For the most part, plants decline and die in situations where the amount of food/energy they're able to create (with the help of the sun) is less than they are expending to drive their metabolic processes. My fiddle leaf fig as you can see in the photo above was growing strait up on one branch or trunk, I had seen photos of other trees growing different branches and had even tried notching (where you make a notch with a sharp knife in the trunk) to get my tree to branch but nothing had worked. It is starting to branch out along the top, but not sure what I can do to help it. If you want to go bold, you could pot up to a significantly bigger pot with ballast in the bottom. Most often this occurs from over-watering and/or a high level of salts in the soil (solution); and the reason this happens is due to the fact plant's with unhealthy roots or roots compromised by a lack of oxygen suffer an inability to move enough water to keep its most distal parts hydrated. Strangely, lightly abrading the trunk (you don't need to damage or scar it for this to work) releases ethylene gas, which stimulates the production of lignin, the organic polymer that makes plants woody and strong. It lost a whole side of leaves, I believe possibly from cold window drafts (I live in Chicago). You'd be removing ALL the leggy growth from winter. I am able to get them to grow wonderful roots in water in rooting hormone. So, where do you live and have you considered what form you'd like to move your plant toward? How to Prune Fiddle Leaf Fig . Still, I'd take a shortened/pruned tree any day over one that's lassoed and hog-tied to a stake. After that part is done you can return it to its pot and fill in the bottom part of the pot and around the sides. The most ideal time for pruning fiddle leaf fig is when it is actively growing, which is typically spring or early summer. DO NOT allow new branches that occur on the new leader to extend to beyond 3 leaves. I used a Eco-oil which is a plant based insecticide. Also, see my FLF below. I can't tell from the picture, but if you look up some info on mealy bugs, you'll find lots of pictures, and compare with what's on your plant. Any suggestions for care and pruning? Is there a way I can cut the top and put something in the place I cut to prevent the plant to grow vertically. First: I would make sure I have trained myself to water in a way the plant approves of from now until Christmas. They occur and spread as a result of a root system that is not able to function normally. I’ve been watching him to make sure the rest of the leaves don’t have issues and they have been fine. While some gardeners swear they’ve been able to grow a Fiddle Leaf Fig from a single leaf cutting, science tells us we need the DNA stored in the stem of the plant for propagation to be successful. Not much you can do at this point other than wait. The guide to purchasing the best fake fiddle leaf fig tree is right here: Leaves. I can wait until December to do the pinch. That means I'd have to work very hard at over-watering. If you decide to go that route, rub off any/all new buds occurring anywhere but on what will be the new leader. I use a tool like the one next to the saw in the image below. I live in NC and it can be super chilly here so I have central heat on, and I place my tree by a very well lit and bright window. I have near 200 containerized trees, many of them are Ficus, and the fertilizer that has consistently produced the best results is Foliage-Pro 9-3-6, made by Dyna-Gro. He seems to be quite root bound, but we're in mid Autumn now here in Australia, so would I be better off leaving the potting up until early Spring? Hi! So, I took a week vacation in June, came back and my FLF had dried up, with most leaves brown, crispy and on the floor. • Make your cuts at least an inch away from the main trunk. Prune the left branch to the most proximal (lowest - closest to the roots) leaf, the attachment point of which faces the plantings central vertical axis. Yes, I am certainly expanding my limits but I trust your advice. You can still do that next year if you wish. Am I doing something wrong? Mine grew normally and they're healthy, they just now look funny in the damaged area. wondering when I know it's time to repot? I think you feeling like you're gaining an increased understanding of your plants' needs, and even giving their natural rhythms some consideration, can help you gain a heightened sense of communion with the plants you tend. Be appropriately equipped when reducing fiddle leaf figs. Think of the trunk as a river and every leaf as a tributary stream emptying into the river. Pruning Your Fiddle Leaf Fig. A fiddle leaf fig tree can only be propagated from a stem cutting as I’ve shown you above. If anyone has tips I'd love to hear them. Example - a plant growing in full sun conditions and 85* ambient temps at the nursery might be being pushed at luxury (fertility) levels of 1,000 - 1,500 ppm TDS. I plan to pot up. Repotting is much more extensive than potting up, and eliminates the limitations associated with root congestion, which are currently forcing you to leave a lot of your plant's potential untapped. This plant lives about 3 feet away from a S/SW window and doesn't receive any direct sunlight. Still, you've seen images of my pruned ficus and can see I'm in the habit of using that practice. So now my sad tree is missing half of its bark on one side! Start with the easiest base on your recent season. It’s one of my most popular posts on both my blog AND my Pinterest proving that there’s SO much love out there when it comes to the insanely gorgeous Fiddle Leaf Fig tree. If you're not going to give it the light it wants, you're either stuck with the stake, or you can prune it. My question is, should I prune this plant back or just wait it out and see what happens. I keep the soil moist and allow them lots of light. The 2 main branches growing out to the sides are getting quite heavy, and I'd like them to start growing up instead of out (their weight makes them kind of sag). More on that when you've repotted and cut the plant back, if that's your intent. Hi everyone! I have FLF for about a year and a half now. Fiddle leaf fig with yellow mushroom ! Here’s a story of a fiddle leaf fig from one of our readers, Roxanne. When to