Cheap and Easy to Find Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

We likely all know about and love the fiddle leaf fig tree - it's a gorgeous plant. In the past few years though, they've been so hard to find and very expensive. I found one a couple years ago in the flower district that was a good six feet tall, but was priced at $250! Ouch.

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If you're looking to add one of these lovely trees to your houseplant collection, IKEA sells mini plants (about two feet tall) for around the $14 mark (I wrote about those here). They don't come potted though (but it's easy to use one of their pretty terra cotta pots that I love so much - they weather beautifully). Home Depot and Lowes both recently starting selling fiddle leaf figs on a wider scale (it was sort of urban legend for a few years, but this year I've seen them in New York, New Jersey, Arizona and California, so I think it's safe to say they're available in most states). This little three+ footer was only $20 and it came in a pretty little pot probably worth $15 on its own.

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I bought a five footer for only $30 for my bedroom.

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Getting it home safely without spilling the soil everywhere in my car was the only tricky part. I found putting it the front seat worked best.

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It's a good thing the price went down so much on these trees beacause they can be a little finicky (read: very easy to kill). They need lots of sunlight, but it can't be too harsh, and just the right amount of water (which seems to be about a cup per foot of tree, once a week?).

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If you find a good spot for your tree and it seems to be thriving, try not to move it - or even rotate the plant. Often their leaves grow in a way to maximize sunlight absorption, so moving or turning the plant can really throw the plant for a loop.

I water my plants just once a week - every Friday evening. I used to actually put it on my calendar, but it's become a habit now and I don't have to remind myself. My thumb is no where near green (see this post from earlier this year!), but I did myself a favor and started looking up how much water and sunlight plants need to thrive, and suddenly I wasn't killing everything! (I did accidentally neglect that Bougainvillea tree in our mudroom though and it's toast now - bummer. Maybe I'll just get another fig tree?)

Also, check out this cool planter I found and spray painted for our bedroom.

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I loved the Greek key pattern and thought it would be pretty in a crisp white.


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I just used a spray primer that I had on hand and no top coat (I know - such a rebel). Don't forget to spray the first few inches of the inside lip.

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Pretty right? It's made of clay and it weighs a million pounds, but it will last forever and it was only about $25 at Home Depot.

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Do you have any fiddle leaf fig tree care tips? Have you seen them in your local hardware stores? Or were you one of the suckers that spent $250 on a tree a few years ago, like I so desperately wanted to? :)

62 comments:

Jenny said...

What a coincidence you posted this! I just bought my first fiddle leaf fig Sunday from Home Depot for $35 (5 footer) and a cute little 2 ft one for 10 bucks! I am terrible at keeping plants alive so have it on my calendar to water, fingers crossed! :) Any suggestions on where to find cheap planters?

Lauren said...

my tip is to wipe down the leaves often. the owner of my local nursery told me that I should think of the pores on their leaves like I would my own face. dust and other particles clog them up and then its gonnerville for the beauty. also, don't over-water, but it seems like you have a good system in place for that. love the planter. your house is coming along so nicely. i've enjoyed reading about all the progress!

Cheryl said...

I love fiddle leaf figs! they look good in almost any room.

I bought one last spring for cheap on amazon. it was just a baby, but has tripled in size already which has been really satisfying. I have lots of tips on propagating and pruning them on my blog =)

http://joeandcheryl.com/my-new-baby-fiddle-leaf-fig-tree/

Virginia Roberts said...

I've had a couple of these, but in my experience they're often harboring secret scale infestations at cheaper nurseries like Lowes and Home Depot. I won't gross you out by going into detail, but look for any gross buggy things before you take them home, lest they infect your other nearby plants!

janisgabriel said...

: Awesome! Very resourceful and creative :)

Celeste said...

Why have I never thought to paint a big planter? I've painted mini pots (5 inches or so) but not the big ones, and those are the ones I can't ever find in a color I like!

Elmac said...

