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Pruning fiddle leaf fig

Posted by dad4five 6 (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 12:19

Help please? I've read many of the existing posts but nothing seems to match exactly. Attached is a pic of my plant which I'm very attached to. I had it's parent in my office at work for 17 years. This is a cutting that my secretary rooted for me from the top of the original a few months before I retired Dec '12. It is growing prolifically, but as you can tell, now not able to support its upper weight. How, when where to prune???

Many thanks!!

This post was edited by dad4five on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 12:26

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pruning fiddle leaf fig

why dont you root it like she did.. and recreate a small plant... see link....

it will be the same plant ...

it seems obvious.. that you will not win the battle of trying to tame it thru pruning ...

of is that what you are asking???

this is what i do.. when i try to grow TREES.. indoors ...


ps: that is a huge plant.. in a small pot.. when was the last time the media was changed?????

Here is a link that might be useful: link

RE: Pruning fiddle leaf fig

would repotting again in an even bigger pot help? If i do prune, where to try ? 1/2 way down?

RE: Pruning fiddle leaf fig

I'm not an expert, but I would cut about halfway down, just like you said. Put the cut piece in water to start another tree, if you wish. I would also repot, and the instructions on that link were pretty good. If you search on this forum for repotting info, Al has given wonderful advice on that. The roots will need to be worked over, and you'll need to use new potting medium. I've been taking Al's advice, and my plants are loving it.
Good luck! It's a beautiful tree, but you can make it better with pruning for sure.

RE: Pruning fiddle leaf fig

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 17:27

Hi, D4F When plants endowed with an upright growth habit cant stay upright, it's usually lack of light that's the cause, and that's a recurrent theme here at houseplants. My opinion is that rigging & mechanical supports for trees are unnecessary - that's what pruning tools are for. It's easier to bend a long piece of wood than a short one, which is why shortening the tree will seem to stiffen it. It really doesn't, but it can save it from laying over.

I'm used to cutting trees all the way back to the soil line in order to start a new top and create taper in the trunk, so I wouldn't have any reservation about cutting it back to 1 or 2 healthy leaves in June. You probably don't want to do anything so drastic, so keep in mind that the top bud is likely to be elected as your new leader, so make sure it's facing in the direction you want it to grow. IOW - prune it to a bud on the opposite side of the direction it's leaning. That's not particularly important, though, because you'll be able to correct the planting angle at the next (first?) repot - something I urge you to familiarize yourself with. Some growers leave their trees root bound because they don't want them to grow fast, but that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. A robust tree is much more resistant to insects and disease than one stressed by tight roots, and it's easier to keep the plant full and eye appealing. If the tree grows fast ..... see "that's what pruning tools are for" above.

I'd shorten it a little now, to ease the leaning, and get on a program starting next summer that goes like this:

Repot around Father's Day if the plant needs it and do any hard pruning after the tree resumes growth. Alternately, do your pruning in late May and your repotting between Father's Day and July 4th.

Plants have a natural rhythm, and while working on them when they are not growing strong might not kill them outright, there is little reason NOT to work WITH the plant to order your operations to take advantage of the plant's strengths and make allowance for its weaknesses.

It might seem far fetched, but once you fall into the same pattern as the plant, your confidence will increase and you'll establish a feeling of a greater degree of harmony with your plants. 15 years ago, a concept like that would have been totally foreign to me because no one had ever suggested there are different levels at which we can enjoy the growing experience. As I look back at my own experience(s), I can now see very clearly that the more we learn about plants the greater the chance that our growing experience will move to a higher plane.


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RE: Pruning fiddle leaf fig

Deleted post

This post was edited by SueOK on Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 23:14

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