spray your plant with rainwater or soft water especially in hot weather.
Cleanse the soil with water to get rid of too much fertiliser.

Pests

Always put your plant in quarantine if you have any pests on our plants.

Spider mites can do some damage to a Calathea. They suck the sap of the leaves and can kill the plant if undetected. They are very hard to detect as they are tiny. Use a fungicide to resolve this problem and repeat treatment two weeks later. Ensure that your plant has enough water.

Aphides and scale insect suck sap from the leaves and stems of plants. Clean your plant to remove any insect.

Another way to get rid of pests is to clean your plant with a damp cloth and a little amount of washing liquid. Repeat every week until your plant is cleared.Top up with fungicide.

Truly Yummy Things

Truly Yummy Things

Welcome! Truly Yummy Things is an interiors, outdoor living blog and sourcebook of truly beautiful things to inspire you for your home and garden.
It is also a sourcebook for houseplants and outdoor plants with a manual to keep them beautiful for many years to come.
I am a firm believer in recycling old furniture and sustainable products for your home. I like to think that truly beautiful things in our home has the power to improve our mood and make us smile without always spending a fortune.

Recent Posts

Peperomia Pilea Care

Peperomia Pilea Care

Caring for Pilea Peperomioides

I love a Pilea. Actually, I have three as I love them so much. Its look is so refreshing, and to me, it adds a modern touch to my home with a beautiful decorative concrete pot. It is a complimentary plant to Scandi decor but it can suits any style.
Pilea peperomioides also referred to as Chinese Money plant, is a semi-succulent plant from the nettle family Urticaceae, found in southern China.
There are relatively easy to look after, and they grow quite fast. You can put them anywhere in your home as long as they have some light.

“You can spread love and gift little Pilea babies to your friends from your mother plant !”

Overview

Family Origin Temperature
Urticaceae Southern Chin 15 – 25º+
Humidity Light Shape
No Bright indirect light Canopy
Watering Toxic Growth
Light, not soggy No Fast
Dormant Period Dislike Repotting
Not really To be overwatered Spring/Summer
a bedroom with a fiddle leaf tree next to a window

Credit: Patch

Pilea’s Golden rules

Do not leave your plant in a cold draft or near a cold window;
Do not leave your plant next to a heater fan;
Do not leave your Pilea in full hot sun in summer, the leaves will be burnt;
Do not overwater it or let it dry out for a long period of time;
Do not leave the roots in constant contact with water for an extended period.

^

Enjoy it, it is so cute

^

They are easy to look after

Light and Location

Pilea thrives best in bright indirect sunlight. Do not place it in direct sunlight as it will scorch the leaves. A South facing window with indirect light is perfect for your plant. Do not discard a North facing window, if you get sufficient light, your plant will still grow. It is possible to adapt your plant to a lower light level but it will spread out more and its leaves will get darker green. Mine have been happy in any location as long as they have sufficient light.
Peperomioides are very responsive to the light, and you will find that if you do not turn your plant every week, they will grow their new leaves towards the light.

Watering

Water your Pilea once a week. They don’t like soggy soil, let it dry slightly between watering. If the leaves start to drop, it means your Pilea is thirsty. As the weather gets warmer, increase your watering as your soil may dry more quickly. They are semi succulent and they will forgive you if you forget to water them.
You always have to take into account the environment of your home. If you keep your house very warm in winter, watering once a week is fine. My recommendation is for a house’s temperature of around 20 to 22º. It is important to remember that your Pilea does not like wet soil for too long.
I advise you to add some gravel at the bottom of your decorative pot to make sure that the roots are not in contact with water.

Credit: The Stem

Temperature & Humidity

They love temperature between 15 to 25º+. Do not leave your plant below 10º outside or it will die. Our home environment is perfect for them. Remember as most plants, Pileas do not like to be against a heating vent or in a regular draft.
They are semi-succulent and do not require humidity.

