When To Notch Fiddle Leaf Fig

Although notching isn’t a sure thing, it’s a fascinating exercise and a terrific method to help your fiddle take the shape you want.

Just give it another go if the first time doesn’t work. You really can’t mess this wrong, as long as you don’t accidently cut your tree in half. Your tree won’t be harmed by a small wound, nor will it stop you from trying again.

Final tips for increasing your chances of notching fiddle leaf fig tree success:

  • The optimum times to try notching may be in the spring or summer as these are the fiddles’ natural growing seasons and most will already be going through a growth spurt.
  • Prior to notching, take good care of your tree to make sure it is in the best possible health so that it can devote its energy to growing a new branch.

If you’ve never notch before, it can be frightening, but it’s not difficult. And it’s wonderful to see a new baby branch sprouting.

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 can branching be promoted?

One of the finest strategies to promote a tree branch’s growth is pruning. A branch can grow more quickly if upper-story plants are pruned and thinned to provide room for more light to reach a struggling understory tree or bush.

What happens when a plant is notched?

By cutting a tiny cut in the branch of your plant, you can promote new growth by notching. In a sense, you’re cutting a deep wound that stresses your plant. Yes, it initially seems terrible, but your plant will eventually try to get some relief by sprouting new shoots!

How to use the notching technique on your plants

To induce new growth on your plants through notching, follow these few easy steps:

Locate the nodes and decide where you want a new branch to emerge. Find the nodes, which are tiny lumps on the trunk that typically have some space between them.

Make the cut: With a clean, sharp knife, cut an angle through the trunk that extends about 1/4 of the way through. When you make a clean incision, a white sticky sap should appear right away. To prevent the sap from dripping everywhere, wipe it up with a moist towel. Take note that the sap may irritate people with sensitive skin.

Wait – Ensure that your plant is receiving ample light and following a regular watering routine. To create humidity, mist the leaves periodically. One or more little bumps ought to appear in the cut region within a few weeks. Enjoy your fuller ficus as they grow and be patient while they do so!

What to do when Notching doesn’t work

If this method doesn’t seem to be working after a few months, don’t worry. Owners of ficus trees with experience report that this approach is effective about half the time. You can give it another shot or watch this space for more advice soon!

How should a fiddle leaf fig tree be shaped?

As I indicated earlier, many growers like to cultivate a traditional tree shape, complete with a distinct canopy and trunk. However, F. lyrata tends to grow in a columnar or bushy shape when kept as a houseplant.

In the wild, F. lyrata does this on its own by losing its lower leaves and growing into its original shape as a banyan tree.

like the renowned “Wild F. lyrata and ordinary banyan, F. benghalensis, both start out their lives as epiphytes. When a seed falls into another tree’s canopy, it germinates, develops, and eventually strangles its host plant as it descends to the ground.

Your houseplant won’t do this, of course, but the tree shape is attractive. How can a rambunctious F. lyrata be transformed into a tall, graceful specimen?

First off, if you’ve recently acquired a highly sought-after fiddle-leaf, hold off on starting to prune it into a tree shape.

Whatever two-thirds of the intended height means to you within the boundaries of your space, let it grow to that point. The trunk might become strong and thick as a result.

It’s advisable to top the tree out at least eight to ten inches away from the ceiling if you want it to grow tall.

This not only improves the appearance but also prevents the top leaves from bending and slamming against your ceiling.

Say, for instance, that you want to top your tree off at about seven or eight feet and that your home has nine-foot ceilings. You shouldn’t begin trimming for lateral growth until the trunk is at least five feet tall based on these measurements.

Wait until spring or summer when the plant is actively growing before pruning your fiddle-leaf fig to generate a tree form with branching lateral growth. Then, make a cut at least six inches down from the tip of the tree.

You can preserve and grow this cutting! Cut in an internodal space, if possible.

Don’t remove the leaves that are below the cut. So that the plant can photosynthesize and generate energy to grow those lateral branches, you want them to stay.

Within a few weeks, your F. lyrata will start to branch from the cut. Although this tree occasionally produces just one branch, it frequently produces two or three additional lateral branches.

You can remove one or two leaves from the tree’s base once the new branches have developed leaves.

The hue of the leaves and emerging branches will deepen as the canopy ages. Feel free to remove one or two more leaves from the bottom part of the trunk once you become aware of this.

You can continue to prune leaves away from the tree’s trunk as the canopy grows over time. You’ll eventually grow a tidy trunk that supports a Y-shaped canopy.

Note: Some knowledgeable gardeners enjoy using a technique called “creating lateral branches by notching. Using this technique, the gardener carefully cuts through two nodes. This cut is supposed to encourage the tree to generate lateral branches without losing height.

Because of the fast growth of F. lyrata and the fact that we are confident that pruning for lateral branch growth yields reliable results, we advise using this technique to produce that attractive canopy.

After pruning, give your plant the best care possible by providing it with the right amount of water, fertilizer, and light, which will hasten the healing of its wounds.

Should I remove my fiddle leaf fig’s bottom leaves?

You should be aware of what those bottom leaves do before selecting when to remove them.

Lower foliage has the same function as that fresh, vibrant growth up top: the leaves work to mix that green chlorophyll, commonly known as “the meat of the leaf,” with sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to produce sap, the plant’s own sweet food.

So let them alone if you want the trunk, roots, and new growth to continue receiving energy from the sun through the foliar producers and absorbing it.

Another advantage of the lower leaves is that this is typically where the most frequent watering issues show up. To put it another way, many owners of fiddles may detect overwatering and underwatering based on early warning indicators from these bottom leaves. You lose access to one of the plant’s early warning systems if you remove them.

Keep in mind that the lower leaves should be saved for the very last stage of shaping because they AID in giving the tree its characteristic shape.

Once more, deciding whether or not to remove these lower leaves depends on what they do for the plant.

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?

Yes, you can overprune a fig tree, but since they are extremely hardy, as long as you do it during the dormant season, they shouldn’t suffer too much. To maintain the tree healthy, don’t prune more than 25% of the tree overall in a single year.

A tree will produce fewer figs the following year if too much of this year’s growth is removed since figs develop on this year’s growth.

Find the nodes

Heeks advises looking at the base of a bud, leaf, or branch because they are always connected to a node. “Look for the scar where a leaf once resided even if you cannot see any leaves or buds. You will be cutting in between the nodes to practice notching.”

Make your cuts with a sharp knife

Heeks advises making an angled incision approximately a quarter of the way through the trunk with a sharp, non-serrated knife. More than one-third of the way through and you run the danger of breaking the plant stalk. Insufficient depth of cut or a dull knife will result in a scar rather than promote branching.

Heeks advises paying attention to the node’s orientation when cutting. He claims that the branch growth will follow the direction of the node.

What makes your fiddle leaf fig worth shaking?

“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.