This is a really exciting post for me to share because it features my first online plant order. I’ve always been a garden centre shopper (because I’m fussy) and love the process of going out, hunting down the plants …then deliberating which one I will be taking home with me! However, after doing a bit of research, I stumbled across a plant I’d been after for ages, at a good price on a online plant store and decided to take the plunge. If, like me, you are hesitant about the world of digital plant shopping, then keep reading and I’ll share my experience with you.
The plant in question is the elusive Ficus Lyrata, or Fiddle Leaf Fig… but a dwarf version called ‘bambino’. I have been lusting after my own FLF since encountering the magnificent beauty in & Other Stories Regent Street a few years ago – go check my photograph out of it here. After reading quite a bit online about them being quite temperamental, I was hesitant to source a large one because I think they are far better suited to generally warmer climates than here in the UK, especially during Autumn/Winter. I was browsing on Waitrose Garden and noticed that they had some Dwarf Fiddles in stock for a really reasonable price – just under 15 pounds including delivery!
As the photographs above show, it came really well packaged; the same way that a bouquet of flowers arrive if you get them delivered. I wanted to share the photograph above right to show how the card pieces sort of wedged the plant in so that movement was minimised, and tape was used to keep the cardboard in place. It’ll be good to refer back to this if I need to send any bigger plant mail myself. Waitrose Garden has the same ‘back room’ as Crocus, another popular online plant retailer, and their stock is similar for that reason. If you are looking for a good deal, compare the prices between the two sites as they are really reputable and would recommend, also, if you are a new customer like I was, you often get some kind of discount. I just wanted to clarify that I am in no way affiliated with Crocus or Waitrose Garden, and am only offering my experience to help those hesitant of ordering plants online!
As the photograph above shows, it was pretty pot bound on arrival, I was hesitant to repot but actually had a pot that was just 1 centimetre larger than it’s current one, so decided to pot into this. Due to the time of year and the declining temperatures, I wanted to make sure that it was kept as warm and comfortable as possible, and so decided to use the double potting method. See photograph below:
I’ve been a long standing fan of this method as it helps to increase humidity and keep the plant warm, by providing an extra layer of insulation, a wooly jumper for it’s roots if you’d like a visual metaphor! I opted for this method at this time of year in particular to help soften the impact of sudden changes in temperature, which can have an adverse affect on any plant. To do this yourself, just get two pots that are a few centimetres different in size and pot one ‘into’ the other, with compost/peat between the layers.
One of the most striking aspects of this plant is the leaf colouration and patterning, with the pronounced veins and texture. The leaves are really unique and remind me so much of my paint tubes, which are very nostalgic to me – the glossy tops are something like ‘hooker’s green’ and the underside of the leaves are somewhere between ‘sap green’ and ‘olive green’ (windsor and newton paint).
Above left shows my FLF in it’s current spot in the bedroom of my apartment. The plant pot in from Homebase, I love their selection off pots, and this one was really affordable… I ended up getting three! The room has a dual aspect which means a good deal of light most of the day. I’m really looking forward to spring and seeing it’s first leaf unfurl… but first, lets hope it survives the winter!
I haven’t had the plant long enough to offer any specialised care tips at the moment, but will update in a few months to let you know how it survived the winter! My main concern is temperature and draughts affecting my Fiddle Leaf, so be wary of this if you have one; ideally it really should be kept at no lower than 12°C in the winter. Also, a note on watering, as with all other house plants, watering needs to be scaled back this time of year. This Ficus only needs watering when the top few centimetres of compost are dry, and it shouldn’t be left sitting in water. Make sure to wipe the leaves occasionally with a damp cloth to prevent dust build up, and to maintain the beautiful glossy appearance!
Thanks for reading!