Repotting & Compost

The best time to repot a Pilea is in Spring, but if your plant is pot bound and is cramped in its container, you can report it in winter. They like to be root bound, and a size up for your pot should be sufficient. I always choose Terracotta pot as it allows the plant roots to breathe well in the soil due to its porosity. They are a great choice if you tend to overwater your plants and they absorb the water excess which prevents root rot.
Be careful, Pileas have very fragile stems. Be very gentle as you may lose a few leaves when you repot it.

When I repot my Pilea, I use cacti and succulent potting mix.
I mix 1 part of horticultural charcoal with 9 part of cactus compost.
The cactus compost is excellent for these plants as they do not hold too much water and have good drainage. The first time I repot one of my plants, I always add Rootgrow which is a mycorrhizal fungi. It is entirely natural and plants friendly fungi.  
The horticultural charcoal is less dense and gets rid of impurities. It airs the soil and helps to increase the drainage and to grow healthy roots. It adds a source of carbon to plants, speeds water drainage, allows good airflow in the subsoil and inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi”.

Credit: Patch

Fertiliser

Fertilise your pilea once a month during the growing period.
I fertilise my plants all purpose plant stimulant from Empathy or worm castings. It is 100% natural plant food. It stimulates healthy and vigorous growth for all plant. Always follow the directions when applying.

Propagation

The best time to propagate a Pilea is in Spring. You will notice that your plant has a few plantlets when it gets bigger. Dig gently around the seedling and cut the bottom, as deep as you can, with a clean, sharp knife. You can either put them in water and wait for the roots to form or plant them straight in the soil. I recommend planting them in the soil as growing roots in water are harder to take than in the soil.

My propagation mix is:
5%/10% perlite;
95% Westland cacti and succulent potting mix.
The soil needs to be moist. You should start to see roots from 4 to 6 weeks.

Credit: Hortology

Trunk & Growth

When you Pilea is getting mature, it will develop into a small tree.
They grow relatively quickly. In winter, they grow more slowly but still at a good rate. They tend to grow upwards. With time, your pot should be covered of little plantlets around your mother Pilea. You can leave them together, cut them or propagate them.

Branching your Pilea

A Pilea grows upward. To change the shape of your plant and encouraging branching, you can pinch the new top leaves. You can also cut the top and propagate it in water with roots hormones. It will promote branching.

Common Problems

Dropping leaves means that they need to be watered. It could also be the cause of over watering your Pilea. If you have root rot, your Pilea will drop its leaves. Change your watering regime. If it has been overwatered, let your plant dry and change your watering regime.
Yellow bottom leaves and falling leaves can be normal. Your plant will lose its leaves for time to time. You have nothing to worry if your Pilea looks healthy. You can remove the yellow leaves. Soon your Pilea will have new leaves. If your younger leaves are turning yellow, you are overwatering your plant. Let it dry and water again.
Curling leaves could be that you are overwatering your plant. Change your regime, and it should resolve itself. Curling leaves for a Pilea is usually not a problem unless you see your plant becoming unhealthy. You need to make sure that your plant have adequate light too. I read that curling leaves from the bottom could suggest too much water and curling leaves from the top could be too much sun.
Brown leaves suggests that your plant has received too much fertiliser. It could also suggest that your plant has been burnt by too much sun. Always make sure your Pilea is not overwatered.

 

Diseases

Powdery mildew can kill the leaves’ tissue. You will end up with your leaves dropping and your plant not growing properly. You can resolve this problem by using an organic fungicide.
Spider mites are tiny insects which are very difficult to detect. If you see red spots on the leaves with a tiny webbing, use a fungicide.

Thrips are very small insects that feed on the leaf of your plant. They will weaken your plant and transmit diseases as they fly around.

Mealybugs are very destructive insects. They reproduce very quickly. These bugs like to eat from the sap of your plant which won’t help with its growth. You could detect them if you see spots on the leaves, yellow leaves or dropping leaves.

