Essential Tips For Watering Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees (Ficus lyrata) at Home

With their large namesake leaves, fiddle leaf fig trees (Ficus lyrata) make a spectacular addition to any home. One key aspect of keeping these plants healthy is proper watering. Overwatering and underwatering can be one of the biggest causes of harm to houseplants so it’s always good to be aware of the key considerations to ensure your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree truly thrives in your home. Thankfully, Fiddle leaf figs are relatively easy to water as long as you follow a few essential pointers. Here we’ll cover everything you need to be aware of regarding when to water, how to water, the best types of water, and general environmental factors such as the season, soil, repotting, propagating, and more.


How to Water Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees  – The Essentials

Water your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree when the top 2 inches of soil are dry to touch using filtered or dechlorinated water to thoroughly drench the soil. Ensure your potting vessel has suitable drainage to allow excess water to disperse. The frequency you water will depend on a variety of environmental factors, but watering every 2-3 weeks in the summer and 4-5 weeks in the winter is often sufficient.

Things to Consider When Watering Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

Things to Consider When Watering Fiddle Leaf Figs

There’s no one correct answer for how often you should water your fiddle leaf fig. When deciding how often to water, take note of the following factors which all play a role in how fast (or slow) moisture is lost from the plant.

Temperature & Humidity

When plants are kept in areas with high temperatures and low humidity, they quickly lose water through evaporation and transpiration. This means you’ll need to water your FLF more often in these conditions.

The reverse is also true. As the air temperature drops and humidity rises, you won’t need to water your plant as often.

For more, see our essential guide to the best temperature and humidity ranges for fiddle leaf figs indoors.

The Prevailing Light Conditions

The Prevailing Light Conditions

Fiddle leaf fig plants love the sun. If you have them in a bright spot, they will require more water than if they are in an area that only receives a few hours of light each day.

The Season

As days become shorter during the fall, fiddle leaf figs’ growth will slow. Since they’re not growing much and there isn’t as much light, they will require less water.

As the winter gives way to the longer and warmer days of spring and summer, you will need to water your plant more often.

The Soil Mix

Fiddle leaf fig plants don’t like sitting in wet soil, so they should be growing in a well-draining potting mix. The soil is often the best indicator for knowing when’s the best time to water a plant. Your fingers are a useful tool here – feel down approximately 2 inches into the topsoil to gauge how dry it feels. If it’s dry to the touch, it’s time to give your FLF a watering.

Moisture probes left in the soil are also readily available and are a handy addition if you don’t like getting muddy.

For more, see our essential guide to the best soil mix for Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees.

The Container Size and Type + Plant Size

The Container Size and Type + Plant Size

There’s an obvious basic premise that larger plants require more water than smaller plants.

However, smaller plants should be kept in smaller containers than larger plants. And smaller containers typically dry out faster than larger containers since they hold a smaller volume of soil.

What’s that mean? While larger plants use more water, they might not require more frequent waterings, since their large pots can hold more water.

One more thing you should take note of is the container material. Terra cotta pots pull water out of the soil, which can cause the soil to dry out faster than it would in glazed ceramic or plastic pots.

When to Water Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

When to Water Fiddle Leaf Figs

Fiddle leaf figs don’t like sitting in wet soil, but they don’t handle drought well either. That means you should water when the soil is dry to the touch (as noted, the top 2 inches of soil are a great indicator to go by – poke around gently near the base of the plant).

How Often Should I Water a Fiddle Leaf Fig?

There’s not a magic watering schedule for fiddle leaf figs, since you’ll need to consider the factors mentioned above. However, you can consider the following estimates.

Water your FLF every 2-3 weeks in the summer and every 4-5 weeks in the winter. As fall arrives decrease the amount you water, and as spring arrives increase the amount.

What Type of Water is Best for Fiddle Leaf Figs?

What Type of Water is Best for Fiddle Leaf Figs

You don’t need to used filtered water for your fiddle leaf fig, although this wouldn’t hurt. However, you should use dechlorinated water. If your tap water contains chlorine, simply let the water sit out in an open overnight to let the chlorine dissipate.

How to Water Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

Watering fiddle leaf fig plants is easy.

Obtain a watering can, cup, or another container you can carry water in. Slowly pour the water into the soil mix, being careful not to splash any water on the plant’s foliage. Continue watering until you see water run out of the bottom of the pot.

Once the water is running out of the pot, stop watering. After a few minutes, empty the overflow dish so your plant is not sitting in water.

What to Do In Between Watering Cycles

What to Do In Between Watering Cycles

Even in hot, bright conditions, your soil will need at least a few days to dry out. So there’s no need to poke your plant’s soil right after watering.

After a week passes, it’s a good idea to begin checking your soil for moisture. Once the top inch is dry, it’s time to water again. Make sure to check the soil near the middle of the pot, as the sides can dry out more quickly than the center.

Once you become familiar with your plant’s water needs, you will be able to plan a watering schedule. However, remember that changing environmental conditions will require you to change this schedule. It’s also worth fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig plants in spring and summer to support growth and pruning past-prime foliage.

How to Water Propagated Fiddle Leaf Figs

After you propagate a fiddle leaf fig, you don’t want it sitting in wet soil. So water it in after propagation and then following the watering recommendations for mature FLFs.

Watering Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees After Repotting

After you repot your fiddle leaf fig, you can follow the water recommendations for adult plants.

Overwatering and Underwatering Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

Overwatering and Underwatering Fiddle Leaf Figs

One of the worst things you can do to fiddle leaf fig plants is overwater them. With that said, you don’t want to underwater them either!

If you are overwatering your plant (or using a potting mix that doesn’t allow for proper drainage) you may notice soft, rotting roots and/or stems. Other signs of overwatering include yellowing or browning leaves or leaf drop.

If you aren’t watering your fiddle leaf fig enough, its leaves may appear dry or brown.

Should I Mist My Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree?

Should I Mist My Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle leaf figs love humidity, so you may need to provide additional humidity if you live in a dry environment. Misting can be beneficial, but this will only increase the humidity for a short period of time and can lead to concerns with stagnant water on the leaves (a calling sign for pests and fungal infections). 

Along with misting, you can place your plant’s pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water. Make sure your container is not sitting in the water but rather on top of the pebbles.

Humidifiers are also a great solution for larger plants.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know all about watering fiddle leaf figs, observe your plant to develop a custom watering plan perfect for your own unique living environment.


Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.

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