One of the most beautiful indoor plants around is the Fiddle Leaf Fig (in my opinion anyway).
If you are reading this article, then the Fiddle Leaf Fig (scientifically known as Ficus Lyrata) must have caught your attention too.
It's known for its large, glossy, and uniquely shaped leaves that resemble a fiddle or violin.
When well-maintained, these leaves can act as statement pieces in interior design, making the Fiddle Leaf Fig a favorite among plant enthusiasts and decorators alike.
To ensure that your Fiddle Leaf Fig stays in top condition year-round, mastering the perfect watering rhythm is essential – but it's easier said than done.
In this blog post, you'll learn exactly how often and when to water your Fiddle Leaf Fig so that it stays healthy and beautiful all year around.
So keep reading! 👇
The Origin and Natural Habitat of Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree ✋
If you've ever seen a Fiddle Leaf Fig up close, you'd know its leaves are quite the showstopper.
These big, bold Fiddle Leaf Fig's leaves can grow impressively large – we're talking about the size of a dinner plate. They can actually grow up to 18 inches long! 🤯
It's this unique feature that has made them a favorite among plant lovers
Did you know that it comes from the tropical warm parts of western and central Africa, places like Cameroon and Sierra Leone?
If you visit where it naturally grows, like rainforests, you'll find it soaking up rain and enjoying soft sunlight. It can grow there 60-100 feet tall.
Pretty impressive, right?
But it can also grow tall in your home up to 30 feet!
It's part of the Moraceae family. This means it's related to other houseplants you might love, like Rubber Trees.
It's interesting that it also has social significance in some cultures and was used in magic rituals as a fetish tree.
Here's a fun fact: 😌
The Fiddle Leaf Fig was a mystery to plant experts until the late 1800s! A German explorer named Gustav Mann found the first one in 1880.
He gave it the name Ficus Lyrata, which in simple words means "lyre-shaped fig". Since then, people all over the world have fallen in love with it.
The Impact of Water on Fiddle Leaf Figs 💦
Let's chat about water and your Fiddle Leaf Fig.
Every plant, your Fiddle Leaf included, needs water to shuffle around all the good stuff – nutrients, sugars, you name it.
It's also water's job to keep the plant cool.
But here’s where things get super interesting: photosynthesis.
Think of it as a plant's kitchen where sunlight is the main ingredient.
With the help of water and carbon dioxide, plants whip up their own food, turning sunlight into energy. It's kind of like they're cooking with sunbeams!
Here's the tricky part: getting the watering just right.
Water too much?
Your Fiddle Leaf's roots might drown, leading to some icky root rot.
Sad, yellow leaves that might just give up and fall off.
But if you play hard to get and water too little, those leaves might wilt, show brown spots, or even get a bit crunchy.
And nobody wants a stressed-out plant.
Because stressed plants can become a hotspot for pesky bugs and diseases.
Keep reading to learn how to get Fiddle Leaf Fig watering just right!
Best Practices for Watering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig 🚿
As a tropical plant, the potted Fiddle Leaf Fig prefers soil that is a little bit moist.
Never let the soil completely dry out.
However, try to avoid standing water in a pot too.
To determine how often to water your Fiddle Leaf Fig, it's essential to understand the soil moisture level.
There are 2 ways:
The Finger Method:
Just stick a finger into the soil about a third deep. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it's damp, give it a little more time.
Using a Moisture Meter:
How? Push the gadget's pointy end about 2 inches into the soil, somewhere between the plant's stem and the pot's edge.
Reading Time: Depending on your moisture meter type, it can show either the numbers from 1 to 10 or a dry/moist/wet scale. Aim for something between 4 and 6 for your Fiddle Leaf (or in the middle of the scale). If it's below 4, it's water time. Above 6? Hold off on the watering can.
When to Water: A reading near 4 means or below your plant's ready for a drink.
Factors Determining Watering Frequency 🔢
So now you might be wondering: "How much water exactly does my Fiddle Leaf Fig need?"
Well, unfortunately, it's not one-size-fits-all. Several things play a part:
The current season
How much light your plant's getting
Your room's vibe: think humidity and how warm or cool it is
The type of soil you've planted it in
The pot you've chosen for your Fiddle Leaf Fig
By tuning into these details, you'll nail the perfect watering routine. And guess what?
