It seems that each decade’s decorating trends have been highlighted by a ‘houseplant du jour.’ In the 70’s, for instance, spider plants and ferns (often displayed in crocheted hanging baskets) were all the rage. The 80’s saw peace lilies rise in popularity; and in the 90’s, no house was complete unless there was a potted weeping fig stuck in a corner (no doubt, surrounded by a pile of fallen leaves on the floor!). The “It” plant for decorators today is, without a doubt (the New York Times said so!), the Ficas lyrata. Or, in layman’s terms, the fiddle-leaf fig.

According to Daniel Kanter, a writer for Manhattan Nest, “The fiddle-leaf fig is interior design gold due to its striking, sculptural constitution; the thin trunk and big, lush leaves create an impeccable balance of negative space and immediately catch the eye. It’s the perfect solve for a barren corner or an awkwardly shaped area.” According to Wikipedia, the plant gets its name from the fact that the leaves, which are variable in shape—often with a broad apex and narrow middle—resemble a lyre or fiddle.

According to Steven Kurutz in his New York Times article, “Designers love them because they have scale, work with a range of styles from modern to granny chic and seem to magically transform any room.” One reason for the rise in popularity of the fiddle-leaf fig according to Mr. Kanter: “They look really good in a picture.” Indeed, staging a room with a fiddle-leaf fig is one sure way to prepare it to be Instagram- (and listing)-worthy.

The problem is: fiddle-leaf figs are notoriously uneasy to keep alive in a household setting. The plants prefer the dense, dark, warm and wet attributes of the African rainforest where they naturally grow, which most homes do not provide. The answer, of course, is to invest in high-quality, faux alternatives that do not depend on water, light, food or climate.

Our faux substitutes mimic real fiddle-leaf specimens with limbs and trunks made from lifelike or even natural elements; leaves that are imperfect, as in nature; and realistic soil or rocks. Workmanship and attention to detail matters in these plants, which at five- to eight-feet tall will command attention. Ones that are hand-assembled look more lifelike than cheaper versions and last years longer with simple care, like proper storage and the occasional dusting.

Below is a selection of faux fiddle-leaf figs that consumers are sure to embrace as they:

  • Fill empty spaces, such as a corner, foyer or balcony landing
  • Draw the eye to a design element (i.e., upward to emphasize crown molding or other elements of interest)
  • Soften hard edges
  • Add a pop of green color
  • Flank either side of a large window or piece of furniture
  • Create a tropical oasis in a sunroom (check out our fiddle leaf fig screen below!)

Fiddle leaf fig tree in round resin planter (SKU: 316910) Fiddle leaf fig branches in glass pedestal vase (SKU: 164029)
Fiddle leaf fig plant in square metal planter (SKU: 316908) 7′ Fiddle leaf fig tree in rustic wooden planter (SKU: 317110)
Fiddle leaf fig tree in round tin planter (SKU: 317424) Fiddle leaf fig hedge screen in rectangle planter (SKU: 313912)

View more Fiddle leaf figs here.