Lopsided, Lanky and Leaning, Oh My!
Shape Your Mature Fiddle Into a Tree
Do you have a mature fiddle leaf fig tree that is really tall?
Maybe it is leaning heavily to one side and you are considering cutting it down a few feet.
If your goal is to cut back an overgrown branch and transform it into multiple smaller offshoots, the this post and video below are for you.
One of the most common complaints with fiddle leaf fig trees, since with good care they simply grow straight up or out to the side. Truly, if you have a lanky beanstalk of a plant, then congratulations, at least you know your plant is happy.
How to Cut Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
All you need is a sterile pair of pruning shears and a rag to wipe up excess sap. Cutting the plant outside is best, so you can water and fertilize it immediately after the “procedure.”
To make your cut, locate a space between nodes and leaves.
It is best to cut just below a leaf so the future growth has plenty of trunk space. This choice of locations increases the chance of more than one branch, sometimes even three or four, emerging from this stem.
Now, make your cut.
Larger trunks and branches may require heavy duty shears or a manual hedge trimmer.
To propagate your cutting into a new plant,watch our propagation video on the best way to propagate your fiddle leaf fig.
After You Have Cut Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
What can you expect to happen next to your fiddle leaf fig?
Now is the perfect time to water it and feed it with a gentle fiddle leaf fig fertilizer formulated specifically for this species.
Depending on the time of year, your watering and feeding routine, the light exposure your plant enjoys, and even plain old genetics, you will see a new branch or two begin to pop out of the trunk you cut.
Again, many factors play into exactly when the magic appears. But if you’ve optimized for most or all of these factors, then it won’t take more than two weeks to see lateral growth. That is, the more angled branching you wanted.
What Does New Growth Look Like?
New growth will be lighter in color and a little more delicate than your mature, hearty lower leaves and branches.
But that’s okay. Give it time, and it will all match in texture and tone.
Now, anytime you go into a garden center and wonder how those majestic fiddles went from small shrubs to the lollipop shape tree, get a little closer and look for cuts like we made today.
You’ll see that just below those cuts are multiple branches. Someone had a vision and knew exactly what to do. And now, so do you!
We mentioned a few things here today that may raise more questions, like the perfect light exposure for your plant, how to establish a good watering rhythm, and how seasonal changes affect your tree.
As a caregiver, it would benefit both you and your plant for you to explore these topics on our website or in our free online community called the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource Center.