Are you a proud owner of a fiddle leaf fig and concerned about your beloved plant’s health? It is typical among the fiddle leaf fig owners as the plant is exceedingly sensitive in nature and picky about its water requirements. Fiddle leaf figs need much water to keep their large green leaves hydrated, but too much water can drown them, giving them root rot. Apart from root rot, there are other critical conditions that your houseplant can go through with over-watering.
Unknowingly many fiddle leaf fig owners feed their gorgeous plants with excessive water. It indirectly pushes them to a premature demise. This thing needs to stop. You should water your plant very carefully, depending on its size, pot size, surrounding environment, etc. We understand that the new fiddle leaf fig owners often get confused when it comes to watering the plant.
Your goal should be to water your plant only when it needs it! Here is a brief guide explaining when to water your fiddle leaf fig, how much to water it, and what to do when you overwater it. So, let’s jump into the topic!
Fiddle leaf figs love moisture, but that does not mean you should submerge them in the water! Overwatering can be life-threatening for your beautiful indoor plant, whereas underwatering can dry it. Watering your plant once a week, depending on its size, is ideal for its growth. However, make sure you check the moisture level in the soil before watering it. The soil should neither be too dry nor too wet. You can also run the finger poking test to identify the moisture level in the soil mix. Also, consider the time of the year, light setup, etc., before determining how much water it needs.
The Ideal Interval Of Watering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
Generally, watering your plant once every week during the hotter months is the cleverest decision. Before you water the plant, do not forget to check the moisture level in the soil mix. Make sure that the soil is never too dry. Also, soggy and wet soil is not welcomed by a fiddle leaf fig. So, your aim should be to keep the soil moist. When the soil gets too dry, it gets porous. And in that condition, the water can hardly reach your plant’s roots, leaving your beloved houseplant dull and dehydrated.
Following an irregular watering schedule can be life-threatening for your beautiful houseplant. Actually, fiddle leaf figs enjoy consistency when it comes to their care routine. So, strictly following a specific water routine is a must for your indoor plant’s wellbeing. That is why watering your plant once a week is an ideal thing to do. It is due to the fact that there will be no risk of overwatering or underwatering your plant, and you can keep it happy, fresh, and healthy!
We always suggest the new owners run a moisture check using a moisture meter and then feed the plant in accordance with it.
In short, if your plant gets adequate filtered light, just increase the amount of water, keeping the frequency the same. In case your plant lives in extremely dry weather, increase the frequency and the quantity of water. When your plant gets direct sunlight and lives in excessively hot and dry weather, water it two times a week. On the other hand, if it is placed in a cold and low light area, water it less.
Things To Consider While Watering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Fiddle leaf fig owners get so involved in determining the correct interval and precise water requirements for the plant; that they overlook the other crucial attributes related to watering. Those aspects might seem insignificant but have substantial impacts on your plant. So let’s see what they are!
Smooth Drainage System
Planting your fiddle leaf fig in a pot that does not have adequate drainage holes is a big red flag! Without drainage holes, the excess water cannot drain out and tends to accumulate near its roots. And water retention can be deadly for your plant.
Water Requirements Of A Fiddle Leaf Fig
To be honest, not all the fiddle leaf fig plants have the same water requirements. The primary reason for it is the resources they get. That is why following the same water schedule for all the fiddle leaf figs is a big No. We have mentioned a few aspects that you should definitely note down and pay attention to while determining the water requirements for your houseplant.
The first and foremost thing to consider while deciding how much water your plant needs is checking out the light it gets. It is not new to the owners that bright light makes fiddle leaf figs happy. When your plant gets enough light throughout the day, you can water your plant frequently, for say, once a week.
On the other hand, if your plant stands in a comparably low light spot, you should not water it much. It is because, in low light, the soil takes a lot of time to dry out, and overwatering can lead to moisture retention in the soil, rotting its roots. Until you arrange artificial plant lights for your stunning fiddle leaf fig, make sure to water it less than average. And if your plant stands near a south-facing window, getting sufficient light, you can follow your usual water schedule without any worry!
Temperature undeniably plays a significant role in determining your plant’s exact water requirement. And it’s directly related to light exposure! For instance, during the summers and springs, fiddle leaf figs remain the most active as they get adequate light. So, maintaining the usual water routine is fine. However, in the colder months, these houseplants go into a dormant phase and require less water. Some owners skip watering during this time, and surprisingly their plants remain absolutely healthy and fresh with no water at all!
However, never make any sudden changes in its watering program. It can distress your charismatic indoor plant. Reduce watering during the transition period from spring to winter and increase the amount of water during the transition period from autumn to summer. This way, you can balance the water schedule and consistency while not shocking your houseplant. Keep in mind that fiddle leaf figs do not handle distress well!