Love a little green in the house. I got two Fiddle Leaf figs from Ikea and they are thriving. We have a sun filled breezeway and they love it. They don't like a draft from AC or heat so avoid that. I also wipe them down with a damp Viva paper towel once a month to keep the dust off. Dust will inhibit absorption of light and FLF plants no likey that. I water about once a week too. You can see when the dirt gets very dry and the leaves start to turn up a bit. The key is to watch for that leaf turning up and start to determine how many days until that happens - then figure out how to do that the day before it happens! If you take time to notice these things it isn't too hard. I also give mine a little plant fertilizer weekly in the growing season and they've already grown quite a bit. Very happy with them. I do think however that they should be rotated otherwise they will grow toward the light source and become lopsided but i guess we will find out :)) Thanks for the post!

Elmac said...

Love a little green in the house. I got two Fiddle Leaf figs from Ikea and they are thriving. We have a sun filled breezeway and they love it. They don't like a draft from AC or heat so avoid that. I also wipe them down with a damp Viva paper towel once a month to keep the dust off. Dust will inhibit absorption of light and FLF plants no likey that. I water about once a week too. You can see when the dirt gets very dry and the leaves start to turn up a bit. The key is to watch for that leaf turning up and start to determine how many days until that happens - then figure out how to do that the day before it happens! If you take time to notice these things it isn't too hard. I also give mine a little plant fertilizer weekly in the growing season and they've already grown quite a bit. Very happy with them. I do think however that they should be rotated otherwise they will grow toward the light source and become lopsided but i guess we will find out :)) Thanks for the post!

Emmie {Blue 11 Interiors} said...

Love it! Do you know if they're safe for pets? I tried to look it up and I couldn't find much

The Domestic Fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

I looked everywhere in St. Louis for a couple years and could never find a Fiddle Leaf Fig. Eventually I found a 6+ footer and paid about $150 for it. It's been over a year and it is doing fine. I actually read that you SHOULD rotate it a quarter turn everyday to make sure all of the leaves get access to the light. I haven't seen any adverse affects from doing this. It adds a lot of color, texture and interest to my living room. Love it!

Shel said...

I just bought one from Ikea a few weeks ago...it lost one leaf on the way home. I think we scared but so far it's doing okay (knock on wood). Now I'm slightly worried because I didn't re-pot it, I just put the pot it came in into a wicker basket.

And why I didn't think of spray painting a pot is beyond me but now it's in my head for future pots! Thanks :p

monika said...

Mine are form Ikea as well. I found them in the "as-is" section. It turned out to be three plants in one pot and, once they took off, I transplanted them each in its own pot. They are now over four feet tall! I haven't killed any of them yet and find them easy to care for, actually. But they haven't had to live through a winter in NJ so... we'll see. But now I'm tempted to raid the local Depot and get a big(ger) one. I copied you when you painted your pots from Lowes in your brownstone and have been spray painting my exterior and interior pots ever since. Deep charcoal is a favorite for outside as it's such a nice contrast to bright colors. Thanks for the idea; it works every time.

monika said...

Mine are form Ikea as well. I found them in the "as-is" section. It turned out to be three plants in one pot and, once they took off, I transplanted them each in its own pot. They are now over four feet tall! I haven't killed any of them yet and find them easy to care for, actually. But they haven't had to live through a winter in NJ so... we'll see. But now I'm tempted to raid the local Depot and get a big(ger) one. I copied you when you painted your pots from Lowes in your brownstone and have been spray painting my exterior and interior pots ever since. Deep charcoal is a favorite for outside as it's such a nice contrast to bright colors. Thanks for the idea; it works every time.

Michelle Ash Latham said...

Love the planter -- especially painted white!

www.ahealthymrs.com

Leanna Kemp said...

A year ago I got a little 3' fiddle leaf and now it is thriving at nearly 5'. I repotted in July and with having more room it seems to get a new leaf every two weeks! Unless your plant is getting really even light on all sides I do recommend rotating, otherwise mine bends all the way to the glass of the nearby window!

gustoandgrace said...

I guess I'm one of the few that had never heard of a fiddle leaf fig. I have a terrible brown thumb, so I guess I've sadly stayed away from plants. I'd love to try again though!

Anna said...

My first (and probably last) FLF was a gorgeous 5 feet little thing (it was $75 from a local florist) that promptly got mealy bugs and died. I was heartbroken.

I generally have a pretty green thumb, so I was sad that I couldn't keep that guy alive.