Whiteflies are again very tiny and leave a powdery white wax on your plant. They are bad news as they will damage your plant. They can cause your leaves to drop, and your plant will start looking unhealthy.
All those problems can be resolved with a good organic fungicide. I use an organic Fungicide which works miracles on all the above. There is also no chemicals which is a bonus to me.

truly yummy things

truly yummy things

Welcome! Truly Yummy Things is an interiors, outdoor living blog and sourcebook of truly beautiful things to inspire you for your home and garden.
It is also a sourcebook for houseplants and outdoor plants with a manual to keep them beautiful for many years to come.
I am a firm believer in recycling old furniture and sustainable products for your home. I like to think that truly beautiful things in our home has the power to improve our mood and make us smile without always spending a fortune.

Recent Posts

Monstera Deliciosa care

Monstera Deliciosa care

How to care for your Monstera Deliciosa

“Monstera Deliciosa also called the Swiss Plant is one of the easiest plant to look after. Be prepared: it is a fast growing plant!”

Overview

Family Origin Temperature
Araceae Mexico to Columbia 15 – 29º+
Humidity Light Shape
Yes,please Filtered bright light Vine, Canopy
Watering Toxic Growth
Moist soil, not soggy Yes Fast
Dormant Period Dislike Repotting
Not really, slower growing in winter To be near a cold window or a heated vent Spring/Summer, every two years
a bedroom with a fiddle leaf tree next to a window

Credit: Dyke Dean

Monstera Deliciosa’s

Golden rules

Do not leave your plant in a cold draft or near a cold window or a fan heater
Do not leave your Monstera in direct contact with the sun
Do not overwater it or let it dry out
Do not leave the roots in constant contact with water for an extended period of time

^

Just relax and enjoy it

^

It will grow fast very quickly

Light and Location

Monstera prefers diffused bright light. Place it in either a bright room with indirect sunlight or a bright room with plenty of shade. Its growth will decrease if your plant gets too much shade. The leaves will grow toward the light. Too much sun will scorch the leaves.
In their natural habitat, they climb trees and gain shade and moisture from them. You will have to find the right balance between light and shade. Signs for lack of light are small and weak leaves and thin air roots.
Turn your plant every two weeks, for your plant to have an uneven shape. If you don’t, your plant will grow toward the light.

Watering

Ensure that your water is at room temperature. Allow the soil to dry for a couple of inches before watering again. Watering once a week is the right watering balance. They do not like to have their feet wet. Water sparingly to make the soil barely moist, but not wet.

Credit: Crocus

Temperature & Humidity

The ideal temperature for a Monstera is between 18-29℃. They can survive in temperatures as low as 10℃, but it won’t grow. If the temperature is above 16℃+, your plant will continue to grow. Below 15℃, the growth rate slows down, and you will need to water less. Our home temperatures have the ideal climate for a Monstera Deliciosa.
Do not leave your plant near cold draft or a cold window.

They like to have humidity around them. Usually our homes are do not have a high level of humidity. If your home is too dry, you can mist the leaves, or you can make a humidity tray. Make sure the roots are not in contact with water for a prolonged period.

Repotting & Compost

You can repot your plant every couple of years. If you want to slow down its growth, take some of the soil out and top up your soil. The more you repot, the bigger your plant will become.
Gently work the old soil out of the roots, to help them spread out in the new pot. Try to take as much old soil out of the roots. Place your plant in a new pot with gravel at the bottom for drainage, fill around the root ball with fresh soil.
Monsteras need a soil well drained soil. The ideal soil is peat soil mix with vermiculite.
My potting mix is:
10% agricultural charcoal
10% vermiculite is good for drainage
80% Westland compost.
This is my personal preference. It works for me. As long as you have drainage in your compost, your plant will be happy.

Credit: Gardeners Green Store

Fertiliser

During the growing period, from the end of March to end of October, feed once a month with fertiliser. Once established, they require less fertiliser.
I use Happy House Start Me Up (in addition to RootGrow when I repot). It is completely natural and there is not risk of overdose. Just add to the surface of your plant, lightly fork and water as usual.  Remember, do not over fertilise your FL and always follow the guidelines of the fertiliser you are using.

