Figgy Figgy

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Five years after every other blogger on the planet decided to own a fiddle leaf fig, I decided I wanted to own one, too. (I am nothing if not consistent in my late-to-the-game-ness.)

Remember the kitchen island that I bought? The one I needed your advice on stools for? It arrived, and I put it together…and then I decided that I hated it (too bulky for the space; totally not barstool-friendly thanks to the shelves that I totally neglected to consider; too dark of a tabletop for the room). And sold it. And then I searched online for the kind of table I wanted, couldn’t find it, and decided to just go to Lowe’s and buy a whole bunch of plumbing pipes and make one myself.

(More on that later.)

In the meantime, another thing I decided was that the spot where the actual kitchen countertop meets the new island countertop needs some kind of pizzazz in the form of a large green thing. Like, say, a fiddle leaf fig. I’ve heard they’re terrifyingly hard to keep alive, but was willing to take on the challenge…and then I called around to every local nursery and discovered that nobody has them in stock. Like, ever. (I don’t know whether this is because they sell out or because they are so killable. It’s a mystery.)

But I went to a nursery anyway, and puttered around looking at various alternatives (another yucca? a skinny palm? a sweet bay leaf tree?)…and then I saw it:

My fiddle leaf fig.

a real fig tree versus a fiddle leaf fig

Except upon closer examination…it wasn’t. It had the same beautiful leaves and the same elegant shape…but it also had actual figs growing on it (fiddle leafs I guess technically can grow fruit, but I’ve never seen that myself). Also, this tree was about a quarter of the price that a fiddle leaf fig would be. Apparently this type of fig tree is way easier to care for and will get enormous and grow tons of fruit if planted in the ground or in a very large pot, but I want it to stay approximately the size it is, so I’m planning to prune it back every once in awhile.

And so now I have a fig tree in my kitchen, and I adore it, and I would like to suggest to all the fiddle leaf fig lovers out there who are possessed of black thumbs and limited funds that they buy one of these, instead.

a less expensive alternative to the fiddle leaf fig


  • Nell

    Wow! Beautiful tree…what’s the name of it ? Just fig tree ?

    • jordanreid

      as far as I know…yes. that’s what the people at the nursery called it, and I haven’t turned up any more specific info online. but if anyone knows the name of this variety, would love to hear it!

      • James

        What colour is the fruit when it’s ripe (inside and out)? There are a lot of fig varieties out there.

        • jordanreid

          will let you know – none of them are ripe yet 🙂