If you’ve been misting your fiddle leaf fig, listen up!
Misting is popular with fiddle leaf fig owners as a way to replicate humidity. After all, fiddles are rainforest plants and they LOVE humidity.
But is misting the best way to go about it?
There’s lots of debate about this, so we’re going to weigh in.
Misting comes with risks, so it might not be the best option to increase humidity.
Reason #1: Misting can cause buildup that interferes with photosynthesis
Misting with regular tap water can cause a buildup of minerals on the leaves (hard water deposits) which prevent the plant from absorbing moisture.
Sure, you can clean these spots off, but it’s tricky to do and they make your leaves look dull and dirty. If you do choose to mist, make sure to use filtered water (NOT water from a water softener, because the salts can also harm your leaves).
Reason #2: Misting can spread bacteria and fungus
Misting also can also spread disease if you aren’t careful.
When you mist your fiddle, bacteria and fungal spores can drop from leaf to leaf, which can spread fungal infections like powdery mildew. This can also exacerbate bacterial infections, which are very difficult to cure. If your fiddle leaf fig has an infection, try our Root Rot Treatment today.
Wet leaves are also much more susceptible to fungal growth, especially if the leaves are crowded or if your fiddle is in a spot with poor air circulation.
How to create humidity without misting your fiddle leaf fig
So what’s a fiddle leaf fig parent to do if they live in a dry climate and their fiddle is dying for some humidity, but they don’t want to risk harming the plant?
Two good alternatives: Humidifiers and pebble trays
This is a great option, especially if there’s also a gentle fan running in the room to increase airflow around your plant. That way, your fiddle gets the humidity it loves without the risk of fungal growth.
If you choose this option, set up a humidifier about five feet away from your fiddle for the perfect amount of humidity.
This option works especially well for smaller plants like young fiddles or bambinos, and it’s a less bacteria-spreading way to give your plant a little humidity because the humidity travels up the leaves instead of dripping down.
To make a pebble tray, find a wide, shallow bowl or tray wider than the base of your plant and fill it with pebbles and water.
Then, sit your plant’s pot on the tray. As the water in the tray evaporates, it will travel upward around your fiddle and create a little humidity.
Bonus: More plants!
Another way to boost the humidity in your home is to just have more houseplants! As plants respire, they raise the relative humidity in their environment. Just be careful to keep an eye out for bacteria, fungus, or insect infestations that can spread from plant to plant.
The ONE time when we recommend misting your fiddle leaf fig
Misting isn’t our favorite method of providing your fiddle with humidity, but the one exception is new leaf buds.
New baby leaves are thin and delicate and tend to stick together when they emerge from their leaf sheaths (hey, that almost rhymes!) which can cause tearing.
It’s a good idea to mist new leaf buds, but ONLY the lead buds, and not so much that water drips down the other leaves.
Give your new baby buds a good misting a few times every week and use a clean, soft cloth to gently dab up extra water if you’d like.
You can still raise a healthy fiddle leaf fig in a dry climate. It takes a few extra tools, but it’s totally doable! Give these tips a try for a healthy, beautiful tree, even if you live in the middle of the desert.
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