The fiddle-leaf fig is the cool kid in town. It’s graced the pages of Architectural Digest, held court in The New York Times Magazine, and has been featured on every hip blog, from Popsugar to Gardenista. Who are we kidding, it’s so popular you probably already have one. The problem is that plants championed by the design world are generally selected for their good looks—not necessarily for how easy they are to maintain. So, the real question is: Do you know how to take care of it? (Whether you're starting your first garden or switching to organic, Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening has all the answers and advice you need—get your copy today!)
If you’re a novice in the world of green thumbery and want to successfully nourish your own fiddle-leaf fig, you must learn to think like a chimp. Or at least become a little more familiar with the African jungle habitat both the chimp and the fiddle leaf call home. These lowland jungles are dense, dark, warm, wet places and generally nothing like your home or apartment, but that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. Read on to learn the five most common mistakes with fiddle-leaf fig care, plus how to overcome them to grow a healthy, thriving plant.