HERE YOU’LL LEARN TIPS AND TRICKS ON GROWING A HEALTHY FIDDLE LEAF FIG AND HOW TO GROW A NEW ONE FOR FREE!
My mom’s fiddle leaf fig is pretty popular online and I don’t question why. It’s very big and very healthy. When purchased it was a mature tree, but since she brought it home it’s grown at least 2ft and filled in so much. Over the 4 years, we’ve been sharing this fiddle leaf the most common question is “how do you keep it alive?”
I’m going to kick off this post with the best easy care tips we’ve learned since keeping healthy fiddle leaf figs. If you’re ready to jump straight to propagation scroll down a little 😊
FIDDLE LEAF FIG CARE TIPS
Many people have told us that fiddle leaf fig trees are finicky, but after many conversations, I believe people are taking too much care of their trees (over watering) or have chosen a poor location for them (not enough light).
Choose a spot with good light for your tree and then don’t move it around. I’ve had so many tell me they have a fiddle leaf that is doing well and then they relocate it and it starts losing leaves. Placing your tree as close as your can to a window is your safest bet for a healthy plant!
Mom and I both water twice a month through the summer and once a month the rest of the year. We give it a thorough watering and then allow it to fully dry out before watering again. This might surprise many, but we’ve found that less is more with our fiddle leaf figs. Other blogs say once a week, but I’ve lost leaves when I watered too often. Just give it a try and see how yours does!
CLEANING THE LEAVES
About every other month we dust the leaves and give them a good cleaning. Fiddle leaf fig trees consume light (Photosynthesis) and carbon dioxide to live, and when their leaves are covered in dust, they can’t get enough of either. We use a cloth with water and gently wipe them off. This normally happens when we’re doing a deeper cleaning of the house in general.
This is where the magic happens! This is why mom’s tree is so beautifully bushy and full at the top. During the growing season, spring and summer, mom prunes hers. This is where our care for our trees has differed. I’ve always been scared to prune because I don’t want to lose any growth. My mom has slowly but surely encouraged me to be brave and understand that pruning equals growth and health! I mean it’s in the bible 😉
If your tree is in good health, it will split its branch where it has been pruned, resulting in two branches where one used to be. So pruning multiplies creating a fuller healthier tree. This leads us to PROPAGATION!
WHAT IS PROPAGATION?
In layman’s terms, propagation is turning one plant into 2 plants. For all your plant ladies, it’s FREE plants! Through the years when my mom has pruned her fiddle leaf fig, I’ve taken the cuttings and propagated them. I’ve had the best luck and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with you.
Use a sharp clean tool to cut your tree. I use these Fiskars gardening sheers and they work great! I’ve read many blogs that give amazing insight at exactly where to cut, but we simply cut in between two leaves. Most of my cuttings have been 12”-18.” I have not had any cuttings not take root so I’m not nervous anymore about cutting in the perfect location. Now I simply cut where I want new, fuller growth.
Put the clipping in water! It’s truly that easy. I like to put it in a cute vase that I can use it to decorate while I wait for roots to grow.
I don’t leave too many leaves on the stem. Usually, 2-3 leaves allow the plant to focus on growing roots rather than sending nutrition to the leaves.
What about rooting hormone? Many blogs suggest using a rooting hormone to get your cuttings started. I have used Clonex Rooting Gel and have noticed that roots do form slightly faster, but if you want to do this completely free you can get by without it!
When the roots start to form you’ll see lighter ‘popcorn’ bumps on the stem. The first time I did this I honestly thought the stem was molding or that something was wrong, but quickly roots started to grow so I was glad I didn’t toss it! It took about 8 weeks to see full roots form.
STEP 3 – PLANT IN SOIL
I just used a bag of well-draining house plant soil from my local garden center and popped my stem with roots in the pot and now it’s officially a tree. Hopefully, now your parent fiddle leaf has created more than one branch where you cut and now your cutting is an independent house plant! Talk about MULTIPLICATION!
For the first couple of months, I water my new baby fiddle leaf once a week. I just make sure the soil has dried out before watering!
Above are pictures of my propagated fiddle leaf gif with new growth! It went from 3 leaves to 5 so quickly! Below you can see the same plant next to the parent plant with NINE leaves! It’s crazy because it hasn’t even been a year since I began this process with this clipping. It’s so gratifying to know that a clipping that would have been tossed in the trash is not a perfect little house plant that will grow into a full-blown tree. This tree is now in my son’s nursery which you can see here.
HICCUPS IN PROPAGATING
I did experience gnats the first month I planted my propagated fiddle leaf fig. I used neem oil to remediate this and it worked GREAT. The downside to neem oil is it seems absolutely horrible, but the smell dissipates quickly.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU PROPAGATE?
There are so many plants you can propagate! Lastly, I’ve had a ton of luck propagating pathos, but I love propagating herbs like basil and oregano too. We got this cute little propagation station off Amazon and put tons of clippings in it. We honestly aren’t sure what will root and what won’t but it looks so cute either way.
I’m hoping this leads to many of you multiplying your house plant collection and having a ton of fun doing it. I love to hear from you in the comments so make sure to share any tips and experiences you have had with your own fiddles.