How To Trim My Fiddle Leaf Fig

The spring, when there will be sufficient of light to support healing and new growth, is the ideal time to prune your fiddle leaf fig. Prune as much as you can in the spring or early summer. The stems of your plant could be crushed by blunt tools or scissors, therefore you should invest in a good set of pruning shears.

Do I need to prune my fiddle leaf fig?

Fiddle-leaf figs are technically trees, as are many other varieties of trees.

F. lyrata plants can benefit from trimming and pruning to remain healthy.

You may maintain this notoriously picky houseplant by removing dead or damaged leaves and branches or cutting to improve airflow between the foliage.

It won’t be hostile toward you, your home, or the entire globe, at least. Fiddle-leaf figs may have a cute name, but I’d argue they’re some of the plants with the most strong opinions.

You may prevent your fig from outgrowing your house by pruning. Under optimal indoor growing conditions, F. lyrata can reach heights of 12 feet. Additionally, F. lyrata can reach heights of up to 50 feet in its native habitat, the lowland rainforests of western Africa!

It won’t do this in your house, but until it reaches its adult height, it can grow up to two feet per year. Pruning is a necessary if you don’t want your ficus to overshadow, well, everything.

If you don’t want to maintain a large tree within your home, you can alternatively cultivate a dwarf type of the plant. But nothing is more breathtaking than a tall, healthy F. lyrata adding to the decor of a chic residence.

Shape is another factor to take into account. Although fiddle-leaf figs are frequently sold as small, bushy or columnar houseplants with a single central stem, many gardeners like growing their own fiddle-leaf figs so that they take on the form of a tree.

We’ll get into all of that shortly. Let’s start by discussing when and how to prune your prized F. lyrata.

How should a fiddle fig be cut?

Similar to sculpting a masterpiece, shaping your fiddle leaf fig requires that you start with an idea of what you want the finished product to look like.

To ensure that the remaining foliage looks balanced, I find it helpful to label all the branches you want to remove with colorful tape or a Post-it Note before you begin. To lessen the risk of shock, start out gently and never remove more than 10% of your plant at once.

Decide on Your Ideal Shape

Fiddle leaf fig plants often have one of two shapes: a bush or a tree.

Smaller plants are typically bushier, whereas larger plants are typically more fashioned like trees. You might want to start shaping your little plant into a tree as it grows. Choose whether you want to prune your plant to maintain its compact bush shape or to give it a correct tree shape.

Plan to Remove Damaged Leaves or Branches

So that you can arrange to eliminate the least healthy parts of your plant first, evaluate the general health of each branch and group of leaves. Mark any sections that need to be removed if there are any leaves with brown spots or branches with smaller leaf growth.

Remove Crossing Branches

To increase airflow and relieve crowding, you should eliminate some portions of densely populated branches. You should take care of any branches that touch each other as well as any leaves that are preventing one another’s leaves from growing.

Create Your Ideal Shape

Any growth that is 8 to 10 inches or less from the ceiling, the surrounding walls, or the furniture should be planned for removal. Next, cut off any growth that does not conform to your ideal shape.

Remove lower leaves and branches to reveal a good trunk if you want to create a tree-like shape. Remove gangly or ugly growth if your plant is out of balance to give it a more appealing overall form.

How to Make Your Cuts

Pruning should begin once you’ve marked the sections you want to cut out and made sure you like the way the tree looks in its finished form. When pruning your plant, make sure the cutting motion does not crush or harm the stem by using a sharp, clean tool.

Cut each one away from the trunk or any leaves by about a half-inch. With no chance of infection spreading to the main trunk or any surviving leaves, this enables your plant to heal properly. In order to prevent the spread of bacteria and diseases, pick up and dispose of any falling leaves or garbage.

New Growth After Pruning

If your plant is healthy, it will typically divide the branch where it was pruned, producing two branches where one once was.

Eventually, this creates the impression of a fuller, healthier plant. Your plant might only continue to develop one branch where it was clipped if it is in pain or isn’t getting enough light. After pruning, allow access to lots of light to promote more development.

Fertilize After Pruning

Fertilize your plant frequently after pruning to promote new growth and aid in the plant’s recovery from the shock of pruning. (Are you unsure of the ideal fertilizer for your fiddle leaf fig? Test out our plant food! Within a few weeks to a month after pruning your plant, you ought to notice new growth.

Can I chop my fig tree’s top off?

If a fig tree is left to grow on its own, it develops into a charming and romantic figure with a strong, twisted trunk that rises 50 feet in the air and thick, robust branches that span the same distance horizontally. You must begin training the tree as soon as possible if you want something more manageable and compact. A fruit tree is trained when it is young to develop a structure that produces copious amounts of fruit that is simple to harvest. Fig trees typically have an open center structure with no central branches, enabling more sunlight to enter. Cutting off the top of the young tree is the first step in the procedure.

Remove the newly planted fig tree’s top 24 inches or so from the ground. Act before the first buds emerge in the late winter or early spring. All remaining branches should be cut back to 6 inches.