Trim a Fiddle Leaf Fig . I did it 3 weeks ago and I just cut the branches off and potted them. You might get a couple of buds to break and form new branches in the crotches of the leaves immediately proximal to the pinch point; whereas, if you were to wait until next Christmas to do the pinch, you should get a much better outcome in terms of the number of branches the pinch produces. Will, The new growth on my FLF dried off. The fix is to put a fan in the room on a timer, so the fan turns on when light is brightest. If you're religious about practicing that habit, your tree will start to grow fuller and fuller. My concern is when all the brown leaves fall off I will be left with those bare branches with no leaves on them. It only takes 2 fertigations using the common/popular Schultz 10-15-10 houseplant fertilizer for the nutrient ratio in the soil solution to become so badly out of balance that antagonistic deficiencies of Fe are pretty much assured. I thought I was supped to cut the new leader back to 1-2 leaves. I've layered 4" trunks, so your tree should be a snap. How badly should I worry about air drafts for my plants? 9 of 10 people that give advise on the internet are guessing or repeating advise they read somewhere else - whether it's appropriate or not. * Fertilize when you see the tree back-budding and pushing new growth. on stem of Pep polybotrya cutting (received today via mail), Cymbidium orchid - black spots on the leaves. The 2 branches should have been pinched when their length was about 1/2 of what it is now. Thanks in advance for your help. Al - fads come and go, but F lyrata has been riding atop a wave of popularity for at least the last 3 years, maybe more. Had that been done, the tree would have many more branches and leaves. Removing excess leaves will reduce the stress on the cuttings to retain water. Baby steps... keeping my hopes up for back budding. I've given his leaves a clean, and my plan was to leave him for a couple of months to acclimatise to his new environment in front of a sunny window and while I work out what his watering needs are. In fall, you cut off all the desirable short internodes, all the way back to the long internodes. Instead, small cuts or ‘notches’ are made up and down the stem or trunk to encourage new growth to form further down the plant. Done! Thankfully, these marks will slowly fade as the plant continues to grow. I'd like to see an image of what you have going on, to see if it's roughly the same as my mental image of your plant, before I suggest pruning strategies. Learning to work with the tree's annual growth cycle is easier on the tree and makes the grower feel better about making the allowance. Ask if interested in layering or pretreating the future propagule. I often work during the day so it's not feasible to let the plant outside for wind support for more than a few hours per day. I also cut both because they were getting too tall, and I have a question. Strike a dramatic chord in a minimalist scene or a country note in a rustic setting — fiddleleaf fig plants harmonize with any style, The tropical houseplant with big green leaves adds a cheerful and striking design element to rooms, Crispy brown leaves are a sure sign that Jack Frost has been to your neighborhood, A full form and delicious fruits make this Middle Eastern tree a favorite in gardens around the world, Brighten a room and clean the air with a houseplant that cascades artfully, stretches toward the ceiling or looks great on a wall, Houseplants add so much to our homes — and can thrive when grown in the right conditions. I'd prune it back to just below the relatively bare spot in the top 1/3 of the tree. They will very likely root, but the roots that form in water are quite different than the roots that form in a solid medium (soil). Needless to say, it is very top heavy, and the single trunk is too thin to support the top and new leaves/growth sprouting. If you have interest in taking a look at an overview that will help you avoid all of the most common pitfalls you might be likely to encounter, read this (click link). This will give your plant a significantly better opportunity to realize more of its genetic potential. I posted elsewhere but this thread seems to be where it’s at. Hello, I’m jumping in on this conversation quite late, I hope you are still on here, I have a f lyrata that seems to be struggling. Just wanted to give you a little fiddle leaf fig (aka ficus lyrata) update. It's not only the EC/TDS of/in the soil solution that warrants consideration, it's the ratio of nutrients, each to the others, that also should be taken into account. This should be the branch that comes closest to terminating immediately perpendicular to where the trunk exits the soil. Potting up is little more than putting the plant in a larger pot and filling in the void at the bottom and sides with fresh soil. It has shot up to just over 4' tall. Prior to this accident, I have not been fertilizing. If I cut the tree off at say the 3 foot mark (where no leaves are present), would the tree sprout new growth? Should I bring my Fiddle Leaf Fig tree inside after new leaves? It can adapt to brighter and to a lesser extent a light level not as bright as it's conditioned to, but there are limits to the degree to which a leaf can adapt to variation in light loads. How can I help my plant get back to normal? I then transferred it to soil two weeks ago and have been fertilizing. Will it be ok? It isn't my intent to just toss out a bunch of generalizations and expect you to sink or swim. Matthew - We've had a rough winter, haven't we. Help finding the right light in my apartment for plants! Well, even though I do not have the magic touch, I still love ‘em. Hi there, I'm really hoping to help my FLF. The stub will fall off in a week or two. There are two good ways to know if you have mites other than seeing them, which is hard for some people, as they are very small - hardly bigger than the period to a sentence. The new leaves growing off the trunk are actually new branches if they're occurring immediately distal to the bundle scars where the now dead and gone leaves had been attached. There are sometimes good reasons to allow or use the stress associated with root congestion to achieve an effect or bend the plant to your