Overwatered Fiddle Leaf Fig – Symptoms and How to Save

Are the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig turning brown or yellow? Has your beautiful green plant developed red spots? If yes, then it is a sign that you have overwatered fiddle leaf fig.

Keep an eye out! Fiddle leaf figs communicate through their leaves if they are overwatered. Brown patches spread over the leaves. Furthermore, leaves may turn yellow and fall off. Worst of all, your fiddle leaf may stop growing.

Fiddle leaf fig can get root rot, nutrient deficiencies, mineral build-up, and other problems from overwatering.

So, how do you solve this problem? 

No worries! In this article, I will explain how you can save your fiddle leaf fig plant from overwatering. As well, I will tell you what overwatering signs to watch out for at the beginning. Because it’s all about prevention when it comes to plants.

Signs of overwatered fiddle leaf fig

Root Rot

Symptoms of root rot include brown spots on the edges and centers of the leaves. It spreads and causes leaves to drop.

You can tell if your plant has root rot by inspecting its roots. If the roots have rotted, they will appear mushy, damp, and brown in color.

Leaves of the fiddle leaf fig turn brown and wilt

Leaves of the fiddle leaf fig turn brown and wilt

It is a sign that your fiddle leaf fig plant has been overwatered if its leaves are turning brown. Or if shaded patches appear in the center or around the edges. 

Additionally, leaves will look shriveled and wilted.

Fiddle leaf fig leaves turning yellow

Yellow leaves are a clear sign of overwatering. Your fiddle leaf fig may first show this discoloration on its lower leaves.

The dropping of fiddle leaf fig leaves

When a plant conserves energy, its leaves fall. Often, this indicates that there is an issue within the plant.

Dropping Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves may be an indication of root rot or nutrient deficiencies caused by overwatering.

The fiddle leaf fig has curled leaves and stunted growth

New leaves are frequently produced by Fiddle Leaf Figs. Usually, there is new growth every four to six weeks.  

However, there could be an overwatering problem if new leaves don’t grow as quickly as they used to. Additionally, it can cause leaves to curl.

The fiddle leaf fig has curled leaves and stunted growth


In Fiddle Leaf Fig plants, edema appears as a dappling of red and brown spots.

The spots appear when the roots of the plant have taken in too much water. It causes the leaf cells to burst. These dead cells are visible on the leaves as dark spots.


How to save an overwatered fiddle leaf fig

If you have spotted above mentioned overwatering sign in your fiddle leaf fig, it’s time to take action.

Below are the ways to save your overwatered fiddle leaf fig.

Re-pot your fiddle leaf fig plant

You may want to repot your Fiddle Leaf Fig if it’s overwatered. If too much water is in the soil, it’s better to re-pot.  A fresh start is the best solution to fix this situation.

Moreover, there may not have been sufficient drainage in the original pot. So, providing good drainage will prevent future overwatering.

Lastly, it is possible that your plant’s roots and leaves were damaged by edema if the container was too large. Hence, it is a good option to re-pot your plant.

So, if you plan to re-pot with soil alone, add 1 – 2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm) of gravel to the bottom of the pot to ensure drainage. After the gravel is placed, cover it with soil.

Make sure your pot has large drainage holes at the bottom to ensure that water can drain easily.

Every 1 – 2 years, you should re-pot your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Make sure you choose a pot that is 3 – 4 inches (7.5 – 10 cm) larger than the previous pot when repotting.

Overwatering is caused by improper drainage and waterlogged soil, which you can resolve by repotting Fiddle Leaf Figs.

Avoid Overwatering fiddle leaf fig plant

If you notice that you have been overwatering your Fiddle Leaf Fig, act immediately to prevent it from happening again.

Always measure the amount of water that you give to your plant. Moreover, avoid freehand pouring.

Fiddle leaf fig plants only need 1-4 cups of water per week. However, water quantity depends on their size.

If you measure the water, you will avoid accidental overwatering. Also, being consistent with the amount of water is vital.

The above ways will stop your fiddle leaf fig plant from sitting in excess water. Thus, saving your fiddle leaf fig from the biggest problem that they can encounter.

