Have you ever noticed that fiddle leaf fig, also known as Ficus elastica, often have their leaves pointing upwards? This is a natural trait of the Ficus elastica species. However, it can also signify the plant’s overall health and well-being.
In this blog post, we will discuss the Ficus Elastica’s upward leaf growth and how to keep your Ficus elastica happy and healthy with its leaves pointed upwards.
First, let’s talk about why Ficus elastica have their leaves pointing upwards. This behavior is known as positive geotropism, where the plant responds to gravity by growing towards it.
Ficus elastica and other Ficus species have specialized pulvinus joints at the base of their leaves, allowing them to adjust and move their leaves upwards quickly.
In nature, Ficus elastica can grow on tall trees or buildings, so this upward leaf growth helps them catch maximum sunlight for photosynthesis.
Things You Can Do to Keep Fiddle Leaves Pointing Upward
You can do several things to encourage your Ficus elastica to have its leaves pointing upwards.
Provide Ample Sunlight
Ficus elastica thrive in indirect, bright light and may struggle in low-light conditions. If your Ficus Elastica’s leaves are pointed downwards or drooping, try finding a spot with more sunlight for it.
If your plant is getting enough sunlight, but the leaves are still pointing downwards, it could also be a sign of wind or drafts in the area. Try to move your plant to a more sheltered spot to protect it from these elements.
Avoid Drafts and Sudden Temperature Changes
Ficus elastica prefers a consistent, warm environment without drastic changes in temperature or drafty areas.
Allow the Soil to Dry Out Before Watering Again
The plant Ficus elastica, commonly known as Fiddle Leaf Fig, is sensitive to sudden temperature changes and drafts. To keep the leaves pointing upward, ensure the Fiddle Leaf Fig is not placed near windows or doors where it could be affected by these elements.
If possible, maintain a consistent temperature in the Fiddle’s environment. By doing so, you can prevent the leaves from drooping.
Trim Off Dead Foliage and Promote New Growth
Regularly trim off any dead or damaged foliage from the Fiddle Leaf Fig to promote new growth. This will encourage healthy, upward-pointing leaves to take their place and keep the plant looking vibrant. Be sure to use sharp scissors or pruners for a clean cut and to prevent spreading of any potential diseases.
Fertilize During the Growing Season
You need to provide Ficus elastica with a balanced fertilizer every 2 to 4 weeks during the spring and summer. This will ensure that your plant has enough nutrients to support healthy growth and an upright posture.
However, follow the instructions on your fertilizer packaging, as over-fertilizing can also lead to drooping leaves. Moreover, it is recommended to stop fertilizing in the winter when Ficus elastica enters its dormant period.
Rotate Your Ficus Elastica Every Few Weeks
Fiddles naturally grow toward the sun, so rotating your plant every few weeks will ensure that all of its leaves receive an even amount of light. This will prevent lopsided growth and encourage upward growth.
Not only does rotating your plant promote consistent growth, but it also allows you to inspect the leaves and stems for pests or diseases.
Avoid Touching or Moving the Plant too Much
The plant has sensitive pulvinus joints and may droop or lose leaves if handled or moved too frequently. It tends to become stressed when they are moved or touched frequently. This can cause their leaves to droop. Therefore, try not to disturb the plant unless it is necessary.
You must also be careful when re-potting the plant. Fiddle leaf figs do not like to have their roots disturbed, so it is best to only re-pot if the plant has outgrown its current container.
Provide Support for Tall Ficus Elastica
This popular houseplant is known for its tall and dramatic foliage. However, without proper support, these plants can droop or even break under the weight of their leaves.
One way to prevent this is by using a sturdy plant stake or trellis to support the fiddle leaf as it grows taller. Additionally, keeping the plant in a well-lit area will help it grow upright rather than towards the light source.
Regularly rotating the pot will also ensure that the plant grows evenly on all sides. Lastly, proper pruning of dead or crossed branches can also help Ficus elastica maintain its upright shape.