Propagation

Propagating this plant is such an easy process. Spring/Summer is the best time to propagate a Monstera, but you can achieve it at other time of the year.
Cut a stem with 2 or 3 leaves at the root node, with a root at the bottom if possible. Place it in water or in moist potting soil easy to drain. You should see results in a few weeks depending on the time of year. Transplant the plant into a pot when you notice roots appearing. It is an easy process.

Pruning

There is no rule. You can leave your plant be or cut the stems to change the shape of your plant.
If you want to propagate, make sure you cut a stem with a root attached.
Cut any yellow leaves.

Cleaning the leaves

Gently clean the leaves regularly to get rid of dust, bearing in mind that they are delicate.

Credit: Hortology

Trunk & Growth

If you have a mature plant, it will require support with a moss pole to support its weight and to grow tall. You can use any stick to train your plant. If your plant is small, it is not necessary to have a support pole. If you are using a moss pole, mist the moss from time to time to encourage the aerial roots to take hold.
In their natural environment, they climb trees to get support and use their aerial roots. If your plant is small, it is not necessary to have a support pole.

Monsteras are famous for their large green glossy leaves. A juvenile Monstera starts with full leaves with no slits. When the plant matures, the leaves grow larger and begin to have a slit.
The Monstera Deliciosa is often called “the monster” due to its rapid growth. If you want to keep your plant controlled, do not repot it too often as it will shoot off.

Roots

A mature Monstera can develop a large number of unruly roots. You can cut them or put them back in the soil. If the roots are outside the pot, they won’t damage your wall or wallpaper.

Credit: Primrose

Common Problems

Tips of leaf and edges turning brown is a sign of root bound, and it needs repotting. It could also be a lack of humidity.
Leaves not getting slits is potentially due to lack of light.
Yellow leaves could mean that you are overwatering your plant or it does not have enough nutrients in the soil.
Brown leaves indicate that you are overwatering and the roots are rotting. remove your plant from the pot, remove the wet soil, leave the roots dry out of the pot for 24 hours. Repot into a clean pot with fresh dry soil. Place your plant in bright indirect light. Go easy with watering until your plant has recovered.

Diseases

Powdery mildew can kill the leaves’ tissue. You will end up with your leaves dropping and your plant not growing. You can resolve this problem by using an organic fungicide or wash your plant with a damp cloth and a drop of washing liquid.

Pests

If your plant has pests, put it in quarantine before it spreads to your other plants. Monsteras are resistant to pests. Usually, they can be infected by surrounded plants.

Spider mite is a small red spider. Pale spots on the leaves appear. Use a fungicide to clear it.
Mealybug looks like lumps of cotton wool, and they live at the bottom of the leaves. The plant will start by losing its leaves. Spray with a fungicide and repeat the 1 week later until your plant is cleared.

A good tip to clear your plants from pests is to use a damp cloth with a little washing liquid. Clean your leaves and do it again every week until it has resolved.

I had whiteflies, last summer, and I cleaned the leaves and trunk thoroughly with a damp cloth and a drop of washing liquid. I rinsed my plant and followed the same process a week later. Furthermore, I used a fungicide between cleaning. My plant has survived but brown scars have remained with brown spots on the leaves.

If you have pests, put your plant in quarantine until the problem is resolved.

truly yummy things

Welcome! Truly Yummy Things is an interiors, outdoor living blog and sourcebook of truly beautiful things to inspire you for your home and garden.
It is also a sourcebook for houseplants and outdoor plants with a manual to keep them beautiful for many years to come.
I am a firm believer in recycling old furniture and sustainable products for your home. I like to think that truly beautiful things in our home has the power to improve our mood and make us smile without always spending a fortune.