Your Fiddle Leaf will thrive and thank you for years.
So let's dive deeper into these points.
Seasonality and its Impact on Watering 🌦
1. Spring & Summer: The Growth Period
What's Happening: As the sun beams brighter and the days get warmer, your Fiddle Leaf Fig is in its happy phase. It's growing and soaking up all that good energy.
Watering Tip: Wait till the top layer of the soil feels a bit parched, then water it. But a word of caution: never let the entire soil bed go bone dry!
2. Fall & Winter: The Dormancy Period
What's Happening: As the cool breezes start, and sunlight plays hide and seek, your Fiddle Leaf Fig goes into a relaxed mode. Its growth hits the brakes a bit.
Watering Tip: Less is more here. Since the plant isn't growing as vigorously, it won’t be as thirsty. Be careful not to overwater it.
Light and Its Impact on Watering 💡
1. The Ideal Light: Bright but no Direct Sun
What’s Best: Fiddle Leaf Figs love bright, indirect sunlight. This kind of light is their sweet spot for growing big and strong.
Watch Out: But be cautious – direct sunlight can be dangerous for unacclimated plants. If your plant stays in direct sunlight for too many hours, it could end up with scorched leaves.
2. Finding The Perfect Home Spot
Preferred Placements: Fiddle Leaf Figs flourish near north or east-facing windows. These windows provide enough bright, indirect sunlight which is their favorite.
Trial and Error: If you're unsure, feel free to test different spots. But always keep in mind the type of sunlight each window offers.
Handle with Care: Fiddle Leaf Figs, like us, can be sensitive. Move them around too much, especially during their quieter dormant period, and they might lose some leaves as a response to stress.
3. The Light-Water Connection
Sunshine and Growth: When your fig gets a lot of that lovely indirect light and stays at a consistent temperature, it drinks up more water and grows faster.
Less Light, Less Thirst: If the room's dimmer or gets chilly, your fig slows down. It'll sip water instead of gulping, and its growth will slow down too.
Read a comprehensive guide about the Fiddle Leaf Fig light requirements here.
The Importance of Maintaining Humidity Levels 💧
Your Fiddle Leaf Fig is originally a West African rainforest resident. It's used to warmth and loves humid air hugs. At home, aim to create that comfy, moist vibe for it.
The Ideal Humidity:
Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees prefer a humidity range between 60-75%. Anything lower can make it a bit sad, leading to browning leaves and slow growth.
Keeping the Air Moist:
- Pebble Tray: Think of this as a mini spa for your plant. A tray filled with pebbles and water covering them half-height under your plant's pot does wonders. Make sure that the pot doesn't soak up the water from the tray and stays on the pebble surface.
- Plant Buddies: Grouping your fig with other moisture-loving plants can create a mini-jungle vibe.
- Daily Mist: A spray of water a day keeps the brown spots away!
- Leaf Cleaning: Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth. This not only boosts humidity but also helps the plant breathe better by removing dust.
Consistency is Crucial
Avoiding the Colds:
Your Fiddle Leaf is not into cold vibes. Drafty windows in winter or air conditioners in summer? Big no-no. These can lead to a leaf drop or those dreaded brown spots.
The Role of Soil in Fiddle Leaf Fig Watering 🪴
1. Soil Basics:
Your Fiddle Leaf Fig is a bit picky about its soil. It loves soil that's airy, light and doesn't hold water too long.
2. Perfect Potting Mix:
The best potting mix for your fig's roots is:
Peat Moss: Gives the root system nutrients and retains the water.
Perlite: Adds airiness and ensures good drainage.
Vermiculite: Helps in retaining both moisture and nutrients.
DIY or Store-Bought: You've got options! Grab a ready-made blend from the store or be the chef and whip up your own mix using peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.
👉 You Might Also Like: What is The Best Potting Soil to Use For Indoor Plants?
3. Soil Refresh 101:
Your plant's soil isn’t forever. Every year or two, give it a refresh.
Why Change? Over time, the soil gets compacted, and nutrients get depleted. Plus, those added fertilizers? They might leave salts and minerals that accumulate in soil over time.
Bonus: While you're at it, give those roots a quick health check. See if there are any damaged roots to keep your fig growing strong and happy.
