My parents have always cultivated the most beautiful backyard. The kind that feels more like a sanctuary than an array of random plants. I’m not entirely sure where my dad got his green thumb from, but I’m fairly certain he was a horticulturist in his past life. Same with my mom. They love sunflowers and roses and tall redwood trees more than anyone I know.
Growing up, I would watch my dad water our modest backyard. It was usually a Sunday thing. He’d turn on some music and whistle to himself while he watered. It was his happy place, no doubt. I’d follow him around, our golden retriever somewhere close by. I’d pick some lemons or prod at our Japanese maple tree. On occasion, my dad would reserve that time to catch up with his mom. He’d use our clunky home phone to call my sweet grandmother. At the time, she lived in southern California. They’d talk. He’d water. It was a tender Sunday ritual that will forever remind me of my dad.
Fast forward 20+ years, and he still loves to water. Taking care of his backyard brings him a kind of joy that nothing else does. I think he’d tell you that gardening is a therapeutic reprieve. That it’s a way to routinely unwind from meetings and travel (and work in general). Anyway, unlike the 90s, he now gardens with a glass of wine in hand. He’s sophisticated like that. Also, now he has two (not just one) dogs playing hide-and-seek in the overgrown English laurels. But, despite the decades that have passed, two things remain the same: he still turns on his music, and he still reserves that time to call someone in the family. If I’m lucky enough, it’s me 🙂
To segue, my minuscule green thumb came from my dad. I love having plants in our home, and they are extremely beneficial from both a mental and environmental standpoint. In addition to our fiddle leaf, my husband and I also have a bird-of-paradise, a cactus, a succulent, and we typically have a bouquet of flowers in our kitchen. We don’t have a backyard (hello, studio apartment) nor do we have a patio. So, for the time being, we’re indoor plant people.
Since we bought our fiddle leaf (8-9 months ago), we’ve been taking very good care of it. By “we,” I really mean my husband. He’s much more attentive to it than I am. Without further adieu, here are few things we’ve learned about caring for a fiddle leaf:
1. Water it once a week. Don’t overwater.
2. Add nutrients to the soil. We use this every three months (less frequently from Oct.-Mar.).
3. When we first potted it, we used this. We’ll re-pot it with this mixture in a few months (once we’ve had it for a full year). Using a mixture like this helps you from over-water or under-watering your fiddle leaf.
4. Our fiddle leaf lives by my desk, in a norther corner of our apartment. It’s an area that gets a mixture of direct, but mostly indirect, sunlight. You’ll want your fiddle leaf in an area that gets bright, indirect sunlight.
5. Speaking of sunlight, we do give our fiddle leaf about an hour of direct sunlight every Saturday or Sunday. We place it a yard from one of our closed windows and simply let the sunshine drench the leaves. If you can, give your fiddle leaf some direct sunshine 1-4x per month.
6. Dust your leaves every few weeks. You’ll be surprised by how much dust accumulates on them! The dust weighs the leaves down, interfering with the light. Remember that the light is crucial for pants because it’s their main source of food (hello, photosynthesis).
I hope these tips help. If you’ve got any plant-keeping tips that you can’t live without, let me know!