Recent Posts

Fiddle Leaf Tree care

Fiddle Leaf Tree care

How to care for your Fiddle Leaf Tree

Credit: www.proflowers.com

“The Ficus Lyrata also called the Fiddle Leaf Tree is one of the cool kid in town. My advice: buy one!”

Overview

Family Origin Temperature
Moraceae West Africa 15 – 24º+
Humidity Light Shape
Yes, please Bright indirect light Canopy/tall
Watering Toxic Growth
Moist soil, not soggy Yes Medium
Dormant Period Dislike Repotting
October to March To be near a cold window or a heated vent Spring/Summer
a bedroom with a fiddle leaf tree next to a window

Credit: New York Times

Fiddle Leaf Tree’s

Golden rules

Do not leave your plant in a cold draft or near a cold window or a fan heater
Do not leave Your Fiddle Leaf tree in full hot sun especially in summer unless it has been acclimated to the sun
Do not overwater it or let it dry out for long period of time, keep it moist
Do not leave the roots in constant contact with water for an extended period of time
Do not place it in a dark corner
Fiddle Leaf loves bright light and needs to be in front of a window
Wipe its leaves periodically to remove dust

^

Just relax and enjoy it

^

The more you fuss about it, the more problems you will have

Light and Location

In their natural habitat, they can sustain the sun all day. Sadly, most Fiddle Leaf trees we buy, have not been used to their natural environment, and they are grown in filtered light.

They need bright sunlight to grow as they feed on it. Place your Fiddle Leaf in front of a window or very close. Do not keep it away from the light and place it in a dark corner.

You can acclimate your plant to be in the sun gradually. It can sustain the early morning or late evening sun in the summer. Start with an hour of direct sun for a week and slowly repeat the process by increasing to 1 to 2 hours to accustom your plant. Follow this process until you have achieved at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. Morning or evening sun is good to start with.
In the summer, I tend to place my Fiddle trees in the garden where they are exposed to the morning sun. This method will allow your plant to grow faster.

If you bring your plant outside on a warm day, always remember to bring it back inside, if you know that you are going to have a drop in temperature. In the winter months, the sun is not strong enough to do any harm, it is a good start to acclimate them.

They prefer a South facing window. However, if you have a large North facing window, do not discard it. One of my Fiddle Leaf trees is very happy.

Watering

Use rain/filtered water if you can or leave your watering can sit with water overnight for the chemicals to evaporate. Generally, water your plant once a week depending on the temperature of your environment. You have two ways of knowing when you need to water your FL.
You can use a moisture meter which will need to be calibrated (personally I do not like them), or use your finger by inserting it in the soil. My preferred  method is using a wooden stick is perfect.  Insert it inside the soil (10/15cm/2″ deep), check 15mins later, and you will clearly see if it is dry or not.
When you water your plant, make sure the water runs out from the bottom of the pot to have the root ball soaked and to drain any salts which have built in the pot.
Remember, do not let your FL dry out thoroughly, they enjoy being slightly moist.

Credit: tree.com

Temperature & Humidity

Make sure the temperature around your Fiddle Leaf is no less than 15º. They like constant warmth. In winter, do not place it next to a door which is regularly opened and let the cold in, or in front of a cold window.
Ficus Lyrata trees thrive in a humid climate. I have read that many people use a humidifier in winter. Personally, I do not, and mine have survived many winters. It all depends on your environment.
You can make a humidity tray to increase humidity by putting some stones in a saucer, pour the water over it but do not cover them. Place your Fiddle Leaf tree on top. Make sure the roots do not come into contact with the water as they do not like to be waterlogged.
You can also have a container on top of the soil with some water inside.
Another option is to consider grouping a few plants together to create a mini rainforest by clustering them together.

Repotting & Compost

Spring is the best time to repot your Ficus Lyrata when the plant is starting to grow. Repot it in a pot 1/1.5” larger in diameter than your current pot. Do not forget to add drainage with stones at the bottom as again, the roots do not like to be sitting in water. Once you have repotted your plant, water it a day later.

