Houseplants

Fiddle Leaf Fig Propagation

If you are a fiddle leaf fig owner, you likely either love them or you hate them. If your flf isn’t thriving, chances are it is likely the fault of your home’s environment rather than your lack of care! Chris and I bought our first fiddle leaf just over a year ago and it has been LOVING it’s new environment in our home. After sprouting two new branches that continued to grow all the way to our 10 foot ceiling, we had no choice but to cut it back this summer. And so began my fiddle leaf fig cutting propagation adventures.

I now have my original flf, an adopted flf we were given to nurse back to health, three planted propagations with new leaves, and one cutting that is in water and just sprouting roots. For the record, I knew nothing about propagating these plants before I started and did my own research and then did my best not to kill them! Now they are thriving and I have propagated many types of plants since!

Should I Propagate My Fiddle Leaf Fig?

I would recommend that your fiddle leaf fig be happy and thriving if you are going to cut off healthy leaves. If it is not thriving, chances are that it desperately needs all of it’s healthy leaves to help it absorb nutrients.

Full size fiddle leaf fig tree in a bedroom
This basket was the perfect size to fit my tree’s plastic pot and drip tray.

Another thing to consider is the season. The best time of year to take a fiddle leaf fig cutting is in the spring and summer. This is the season when plants see the most growth and the sunlight is making them happiest. Plants often go dormant when it is colder and darker, which means that it may take a long time for your old or new plant to sprout new growth in the winter. It may also need all of it’s leaves to take in the already diminished sunlight.

The bright green stem in the middle of this bunch died because it was too young.

Very young flf stems that are still thin and green rather than thick an woody don’t take to propagation as well. I have attempted to propagate these smaller stems and they have turned soft and brown in the water after a long period of time. Give these young branches some time to mature before cutting them.

What to Know About Nodes

The first thing to know, is that you need to cut in the right place in order for the fiddle leaf fig cutting to grow roots. Your cutting will also do better the more mature it is, so take this into account when deciding if you should propagate. So where on the branch should you cut your flf? Your cutting must include nodes in order for it to eventually sprout roots. These nodes are where the hormones of the plant are contained. The nodes on fiddle leaf figs are generally pretty easy to find and are typically hiding under those brown, dried guard leaves that were once protecting the baby leaves when they sprouted. Often times, they are right above leaves.

Nodes and Internodes of a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

The First Cut Is the Deepest

Make your cut on the internode (the place between nodes) with a pair of clean, sharp, clippers and be sure that your cutting includes a stem with a node (which will be submerged in the water) and a leaf, which is going to take care of the photosynthesis and absorb nutrients. Don’t be nervous, you can do it! Yes, I have seen people grow roots on leaves alone, but it is much more difficult to keep these fiddle leaf fig propagations alive once they are planted in soil.

new cutting

You’ll notice that your flf and your new cutting release white sap after the fresh cut. Wipe this away with a clean, damp cloth and place your cutting in water with the node submerged. That’s all for a couple of weeks (or months)! Place your cutting in a bright location where it will get lots of light, but won’t fry from hot afternoon sun. Keep an eye out for root growth and change the water as needed or as it evaporates.

Roots! I See Roots!

cutting ready to be planted in empty pot

The absolute best part of fiddle leaf fig propagation is when your cutting begins to grow roots! It makes the nerve wracking part of cutting your fiddle leaf fig tree all worth it. Once small roots start to branch off from the main root sprouts, creating a small root system, grab a small pot, a shovel, and some dirt. It’s time to plant your baby! Try not to wait too long to do this after roots form, because the longer your plant lives in water, the more acclimated it will become to this environment.

new planting with very wet soil
Very moist soil on a newly planted propagation

Once planted, I keep the soil much more moist than I would a typical fiddle leaf fig. Give your plant baby a week or two of wet soil as it makes the transition from a water environment to a soil environment. Then you can start to water it like a typical flf and wait for new growth! Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see new growth for a few months. Your new plant is working hard under the soil to create it’s roots and doesn’t have energy to devote to new leaves yet!

Three baby fiddle leaf fig propagations in soil

And that’s how to propagate your very own, home grown fiddle leaf fig tree! I’m on this journey with you and can’t wait to see my babies grow! I recently got new leaf growth on a couple of my plantings and my husband definitely thought I was crazy for how excited I got. I would literally walk by them just to look at the new leaves over and over again. Show me your fiddle leaf fig propagations and tag @wherewegather_. I’d love to see their growth!

Just starting out your houseplant journey? Check out Houseplants for Beginners for some important tips to successful plant parenting!

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