Keep the Leaves Clean by Wiping
To help keep your plant pointing upward, regularly wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth. This helps remove dust and debris that can weigh the leaves down and block light from reaching them. This also encourages the plant to absorb sunlight better for photosynthesis.
Use a Humidity Tray or Humidifier
In dry environments, Ficus elastica can suffer from drooping leaves. One easy way to combat this is by using a humidity tray or humidifier to increase the moisture in the air around your plant.
Another tip is regularly misting the leaves with water, as Ficus elastica thrives in high-humidity environments. In addition to increasing humidity, misting the leaves can also remove dust and debris that can block the plant’s ability to absorb sunlight effectively.
Following these tips can help keep your Ficus elastica happy and healthy with its leaves pointed upwards.
Benefits of Having Healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
Not only does Ficus Elastica’s upward leaf growth indicate its health and well-being, but a healthy Ficus elastica also has several benefits. Let’s discuss those in depth:
Ficus elastica, like many plants, help purify the air by absorbing pollutants and releasing oxygen. They are particularly effective at removing formaldehyde, a common indoor air pollutant found in cleaning products, carpeting, and furniture.
Unpurified air can adversely affect our health, so keeping a Ficus elastica in the home or office can improve air quality. That is why Ficus elastica is often used in interior landscaping or as office plants.
Having Ficus elastica in the home or office can also benefit mental health. Studies have shown that simply being around plants can reduce stress and improve mood. Ficus elastica, with their large, glossy leaves and tropical appearance, add a touch of nature and can bring a sense of calm to any space.
In addition to their air-purifying and stress-reducing qualities, Ficus elastica also makes for beautiful decor in the home or office. Their upward-pointing leaves add a pop of green and can enhance any room’s aesthetic. Ficus elastica can also be trained and pruned to maintain the desired shape, making them even more versatile as decor.
Overall, Ficus elastica is not only beneficial for its air-purifying and stress-reducing qualities, but they also make beautiful additions to any home or office space. Following the tips mentioned above and keeping your Ficus elastica healthy, you can ensure its leaves will continue pointing upwards.
What Does an Underwatered Ficus Plant Look Like?
An underwatered Ficus elastica may have drooping or wilting leaves, dry and crispy edges on its leaves, and browning or yellowing leaves. It may also have stunted growth.
Properly watering your Ficus elastica and allowing the soil to dry out before watering again can prevent these symptoms of under-watering.
To prevent under-watering, it is essential to check the soil moisture before watering and water until the excess flows out of the drainage hole. Ficus elastica prefers to dry out slightly between watering. It is also important not to let your Ficus elastica sit in water for too long, as this can lead to root rot.
Over-watering can also cause similar symptoms as under-watering, so it is essential to find the balance. Ficus elastica prefers well-draining soil and slightly drier conditions than other houseplants.
How Do You Know if Your Fiddle Plant is Happy?
A Ficus elastica that is happy and healthy will have upright, glossy leaves with no brown or yellowing. It may also have new growth and be growing taller.
Proper light, water, humidity, and temperature conditions can help ensure your Ficus elastica is happy and thriving. In addition, regularly wiping the leaves to remove dust buildup can also improve the health and appearance of Ficus elastica.
If your Ficus elastica displays all of these qualities, it is likely happy and healthy. However, if it displays drooping or wilting leaves, dry or crispy edges on its leaves, browning or yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or signs of root rot, it may not be as happy, and certain conditions may need to be adjusted.
Paying attention to the plant’s needs and regularly monitoring its appearance can help ensure your Ficus elastica is happy and thriving.
Ficus elastica, also known as the fiddle leaf fig, naturally have their leaves pointing upwards due to positive geotropism. However, there are several things you can do as a Ficus elastica owner to encourage upward leaf growth and overall plant health.
Providing ample sunlight, avoiding drafts and temperature changes, properly watering and fertilizing, and maintaining humidity levels can all contribute to a happy Ficus elastica with its leaves pointing upwards.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.