The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert (book review)

Parenting a Fiddle Leaf Fig plant is made simple thanks to Claire Akin’s guidance. Years of experience are packed into this easy-to-read book, and, as a result, I’m now a more confident plant owner. A must-have for any ficus lyrata caretaker, to finally understand your plant and make it thrive.

Such a voluptuous presence for this incredible Fiddle Leaf Fig. Photo: Ron Goh ( @mrcigar  on instagram)

Such a voluptuous presence for this incredible Fiddle Leaf Fig. Photo: Ron Goh (@mrcigar on instagram)

INDOOR Plant Book Review: The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert

Fiddle Leaf Fig plants make such a unique statement in a room. It’s hard not to get your attention taken away by its violin-shaped leaves when you meet one. If you’re reading this article you probably have your own Fiddle Leaf Fig plant or plan to acquire one. In all cases, you’re in the right place. This trendy plant is native to Africa and loves bright indirect sunlight. Maybe you’ve noticed a few brown spots, or your plant is visibly suffering from something and you don’t know what it is (dropping leaves, poor growth, dry tips or even pests). What to do in each case? This book will tell you how to decipher the signals. But first, convince yourself that it’s not all your fault and that plant signals are hard to interpret. Thanks to Claire Akin, the Fiddle Leaf Fig plant expert, you will learn how to care for fiddle leaf fig trees in the long run, and finally understand their language.

Claire published this book to help Fiddle Leaf Fig owners care for their plant, and I thought it would be worth telling you about it. I’m excited because it’s the first book I’ve seen that goes into so many practical details.

Who should read this?

  • All Fiddle Leaf Fig (ficus lyrata) plant owners

  • Any first-time plant owners wishing to interpret plant signals from the start

  • Even a seasoned indoor gardener will learn from this deeply researched book

Why this book?

  • Jargon-free and fiddle-leaf-fig-specific

  • This book will help you master the art of watering your fiddle leaf fig

  • The 10 commandments of the fiddle leaf fig are just perfect


Care tips For Fiddle Leaf Fig plants (ficus lyrata):

Okay, those tips are ‘stolen’ from the book and somehow made their way into this article ;D. The reason is that I think it’s very useful to know these tricks to interpret your plant’s signals correctly, whether you get the book or not.

1. Brown spots on the leaves.

  • If the brown spots are starting from the middle of the leaf and spreading, that is likely caused by root rot and overwatering. Roots too wet -> root rot -> fungus spreads.

  • If the brown spots are starting on the edges of the leaves and spreading inward, the cause is likely dry air and underwatering. Basically a dry plant.

2. Leaves dropping.

  • If the oldest leaves towards the bottom of your plant are falling off first, it’s likely overwatering.

  • If the leaves are falling off all over your plant it’s likely underwatering.

3. Plant dirty or dusty?

  • Shower it every three to six months to keep it clean and healthy.

Did you know that Fiddle Leaf Fig is named ficus lyrata for its large violin-shaped leaves? Lyra/lyrae refers to a lute or harp in Latin.

THE only FIDDLE LEAF FIG resource you’ll ever need

The book covers evreything. Claire’s objective was to make the book the only resource on fiddle leaf figs that you’ll ever need. It’s available on Amazon for about 25 bucks, 10 on a kindle format.

  • Focus: educational and care-oriented

  • Specificity: helps you interpret correctly the distress ‘signals’ of your fiddle leaf fig and act accordlingly

  • The plus: covers a wide range of techniques for watering, pruning, propagating etc., which apply to other houseplants as well

  • Who wrote the book? Claire is an expert on fiddle leaf fig plants, houseplants, and hybrid tea roses. She is the author of The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert and an instructor at UCLA Extension. Follow @fiddleleaffigplantresource on Instagram.

  • Buy or recommend to a friendThe Fidde Leaf Fig Expert on Amazon


The Fiddle Leaf Fig online class has now opened its doors! It’s an online resource, available from anywhere, and I know, what a more unique way to start the year than having a plant instructor. So, if you have a fiddle leaf fig plant then hurry, just saying ;D

I hope this book review was insightful!

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More books about houseplants? Check out the Best Books for Houseplants Lovers

Planti-fully yours,