Provide enough light to your plant

A Fiddle Leaf Fig’s water requirement is determined by how much light it receives.

You may experience root rot caused by overwatering if your plant doesn’t get enough light. 

By creating warmth, the light helps the soil evaporate its water. Moreover, figs love bright, consistent sunlight. However, to prevent leaf burn, avoid direct sunlight.

Also, when your plant is in the shade, it is more susceptible to overwatering.

It’s best to grow fiddle leaf figs at temperatures between 65 – 75°F (18 – 29°C), which provides the ideal climate for keeping the soil from becoming too soggy.

Fiddle Leaf Figs like bright light, according to their preferences, so use a thermometer to determine which room is best for them.

Have a regular watering schedule for the fig plant

It is important to water fiddle leaf figs at the right time. You can avoid overwatering your fiddle fig plants by adopting a regular watering schedule.

Water the fiddle leaf fig when the top 2 inches of soil are dry to touch.

Your fiddle leaf fig plant needs watering once every 1-2 weeks. So, it is best to keep a note of when you are watering your plant. Also, continuously monitor your plant to check the dryness of the soil.

You can check again a few days later if the top two inches are still wet. For your watering schedule, note how many days it takes the topsoil to completely dry. Also, make sure you water your plant the same amount every week.

You might think that watering your plant once every 1 – 2 weeks isn’t enough, but it’s really important that you allow the roots to dry out. Your Fiddle Leaf Fig may suffer from root rot due to unnecessary watering.

Use a moisture meter to check the soil

You can solve the overwatering problem by using a moisture meter.

The moisture meter is a small device with legs that are placed in the soil to measure moisture. There are sensors in these “legs” that monitor soil moisture.

Using the moisture meter, you can determine whether the soil is dry, moist, or wet.

Fiddle Leaf Fig roots can be wet even if the topsoil appears dry, so this is a quick way to find out how wet the soil is near the roots.

With a moisture meter, you can easily determine when the soil requires watering, and prevent overwatering. It is also useful to use a moisture meter to ensure the roots are not damaged by poor drainage in the pot.

Ensure that roots do not rot

Ensure that roots do not rot

Fiddle Leaf Figs can suffer from root rot if they are overwatered. Water sits on the roots, causing them to rot.

When you notice browning leaves, this can indicate root rot. Eventually, brown spots spread across the leaves, causing them to drop.

You can follow the below steps to fix the root rot problem in the fiddle leaf fig plant.

Step 1: The first thing you should do is check your plant’s roots for rot. Squeeze the planter base to loosen the soil before you take it out.

Step 2: Pull your Fiddle Leaf Fig gently out of the container by the trunk.

Step 3: Observe how the roots appear. You may need to remove some roots if they are wet and mushy.

Step 4: Using water, clean off the root ball so you can clearly see its roots.

Step 5: If any roots are squishy or brown, use pruning shears to remove them.

Step 6: For your plant to remain rot-free, re-pot it with a clean container and fresh gravel and soil.

The best way to prevent root rot in the future is to avoid overwatering. Make sure you have the right pot, the right soil, the right amount of light, and the right frequency of watering. By taking care of these needs, you can prevent root rot.

How to prevent overwatering fiddle leaf figs

Following the below watering guide will ensure that you do not overwater your fiddle leaf figs.

Additionally, the more you learn about how your plant likes to be watered, the easier it will be to care for it.

Follow the watering rules for fiddle leaf figs

  • Do not water the leaves, but the soil. You won’t get enough water for your root system if you water directly on the leaves. At the base of the plant, water directly.
  • Before watering, make sure the topsoil is completely dry. It will prevent too much water from sitting on the roots.
  • Cold water can shock these plants’ roots, so it is better to use lukewarm water, or room temperature water.

Plan a schedule for watering fiddle leaf figs

  • Make a weekly watering schedule so you don’t forget to water your plants.
  • A Fiddle Leaf Fig only needs watering once or twice per month. 
  • Create a watering schedule based on how long it takes the topsoil to dry.

Adjust watering according to external factors

Fiddle Leaf Figs require consistency to grow. Additionally, watering needs to be adjusted based on external factors. This will ensure that your plant receives the same amount of moisture at all times.