Early in the summer, keep an eye out for quick new growth. Choose three healthy shoots from the new branches at the end of June to act as the main scaffolding branches. Select branches to be evenly spaced around the trunk, up to 8 inches vertically apart, with the lowest branch being 20 inches or so off the ground. Avoid branches that are attached to the trunk at tight angles; instead, go for angles of about 45 degrees. Use paint or ribbon to identify the scaffold branches so you won’t confuse them.

When the scaffold branches are longer than 30 inches, trim them back to 20 inches. On each scaffold branch, pick three or four auxiliary scaffold branches. Reduce all other shoots to a height of 6 inches.

Why should I Wiggle my Fiddle leaf fig?

Your indoor tree’s trunk can be moved to simulate wind, which will help you become more resilient outside. You can also leave your tree outside for extended periods of time to strengthen its trunk and expose it to the elements. Once you get the leaves inside, be sure to inspect them for bugs.

What are the best growing conditions for an indoor fiddle leaf fig tree?

Know that your fiddle leaf fig tree prefers moderate temperature changes and place it in a sunny spot within the house. The tree should be planted in a container with well-draining soil that is kept humid but not soggy since this might cause root rot.

Why isn’t my fiddle leaf fig tree flowering?

You should be careful not to overwater your fiddle leaf fig because it is prone to root rot. When storing the fig within a container, make sure the bottom has lots of holes to allow for proper drainage.

Will wiggling my fiddle leaf fig tree weaken its roots?

Every one to two weeks, wiggle your fiddle leaf fig tree for 1.5 to 2 minutes to significantly thicken the trunk. Beginning with light shaking, progressively build up the force. If your plant is stake-supported, move it about at first with the support in place. You can take the stake out once your fig tree has gotten used to this practice.

When do fig trees need to be pruned?

After the worst frosts have passed, it is ideal to prune fig trees in March or April; any dead and diseased wood should be cut out. according to Thompson & Morgan’s Sue Sanderson (opens in new tab). In this manner, the plant will remain sufficiently dormant to withstand the pruning while the frosts will not be able to harm the wounds left by the trimming.

Fig trees leak a white sap when they are cut, hence it is crucial for the health of the tree that it is dormant while chopping huge branches.

How can a fiddle leaf fig develop numerous branches?

Our first achievement is the tree you can see here. We cut back the lower leaves to reveal the primary trunk after the branches sprouted. Since then, we have had a 100% success record in producing several branches on three additional trees we chopped in similar manner.

The most crucial tip is to clip a Fiddle Leaf Fig stem lower, to the area that is most woody. Your fiddle leaf fig’s main stem or trunk needs to be at least 3 tall to accomplish this.

Since we don’t want to lop our lovely plants in half, the majority of us simply pinch off the very top tips or cut a tiny section of the branch off at the top. However, we must prune the Fiddle Leaf Fig at a distance of 18 or more inches from the top of the stem in order to reach the woody area in order for it to sprout several branches.

Buds develop significantly more slowly when a stem is cut at a lower, woody point than they do when the plant’s top, green portion is clipped. This prevents a bud that is growing extremely quickly from taking control and gives the chance for other buds to form at once.

As you can see, within a few weeks, this tree sprouted 6 new branches after we nearly cut our extremely tall Fiddle Leaf Fig in half at a particularly woody region.

What makes a fiddle leaf fig shake?

“To keep my fiddle upright while it was young and immature, I used a wooden dowel. I was able to remove the dowel and it no longer need extra support because it was able to strengthen itself over time as it grew and with frequent shakings, Paige added.

So even though I wouldn’t advise you to shake your plants firmly, giving them a gently rock would not harm them. In addition to your FLF, I can see this idea working well for Rubber plants, Monsteras, Alocasia, and Pilea plants. They all have thick stems that frequently need to support a lot of weight as the leaves enlarge. This will probably become a regular component of how I take care of my plants. Play some music, get moving, and invite my plants to join in. It seems like it would be enjoyable.

How should a fig tree be shaped and trimmed?

Whether you have a fig tree or a fig bush in your backyard garden, pruning it each year will promote growth. Think about some general advice for this procedure.

  • 1. In the tree’s first year, prune it. When you first plant a young fig tree or fig shrub that you purchased from a nursery, trim it. When pruning for the first time, you should remove roughly 50% of the branches. This will enable the tree to concentrate its efforts on developing a solid root system.
  • 2. During the tree’s first winter, prune it once more. Winter trimming should be done every year, beginning with the first winter your tree experiences. The end of the tree’s dormant season in late winter is the ideal time to use pruning shears. By early spring, new branches will begin to grow as a result.
  • 3. Continue to prune your tree every year after that. It’s crucial to prune your fig tree in its first year, but remember to continue pruning it the following year and the year after that. Fresh fruit will start to ripen in early summer if your fig tree is pruned while it is dormant. This will result in a more fruitful growth season.
  • 4. Decide which branches should bear fruit. It’s time to go strategic now that you’ve finished your first pruning. Search for five to six exceptionally sturdy branches that branch off from the main trunk as you prune the tree in its second year. Your main branches for fruit production will be these. Remove the rest of the tinier branches from the main trunk.