A faux fiddle leaf fig tree can add a good dose of no-maintenance greenery to your home, but they can be a little tricky to get right. Here are my tips!
So, I picked up this faux fiddle leaf fig a couple of years ago, thinking it would be a great solution for a darkish corner of our living room. Rather than bringing the corner to life though, after while I just felt like the tree looked like a big hunk of ugly plastic. The tree wasn’t cheap, so I stuck it in the basement rather than getting rid of it, hoping one day I’d find a good place for it and it wouldn’t be a total waste. Two years passed and it just stayed down there because it just really seemed as silly-looking and as ugly as the day when we first put it in the living room. I guess a case of quarantine creativity came over me a couple of weeks ago and I got brave and decided to try it again when I was working on a little update in the mudroom recently. I played around a bit, and I must say that I think I now have this whole faux fiddle leaf fig thing figured out! Here’s what I’ve learned. 🙂
This is kind of an obvious point, but it’s worth mentioning because it makes a big difference. There’s no getting around the fact that these plants (real or fake) are big dust collectors with their large, flat leaves. Take a damp cloth and wipe down each leaf every once in awhile to keep it looking its best.
How to Arrange the Branches
This is where I learned exactly what I’d been doing wrong in the past. I felt like all the branches needed to be pointing up, the way they came when I bought the tree because that’s kind of how the real trees grow naturally. The problem with this is that it exposes the underside of the leaves, where all the plastic ribs are located, and this makes the tree look really bad and fake. If you position your tree where you want it, then bend all the branches so that the tops of the leaves are facing out and you can’t seen the bottoms of the leaves, it makes a huge difference. It feels silly to bend the top of the tree over, but when you stand back and look at it, you’ll notice that it suddenly looks just right.
Place it Next to a Window
Again, this will seem all wrong at first because you’ll think that shining light directly on the plant will highlight its fakeness, but in fact the opposite is true. The light shiny through the leaves shows off the variation in color from leaf to leaf and give the plant a much more real look overall.
Disguising the Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig Pot
Since we’re trying not to venture out too much, I haven’t done this yet, but here’s a great way to make the base of your plant look pretty: Place the plant in a decorative pot or a basket. Next, shove a whole bunch of plastic grocery bags to fill in all around the empty spaces in your pot or basket. If your area is anything like ours and reusable grocery bags have been disallowed because of the pandemic, then you probably have about million of these on hand right now. Next, take some decorative moss and cover the plastic bags, filling in the top of your pot or basket all around the trunk of your tree. You can easily find moss at the dollar store or your local craft store once it’s safe to do so. 🙂
And that’s how its done! Do you have one of these faux fiddle leaf fig trees hiding in your basement like I did because you just can’t figure out how to make it look decent?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.