Fiddle Leaf Figs are beautiful and popular houseplants that can thrive with the proper care. A critical aspect of caring for a Fiddle Leaf Fig is pruning.
Regular pruning can help maintain its shape, promote healthy growth, and remove damaged or crossing branches. If you notice any brown spots on your Fiddle Leaf, you can start by pruning these away. Pruning helps your tree stay healthy and look its best.
It can be intimidating if you've never pruned a Fiddle Leaf Fig. I've compiled this step-by-step guide to help you prune your Fiddle Leaf Fig correctly, efficiently, and confidently.
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How to Prune Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
1. Gather your Tools
Before you start pruning, make sure you have the right tools.
A sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears.
A sanitizer/ disinfectant such as rubbing alcohol.
Wipe the blades with the solution and allow them to air dry.
2. Determine Which Branches to Prune
Examine your Fiddle Leaf Fig and identify any branches that are:
crossing or rubbing against each other (this can cause damage and slow down growth)
Pruning the damaged branches will help redirect the plant's energy to healthier branches and promote new growth.
The overall shape and size of the tree can be maintained by trimming only some of the branches while leaving others intact. This will help ensure your tree looks balanced, full, and lush.
Be sure to consider how each branch contributes to the overall look of the plant before making any cuts.
3. Cut at the Right Spot
When you prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig, cutting it at the right spot is essential.
Look for leaf nodes. A leaf node is where a leaf stem meets the main stem.
Healthy leaf nodes will be firm and green, while diseased or damaged nodes will be yellow, brown, or soft.
When finding a healthy leaf node, cut at a good height.
Don't cut too close to the ground, as this can leave the plant exposed and vulnerable to damage.
Don't cut too high up on the stem, as this can slow down the new growth that emerges from the node.
As a general rule, aim to cut just above the node, leaving a couple of inches of stem. This will encourage new growth to emerge from that spot.
4. Cut at a 45-Degree Angle
When you cut, angle your scissors or pruning shears at a 45-degree angle so the cut is angled away from the stem.
This will prevent water from collecting in the cut (which can cause damage or promote the growth of harmful bacteria).
It helps to prevent the branch from breaking, as the cut will be angled away from the main stem.
Here's how to cut:
Hold the branch you want to prune firmly with one hand. This will help keep the branch steady as you cut.
Cut just above a leaf node, which is the point where a leaf stem meets the main stem.
Angle the cut at a 45-degree angle away from the stem.
Make a clean, smooth cut with a sharp tool. Don't crush or damage the stem when cutting, as this can slow healing.
Repeat the process for each branch that needs to be pruned.
Take your time, and be mindful of the number of branches you're pruning at one time.
5. Properly Dispose of Trimmings
After pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree, it's important to dispose of the trimmings properly.
Make sure you:
Wash the tools you use with soapy water.
This removes any bacteria or pests that may have been brought from one branch to another.
Once that's done, you can either compost or discard the trimmings in a way that won't affect your local ecosystem.
6. Avoid Over-Pruning
While removing damaged or crossed branches is important, it's also important not to over-prune your Fiddle Leaf Fig.
Over-pruning can shock the plant and slow down its growth.
Avoid cutting more than one-third of the plant at one time.
If you need to remove more than one-third of the plant, consider doing it over several sessions instead of all at once.
7. Monitor Growth
After pruning, monitor your Fiddle Leaf Fig for any signs of stress or damage. If you notice any yellowing or wilting of the leaves, it's a sign that the plant is experiencing stress, and you may need to adjust its care.
If you've done a proper pruning job, you won't need to do much – keep an eye on any new branches that start growing too close together or too far apart. Likewise, you'll want to pinch off any leaves growing too large, such as those growing near the trunk of your tree.
This will help ensure a balanced growth pattern and proper shape for your treasured Fiddle Leaf Figg!
The Bottom Line
With this guide, pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig is now a breeze. By following these simple steps, you can easily and effectively maintain the growth and health of your plant. Remember, pruning is vital to caring for your Fiddle Leaf Fig, so don't be scared to get started.