While light and temperature hold two crucial parts in your plant’s water program, forgetting about the humidity is never an option. Native to tropical African rainforests, the plant’s love for humidity is immense. In case the surrounding air has less moisture, you might need to maintain a strict water routine, along with using a humidifier or other DIY techniques to increase the humidity around your plant. For instance, you can use a pebble tray and place it near your shower and kitchen or an aquarium. Watering your plant routinely provides it with the necessary moisture it seeks.
DIY Moisture Test
The point of mentioning the moisture test program frequently is to make the plant owners aware of the consequences of overwatering. Overwatering an already hydrated plant can be very dangerous and lead to root rot, which you definitely do not want, right? In case you do not have a moisture meter at home, do not panic! There is an excellent alternative DIY process that can help you assess the moisture level in your plant’s soil mix, i.e., the finger test. Just dig your finger into the soil, and if it feels wet, do not water it. Just wait for a few days until your plant is ready to absorb water. On the other hand, if the soil feels dry or cold, water it without a second thought. Well, if the soil still feels wet next week, there’s a high possibility that the drainage holes are not working correctly. So, you might need to replace the old pot.
Soils With Well-draining Capacity
Soil with high drainage capability is the best fit for your houseplant. Such a soil type retains the perfect amount of water and lets your plant absorb it easily while draining out the excess soil. While preparing the soil mixture, add cactus mix and regular potting soil in a 50:50 ratio.
Do you know that the material of your plant’s pot also contributes to its water requirements? For example, if your fiddle leaf fig is placed in a terracotta pot, it will soak up the moisture quickly, and you will need to water it frequently. On the other hand, if the container is made from plastic, glass, or ceramic material, the soil retains moisture longer than usual.
Signs Of Overwatering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
Overwatering can lead to root rot, killing your plant. So, the instant you notice the following symptoms, halt the watering program.
- Soggy and wet soil
- Brown and rust-tinted leaves
- Rotten roots
Ways To Fix It
- Reduce watering and water only once a week
- Don’t water when the soil is wet
- Repot your plant if you sense a musty odor from the soil mix or your plant has root rot. Trim out the damaged root edges before planting it again
- While replacing the pot, make sure the new one has proper drainage holes
- Give your plant enough filtered light
Signs Of Underwatering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
Underwatering too can push your beloved fiddle leaf fig towards decay. However, the best part is that an underwatered plant is easier to heal compared to an overwatered plant. Here are a few signs that show your plant is in desperate need of water
- Dropping leaves
- Thin and dull-looking leaves
- Too much shedding
How To Fix It?
- Increase the amount of water if you notice that the new leaves are smaller than the old ones.
- Don’t keep your plant in low light or cold drafts if it has droopy leaves. Make sure to keep watering it frequently.
- Make sure the soil mix is never too dry. Water your plant immediately if you observe shrinkage in the soil mix.
- A light mist and routine watering can cure curling leaves in your fiddle leaf fig.
- Double the volume as well as the frequency of the watering program if the leaves have wrinkled brown edges.
- You can also choose the bottom watering technique to restore your plant’s health.
FAQs About Fiddle Leaf Fig Water Requirement
How Can I Know That My Fiddle Leaf Fig Requires Water?
If the leaves become droopy, lose their glaze and shine, and the top 2-3 inches of the soil mix is dry, you have your answer. Your house plant is trying to tell you that it is in a dire need of water.
Can I Mist My Fiddle Leaf Fig With Plain Water?
Misting your fiddle leaf fig is only beneficial when you do it in a limited amount and use filtered water. Also, mist your plant in the morning so that the foliage can dry completely by the evening. There’s one more thing you need to consider. Make sure you mist only the new buds and not the older leaves.
How Do I Know That My Houseplant Has Got A Root Rot?
A fiddle leaf fig with root rot has brown, mushy, and soggy leaves. In fact, you can also sense an odd musty sell from the soil mix or directly from the roots. In that situation, the only thing that can save your plant is a repotting program.
As a concluding note, we would love to tell you a simple trick. Start watering your fiddle leaf fig sapling with less water and increase the amount as they grow. To begin with, add one cup of water a week to your baby plants when it is around two feet tall. Then slowly increase the number of cups, depending on their height.
However, there is one thing that you should never forget. This watering trick works well, only when your plant is growing in an ideal environment with all the necessary resources. If there is any change in the parameters, you must adjust the watering requirements accordingly. And the entire time, keep a keen observation on how the plant is responding. If you find any sign of distress, immediately stop the current water routine.
Try out all the watering tips mentioned in the write-up, and do not forget to share your experience in the comment box.
From childhood, I have been extremely fascinated with plants and gardening. That has eventually led me to pursue BSc and then MSc in botany from the University of Calcutta. My deep love for plants has probably stemmed from the gorgeous terrace garden that I have seen my father nurture as long as I can remember.