will, but it's inaccurate to simply announce any plant likes to be root bound. New foliage that grows under a given photo load will be best adapted to that level of light. The former includes bare-rooting the plant, pruning roots, and repotting it in a fresh batch of soil. I've tried notching a few branches and pruning one off to root in case that plant doesn't make it. How far can I cut the leggy branches back? It's hard to tell from your pics if that's your problem, but the "brown spots" that mites leave behind are very tiny and yellowish, and there's LOTS of them. Ficus tolerate rootbound conditions better than most plants, not to be read that they LIKE it, though. His head hit he ceiling, his trunk was leaning – no longer was he petite and small. Unfortunately, that's the best light my current house has to offer. Hi! Too, plants have natural rhythms, which is why it's better to do any heavy work in summer when the plant's vitality and ability to turn the sun's energy into food is at/near their peak. You can cut it back to just above a leaf that's on the opposite side of the lean; or, you can cut it back to the top leaf stem immediately proximal to where the long internodes start and correct the lean by repositioning the root mass in the pot when you pot up. We are still not past thawing outside, but inside is never below 70*. Every fiddle leaf fig plant owner wants their ficus lyrata to grow into a tall, tree-shaped statement. This was my case and it looked exactly the same as yours. They will eventually drop off or they can be removed after a while with a gentle tug. I have a 5 foot tall healthy, indoor ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig), single trunk with no growth until the very top. Why fight the tree when a little patience and planning will better all around? While the thought of fiddle leaf fig pruning may seem intimidating, cutting back fiddle leaf figs is actually very easy. My watering is very minimal, I let the soil really dry outbefore watering. I would only repot out of season if I knew or strongly suspected the plant would be down for the count before a more appropriate time to repot rolled around. I would wait till at least the middle of March, then cut it back quite drastically, like to maybe 1' from the ground, let it grow back, and start pruning it yearly as it fills out, to get it to and keep it at a nice size. We live on high altitude, Colorado Springs. Lots to consider. Both those cuttings would be great new trees, provided the roots strike. I stuck one cutting directly in damp soil. No more dots after about a year scratching my head why. And how can i revive and encourage growth on the side that is missing all the bark? Occasionally it can be traced entirely to growers watering with their own version of enhanced frequency; more often, it's the result of a poor soil that simply does not allow the grower to water correctly w/o the plant paying a tax in the form of diminished root health because the soil remains saturated long enough to have attained the age of majority. In either case, shortening the tree can fix that issue. It came in a plastic container (inside the decorative one) that drains very quickly, which I've heard isn't good. I'm not suggesting that's the case with your plant, just that the tendency is for trees grown indoors to look quite unnatural if left to their own devices ..... and that needn't be. What your plant is getting is indrect sun, and only 4 hours of it. So the simple steps to strengthen a weak or leaning Fiddle Leaf Fig trunk are: 1. OTOH, I've heard they don't like too much room and to wait for roots to stick out the bottom before repotting. Will rubbing alcohol and water burn the tiny new buds that are sprouting on my fiddle leaf fig ? Using some ballast in the bottom of the pot (quite different from a 'drainage layer') could prove to be very helpful, though it won't fix compaction or a general lack of air porosity. This represents the difference between a plant surviving at the outer limits of what it's programmed (genetically) to tolerate and one that's growing in its 'sweet spot'. That's 2 months worth of summer growth. The fiddle leaf fig from the ficus genus of trees is an exciting species to grow with larger leaves than the others from the genus. Thank you for the feedback. There continues to be new leaf growth and the tree itself is getting taller. For a bushier plant, cut stems wherever you want to promote branching. Thank you AI & the ficus wrangler..i’ve followed your advice and moved the plant to a spot where it receives more light..i’ve also started to check the soil before watering..i use a stick for this..i push it deep into the pot and take it out and if it feels slightly dry i water it thoroughly..in addition to this i try to mist the plant every day to provide humidity..hope this works for my plant.. i also wanted to ask if i should cut away those brown patches since they have creeped in a little as you can see in the before and current picture.. My question off thread - but, on topic, perhaps. And here is the beautiful new growth since I got it in late January (though now it has stopped and the tiny bud here doesn't seem to have changed in about a month): I look forward to learning even more, so thanks in advance for your advice and expertise :). Once you start getting branching, you should religiously pinch those branches back to 2 leaves as soon as the branch develops 3 mature leaves. Any significant pruning should be done in the summer months - mid-Dec thru mid-Mar, for you, but you might want to hold off if you just repotted, until next Dec, other than some light pruning to keep the plant in bounds. It was definitely being over watered. However, it could also be that the soil is a bit too dry between waterings. Red markings on fiddle leaf fig leaves mean that the plant is drinking up too much water at a fast pace. Your tree won't go dormant, but it will slow down considerably during the winter. I am definitely a novice, given the fact that I just recently purchased a FLF tree about a week ago and I noticed the new bud is growing some baby leaves. I'm not sure how much effort you're willing to make for your plants, but here is the plan I would try to have implemented by Christmas. 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