The tropical Fiddle Leaf Fig is one of the world’s most popular indoor plants. Its dark green, fan-like leaves make any interior instantly more attractive.
While the Fiddle Leaf Fig may be gorgeous, it can be a finicky plant that requires plenty of care. One way to keep your Ficus Lyrata in tip-top condition is by pruning your plant.
Why should you prune your fiddle leaf fig? Pruning your fiddle leaf fig will help promote your plants health. Pruning removes dead or dying leaves and branches, allowing room for new growth and deters pest. Plus, it promotes the fiddle leaf fig trees natural shape and healthy growth.
For those who haven’t owned a plant that requires pruning, it can be a little intimidating. That’s why this guide has been put together to show you how easily you can trim your Fiddle Leaf Fig.
How to Prune Fiddle Leaf Fig – Best Time to Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig
Plant owners can remove dead or brown leaves throughout the year. When it comes to pruning, it’s generally best to do so once a year in the springtime or at the start of the summer.
This time of year, is ideal because the plant is actively growing. So, cutting back it’s leaves won’t negatively affect your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Instead, it will encourage new growth and branching.
The Best Way to Prune Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Ficus Lyrata are known to ooze a sticky sap when cut. This sap can damage flooring and possibly irritate your skin. To prevent this, you’ll want to lay an old sheet down and grab a damp cloth before pruning
Like with most things in life, you need the right tools to get the job done. When pruning a Fiddle Leaf Fig, you should ensure that you have a sharp pair of pruning shears. These will help you to make nice, clean cuts and prevent the stems from being crushed.
Before using your pruning shears, you should wash them with water and soap. This will remove any disease-causing germs that could infect your Fiddle Leaf.
Benefits Of Fiddle Leaf Fig Pruning
Pruning has several benefits for Fiddle Leaf Fig plant care. These benefits generally centre around keeping the plant healthy as well as maintaining its size and shape.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Health
Pruning often involves trimming back sick or damaged leaves. Removing these will make it easier for the plant to grow and flourish.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Size
It’s important to remember that, indoors, these plants are in a very different environment compared to their natural habitat. Where conditions are favourable, these Fiddle Leaf Fig plants can quickly grow into bushes and trees that are far too big for many.
Pruning them down will keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree manageable as well as make it compact and durable.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Shape
These plants tend to grow towards the light which can cause them to become unbalanced. Rotating the plant and pruning leaves can help with this unbalancing situation.
Excessive growth can also cause Fiddle Leaf Figs leaves’ to become overcrowded. When this happens, the leaves have insufficient airflow and also can rub against each other. This can negatively impact your plant’s health.
A Step by Step Guide: How to Prune Fiddle Leaf Figs
Pruning a Fiddle Leaf Fig is really easy once you know what to do. If you follow this guide, you’ll have your Ficus Lyrata looking good in no time.
Step 1: Decide on the Shape
The way you prune your Fiddle Leaf Fig will depend on your own preference as well as its size. The shape basically comes down to whether you want to trim your Fiddle Leaf fig into a tree or bush.
Before you move on to step 2, keep in mind that you shouldn’t remove more than 10% of the plant’s leaves. This is because cutting away too much foliage can have a negative impact on the plant’s ability to regrow.
Step 2: How to Shape & Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
For smaller Fiddle Leaf Figs whose size you want to maintain, you will need to remove the growth tip. This is a bud of soft, fragile leaves located at the top of the main stem.
This can be done by simply pinching the growth tip between your fingers and pulling it off. This will not only stop the plant’s upward growth but also encourage branching.
Notching Fiddle Leaf Figs is another way to encourage branching and create a more bush-like appearance. To do this, you will make a small cut above the nodes at your preferred height on the plant’s stem. This can also be done on the branches of the Ficus Lyrata.
Fiddle Leaf Fig new growth will develop below the notches you have made. This should then create foliage that is bushier.
Step 3: Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Pruning & Shaping
When your Ficus Lyrata has grown taller, you can also remove certain leaves to make it look more like a small tree.
To do this, you’ll want to cut the older leaves along the bottom area of the stem or trunk. This will only leave the healthy top foliage behind.
As your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree grows, you will need to consider repotting it so that its roots have more room to grow.
Step 4: Take Away Dead or Sick Leaves
You’ll first want to mark and remove sick or dead leaves. If your fiddle leaf figs leaves are turning brown, you may want to remove these but keep an eye on any more developments.
Step 5: Begin Fiddle Leaf Fig Pruning
Now that you have marked off the leaves you wish to remove, it’s time to start cutting. Again, make sure that you do this with a sharp, clean pair of pruning shears.
It’s best to cut just a little less than 1.5cm (half an inch) from the stem, trunk, or branch. This is recommended as it will prevent any infection from spreading throughout the plant.
Pro tip: Keep your healthy Fiddle Leaf Fig cuttings and place them in glasses of water. This is known as propagation and will lead to these cuttings growing new root systems after a month or two. Voila – you have yourself a new little Fiddle Leaf Fig plant.
Step 6: What to do After Ficus Lyrata Pruning
Make sure your plant gets plenty of indirect sunlight after pruning. Fertiliser will also provide your plant with nutrients that will help to promote Fiddle Leaf Figs new growth.
Sometime after pruning, you should notice new branches and leaves starting to develop at the points where you pruned.
Final Thoughts on How to Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig
Pruning a fiddle leaf fig is important to keep your plant healthy and thriving. While it may seem like a daunting task, it’s actually quite simple once you know what to do.
After reading this guide, you’ll be pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig like a pro.
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