Proper Drainage: An Essential Companion to Watering 🪴
Your Fiddle Fig is sensitive to waterlogging and is prone to root rot if left in standing water.
Overwatering can cause your plant’s leaves to drop and develop brown spots, leading to stunted growth or even death.
1. The Right Way to Water:
When it's watering time, be generous. Give it a good drink, letting the water flow freely. But here's the trick: ensure all excess water drains out completely through the drainage hole.
2. The Pot Matters:
Drainage Hole: This is a must-have. It's like an escape route for any extra water, ensuring your plant doesn't sit in a puddle.
Why It's Essential: Without this escape route, water gathers at the pot's base. Result? Nasty root rot and unwanted fungi throwing a party.
3. Mess-Free Tip:
Go for pots with saucers or trays. They will catch the excess water that is coming out of the drainage hole. Be sure to empty it and don't let it over saturate the soil.
Use of Self-Watering Planters for Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree 🚿
1. Why Consider Self-Watering Planters?
These smart pots offer a consistent drink to your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant, ensuring it never suffers from under watering or gets too much water.
2. How Do They Work?
Water Reservoir: Think of this as a mini-tank storing water for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant. The plant sips from it as needed, leading to steady and healthy growth.
Wicking System: This acts like a straw, pulling water from the reservoir to the plant's roots, ensuring just the right hydration level.
3. The Big Benefits:
No Root Rot: With a controlled water supply, there's less chance of your plant's roots sitting in excess water.
Convenience Plus: Especially if you're super busy (or a tad forgetful), these planters space out watering times. Less work, same lush plant.
Quality of Water for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
1. Temperature Tip: For a happy Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant, use room temperature water.
2. Tap Water Troubles: Where you live matters. Some tap water has excessive minerals and chemicals. Over time, these chemicals can oversaturate the soil, stressing out your plant.
3. The Distilled Water: Distilled water is one of the best choices - it's clean and pure. It's a great choice for your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree. However, it is pricier than tap water.
4. Rainwater: Nature’s Best: If you can, rainwater is the golden ticket. Plus, it’s free!
Mistakes to Avoid When Watering Fiddle Plant 🙅
1. The Fixed Watering Schedule:
Don't be a slave to the calendar. Plants, including the Fiddle Leaf Fig, aren't robots. Watering on a rigid schedule, say every Tuesday, can do more harm than good. Watering needs depend on many factors and can change with seasons, temperature, humidity, etc.
2. Over watering:
Giving too much love? Here are signs your fig might be drowning:
Soggy Soil: If it's wet to touch for a long time, you're overdoing it.
Yellow Leaves: Often an early distress signal.
Brown or Black Spots: They can also indicate that your plants had a bit too much to drink.
3. Thirsty Plant Pleas:
Not enough water can make your fig cranky too:
Dry & Crumbly Soil: A clear sign it's time for hydration.
Droopy Leaves: Your plant's way of saying, "I'm parched!"
Crispy Brown Edges: Those leaf tips turning brown and crunchy? A cry for more water.
4. The Key:
Listen and observe. Your plant will often tell you what it needs, you just have to pay attention and adjust accordingly. Remember, it's a learning journey, and every fig has its unique thirst rhythm.
The Role of Fertilizers in Conjunction with Watering 🧪
1. Why Fertilize?
Fertilizers are like plant vitamins. They help your fig grow big and strong.
2. When to Feed:
The best times? Growing season - spring and summer. That's when your fig is growing the most.
3. How to Do It:
Mix the fertilizer with water, then water your plant. About once a month should do it.
4. A Quick Reminder:
Always check the fertilizer's directions. It’ll help you give just the right amount for lush growth.
At the end of the day, your Fiddle Leaf Fig isn't just a plant - it's a green buddy that brightens up your space.
Mastering good Fiddle Leaf Fig care is like nurturing a friendship: it's all about understanding and patience.
Feel free to play around with watering methods.
Finding that sweet spot between quenching its thirst and not overwatering is key.
And remember, with a little attention and love, this green friend promises to be a stunning houseguest for years to come!
If you found this article helpful, consider saving it to your Pinterest Indoor Plants board by clicking on the mage below.
Happy Planting! 🌿