How To Trim Your 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.

What happens if the top of a fiddle leaf fig is chopped off?

Your fiddle leaf fig probably has no other branches that will allow it to transition from a fiddle leaf shrub to a fiddle leaf tree. In addition, bear the following in mind before proceeding:

The amount of regrowth that results from pruning depends on how severe it was. The reason for this is that the plant is trying to grow again in an effort to balance the root system below with the shoot system above, which is now designed to support the plant at its bigger size before trimming.

Usually, the most active shoot growth takes place 6 to 8 inches after the pruning cut.

Make the cut on your fiddle leaf fig

Make a decision regarding the size of the Ficus lyrata cut. Once more, the branching will be more noticeable the longer a part is clipped. (And the less the plant will grow in height, at least for that shoot.)

Your fiddle leaf fig won’t be encouraged to generate as many lateral branches off of the main trunk if you simply pinch out the fresh buds at the top with your fingers.

If you want to encourage a little lateral development to make your plant appear fuller near the top, pinching is more helpful.

On the other hand, you’ll see a lot more branching if you remove 12 of the top shoots.

Choose the node that you want to cut above. The spots on stems known as nodes are where leaves, buds, or branches can grow. However, not every node has leaves or branches; some nodes may only have a mark and a little thickening of the stem. Internodes are the parts of the stem that lie between the nodes.

3. Make use of a clean pair of pruners. Just above the top of your node, make the cut. Cut just above the node rather than into it, which would harm it.

Any plant in the fig family, including your fiddle leaf fig, will exude an oozing, milky, white sap when cut. Simply avoid eating it, getting it in your eyes, or letting it land on the carpet because it can be annoying.

4. As a final piece of advice, wait to remove leaves from the trunk of your fiddle leaf until the new branches have begun to grow. Your plant should be as robust as possible because those leaves aid in the development of the new lateral buds.

(Are you wondering what to do with the plant pieces you pruned? Why not cultivate a second fiddle leaf fig?

I’m done now! Now, give your new lateral buds, which will eventually grow into branches, a few weeks. While the exact length of time varies on a number of variables, your chances of success are higher if you attempt this in the spring, when fiddle leaves are actively growing, as opposed to the winter, when they are largely dormant. In comparison to winter, when the plant will need more time to heal the cut and form new buds, springtime will see rapid new development.

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.

How come my fiddle leaf fig is so lanky?

Leggy or unstable growth on a fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) typically indicates insufficient light. The entire plant could develop a weak trunk and grow tall and flimsy. Long branches may have leaves that are widely spread apart, or this may just apply to the lower branches if they are shaded from sunlight. Lower leaves may fall off if they don’t get enough light.

The brightest room in your home should have your fiddle-leaf fig tree, which should be placed just far enough from the window to avoid direct sunlight touching it. The plant will also receive the necessary protection if there is a sheer drape between the window and it. Position carefully so that all branches, high and low, have access to light, and move anything in their way. If your windows are high and light doesn’t reach the bottom leaves, you might need to keep your plant on a stand. Every time you water, rotate the tree a quarter turn to ensure that all sides receive an equal amount of light and that its shape remains balanced.

Keep leaves clear of dust, as an accumulation will limit the amount of light that reaches the leaf. In the spring, prune lanky branches to a node.

Our Guide contains more details on how to take care of your fiddle-leaf fig plant.

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.

How do I fix a leggy fiddle leaf fig tree?

Give a leggy or tilted fiddle leaf fig tree bright, filtered sunshine as treatment. Please place your plant in the area of the house that gets the most indirect sunlight, which is usually six to eight hours per day. Don’t keep it in the Sun for too long, though; doing so could scorch the leaves.

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.

How should a fig tree be pruned?

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.

How should a potted fig tree be pruned?

Any pruning project should begin with clean, sharp tools. All you really need is a handheld bypass pruner.

Trim superfluous branches from young potted fig trees to leave three to four robust peripheral branches. Remove any suckers that sprout from the base. For the central leader, pick a single straight stem.

Mature fig trees only need to have their dead and broken stems removed during pruning. Make sure to leave a clean incision that will quickly seal and take care not to cut into the parent wood.

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.

Why is the trunk of my fiddle leaf fig so thin?

Every owner of a fiddle leaf fig plant wants their ficus lyrata to develop into a big, statement-making tree. Unfortunately, many indoor gardeners produce an unattractive, uneven, and rather small version of the same. How can you reinforce the trunk of your fiddle leaf fig tree?

Fiddle leaf fig tree trunks that are not thick, robust, supportive, and nourishing pillars are one of the causes of weak fiddle leaf fig tree trunks.

Sometimes fiddle leaf fig trees do get tall, but they can’t support themselves. The fact that a prop or post is used to hold this beautiful plant up detracts from so many photographs of it.

Today, I demonstrate in the video below exactly how to reinforce and thicken the trunk of a fiddle leaf fig tree so it can develop a strong, stiff, and tall structure without requiring a stake to support it.

How to At-Home Strengthen Your Trunk Using the Fiddle Leaf Fig Hack (No Products Required)