You’re going to live you stupid plant.

How to almost kill, yet somehow keep your fiddle leaf fig alive.

In Christmas 2015, I was gifted a beautiful Fiddle Leaf Fig, which I later named Frank. I’ve wanted one forever, and finally I got one. What a time to be alive.

Look at this beautiful plant! Look at all the leaves!

Every day since that day has been a non stop war of attrition. My happiness, and love for this plant, against his misery and anger at being in my home. I feel like I’ve somehow acquired a grumpy old man as a plant—and he won’t let me love him.

I read a bunch of different articles on the world wide web about how to keep my fiddle leaf fig alive, and no one had pictures of this thing looking nearly as bad as my main man Frank. He looked like a dirty, smiling meth head compared to these “dying” beauties I was seeing. I mean look at this guy.

Remember how I used to look nice? I thought, what if I lose all my leaves and become garbage in your house instead.
Check out my old shitty leaves. This is the best looking one.

Well, I was worried about moving Frank out of the indirect light he had because…well he was already trying to die on me, and everything I read suggested that moving him was a bad idea. But here I was with 10–15 of Franks sad tears in the form of leaves on the ground, leaving him with only 7–10 remaining.

Everything I read up to this point suggested the following things:

  • Don’t put your fiddle leaf fig in direct light
  • Don’t water it too much. Maybe once a week.
  • Don’t move it, it’s a temperamental plant.
Please keep me out of direct light so I can turn my nice leaves into awful gross brown leaves that will crack in half.

Good news was right around the corner. Fate was in my favor. After months of waiting to find out if he would live or die, Frank grew one of the smallest leaves I’ve ever seen in my life.

As a man with nothing to lose, and a bit of hope in the air I decided to heed the advice of one of these internet blogs — no matter how crazy they sounded. They suggested putting the fiddle leaf in the shower, and just going nuts with water (my words, not theirs). Not only would I do that, but I’d also shove Frank into a corner with direct sunlight in the most windowed room of my house afterwards. He’s going to have so much light his leaves are going to fall off and ship themselves to the sun to collect more because he really doesn’t need direct light. Stupid plant.

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?! Oh hey, this feels nice.

So I shove Frank in the shower like a sad boy who needs to come back in after playing outside and losing a soccer game. At this point, I don’t know what’s going to happen. Is Frank just going to get pissed and lose all of his leaves? He loves being a sad droopy sad plant staring at me in the morning with resentment when I wake up, so maybe he’ll stay alive purely out of spite.

Whatever. He doesn’t die after I let the water drain. I shove him into the corner with all the terrible terrible direct sunlight.

Guess what. This dumb dumb is still alive, and not dead. He’s growing new leaves that look decent. Not great, but decent.

Look at me! I know how to grow leaves that don’t look and feel like stale potato chips.
Corners with direct light are hard on my leaves. Just kidding, I’m dumb and still growing.

🖕 you Frank. You’re going to live forever.