How to Propagate a Fiddle Leaf Fig (with video!)
Quick: what’s the only thing better than a lush fiddle leaf fig plant?
If you answered “TWO lush fiddle leaf fig plants,” then you hit the nail on the head.
Nurturing this unique tree is a great experience, but even better is helping your tree produce another fiddle. Here’s how to do exactly that.
About a year ago, a 9-foot ficus lyrata plants had become a big Y-shape.
I wanted one of those two tall arms to produce more branches, and I knew I’d have to cut that limb down to make that happen.
What a perfect opportunity to start another tree from that cutting.
Here are the tools you will need to do the same with your fiddle leaf fig:
- Heavy duty, sterile pruning shears
- Rooting hormone (powder)
- A clean rag
- A vase or container with clean, room-temperature water
- Gardening gloves (optional)
Start by cutting off the branch you’d like to propagate.
If you want more tips on where and how to chop, watch the video inside the post How to Shape a Fiddle Leaf Fig Into a Tree.
Once you’ve made your cut, remove the lower leaves.
Surprisingly, they snap off remarkably easily. In fact, the feeling would be satisfying, like popping bubble wrap, if it weren’t for our love of these beautiful plants.
The sap is a skin irritant, so wear gloves if you’d like, or use your clean wipe to blot the substance off each “open sore.”
These circular wounds will scab over in no time, so don’t rub, just dab.
As a side note, these leaves need not be discarded.
The stem where you started will be the start of a newly propagated fiddle leaf fig. Leave one or two leaves on the tippy top of your new plant’s stem, and dip the raw, open cut end into rooting hormone to prompt it to produce roots at that site.
Then, the stem is placed gently into its new container to recover and get to work producing roots.
Keep the container in a place with bright, filtered sunlight. Change the water of your propagated stem every 2 to 3 days, and if you’d like to increase your plant’s chances of success, cover its head with a plastic bag until it’s time to pot your new plant into a growing medium.
The process should take about 6-8 weeks.
Once your roots average at least a 1/2 inch, place your new beauty into its new mix within a well-draining, preferably pretty, planter pot.
Smaller Propagation Babies
Even more recently I adopted a fiddle that happened to have a number of teenie branches coming off its thick trunk.
I wanted to “clean up” the base of this tree to keep it contoured like a lolipop form instead of the bushy shapes you sometimes see in ficus lyrata plants.
In other words, I needed to cut them off. Would they regrow into their own independent trees? (I call successful cuttings “contributing members of society”).
Using sharp, sterile shears to nip the tiny branches off, remove lower little leaves, dip the cut end in rooting powder, and deposit them this time directly into their new potting mix.
It’s imperative you keep your cuttings moist, something many veteran fiddle owners hesitate to do, since the fear of root rot dominates so many conversations surrounding this species.
Sadly, I neglected just one of my twice-a-day soil mistings and three of my four little fiddles never fully recovered from that mistake.
This one plant, however, has been a shining success, and the reason I cannot wait to try propagation again.
It’s your turn now. Snap a “before” shot of your plant, follow the directions above, and then keep us posted in our online facebook group called the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource Group.
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