BRIANA: Even if you’re not a botanist, you may recognize the fiddle-leaf fig tree from its appearances in design magazine spreads and on blogs. Many, many design magazine spreads and blogs. Fiddle-leaf fig trees are basically the plant equivalent of that Cabinet of Natural Curiosities book, in that people staging spaces love to throw one in the mix. But does its ubiquity make it tired? Or is it just evidence that it looks good everywhere? Would you fiddle around with a fiddle-leaf fig tree in your home?
LEANNE: Stylists throw them into shoots because they’re dramatic, but they are IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP ALIVE ONCE THE SHOOT IS OVER. They live two days and die. Fiddle-leaf fig trees seldom exist in real life rooms.
MARIANNE: Mine is almost two years old! I am very attached! Possibly weirdly so!
KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: I don’t like most indoor plants (I know, surprising for a plant dork), but I’ve been lusting after the fiddle-leafs lately. I wanted to buy a mature one, but they were rather expensive and, of course, it needed a large pretty container to go with it! I love the look — just haven’t yet had the experience to say whether it’s worth it or not from a gardening perspective.
BRIANA: I have wanted one of these bad boys forever, even though they are overused and I am a houseplant serial killer. Emily Henderson and Brian Patrick Flynn love them, and I pretty much do whatever they say.
Also, I have extremely high ceilings, so I feel like anything smaller than this would look like a sight gag. (Kind of like the teensy college-era TV I had been using until I upgraded last year.) The high ceilings come with floor-to-ceiling windows and I’ve heard they like light, so maybe I’ll finally break my black thumb streak…
JESSICA: I love looking at them in magazines and pictures, but I know if I brought one into my house (we have low ceilings), it would look like the plant equivalent of a bobble-head doll.
KAYLA: I’m just now becoming more comfortable with plants in my home. I usually kill everything (except the flapjack clipping I nabbed from the front garden in winter 2011). I don’t think I could even look at one of these trees without killing it, but I really like the way it looks. Maybe one day?
LILI: I’m gonna go out on a *limb* here and say that what the fern was to the ’70s and the ficus was to the ’80s and ’90s, the fiddle-leaf fig will be to the ’10s! There are other big, beautiful plants out there, people (read: designers).
KELLEY: I don’t know why…I just don’t feel the love. Though I deeply appreciate Marianne’s affection for hers.
DAVID HAYNES: With those disproportionately large leaves, they do have a certain surreal quality. Maybe that’s the point. If (and it’s a big “if”) I could offer one the proper care and feeding to keep it green, I’d probably only do so if I had a large, loft-like space in which to situate it. Otherwise I fear I’d obsess about making the plant feel claustrophobic. I may need to stick with a retro-trendy houseplant. Spider plant, anyone? You can hardly kill those things. And they’re a perfect match with a macramé hanger!