Flowers + Plants 101
How Often Should You Water a Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Friday, February 4, 2022
Just a few years ago, The New York Times dubbed the fiddle leaf fig the “it” plant of the design world. With large glossy leaves noted as “resembling a baby’s large round eyes,” it’s a delicate houseplant that naturally encourages one to care for it. The key to preserving the plant’s beauty is creating the optimal care routine.
Fiddle leaf fig care includes several variables — one of which is watering. While watering schedules vary between houseplants, fiddle leaf figs are notably more demanding than some of their houseplant counterparts, as they’re native to the rainforest environment. Here, we’ll provide a clear answer on how often you should water a fiddle leaf fig and other valuable measures you can take to keep your plant thriving all year.
The Optimal Watering Schedule for a Fiddle Leaf Fig
The general rule of thumb is to water fiddle leaf figs every seven to 10 days. Water your plant only when the top 50-75% of the soil is dry as a helpful checkpoint. The exact timing of this will depend on the temperature and humidity inside your home, with the appropriate seasonal adjustments made.
Native to the lowland rainforest in West Africa, fiddle leaf figs are a plant species used to an environment where significant water surges are broken up by dry spells. With this in mind, you’ll want to water the plant slowly until the soil is entirely drenched and allow excess water to drain into your saucer. After watering, make sure to empty your saucer.
If you live in a drier climate, you may want to mist your fiddle leaf figs between weekly waterings. As tropical plants, fiddle leaf figs appreciate humidity. Misting the plant with room-temperature water supplements this need in drier environments.
Notice brown spots in the middle or on the edges of your fiddle leaf fig, or yellowing leaves? These are telltale signs of overwatered plants that need to dry out before being watered again. On the flipside, unwatered fiddle leaf figs often develop brown spots toward the edges of leaves that then curl inward. Getting on a regular watering schedule combats this issue.
The Importance of Sunlight in Fiddle Leaf Fig Care
Fiddle leaf figs are no fan of the shade. These finicky houseplants prefer plenty of bright, indirect light, as well as some direct sunlight throughout the day too. In the case of direct sunlight, you’ll want to make the exposure gradual, so the plant doesn’t receive too much light too fast.
With their affection for sunlight, fiddle leaf figs are most likely to thrive in a room with plenty of sunshine. Specifically, positioning the houseplant by an east-, west-, or south-facing floor-to-ceiling window offers the ideal light-filled perch. These windows should be free of nearby buildings or trees that can block exposure to the sunlight.
As with your watering routine, a fiddle leaf fig will let you know if it’s not getting enough (or too much) sunlight. Yellowing leaves or slow growth can both be indicators to move your fiddle leaf fig to a brighter spot in your home. Meanwhile, a light brown dusting over leaves or faded green leaves can be signs of a sun-stressed plant that needs less light.
Based on their native environment, fiddle leaf figs naturally prefer warmer temperatures. Keep this in mind when choosing where to position your fiddle leaf fig. If you have drafty windows or A/C vents nearby, move the plant several feet away from the source of the draft. That way, it can still get the sunlight it needs to thrive without the sudden bursts of cold air.
When choosing a location for your fiddle leaf fig, you’ll also want to be mindful of the fact that fiddle leaf figs are toxic to both people and animals. If you have children or pets, take care to place your plant out of their reach for safety reasons.
What About Food for Your Plant?
When it comes to fertilization as part of your fiddle leaf fig care routine, less is more. Fiddle leaf figs fare best when fed once during the spring and then monthly during the summer. These plants do not require fertilization in the fall or winter.
Simply mix in fertilizer to the top layer of the plant’s soil, and the fiddle leaf fig can gradually absorb the provided nutrients. Note that when choosing a fertilizer, you’ll want to opt for a product with an NPK ratio near 3-1-2 (that’s 3% nitrogen, 1% phosphorous, and 2% potassium). A nitrogen-rich fertilizer will satisfy a fiddle leaf fig’s nitrogen cravings and, in doing so, help the plants maintain their existing foliage as well as sprout new leaves.
As part of your fiddle leaf fig care routine, keep an eye out for signs of overfertilization. If you notice chemical burns on the plant, wrinkled leaves, or stalled growth, you could be overfeeding your fiddle leaf fig. When this happens, the best approach is to thoroughly wash your plant with plain water and give it a few weeks to recover.
Fiddle Leaf Figs Make the Perfect Gift for Yourself or Others
Whether for your own home or as a gift, fiddle leaf figs are an “it” houseplant that make the right impression. While they’ll add beauty to any home, the fiddle leaf figs you order from Bloomsybox will be shipped in a white 5-inch ceramic pot — adding an extra layer of style upon arrival, with the convenience of a plant that’s all set to display.
The general rule of thumb is to water fiddle leaf figs every seven to 10 days. Water your plant only when the top 50-75% of the soil is dry as a helpful checkpoint.