And I am surprised watering at night is your tip—I have heard to water in the morning so you don't get any rot.

glitterandgoatcheese said...

My one FLF tip is to watch out for direct light in summertime. Mine loved sitting in a south-facing window all winter, but around April or May (I live in Atlanta), the leaves started getting sunburned! I was so sad. The damage is irreversible. I moved it to the other side of the house, and it's OK now, but still a bummer!

Casa Hardin-Aleman said...

I just wanted add, if you buy your plants at Home Depot (but check with Lowe's policy too) & they die within the year, they will replace or give store credit for the plant. I have several FLFs, & one of them bit the dust within a month (I do think it had a bug that one reader mentioned). Took it back, they apologized & told me to go pick out another one. Yay! -Susan

Anne {Almost Home} said...

Very timely post--I've been seeing folks post their FLF finds on Instagram :) I did check our Sacramento, CA Ikea with no luck...hopefully I'll have better luck at Home Depot or Lowes. Love your planter too!

Sarah Y said...

Be careful of your wood floors under terra cotta or clay pots. They can do some serious damage! It looks great and I love the white pot. We just bought a new house and because of you, I am now thinking about spray painting everything. I am enjoying reading about your progress. Thanks for sharing.

hachtmans.blogspot.com said...

I live in La Jolla and have a 15 ft tree. I had to get it cut this year because it grows like a weed. Mine has even started to drop some type of fruit looking thing (not edible) but it is the most beautiful tree and everyone asks me about it.

Laney Reusch / Reusch Interior Design said...

I'm excited to purchase my first! I'm a virgin! ��

Off to Ikea I go!

KellyMellyBoBellyBananaFanna said...

fiddle leaf figs are so trendy right now, our landscaper said they are flying out of the nursery - though relatively cheaper around (if i remember correctly) $75. i wanted one for our living room, but i'm impatient and they were out so i went with this instead...

http://tearinguphouses.blogspot.com/2013/10/before-after-lake-house-living-room_5.html

i think it was around $40? unfortch, it seems to be just as fickle as the fiddle leaf figs.

KellyMellyBoBellyBananaFanna said...

oh, and our landscaper suggested (for both plants) buying two, keeping one outside, and rotating them at the first sign of trouble. not sure if that will work if you're not in a tropical climate (florida here), but it has seemed to prevent me from completely slaughtering them.

Rome Reality said...

I'll echo Sarah Y.'s comment - your planter will need a barrier between it and your gorgeous floors. Loving all of your posts!

Jessica Davis said...

I was just looking up fake fiddle leaf figs before I saw your post. I have one in the dining room. I have called the nursery back twice to ask care questions (I bought a single stem 6' tall one for about $90). It grew about a foot this summer which was great and I have a grow lamp on it, but it just recently started dropping leaves like crazy again (after I repotted it on the suggestion of the nursery due to a mite problem). Oy Vey! These things are worse than pets!

Language of Color & Texture said...

Haven't you seen any at your local
fry's grocery? I purchase mine there on the cheap. I also get my ficus there too. If your preferred fry's doesn't have one check out another. I frequent one store by work and one by home and find slightly different offerings. Love the Greek key pot!

Mrs. Andiepants said...

I love this tree! I'm going to take a trip to lowes or Home Depot to see if they have these in stock. Athomewithmrsandiepants.blogspot.com

Gwen, The Makerista said...

I've had a fiddle leaf fig for about a year now. Living in the midwest, it was super hard to come by. A big nursery told me they had one and when I went to get it, it had sold. I had to wait a few months for them to get another one in! Luckily I got a 5' for about $40...not bad for a nursery price.

I totally agree on everything you said for care! I give it a good water once a week and I find if I move it at all (I had a party and had to move it for a few days) it gets mad. I wrote about all the houseplants I have - I'm boarder-line crazy cat lady status - here. I wish we had an ikea close, I'd love to get a smaller one too!

Dina @ Honey + Fitz said...

I got a 5' tall one about a year ago at Home Depot and just finally threw it away. It started dropping leaves almost immediately after I brought it home and despite spending all summer on our porch, it never once sprouted a new leaf. It was a sad looking thing. Just yesterday I happened across another one. 2' stubby leaf filled thing at IKEA for $13. Now I know I wast giving the first enough light or water and I never repotted so I'm hopeful that I won't kill this one!

