Did you know the fiddle leaf fig can kill plants? Surprisingly, it is true.
The fiddle leaf fig is a Banyan fig, meaning initially, it starts life high up in another tree’s branches.
Gradually, as it grows, the fiddle leaf fig will send its roots further underground, where it eventually strangles the host tree, leading to its death.
Botanically known as Ficus Lyrata, this plant proudly originates from Western Africa.
For those of you in USDA plant hardiness zones 10b and 11, you can grow this luscious plant outside, where it will become an excellent shade tree.
Watering tropical plants can be a challenge, so read on to find how often to water fiddle leaf fig.
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How often to water fiddle leaf fig?
A week to ten days between waterings is the widespread consensus from many who successfully grow fiddle leaf fig plants. If the leaves of your plant are not standing firmly away from their stalk and begin to resemble bunny ears, it is time to water your fiddle leaf fig. The size of the plant and container determines the length in between the waterings.
How To Know When To Water My Fig Plant
You just checked the soil to a depth of an inch, and the soil is damp, so does your plant need water?
The leaves of your fig plant, as with many plants, will be the first part of the plant to indicate that it needs water.
The warmth of the room where your plant is located and the amount of sunshine it gets can affect your plant’s water usage.
Developing a routine and tracking when and how much water you are giving your plant will help you get it right.
You need to monitor your fig plant closely until you have a watering routine that works.
The same goes for where it is located, as fiddle leaf figs like the sun, but not direct sun, which can dry them out quickly.
In addition, remember, this is a tropical plant, and although the tropics are warm, many of the plants do not receive direct sunlight.
Clockwork Watering for Fiddle Lead Fig
Maintaining a stable and appropriate watering schedule for any plant is necessary for it to flourish.
When given water at regular intervals, the fiddle leaf fig plant fully adapts to it, learning to absorb and use water correctly till it is irrigated again.
The main trick here is never to let your plant’s soil become soaked or dried out completely; both these possibilities have serious consequences.
The latter results in soil shrinkage, which appears as pulling away of the plant’s soil from the sides of the pot it is planted in.
Soil shrinkage poses a big problem for the gardener, as even if you water the plant again, it simply runs off the soil instead of reaching the roots.
Therefore, even adding buckets and buckets of water into your fiddle leaf fig’s soil is of no use; ultimately, the plant dies.
When overwatered or entirely drenched in water, the fiddle leaf fig’s roots are first to react. The roots then won’t receive enough oxygen, eventually prompting it to start rotting.
As time passes, the plant loses its overall structure and eventually wilts.
Sticking with a once-a-week watering schedule helps the plant balance moisture levels properly, resulting in a healthy appearance and great flourishment pattern.
Proper Drainage for FLF
You may follow an ideal watering schedule and still have an unhealthy or diseased fiddle leaf fig.
Oftentimes, in such cases, the plant has an inefficient drainage system. As you keep on adding water, it accumulates, leading to further problems.
To avoid complications associated with water accumulation, such as root rot and yellow leaves, ensure that your fiddle leaf fig is potted correctly and has a proper draining system that allows excess water to run down the pot.
If you want to know whether your pot has good drainage, take a wooden skewer and insert this into the pot’s bottom. If it’s dry, the plant’s draining well.
On the other hand, you may have to replace your fiddle leaf fig’s planting container if it is wet even hours after watering.
The rule here is to never let your fiddle leaf fig sit in stagnant water for long, as it significantly increases the probability of infections and pest attacks.
How Much Water Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Need?
Fiddle leaf figs like water; however, excess of it causes a long list of problems.
This western beauty needs water only once a week, meaning watering it four times a month is sufficient to fulfill its hydrations needs.
To make things easier and keep track, give the same amount of water to your plant each week.
You can get a marked watering bucket or a simple bucket to estimate the amount of water your fiddle leaf fig takes up in a week.
For plants that measure lesser than 2 feet, use 1 cup of water each week, and if taller than 2 feet, water with about 2 cups of water per week.
