If you’ve spent any time around fiddle leaf fig owners, you’ve probably heard about giving fiddles a shower.
As weird as this might sound, it’s actually a common practice and can be really beneficial for your fiddle!
Should you be showering your fiddle as well? Let’s talk about the benefits of showering and how to do it properly so that you help your plant, rather than harm it.
The Benefits of Showering Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Showering cleans the leaves.
This is probably the biggest benefit of giving your fiddle a shower! Showering can be an effective method for cleaning dust and dirt off your fiddle leaf fig leaves.
Dust on the leaves doesn’t just look bad, it can hurt your plant! Dust can clog your plant’s pores, which makes it difficult for the plant to carry out photosynthesis (make energy from sunlight). It can also interfere with your plant’s respiration. Dusty leaves can essentially starve AND suffocate your plant!
An occasional shower can help keep leaves clean, shiny, and functional! (Also try our new Houseplant Leaf Shine because not only does it protect your leaves from dust and give them a healthy shine, it also wards off pests! It’s perfect for cleaning and protecting. Over time, it even helps your plant retain more of its own moisture!)
Showering can remove pests.
Showers can also help dislodge insects like spider mites, mealybugs, and others.
For more help with pests, check out our ultimate guide to dealing with fiddle leaf fig pests.
Showering gives your plant a humidity boost.
As a tropical plant, fiddle leaf figs love humidity! We don’t often recommend misting (spraying the leaves with water) to provide humidity for several reasons, but if you’re showering to water or clean your plants, the extra humidity from the water is an added bonus!
Showering is one way to water your plant.
This comes with some caveats, because you definitely don’t want to OVERwater your plant, as this can lead to root rot and exacerbate potential bacterial and fungal infections.
But if you’re already showering to clean your leaves and give your plant a humidity boost, you’ll be watering your plant at the same time. Just make sure not to over-water!
How to Shower Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Step 1: Make sure your pot and soil drain well.
This is critical, because your plant is about to get quite a drink! We recommend well-draining soil and pot with drainage holes, because if your plant can’t drain properly, it’s going to hold onto way too much water and develop problems. If your drainage is good and your plant isn’t on the cup watering method, you’re good to go!
Step 2: Remove the decorative pot if necessary.
If your fiddle is in a nursery pot or basic pot within a basket or decorative pot, go ahead and take the inner pot out and place the whole plant in the shower. (Be careful not to bump the leaves!)
Step 3: Spray your plant off.
Turn the water on to room temperature or even lukewarm (NEVER hot or cold) and give your plant a good spray down. If you have a handheld showerhead, you can even take it off and gently spray the leaves with it.
Let the shower run for a minute or two, rotating the plant to get all the leaves if necessary.
If you notice water running out the bottom of the pot, go ahead and turn the water off.
Note: After a shower is the perfect time to spray with Leaf Armor. It’s like applying lotion to your body when you get out of the shower. It helps your plant maintain humidity and protects against bacteria, fungus, and insects!
Step 4: Let it drain.
Your plant may need to sit in the shower for several hours to completely drain, especially if it usually lives in a decorative pot.
If your plant lives in a regular pot on a drainage tray, you can put it back after 45 minutes or so and keep an eye on the tray to remove any additional drainage (a turkey baster works well for this).
If you leave the plant in the shower for several hours, make sure to allow indirect sunlight into the bathroom.
Note: The pot will be heavier than when you put it in the shower, so be careful when you move it!
When NOT to Shower Your Fiddle
Of course, there are some instances where showering can do more harm than good.
Here’s when you SHOULDN’T shower your fiddle leaf fig:
1. If your pot or soil doesn’t drain well. Fiddles need adequate drainage to stay healthy. Without proper drainage, you’re likely to over-water your plant and invite root rot.
Also, if your drainage isn’t great, you’ll want to get a new pot and fast-draining soil, pronto!
2. Your plant has a bacterial infection or fungal disease like powdery mildew. Showering will only spread the fungus or bacteria around. Not good!
3. Your plant is already suffering from root rot. If your plant is healing from root rot, you’ll want to go fairly light on the water.
If your plant is showing any signs of over-watering like fungal growth in the soil or yellowing leaves, don’t shower!
If you’re dealing with root rot, make sure to check out our Root Rot Treatment!
How often should you shower your fiddle?
It’s up to you! I know people who shower their fiddles every week to water and clean them, and others who shower every few months to just clean the leaves. Others never shower their fiddles because the trees are too big to move or don’t fit in the shower.
Showering isn’t necessary, but it’s a possible tool to keep in your toolbox if you choose!
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