The most important thing you must learn as a fiddle leaf fig owner is how and when to water a fiddle leaf fig.
Watering your ficus lyrata should be the easiest part of caring for it.
But one expert says you should drench it, while another claims you must measure each drink.
Some gurus say fiddles need to be watered every few days while others say it must dry out completely, which can mean weeks between waterings.
Believe it or not, they can both be right.
How Often to Water Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
When you first bring home a fiddle leaf fig, assess its size and condition.
A larger plant, though, needs at least triple that amount. So that’s your baseline:
1 cup of water per week for younger plants and 3 to 4 cups for big trees.
However, you’ll find pretty quickly that you must adjust this amount and frequency based on the following factors.
How Much to Water Your Fiddle Leaf Fig and When to Water a Fiddle Leaf Fig
When it comes to learning when to water a fiddle leaf fig, you want to remember: warmth and light.
Despite what you’ve probably heard, the ficus lyrata loves direct sunlight. It also loves heat up to 95-100 degrees. If your plant is in a warm bright place, it will drink more water, which should be administered in volume over frequency.
In other words, increase the amount you water, not how often. At this point, soaking the root ball every other watering will benefit your plant.
In extreme cases (hello, folks in Texas), then both volume AND frequency should be increased, even to where you’re drenching the root ball twice a week. Consider your location as you consider when to water a fiddle leaf fig.
Yes, that’s extreme, but again, this advice is for fiddle owners who have plants outdoors in hot climates, direct sunlight, with fast-draining substrate. If you don’t have all these elements in alignment, then stick to the baseline mentioned above.
By contrast, cold, dark environments and seasons always mean LESS water consumption for your fiddle leaf fig, so watch carefully and back off if you start to see signs of over-watering. (A moisture meter like this one is helpful to know exactly how thirsty your plant is.)
Under-Watering and Over-Watering
Once you’ve optimized your plant’s environment, learned when to water a fiddle leaf fig, as best you can for warmth and light, and you’ve taken into consideration the size and girth of your fiddle, here’s how to read the plant’s cues.
Remember, these are signs you should watch for once you’ve been in the rhythm of the baseline watering routine. These signs will help your plant communicate to you to either “up” its water intake…or back off a bit.
- A thirsty plant will exhibit drooping upper leaves.
- It will also put out unhealthy, crispy-looking new leaves.
- Under-watering will cause the plant’s lower leaves to yellow and drop, eventually killing the tree.
- Soggy soil
- Brownish, rusty hue that appears in the veins or undersides of your plant’s leaves. This is the beginning of root rot.
If not treated and corrected, and if that watering routine isn’t adjusted, then the root rot will be fatal. To learn more about root rot and how to save your plant, read Everything You Need to Know About Root Rot in Fiddle Leaf Figs. (And treat root rot with our Root Supplement!)
Which Water is Best for a Fiddle Leaf Fig?
When to water a fiddle leaf fig is important to figure out. Did you know that the type of water you use can drastically affect the way your plant grows? Some types of water contain chemicals that may result in brown spots or browning edges of your fiddle leaf fig leaves. Most tap water systems contain chemicals (chlorine and fluoride), which can affect the health of your plant. Watch the video above and learn more about the most common chemicals in water, the best water pH levels, which water is best for your fiddle leaf fig, and the best water temperature to use.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Watering Routine Wrap-Up
Depending on your tree’s size, 1 to 3 cups per week with the occasional drench. Answering how and when to water a fiddle leaf fig will help your plant grow green and gorgeous.
Then, based on its living conditions and cues, more or less in both volume and frequency from there.
Do you still have questions about how and when to water a fiddle leaf fig? Hop on over to our free Facebook community called the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Group, and fellow fiddle owners will help as they can.
Grab the Essentials for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig:
- Premium Fiddle Leaf Fig Potting Soil
- Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food
- Root Rot Treatment
- Houseplant Leaf Armor to protect against insects, bacteria, and fungus (As an added bonus, it also cleans and adds shine to your plant’s leaves!)
- Moisture meter to always know when your plant is thirsty.
To learn more:
- Sign up for our free Fiddle Leaf Fig Care 101 Webinar or enroll in our free Fiddle Leaf Fig Course for advanced fiddle leaf fig care.
- Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter.
- Read The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert, your complete guide to growing healthy fiddle leaf fig plants. The book is available in full-color paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon now!
- Click to join our community on Facebook: Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource Group.