Fiddlle Leaf trees like to be root bound in their pots. If you buy one in winter which needs repotting, I would advise to do it once it has acclimated to his new environment. Do not put your Ficus Lyrata outside to repot in winter.
I always add Root Grow which contains mycorrhizal fungi if my plant is young. The mycorrhizal fungi are essential to the soil life, continually growing out from the roots of a treated plant into the soil, finding new sources of nutrients and water.
All my Ficus Lyrata trees are planted in terracotta pots; they allow air and water to pass through their walls which promotes healthy plants by avoiding root rot and disease caused by overwatering. However, this can also cause the soil to dry out quickly, which means more watering in Summer. Plastic pots are also acceptable.

The way I mix my compost is:
10% part charcoal horticultural coconut shell
10% vermiculate
80% part Westland houseplant compost (as recommended by the Palm Centre).
As for the charcoal, it is less dense, and it will get rid of impurities. It also airs the soil and helps to increase the drainage and to grow healthy roots. It adds a source of carbon to the plants, speeds water drainage, allows good airflow in the subsoil and inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi.

Credit: Alyssa Rosenheck, Design Leanne Ford Interiors

Fertiliser

Fertilise once a month during the growing period. There is mixed information about fertilising a FL.
I use instead Happy House Start Me Up (in addition to RootGrow when I repot). It is completely natural and there is not risk of overdose. Just add to the surface of your plant, lightly fork and water as usual.  Remember, do not over fertilise your FL and always follow the guidelines of the fertiliser you are using.

Propagation

There are different methods:

Air Layering

It is a great method, but it takes time. You need to be a confident and experienced gardener to use this method. You also need to have a thicker trunk to avoid accidents.

Cutting

It is the most popular method. Cut off a branch, and keep two leaves, dip it in rooting hormone and wrap the stem in Sphagnum moss, mist the moss and place it inside a plastic bag in a bright location. Once it has developed healthy roots, you can plant it.
Alternatively, fill a vase with water, place the stem upright and leave the vase (transparent is better to see what’s going on) in a bright area but not in direct sunshine. Change the water when it becomes cloudy. And wait… I will take a few months.
Once you can see a good rooting system, (which can take a few weeks) place the plant in compost and watch it grow. Remember that roots which grow in water are harder to plant in soil. Keep the soil well watered and slowly decrease the amount of water over time. This is my favourite method.
Another method is to cut a 3″ healthy stem below a leaf node. Remove the bottom leave. Before planting, dip the stem in rooting hormones. Plant it and cover it with a clear plastic bag to increase the humidity. If the compost dries out, water it as it needs to be kept moist. After a few weeks, you can check if the cutting has rooted. If it has, remove the plastic and look after your plant like any other FL.

Branching your Ficus Lyrata

There are different ways to help it sprout new branches. Before you decide to branch your Fiddle Leaf, make sure the trunk has thickened enough to support its tree shape. It will also be more pleasing to the eyes. Wait until you are satisfied with its height. Once you have achieved the desired height and trunk thickness, you can start branching your Fiddle Leaf. Patience is key.

Notching

It promotes branching when done correctly. Make a small cut into the trunk above a bud where you want to see a branch. This will trick the plant into branching out at this point. You need to make a cut deep enough until you see white sap coming out. I have been unsuccessful using this method.
Unless you are an experienced gardener, I would not attempt this method as you can damage your plant.

Credit: Facebook page from Ghetto Gardeners Tips for Dope Ass Plants Inside & Out. Fiddle Leaf

 

Pruning

Pruning will promote branching by cutting your tree with a good pair of secateurs. Cut where the leaf node is. Always make sure to disinfect your secateurs before using it. The new growths should emerge from the stem where the leaf is. You should get two new stems to grow from the leaf node below the cut point. Use gloves when you are cutting your FL as the sap can be irritating.

Pinching

Nip the tip-off of a new set of leaves at the end of the tip of the tree or the branch, it will  encourage new growths. Once your tree has started branching, you can repeat the process. This is the easiest method to use.