For the plants ranging between 3 and 6 feet, use 3 cups of water instead. If your fiddle leaf fig reaches 6 feet, take 4 cups of water or just add water till you see its container draining it out.
Water That’s Fit for Fiddle Leaf Figs
Just watering your plants is not enough; ensuring that it receives the right type of water at the correct temperature is also necessary.
The water type can also drastically affect your fiddle leaf fig’s growth pattern; therefore, using one with the ideal characteristics is essential.
Use water that does not contain excess or harsh chemicals, as they often cause brown spots to form over the leaves.
Moreover, please make sure that the water has little to no chlorine and is not heavily fluorinated; this directly affects the plant’s health.
Additionally, giving water that is room temperature or lukewarm is strongly recommended.
Some Handy Pointers for Robust Fiddle Leaf Figs
- Water the fiddle leaf fig when the top two to three inches have dried out
- Use a pot that has several small or few moderately-sized draining holes at the bottom for planting
- Use lukewarm water with no chlorine or fluoride
- If using tap water, fill a bucket with water and let it sit overnight before watering the plant
Signs You Are Overwatering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
It is best to let your fiddle leaf dry out between watering because overwatering your fig plant can be as destructive to your plant as forgetting to water it at all.
If you find you have overwatered your fig plant, dry it out first before watering it again.
As noted above, it may take a while before you get the hand of watering your fiddle leaf fig properly.
However, knowing the signs of too much and too little water will help you learn what your plant needs to stay healthy and thrive.
Fiddle Fig Plant And Sunshine
There are other issues besides over and under watering that is evidenced in the leaves of your Ficus Lyrata.
For example, placing it in a location with too little sun can cause gray-colored spots that lack the shine of a healthy leaf.
If your plant grows slowly or becomes leggy, it could mean that it needs more light to become strong and healthy.
Small new leaves and yellowing of the leaves not related to watering are indicators of a fiddle leaf fig that is not getting enough light.
On the flip side, a fig plant getting too much light can suffer from scorched leaves.
You can put your plant in a southern-facing window, but you will need to acclimate it to the increased sunlight to remain healthy.
Put You And Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant On A Schedule
To get into the habit of watering your fig plant when it needs to be, put yourself on a one-week schedule, to begin with, then adjust it according to your plant’s needs.
For example, if it seems that one week is too frequent, stretch your watering schedule to ten days to see if that works better.
Plant owners tend to dote on their new plants and overwater them before realizing their mistake.
An effective way to avoid this harmful practice is by using a soil moisture meter (tensiometer). This tool measures the volumetric water content of your soil and can help you give your fig just the right amount of water.
Whether you use a cool tool, a calendar, or a finger test to keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy, learning to water your fig correctly can help you have a healthy, happy plant.
A fiddle leaf fig can potentially live 25 to 50 years if you care for it properly.
So learn to water it and care for it, and you can have one of these lovely plants around for a very long time.
Frequently asked questions About How Often To Water Fiddle Leaf Fig
Does watering a fig plant from the bottom work well?
Watering your fig plant from the bottom is the best way to give it sustenance because it can draw in what it needs. You can put your plant’s pot in a tray, which will allow you to easily add water when necessary.
Does it matter what container type I use for my fig plant?
Whether you use a ceramic pot or a five-gallon bucket, it needs to drain well. Overwatering and water retention around your fiddle leaf fig roots can cause root rot, which can kill your plant.
Can I mist my fiddle leaf fig instead of watering it?
While misting the fiddle leaf fig for greater moisture is a common practice, it can lead to a wide variety of problems, such as pest attacks and fungal diseases. Experts recommend using modern alternatives like humidifiers or natural methods such as grouping plants or placing water-filled pebble trays around the plant to fulfill the hydration needs.
What to look for if a fiddle leaf fig needs water?
For an accurate estimation, check the fiddle fig leaf’s top 2-3 inches. If they seem dry, take a look at the leaves next. If they are upright and rigid, withhold water. On the other hand, if they look floppy, water it immediately.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.