Fiddle Leaf Fig vs. Ficus

The fig tree has been celebrated for centuries and is known worldwide—especially the fruit, which is incredibly delicious. More and more people are planting fig trees because of their many benefits.

As a result of improved resilience to frost, Ficus or figs are primarily cultivated for their edible fruit. However, the fiddle plant is planted for its decorative qualities and is typically kept indoors.

It sure is quite puzzling to distinguish between similar-looking plant species. There are also many plants with names that have similar or identical parts, making it difficult to tell them apart.

Fiddle plant and Ficus maybe two names for the same plant, but important distinctions must be made.

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Let’s compare the Ficus tree to the fiddle-leaf fig to see where the similarities and differences lie.

The Major Differences

Some people think that the fiddle plant and Ficus are two different plant species, while others insist that they’re just different varieties of the same plant. Where do Ficus and fiddle leaf figs diverge most significantly?

The genus Ficus is very diverse, housing around 700 unique plant species. The fiddle-leaf fig is one of several species of the ficus plant.

Fiddle-shaped figs, which flourish in warm, humid climates, are said to have originated in western Africa. These plants are easily recognized by their large, leathery leaves, typically patterned or variegated.

The plants of the genus Ficus are well-known for their low care needs and adaptability to a wide range of lighting conditions, from bright sunshine to low light.

Although they can survive in dry conditions, they thrive when the temperature and humidity are high. Since they have an increased sensitivity to neglect, fiddle leaf figs need more consistent care than other types of Ficus.

Fiddle leaf figs are a kind of ficus plant, but several characteristics set them apart from other members of the genus.

Leaves of the fiddle plant If you want an easy-care indoor plant that can thrive in a wide range of stable temperatures, fig and ficus trees are good choices.


The genus Ficus contains numerous Moraceae family members, including trees and shrubs. Fruiting Figs, Weeping Figs, Fiddle Leaf Figs, and many other plants are all classified as Ficus.

Ficus trees are tropical trees that are hardy in milder climes and require little maintenance. Many plants belong to the genus Ficus; over 800 have been identified so far.

One kind of ficus plant is the fiddle leaf fig. Fiddle-leaf figs are tropical trees that originated in western Africa. Their broad, velvety leaves are generally speckled or varied in pattern.

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The Leaves of Both Plants

The distinctive leaves of the Fiddle Leaf Fig and the Fig Tree are easily recognized.

Fiddle leaf figs from western Africa thrive in warm, humid environments. Their broad, leathery leaves are generally speckled or varied in pattern.

Fiddle leaves can grow 18 inches long and 12 inches wide, nearly double the size of their nearest competitor.

The shape of the leaf, which is narrow at the base and widens toward the stem unusually, is a significant selling point. The leaf’s broad tip looks shaped like a fiddle originating the plant’s common name.

On the contrary, the elliptic leaves of the Ficus have a robust and pointed tip. Weak branches hang from the interior tree. Due to their bendable stems, they are frequently used in braiding or other forms of training.

A fig tree leaf’s maximum length and width are 10 and 7 inches, respectively. Additionally, Fig Tree leaves can have three or five lobes.

The leaves have deep incisions and an unusual design. Conversely, the fig leaf does not have any lobes.

The fig’s surface is flattened, so the color isn’t quite as vibrant. The lustrous, deep green leaves of a fiddle leaf fig tree.

The Fig plant is an impressive tree because of its bigger leaves and brownish-tan trunk. These trees can be found for sale in a wide variety of retail settings, from garden centers to home improvement stores.

When deciding between a Ficus and a Fiddle leaf fig, it’s crucial to consider the attributes of both plants, as they each have advantages that make them great houseplants.

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The Accurate Lighting for Both Plants

The fiddle leaf plant needs only good lighting, a constant temperature of around 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the occasional trip outside, though never in direct sunshine.

The Ficus Tree can survive in cooler weather than the fiddle leaf. Consequently, the latitude at which the fiddle leaf figs may be successfully cultivated in a garden is significantly increased.

The care requirements for ficus plants are minimal, and they thrive in various lighting environments, from direct sunlight to dim lighting.

They thrive in hot, moist areas but may adjust to cooler, drier ones. They are pickier than other ficus varieties and require regular attention to survive and flourish.

The fig tree requires an abundance of sunlight. The sun provides the tree with the fuel it needs to bear an abundance of juicy fruits.

Fruit production from a fig tree is drastically reduced if it is shaded for even a short period. However, it will not flourish under constant shade.

The Ideal Temperature for Both Plants

Temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) are safe for the fiddle plant. Yet, this plant does best between the temperatures of 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 23 degrees Celsius).

This means that growing this plant outdoors is out of the question for the vast majority of the population of the USA. Fiddle Leaf Figs may spend the summer outdoors only in USDA plant hardiness zones 10–12.

On the other hand, fig trees are pretty resilient. If the temperature doesn’t drop below 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius), it will flourish in hardiness zone 8. When planted in a suitable outdoor location, fig trees can produce a bumper crop of delicious fruit.

Plants with Fruits

Also distinguishing the fiddle plant from the ficus tree is its fruit. Their fruit size averages 1 inch in diameter. Having little or no fruit when grown indoors is the norm rather than the exception.

Lack of access to natural light outdoors prevents proper fruiting from occurring. The same goes for why fruits that aren’t in groups ripen unevenly or fail to turn purple when they should.

The fiddle plant is notoriously tricky to peel since its fruit has thick, crusty skin. They may have no flavor at all or an unpleasant one.

On the other hand, the fig tree’s tasty fruit has been appreciated for millennia. It’s a big business to plant, tend, and sell fig trees. In several cultures, figs play a vital role in the daily diet.

The fig tree gets ample sunlight for prolific fruiting because it may be cultivated outside. Figs can grow as big as 2 inches in diameter, depending on the kind.

Brown Turkey figs and Black Mission figs are two of the finest, but there are many other excellent types now.

Maintenance and Size of Both Plants

Fiddle and Fig Trees reach maturity at the same time. These plants can grow up to 50 feet tall in their natural environment. Typically, a Fig Tree will grow to 33 feet and a width of 10 feet.

However, because it is often planted inside, the fiddle-leaf fig plant rarely grows taller than 10 feet. Most of them have a main stem that splits off into smaller trunks that bear large leaves on petioles.

When planted in containers, Fig Trees have proven successful for many gardeners. However, in this instance, you should store the tree somewhere cool for the winter.

Based on what has been discussed, the fiddle leaf plant is more suitable as an interior aesthetic plant, whereas the Fig Tree is an outdoor, full-fledged fruit tree.

Fiddle Leaf Fig vs Ficus
Fiddle Leaf Fig vs Ficus

Our Final Thoughts

When you are growing houseplants, you need to be on the lookout for little things. You might need help deciding which plant to choose from.

Both the fiddle plant and the ficus plant require attention and care.  The fiddle plant is a houseplant that does not produce fiddles, fruit, or flowers.

As opposed to the common fig (Ficus Carica), the fruit of this tree is inedible when cultivated in a garden.

The figs from these two trees are, nonetheless, very similar in size and form. However, it is not true that fiddle leaves and ficus trees are the same.

Even though all Ficus trees are technically fiddle-leaf figs, not all fig trees are a specie of fiddle-leaf. Many species of Ficus can be grown successfully as houseplants. If you’re considering bringing a fiddle-leaf tree or another type of Ficus into your home, selecting a species that can thrive in your specific conditions is essential.

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