What’s that artfully placed potted tree you’ve seen in every single home design spread and roughly 28,241+ Instagram posts to date?
It’s the ficus lyrata, this decade’s “It” plant. You can spot their fiddle-shaped leaves amid the throngs of green at any nursery, where the staffers will likely tell you the same thing: This plant is so popular thanks to stylists and designers they can hardly keep it in stock. They’ll also mention that the otherworldly-looking plants, that photograph beautifully, can be finicky. As one shop owner said in a zen manner, “They live where they want to live.”
We trudged through plant store jungles all over town to find the finest fiddle-leaf figs—plus, we got expert tips on how to keep your expensive new houseguest alive.
You’ve may have driven past this hidden gem a million times on the corner of Fountain and Sycamore in West Hollywood. Time to stop in. Owner Mickey Hargitay (yep, Mariska’s bro) and manager Keith Ikemoto have an entire forest of beyond healthy fiddle-leafs in the backyard of their nursery/house. They have every size and shape of the plant, ranging in price from $35 to $495. The only bummer? Parking. There are two spaces (hey, it’s a house!). But drive around the block a few times on busy weekends and one will free up soon enough if you can’t find street parking. If you don’t have a car big enough for a gorgeous ten-foot tree, they deliver.
1255 N. Sycamore Avenue, West Hollywood, 323-467-8044
Do they deliver? Yes
Israel Quintero sets up his plant shop each Sunday at the popular Melrose Trading Post. Pay your $3 entrance fee for the flea market and head towards the shaded steps in the middle. They are are lined with fiddle-leafs in colorful pots ($35 a plant, $35 a pot). “Oh! That’s the fiddle-leaf,” a shopper acknowledged (“That Hansel, he’s so hot right now”) to her friend as they walked past last Sunday. The GreenHouse will hold taller ones for you while you keep shopping.
Sundays – 7850 Melrose Avenue, Fairfax District, 323-655-7679 x103
Do they deliver? Nope. Bring someone strong
You’ll find the “It” plant in the humid greenhouse at this Westside staple that has been around for 80 years (three generations). Go through the gates and to the left into the climate controlled space, and you’ll find rows of standard and multi-trunk fiddle-leafs. Nursery staff may even pat you on the back while assuring you that you can, indeed, keep the plant alive. Delivery available on the Westside.
1935 Sawtelle Blvd., West L.A., 310-473-6232
Do they deliver? Westside only
Fairfax District (and) Culver City
Of course the chicest nursery in town carries fiddle-leaf figs. There’s an entire wall devoted to the statement plant on Beverly (go any day and you’ll see a handful on HOLD already for customers). There are plenty more to scope out in the hills of the Culver City location too. Delivery is available from the Culver City nursery, and the Beverly location recommends delivery service Buddytruk if you find the perfect specimen in their store.
7505 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax District, 323-934-4500
(and) 9528 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, 310-559-8656
Do they deliver? Culver City Location -Yes. Fairfax District Location – No. Call Buddytruk
Annette Gutierrez always has a few perfect fiddle-leaf fig trees on hand, but sometimes a new shipment will only stay on the floor a day or two before she has to order more from, usually, Florida. Right now the focus of the gorgeous store is a tall tree she just got in. Potted delivers from Monrovia to the beach, says Gutierrez.
3158 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village, 323-665-3801
Do they deliver? Yes
Here are Gutierrez’s tips for keeping the sometimes temperamental plant alive:
• They like bright, indirect light. Avoid the burning afternoon sun and dark corners.
• Water about every ten days, when your plant needs it, and totally soak the soil.
• Fertilize. Gutierrez likes sea kelp.
• The most important tip: “It’s unrealistic to keep a tree in a pot. Its roots just keep growing. Every few years, pot it up, or bonsai it. Cut roots back and put in fresh soil.”
BONUS: The eternally sweet Trancas Canyon Nursery, which normally sells mostly outdoor plants, has four nine/ten footers going for the bargain price of $100 a pop. The plants are a little hidden, but simply ask for them. 6444 Trancas Canyon Road, Malibu, 310-457-3981. Do they deliver? Malibu only
Photographs by Kari Mozena