  • During hot, sunny days, you may need to adjust your watering schedule to compensate for the loss of water.
  • It takes longer for water to evaporate when it is humid. The humidity in the air may cause you to water your plant less if it has a lot of moisture.
  • If you live in a less humid area, water your Fiddle Leaf Fig more frequently.

Water quality is crucial for fiddle leaf figs

  • Often, tap water contains fluoride and chlorine.
  • Additionally, tap water can contain minerals and salts. Fiddle leaf figs can suffer from root and leaf burn due to chemicals and minerals.
  • It is best to use collected rainwater on your plant since it simulates its natural environment.
  • As most of the chemicals and minerals have been removed from distilled or filtered water, it’s better for your Fiddle Leaf Figs to drink it than tap water.

Depending on size, water your fiddle plant

It is important to water fiddle plants according to their size. By giving your fiddle leaf fig the amount of water, it needs according to its size, you will avoid overwatering it.

The following table explains fiddle leaf fig watering requirements based on their size.

Fiddle leaf fig Size Amount of water (per week)
<2ft. (<0.6m)1 cup (240ml)
2 – 3ft. (0.6 – 0.9m)2 cups (480ml)
3 – 6ft. (0.9 – 1.8m)3 cups (720ml)
>6ft. (>1.8m)4 cups (960ml)

Commonly asked question on overwatered fiddle leaf fig

What does an overwatered fiddle leaf look like?

There is browning around the edges of the leaves, yellowing, and leaf drops (lower leaves often fall first) as a result of overwatering. 

What are the symptoms of root rot on Fiddle Leaf Figs?

  • Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves will show signs of root rot.
  • On the edges and in the middle of the leaves, dark brown spots will appear.
  • Leaves will fall.
  • In order to confirm root rot, it is necessary to check the roots. The roots of rotting plants will appear brown, wet, and mushy.

How often should I water fiddle leaf fig?

You should water your plant once a week or every 10 days. Since fiddle leaf figs are native to rainforests, they are used to huge amounts of water followed by dry spells.

Do fiddle leaf figs like misting?

Yes, fiddle leaf fig-like misting.  Especially after you have dusted your plant’s leaves, mist it.

The best humidity level for fiddle leaf figs is 65%, which is higher than most homes. Fill a spray bottle with water and leave it beside the plant to mist it. This will allow you to mist it regularly with room-temperature water.

How do I know when my Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree needs water? 

The easiest way to tell if your Fiddle Leaf needs water is by looking at its leaves once the top few inches of soil have dried. When leaves become floppy and no longer look rigid and upright, they are telling you that they need water.


There is no doubt that fiddle leaf figs are one of the most popular and easy-to-care plants. Despite its ease of care, this plant has a few weaknesses. Usually, these weaknesses occur as a result of improper watering. Due to their sensitivity, fiddle leaf figs are damaged by overwatering.

The good news is that you can save your overwatered fiddle leaf fig. The best way to fix an overwatered fiddle leaf fig is to follow the watering schedule. To ensure roots dry out, water your fiddle plant at the same time every week. 

In addition, using a pot with good drainage holes and potting soil mixed with gravel is very helpful. Also, you can use moisture meters to determine when to water your fiddle leaf fig.

Although, it would be best to take preventive measures in the future to avoid overwatering fiddle leaf fig plants. For this, make sure to follow the basic guidelines for watering your fig plant. 

Also, plan a watering schedule to provide the right amount and frequency of water to your plant. Give your plants water according to their size to give them the right amount of water.

That’s all it takes to save your plant!

We would appreciate any tips on how to save overwatered fiddle leaf figs. Drop us a comment below!

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  • Prachi Parate

    Prachi Parate is an enthusiast writer. She is a native of a science background, where botanical science was one of her favorite subjects. It was always Prachi's dream to combine her passion with a career. Hence, her fascination with plants led to a career as a writer. Also, she believes that taking good care of yourself is key to happiness. Time spent in nature is one of her favorite self-care practices. It is her goal to transform her learning into content that helps readers.

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