My sweet neighbor Randi bought a beautiful Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata) about a month ago. She recently noticed spots on some of the leaves, and asked me for help.

Here’s what one of leaves looks like:


I’m not terribly familiar with her tree. I like how Fiddle Leaf Figs look. I like how they make a corner pop. But I’ve never grown one. Never even cared for one during 14 years of caring for interior plants.

There is a ton of conflicting information on the Web, so I’m hoping that with your help, we can clarify the problem and subsequent solution.

I look at a leaf with spots like that and my gut says, that’s not a water issue. If it was overwatered, the brown spots would most likely be around the edges of the leaf, not in the middle. If it was underwatered, the whole leaf would turn brown. They’re not bruises – those would be more obvious (leaves can get damaged, for example, from the car-ride home from the nursery).

What do you think? Do you have experience with these types of trees? If so, please leave a comment, and I’ll pass your knowledge along to Randi. Thank you!



After the recent U.S. Presidential election, I vented about my sadness (which still hasn’t faded to this day) and promised to share more advice from our beloved Expert Dottie Correll. Because she’s awesome. And she’s 90 – she’s lived through a lot of shit.

I started this blog in 2009, so it was already after Barack Obama won his historic first-term. It was before I started the “Ask the Experts” column every Friday, so I don’t have written evidence of any of their opinions.

But I did ask them what they thought after the 2012 re-election of President Obama. I enjoyed Dottie’s answer quite a bit – it reflects her passion for this country.

(For the full Experts panel, with each of their unique takes on the question, you can access the the original post here.)

Here’s how it went down with Dottie.

I asked:

Q. Everyone’s minds are on the Presidential election next week. Would you please share with us what you’d like to see in America’s future?

Dottie’s response:


A. In my 87 years of traveling around this fascinating globe of ours, I’ve witnessed ups and downs, recessions and repressions and I’ve never found another country finer, more able to meet and cope with the challenges or ultimately more agreeable than the good old USA.  In spite of all the “ugly warts” and “hogknobs”, the USA always comes through!  When asked about the future of our country, what you see here is an eternal optimist and positive thinker.  An example I heard today:  Governor Christie and President Obama together discussed and put into action the help appropriate for the state of New Jersey to commence a speedy recovery from the devastation of “Hurricane Sandy”!  That’s a big beginning of the kind of cooperation we need to get this country back on the right track.

I saw it in action, when I have been a part of the recovery of many disasters the past 40+ years as a volunteer disaster casework supervisor with the American Red Cross—most especially in NEW YORK at “9/11”.

I spent a large part of my childhood growing up in the worst depression the country has ever known.

When the chips are down, and push comes to shove, Americans pull together and get the job done!  Check the history – We may make many goofs along the way, but we hang in there until we get it right!

I see a tough road ahead, but one the USA can travel with grit and determination and succeed.

That’s America!   The American way!  God Bless the USA!

Thanks Dottie! I needed that.



Life in the low desert.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Thunbergia flowers in January

Patio flowers in January.

Look at these adorable pots I scored as a Christmas present from Mom:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, new plants for the new year

I love them! She got them from They have lots of beautiful gifts.

I also got some cuttings from Mom’s plants, so yesterday I finally potted them. I’m very happy with the outcome.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, new plants for the new year

Here they are in their new home, in front of an east window:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, new plants for the new year

Thanks, Mom!

Heyyyy, look who decided to bloom on Christmas Eve:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Christmas Eve Thunbergia bloom

Phoenix is weird.

I don’t think I’m going to regret harvesting the last of the basil and parsley today.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, final herb harvest of 2016

Phoenix is COLD!!!! Like, ridiculously cold even if I am a big baby about the cold now.

I don’t know what my garden will look like come morning, so I’m glad I heard the freeze warning on the radio on my way home from work. Now on to bigger decisions – pesto? Caprese salad?

My poor lemon tree. He’s all beat up and slightly depressed, he lost all of his leaves, and he’s increasingly alarmed about his future.

He and I have so much in common.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Liza's sad lemon tree

On the bright side, I now finally know he’s a lemon and not a lime tree.

Well, hell.

America elected a racist, bigoted, xenophobic clown for President. The highest office in the land. After meeting with President Obama, President-elect Donald Trump seemed surprised by the scope of the job.

No shit. It’s an important job.

I wish I could stay in my little plant-life bubble and pretend none of this is happening. But I am a proud tree-hugging American woman, with lots and lots of gay friends and lots of friends with skin colors other than white. I’m terrified for them. They thought they finally could see the light of a world that accepted them as equal, and now that right is in dire straights. Their clock has been set back 100 years.

