As I have mentioned before, I have a black thumb. It’s true, me and house plants don’t have the best track record, and there have been a string of sad, sad, plant deaths in our household to prove it. Just ask my husband…he’s very good at keeping track of these sorts of things :)

AT LEAST I’m woman enough to admit it – I have been the end of  myrtle topiaries, ferns, a king ficus or two, and enough dead orchids to earn me the name “Orchid Killer” around here.

But despite my terrible past, I have to confess {don’t tell the hubs!}, I can’t stop thinking about trying out a new plant. You see, for the past year, my eye has been drawn to a certain indoor tree that I can’t get out of my head.

I keep coming across interiors with these gorgeous trees, and I can’t get enough of them! I love the height, colour, and texture they add to a space. And {I hate to say it!}…. I want one.

For awhile I had no clue what they were. But one lucky {or unlucky for my husband, as it led me one step closer to being able to purchase one of these babies} day I discovered their name. Emma over at  The Marion House Book  has a gorgeous one in her living room {see 4th image}, and kindly replied to my comment asking about it. Thanks Emma!!!

Their name? Fiddle-leaf Fig {or for you botanists/latin buffs/non-plant killers out there, “Ficus Lyrata”}.

Now, all you married ladies out there know that when you really really want something that you just know your husband won’t be thrilled about, you have to build a case, right? So, I did my research, and found out why this gorgeous tree might, just might, have a chance of surviving me.

The Scoop on Fiddle-leaf Figs from Martha Herself:

  • easy to care for {ding ding ding! we have a winner!}
  • loves a bright, sunny location {just like our living room…}
  • water thoroughly only when surface is dry to the touch, likes periods of drought {I excel at periods of drought}
  • groom by removing yellowed foliage
  • mist occasionally
  • every 2 years or so repot  to avoid becoming rootbound
  • occasionally dust leaves with  a soft cloth

Dummy-proof, right? Now, although I haven’t yet won him over, nor have I found a place that sells these trees locally, here is an example of faith and confidence my friends: I have already purchased the perfect container for my plant-to-be, and it’s sitting positioned in the living room waiting patiently! Hmm confident ….or delusional?

So y’all, what do you think? Any words to add to convince the hubs that I should delve into the houseplant ring again? Any tips for keeping one of these beauties alive???

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27 Responses to “They call me the Killer {of plants, that is}”

  1. Lauren says:

    Ooh, love love fiddly fig! As for building your case: house plants clean your air and magically reduce dust? Less mess than real pets? Or, go big or go home with the global warming slant.

  2. Karla says:

    Lauren, I like the way you think…I’m pretty sure that my owning a houseplant is a critical step in the battle to reduce global warming :)

  3. Hi Karla! I love plants indoors as well, have not really tried on my own place. I remember my mom had one when I was growing up, and it brightened the living room. My tips for taking care of it, maybe set a schedule, and a reminder on your fridge? Plus, in my opinion, plants bring great feng shui to a room, and make the room feel more alive, as well as recycles the air ;) I especially loved the 6th photo with the brown carpet and the doggies – plants just bring life to a room! Thanks for sharing and good luck with your hubby!

  4. Jess says:

    Sorry to say the gene for killing plants probably came from me. My excuse was I was too busy feeding and watering people to remember the plants…but up here on the farm where I have a lot of watering to do I write it on the calendar….plants that thrive in drought conditions are great….I think thats why the tomatoes did so well last year…I was too disorganized to even have a calendar

  5. Amanda says:

    I LOVE the look of the Fiddle-Leaf Fig, but I wonder if it would smell. My mom has a different type of fig tree that actually gives figs. She has it outside in the summer, but brings it in for the winter and has to put it in the least used room in the house because it smells like cat pee. The tree itself smells SO bad. Is the fiddle-Leaf Fig related? Does it have the smell problem? I hope not, cause I’d love to get one.

  6. teresa says:


    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I have to say that my fiddleleaf is SUPER easy to care for (so far). I’ve only had it a month or so, but so far so good. I was so scared I would kill it and, as I’m sure you know, they don’t come cheap so I was even more determined to keep it alive and healthy. I water once a week, and mist once a week. That’s IT! It doesn’t give off any sort of scent what-so-ever. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the perfect houseplant.

    I told my husband I bought it to better our air quality. ; )

  7. Wow! Looks like you’ve found yourself the perfect low-maintenance addition to your living room, I hope you get one!! You should let hubby read this post and all the comments to convince him of your sincere love and desire for this fine plant! I understand though, because I kill every plant in my path. It’s so sad but true. I wish to master taking care of orchids one day because they are my absolute favorite!!

  8. Emma says:

    Hi Karla,
    Oh, I hope you win your case. They really are a nice addition to any room. We have one in our bedroom as well. The one thing you definitely need from Martha’s list is a LOT of light – south facing window definitely. Our poor fiddle leaf fig tree in the living room has been through a lot of abuse. While we were away on vacation once our cat decided to pee in the pot. Almost all of the leaves dropped off and some turned very yellow. I have been nursing it back to health for the last two years or so. I finally feel it is almost back to its old self. So if it can survive that, it should be able to survive you!

  9. Emma says:

    Oh, and I wish my fig tree looked like the one in the photo below our house. That is one happy ficus!

  10. Sherry says:

    LOVE those trees. I have also seen them in many magazine shoots lately and have been looking for a sunny place in my home to put one! Might have to re-decorate just for that reason.

  11. Jeff (aka Hubby) says:

    The angle I’d take is that as children are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution,it is our obligation, as parents, to ensure the best possible living environment – which may include a fiddleleaf fig. Funny thing, Amanda’s comment on the smell of the fig tree might be the selling point for me as it would suppress the various odors produced by our toddler :) Worst case scenario. our children will get a life lesson on the concept of death through a sacrificed tree…rather than our fish. Looks like you’re good to make a purchase! ps – yes, the husband reads, and loves, all posts.

  12. Love the comment from Jeff!
    I’m a killer of plants too, Karla… but I’m loving the sound of this fiddle-leaf fig!! Emma noted that a south facing room is best though – I wonder how it would fare in a east-facing bright room because I want one too!

  13. LindsB says:

    me too!! Why is it so hard to keep things alive??

  14. hi thanks for this great article about indoor plants .

  15. Thank you for that great post. Looking for much. See you later.

  16. I truly appreciate this article post.Thanks Again. Awesome.

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  22. Monica says:

    I have been wanting a ficus lyrata for years as well! I found a perfect one in San Luis Obispo, Ca. The store is called Habitat. They always have beautiful plants along with gorgeous furniture. The only problem, it costs $349. Yikes. I guess I will have to buy a small plant again and hope I don’t kill it… again.

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  24. Shirline says:

    I too am a black thumb>>but I started collecting the hard to kill plants>> about a year ago>> first a small cactus >>then I moved to rubber plants then tropicals>> all require very few watering sessions>>> and as far as the hubby I’m not sure how much of an environmentalist yours is… but I hit mine with the ole >> plants improve the air quality in the house>>> and that plants make me more chipper>> and all men want a wife that’s more chipper(if they know what’s good for them) well I wish you much success >> an oh yea I’m going to get a Fiddle Fig>> they are beautiful >>thanks for sharing.

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