A Perfect Gray said...

I'm picking up a nice seven footer this week for my husband's new office. I've always wanted one but my house really doesn't have the light it needs. I am keeping it at the nursery until right before the office open house, as the guy there told me it would likely drop leaves when it was first moved, until it could settle in. and yes, he said water once a week, really. can't wait to get it.

Julie said...

I am on my second tree. My first one is still hanging on but it was a close call. I realized that it was not draining properly so it was just sitting in water. Yikes!

Christina said...

I bought one from Ikea a couple weeks ago, but I bought it with some brown spotting on the leaves. Does anyone know why that is?? Is it already dying on me?? I water it once a week, but it doesn't seem to be growing... A couple of leaves did start dropping though. And just like another reader said, I didn't repot it. Just placed the planter it came from into a basket (the plastic planter does have holes to allow for drainage though). Any help is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

Jordan G. said...

I live in Texas and bought two at my local Calloway's nursery for $12/each more than a year ago. They are still alive, which is a miracle for me!

Jenny said...

Jenny, do you have any tips on finding good artificial trees/plants? I have a room that could use some life but has zero light. What do you look for when buying artificial plants so they don't look horribly phony? Thanks!
Jenny

Tasha said...

First time commenting here... it is crazy how you read minds. Just yesterday I was planning a trip to Ikea or hd / Lowe's for just these! How do you do it.. LOVE your blog, thanks!!

Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely said...

I'm a plant killer too. This one seems like it might be easy. At least at that price it's not a huge gamble.

On an unrelated note, are you going to the Junk In The Trunk Vintage Market at Westworld in Scottsdale on November 9th? It's going to be really fun and a lot of great stuff.

Justine Lemmon said...

so funny you should post this today. I'm hauling my $85 one out to the trash this morning. These are so easy to kill. I do have another one from Walmart that is thriving.

Elizabeth said...

I have a 6' FLF that I bought two years ago from a local nursery for $100 here in Nashville. She was a total plant whisperer who told me when she delivered it that my peace lily was "totally stressed." She instructed me to water both of them once per week (1 qt for the big tree, about 2 cups for the PL), get a grow light for the FLF, and get a cork pad for under the planter to protect my floors. (My PL has since bloomed! She hadn't bloomed in FIVE years!)

My FLF lost lots of leaves initially; I called the planet whisperer back and she said that's totally normal and it's just getting used to its new surroundings and lower level of light than it had at the nursery.

Also, it has had lots of brown spots on the leaves, but my MIL told me to water it with water that's been sitting out for a couple days (any chemicals in the water dissipate?)and it has worked! The leaves are gorgeous green again.

I love the tip about wiping off the leaves, I'll try that. Love your blog, Jenny! You are such an inspiration to this decorator and DIYer!!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Myamogabi said...

thanks for sharing! I've been looking for a reasonably priced fiddle leaf fig trees for a while! I got a cinnamon tree from Lowes before summer, but it's not doing well. Indoor plants are difficult from my experience. So, thanks for all the tips!

pam said...

someone's comment asked if they are toxic to pets. from what i've read, they are. boo for me with 2 cats and 2 dogs.

pam said...

someone's comment asked if they are toxic to pets. from what i've read, they are. boo for me with 2 cats and 2 dogs.

Kristin said...

Yay! So happy you posted about this. Last bedroom post I wanted to hear about your FLF! Also happy about all the tips on here because I've wanted one for a long time, but have very little experience with plants. Thanks!

Tara Jane said...

I am wondering what sort of water catching system you have. I usually put a drainage dish under my plants, but would rather not, any special system or are you just that good of a waterer?

dervla kelly said...

i'm one of the ones who wants one desperately but lives in a north facing apartment and no amount of north light is going to keep a fiddle tree alive. Sad sad sad all around. But your one looks gorgeous!!

Molly {Dreams in HD} said...

oh my gosh everytime i have seen a fiddle leaf fig they have always been a couple hundred of dollars. such a great find, thanks for sharing!

Molly {Dreams in HD}
http://dreamsinhd.blogspot.com/

lyndsay senerchia said...