Again, I’m female. Of course, I’m siding with the minorities. My reproductive health is up for grabs with the Republican agenda. The health of this planet is up for grabs by a bunch of rich white men who don’t believe in the science of Climate Change. They don’t seem to believe that the world is on fire. It’s science! And they don’t care!

I haven’t posted any blogs for a long time. The truth is, I’m depressed. I thought I would see a smart, capable, savvy grandmother as my next President. Instead, I got the worst news. And I have “friends” telling me to get over it. But you know what? I’m not getting over it.

Instead, I would like to start a campaign of kindness. A culture of kindness. I’ll remind everyone that the term political correctness stemmed from a desire to be kind. No one wants to be mocked for who they are – that’s why we don’t use the words retard or fag anymore. It’s about being kind, not about being politically correct. Let’s eradicate that term. Help me. #bekindnotpc.

Instead of calling our President-elect a clown, I’ll give him a chance to do right by the millions of people who don’t think or look exactly like him. (Even though that means I have to “unremember” all the video proof that shows otherwise.) Help me. #bekindnotpc.

When I hear anti-Muslim remarks from his followers, I’ll stick up for their religious freedoms. Help me. #bekindnotpc.

When I see people attacking my gay brothers and sisters for being different from them, I’ll stand by their side and fight back. Help me. #bekindnotpc.

When I see all my brown and black-skinned friends trying to make it through their day without harassment, I’ll be right there helping in any way I can. Help me. #bekindnotpc.

When I see attacks on women’s health, I will fight for the control of their own bodies. Help me. #bekindnotpc.

I can’t exist in a bubble where I only think about plants and Nature, and have that be all I post about on this blog. My world doesn’t work that way. I have to vent my emotions. This is my venue.

So help me. Go on twitter and join the campaign to erase the phrase political correctness and replace it with what it was always meant to be – kindness. #bekindnotpc.

I’ve been working on a project for Dottie, our beloved 90-year-old Expert in Life. The project has had me going through the past six years of weekly posts from the Ask the Experts panel that I hosted every Friday, and pulling out her responses out for her family to enjoy. There are many gems. I’m going to share them with you in the coming weeks.

I’ll start with this one from August of 2013:

Q: What human issue is nearest and dearest to your heart?

Dearest to my heart is that all persons would be treated equally with love and kindness.

I so wish the world would turn away from all the horrendous violence.  I feel we are on a track to permanent ruin.  Starting with the destruction of our environment and our relations with each other.

I know I sound fatalistic.  I am not a fatalist.  I have always had a positive outlo0k and hope that the next generation would see the light and start turning the country around.

Our lousy lifestyle of greed and over abundance seems reflected in every part of our lives – starting with the fracturing of the family unit, evidenced even more strongly in our political structure and movies.

However, Hope Springs Eternal.  I have met some outstanding young people, whom I so hope will become involved in world leadership.  I have grandchildren and great grand children, who are great examples of what the world could be.  They are workers and thrivers and lovers!!!!!  They want to contribute to our world in a good way and are all ready working to that end.

We have been known as the greatest nation
In the world.  Let’s all strive to keep it that way

Thank you Dottie, for shining the light not only three years ago in this instance, but for the past 90 years. You make me feel better to be an American when my soul hurts. You make me feel better about being a human by the example that you are. I’ve said it a million times, you should be declared a National Treasure. I love you. And to the rest of my readers the world over, I love you, too.

I love these little guys!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Gomphrena flower

For those days in between when your farmers’ market flowers have died and your next opportunity to replace them, a nice green bouquet can work wonders to fill the gap:

Good To Grow, Liza's plants, green bouquets

Good To Grow, Liza's plants, green bouquets

Plus, they’re rooting, so there’s that bonus as well.

Bouquets feed the soul. No one ever said they had to be flower bouquets.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 677 other followers


Follow LizaWheeler7 on Twitter

About Me

Hi! My name is Liza. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting! I'm a Midwestern gal now living in Arizona, after many years of living in and owning a plant care business in New Mexico.

Plants are living, breathing creatures, and if they're indoor plants, they are 100% dependent on human care. They cannot water themselves.

I can beautify your home, office, or patio with plants and flowers. I have 13 years of experience growing plants, and friendships.

Please let me know if you have questions or if you would like help with your plants or garden. You can reach me at lizatheplantlady (at) gmail (dot) com or follow me on Twitter, Lizawheeler7.

All photos are mine unless otherwise noted. All content is also entirely my hard work. If you'd like to use any content or photos, all you have to do is ask. If you take without asking, you are a thief. And thieves suck. So don't suck. We have a deal? Good.