Fiddle Leaf Fig-How to Prune and Propagate

Hi Judy,

I have a fiddle leaf fig that when I first got it a few years ago did not do well with the transition and lost most of it’s leaves. However, I re-potted the plant and since then has been doing very well. You’ll see in the picture how most of the leaves are on top and have fallen off the bottom.

I don’t think I’ve been pruning the plant as I should have in order to make it grow out so now I just have a few branches that are now extremely tall with no more room to grow.

What should I be doing with this plant? If I prune it back so that it’s shorter, will it still continue to grow? If so, how much should I cut off?

Thanks!

Hi Amy,

You can cut the stems back as far as you want. New growth will develop directly below the cut in the stem and sometimes all along the stem. You can plant the Stem CuttingsLearn how to propagate plants using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, cane cuttings, and branch cuttings. in the bottom of the pot once they have rooted. Here are some tips on how to root the cuttings.

Rooting in water:

  1. Use a stem cutting about one to one and a half feet in length. There should be a few leaves on the stem cutting. Most importantly there needs to be 2 or three nodes on the stem. Nodes are the little bumps on the stem where leaves develop.
  2. Place the cuttings in a clear glass container (that way you see when the roots develop). Never use water that has passed through a softener. If your household water has a lot of chemicals like chlorine, let it sit out for 24 hours before using it. You can also use distilled water or rain water. Move the container to a warm area, no cold drafts, that gets bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light..
  3. Replace the water if it appears cloudy
  4. Roots should start to develop in about a month near the bottom of the stems. When the roots are about 2″ in length, the Stem CuttingsLearn how to propagate plants using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, cane cuttings, and branch cuttings. already to plant.

Rooting Directly in the soil:

1. Use healthy leaves with about 3″-5″ of stem. Dip the cut end of the stem in a very SMALL amount of Rooting HormoneRooting Hormone helps plant cuttings produce new roots and is very important to use if you want your propagation attempts to be successful. Always dip the cut end of a stem or leaf into water and then dip it into the rooting hormone before planting it. Tap off any excess powder since too much hormone is worse than too little..     Place the cuttings in a small pot of loose potting soil. Cover with a clear plastic bag. Be sure the bag is not resting on the top of the leaves.

2. Place the pot in bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light. and keep the soil barely moist. After about 4 weeks, tug on the cuttings; if there is resistance you know that roots have developed.