Hmmm I wonder if they're good for the office too! They're pretty plants!

Lyndsay

etsy.com/shop/theseamdesigns

Nina Leung said...

Thank you so much for this post! We inherited a 15' FLF when we bought our house and it's slowly been losing leaves ever since (3 years ago). Thankfully I watered it rarely, but now, after reading all of your lovely readers comments I know how to take care of it now! I will wipe the leaves monthly, give it a qt of water that's been sitting out a couple days every week, and turn it a little bit every day.
Anyone know how to make it fuller? Mine is mostly tall, not really full. Also, it seems there are a lot of trunks, like 5 of them. Could they be separated and replanted or is that too risky?
And, on top of that, thanks for the idea to paint the pot. I'm going to try that. The planter it's in is an ugly flesh color, yuck. I'd love to change it!

Thanks, again! Super duper post!

Nina|http://itsazooatthezoo.blogspot.com/

x2fer said...

Are you using a saucer to collect the draining water? Make sure the pot is elevated a little from the saucer and throw excess water because that water can come back to the plant. Over fertilizing can cause this too and build salt. If you think you overfertilized, flush the soil by running water for 15 mins to wash the salt away. Then use very very small amount of fertilizer.

Elizabeth said...

@Nina Leung, mine also has about five mini trunks, which came tied together (training wheels I suppose) and it slowly was loosening up. Since I don't have a huge space, I really wanted it to stay together and not ramble too much so I just recently retied nice kelly green grosgrain ribbon around it. If yours is 15' tall (wow!) I'd tie one on (heh) in a few places. Mine now looks more full. Good luck!

Nina Leung said...

Good to know! Thank you, Elizabeth. I like the idea of a pretty ribbon. It has bamboo with some green plastic ties around it to keep them up. It's a lovely plant, but I feel like it can be prettier.

Thanks, again!

Monica said...

Our two Home Depots carry them, here in southern CA, but they are a bit more expensive than what you guys seem to be finding them.

We bought a cheap one at Ikea about a month ago, a good 3-4 feet for $15. We regretted not buying two. We went back the following weekend: all gone! Dang!

thefolia said...

Viva la fiddle leaf tree!

Trixie said...

Love the color of your walls! Is this Knoxville Gray?

Trixie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nina Leung said...

I got more tips on how to take care of FLF. I passed a shop over the weekend that had a huge 15', full FLF and I asked them how they took care of it.
He suggested watering the plant weekly with a dropper of Schultz Plant Food, wiping the leaves monthly, and periodically rubbing them with mayonnaise. The mayo one is weird, but he said it makes the leaves shiny and the plant seems to really like it. I grows so well he has to cut it back.

Hope this helps some of you! So happy to have this post! Thank you!

Nina|http://itsazooatthezoo.blogspot.com/

Lidy Dipert said...

After I read this post, I went to Home depot to see if they had any FLF's. To my surprise they did and for cheap! I do have to say though, I had it sitting on a table by our front window and I went to rotate it and saw that it had stained my beautiful wood top! I am so bummed! I moved it to the floor and it is now sitting on a tray. Totally wish I read all these comments beforehand! Other than that, I am in love and I am so tempted to get another - might wait a bit longer to see how long I can keep it alive!

Thanks for the post!
XOXO

Natalie A said...

My 5' FLF came from Home Depot (Florida) & it was on sale for $20 about 6 months ago. Out of the three stalks, 2 have thrived. I changed out the soil to the one that holds onto moisture, & the plant liked that change.

Last weekend in Jupiter, FL, I saw a humongous FLF tree right by the ocean. It was gorgeous!

Unknown said...

I joined the craze a few months ago and spent around $140 on a 6ft. tree at a local nursery. Sounds like I joined the crazy two months too soon if now they are available at Ikea and Home Depot!

Mine is doing ok, but not great. The leaves that are facing away from the sunlight are turning brown underneath and at the tips. I've read that this is caused by overwatering, but I can't imagine that I've overwatered this plant. I probably give it a quart a week. It hasn't dropped any leaves yet, but also doesn't seem to be growing.

Thanks for the spray paint tip. I haven't found a planter that I like that's modern enough for our contemporary home decor.

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