One houseplant that has the ability to uplift the aesthetic beauty of a space is the Fiddle leaf fig. Glossy leaves and robust appearance make this tropical plant an ideal choice for homeowners. However, like all plants, Fiddle leaf figs, too, need care and attention. Accumulation of dust, dirt, and grime can create a thin film over the foliage, preventing plants from performing photosynthesis. That is why it is essential to ensure that the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig are clean. Clean leaves enable the plant to absorb carbon dioxide and sunlight to keep itself in perfectly healthy condition.
Fiddle leaf fig or Ficus lyrata is a finicky rainforest plant. It needs unconditional care and nurturing to remain healthy. You ought to make sure the dust and grime build-up is not interfering with the critical process of photosynthesis.
In this article, we will talk about the different ways you can clean Fiddle leaf fig leaves.
There are multiple ways to ensure the cleanliness of the fiddle leaf fig leaves. For instance, you can use a soft cloth and wipe it down. Other solutions include placing it under the sink or shower. You can also take the plant outside and use a hose to get rid of the dust and dirt layer.
Table of Contents
Why Is Cleaning The Leaves Of Fiddle Leaf Figs Essential?
The leaves of a plant are an essential component for photosynthesis. Similarly, Fiddle leaf figs also use their leaves to absorb carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, water, and sunlight to produce food and oxygen via photosynthesis.
The accumulation of dust and dirt forms a layer on the surface of the leaves. It prevents the plants from conducting the process of photosynthesis. This, in turn, impacts the health of the plant. Though there might not be any drastic changes, you will gradually start to see some symptoms. For instance, the shine of the glossy leaves will fade away.
That is why it is vital to clean the Fiddle leaf fig leaves.
Different Ways To Clean Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves
The sensitivity of the fiddle leaf figs is significantly high. That is why even while cleaning or washing, you need to make sure that the plant doesn’t undergo any stress. It will lead to shock and cause damage to the houseplant.
Here are the various ways you can clean the leaves of Fiddle leaf fig –
Use A Cloth
One of the simplest methods to maintain the cleanliness of the fiddle leaf fig leaves is to use a soft cloth and water. Spray water on the leaves of the plant and wipe it away with a clean cloth. It will get rid of the dirt and dust layer on the leaf surface. It is essential to note that the plant itself is very delicate, and any harsh handling can cause shock. You must be particularly gentle while wiping the leaves with the cloth. However, if the plant is big and has too many leaves, it can become a tiresome process.
Opt For A Hose
Another method that you can use to clean the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig is to hose the plant down. Take the plant outside (backyard or garden) and choose a hose to water the plant. Make sure that the plant is washed from the bottom to the top. Keeping it outside will also allow the plant to get some fresh air. Choose a shady area to keep the plant for air drying. After one or two hours, take it back inside. Make sure that the plant is not under direct sunlight.
Tip: If the temperature outside is too low, it is not advisable to use this method to clean the Fiddle leaf fig leaves.
Place It Under The Shower
If your Fiddle leaf fig is too big for using a cloth to wipe away the dust, set it under the sink or shower. You can even place it in the bathtub for efficient washing. Allow the plant to absorb the water for some time. For best practice, make sure that the sink or bathtub is at least filled with a few inches of water. Now, wait till the water drains away before putting it back on the pot. You can use a towel to get rid of the excess water when the showering is done.
[ Also Read: Fiddle Leaf Fig Turning Yellow? Causes, Tips, And Solution ]
What To Use For Cleaning The Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves?
There are numerous materials and ingredients you can use to clean the Fiddle leaf fig leaves. It is infinitely better to opt for an organic option rather than going for chemical cleaners.
Take a look at some of the prevalent organic Fiddle leaf fig cleaners –
- Neem oil solution (diluted)
- A mixture of lemon and water (diluted)
- Solution of water and dishwasher liquid
You can use these organic solutions on your Fiddle leaf fig leaves. Besides, you can use chemical products too. But, in that case, you need to read the instructions carefully and know more about the ingredients.
Enhance The Gloss Of The Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves
While dusting and washing are necessary to keep the Fiddle leaf figs healthy, you should also strive to maintain the shine of the leaves. For that, there are several tricks that one can adopt.
Perhaps, the most common product that most homeowners prefer is neem oil. It is an excellent leaf shine product that acts as a pest combatant too. You can use it on the plant to offer protection against different pests. However, keep in mind that the smell of the oil might linger for some time.
Another excellent way to shine the glossy leaves of the fiddle leaf fig is to create a mixture of water and milk. Use a paper towel or soft cloth to apply the solution to the plant leaves. After that, you will notice that there is a stunning shine on the leaf surface. It can last even for weeks. However, you must clean the plant properly before applying this mixture. That way, the gloss of the fiddle leaf fig leaves gets enhanced.
Apart from this, there are some other tips that you can follow to keep the leaves shiny. For instance, if the environment outside is dry, use a room humidifier to add humidity to the room. That way, the natural gloss of the leaves remains unaffected.
Besides, you need to make sure that the Fiddle leaf fig is away from appliances, such as heaters or air conditioners. Extreme hot or cold air can affect the health of the plant. Moreover, you must also ensure that the plants are away from windows and doors from where drafts might come in.
FAQs About How To Clean Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves
How Often Do You Need To Clean The Leaves Of The Fiddle Leaf Fig?
There is no particular time period that you need to maintain for keeping the Fiddle leaf fig leaves clean. You need to keep a close eye on the plant and see if there is any visible dust layer on it. If you see an accumulation of dust and grim, clean it immediately. Keep in mind that the dust accumulation may vary based on various external factors.
Are you wondering whether you need to clean Fiddle leaf fig regularly? The answer is no! Here, the primary aim is to clean the leaves whenever you see the dust layer to prevent the plant from getting suffocated.
One of the best times to wash the Fiddle leaf fig leaves is the spring season. That way, the plant can grow healthily with ease.
Can You Use Leaf Shine For The Fiddle Leaf Fig?
There is no such rule that prevents the usage of leaf shine products on Fiddle leaf fig. However, you need to be cautious about what you use on the plant. Remember that the Fiddle leaf fig is a sensitive plant and gets stressed easily.
Be careful about what leaf shine products you use on the plant. The majority of these products contain toxic ingredients that cause further damage to the houseplant. You don’t want to cause blockage to the surface pores even more.
However, there is no issue if you opt for a product that is perfectly safe for the plant. For that, conduct extensive research on the ingredients and assess the label before using it.
What Must Be The Temperature Of The Water While Cleaning The Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves?
It is better to use water at room temperature to eliminate the dust layer from the fiddle leaf fig leaves. That is because hot or cold water can shock the plant, causing it massive stress. It can lead to deterioration in the health of the plant.
Fiddle leaf fig, though an absolutely gorgeous glossy houseplant, is extremely finicky. It needs a particular set of environmental conditions to thrive. Moreover, you also ought to clean the foliage to prevent obstruction to photosynthesis. That way, the plant will remain green, healthy, and stunning. If you follow any other method to clean your Fiddle leaf fig, do let us know. We would love to hear your tips and suggestions.
From childhood, I have been extremely fascinated with plants and gardening. That has eventually led me to pursue BSc and then MSc in botany from the University of Calcutta. My deep love for plants has probably stemmed from the gorgeous terrace garden that I have seen my father nurture as long as I can remember.