Ahh – the ever trendy Fiddle Leaf Fig. I’m sure you have either a real one or a fake one in your house, and if you don’t, what are you waiting for? These plants can easily blend into almost any decorating style. Boho? Absolutely. Glam? 100%. Minimalistic? Sure! Do you see a trend? These pants spark joy so we keep them around!
Now, if you are someone who has a “black thumb” and sticks to fake plants, now is your chance to grow a REAL Fiddle Leaf and even turn that one plant into MANY plants through propagation!
What is Fiddle Leaf Fig propagation?
Propagation a Fiddle Leaf Fig means taking a stem cutting and allowing it to root in water or soil to create a new plant! You can actually propagate most houseplants but the Fiddle Leaf is one of the easiest plants to propagate.
Why should I propagate my Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Propagating is great for 2 reasons. First, YOU GET A FREE PLANT. Propagating your plant lets you start a whole new plant from a cutting. Need I say more? (ok I’ll say more) It also helps shape your tree into a bushier plant! If you never propagate, you are probably going to have one tall branch that probably leans to one side due to the weight of the leaves. When you propagate, your plant will usually split and grow TWO branches from where you take your cutting. This helps you have a fuller, bushier plant which is definitely cuter to look at! 🙂
When should I Propagate my Fiddle Leaf Fig?
The best time of the year to propagate is in the early spring. My mom always says the first week of March is the sweet spot but anytime in March or April is fine! This is because you want to take a cutting that is already producing new growth if you want to be successful. Propagating in the spring will also allow plenty of time for your new cutting to grow and thrive before winter! But if you live in a more temperate climate or plan on keeping your fig indoors, you can really propagate anytime!
So how do propagate a Fiddle Leaf Fig?
You’ll want to make sure your plant is at least 3 feet tall before trying to propagate. I always get antsy and want to start as soon as possible but you want your plant to be established before hacking it off at the top!
Ok, first things first. You want to have everything ready to go before taking scissors to your plant. I always propagate in water but you can also propagate in moist soil. I think water propagation is better for beginners and more fool-proof so we’ll stick with that method for today!
You’ll want to grab a clean glass that is tall and skinny. This will help your plant stay put at the top but give the stem and future roots enough room to stretch out! I chose my husbands beer glass. (Sorry Lance) Next, you’ll want to fill it with water and allow it to sit overnight so the chlorine can evaporate. You can also use distilled water if you’re in a time crunch but the point is that you don’t want chlorine in your water.
OK, now where do I cut?
The most important thing when taking your cutting is to make sure you have at least 6″ of stem WITH nodes. You will see people propagating individual leaves but those will never turn into full plants. So don’t even try. Just take my word for it and have at least 6″ of stem please. You’ll also want to take off all but 1-2 leaves. This is because too many leaves will use up too much energy and your new plant will take much longer to root. BUT you do want at least 1 good leaf for photosynthesis. I chose to leave 2 leaves because one was a brand new leaf, I though it could use some assistance from an older and wiser leaf. (I’m kidding, but not kidding… ya know?)
OK, now time to cut. Take a good sharp pair of scissors or a clean sharp knife and make your cut. You’ll want to be sure to immediately place your cutting in water!
Place your cutting in a bright, indoor spot, without any direct sunlight. I chose to put mine a few inches away from a south facing window with sheer curtains. Check on your plant every few days to make sure it has enough water and light. I replace my water ever week or so but make sure you leave it out overnight so the chlorine evaporates before switching it out!
How long will this take?
It usually takes about 6-8 weeks for your cutting to develop roots. I KNOW I KNOW…. that’s a long time to sit and watch it do NOTHING. But just keep checking it! You’ll start to see little white bumps develop first which are the roots starting to form!
You’ll want to let your roots continue to grow in water for at least another 2 weeks before transplanting it into soil.
After my plant develops roots, how do I transplant it?
Plant your new rooted cutting into moist potting soil and be sure to keep it moist for the first few months so the roots can develop. One thing to remember about Fiddle Leaf Figs is that no matter their size, they hate being messed with. That means they don’t like being transplanted or moved around or having to adjust to new lighting and other conditions. So once you transplant into soil you need to keep a very close eye on it! It might start to look like it’s dying but it’s probably just in shock.
After your plant has been in soil for about 3-4 months you can give it a dose of fertilizer. This one is my favorite and I swear my plant grow 6″ overnight every time I use it! You need to make sure your plant is getting PLENTY of light if you’re fertilizing it though! I keep mine inside next to a south facing window all year round and it’s extremely happy!
Now how do I care for my new baby plant?
Fiddle Leaf Figs are very finicky but if you follow these basic steps, you will have the best chance of success!
- Water thoroughly every 7-10 days. AND NO MORE. You want the roots to be soaked and then completely dry out before watering again. This means you want to have a pot with irrigation holes in the bottom so the excess water can drain out. (just make sure you have a drip tray under the pot!)
- Keep it in a sunny spot with minimal direct sunlight. I find that my plant actually likes a little more direct sunlight than other Fiddle Leaf Figs. But keeping it a few feet away from a south facing window is usually the best spot!
- Use a wooden stake to direct your new plant to grow straight up. If not, your new stem can get wobbly or start to bend to the side under the weight of the heavy leaves.
- Feed your plant with a small amount of Fiddle Leaf Fig fertilizer every time you water, as long as it’s getting plenty of sun!
- Do your research! Pinterest and Google are your friends. If your leaves start to get brown or yellow spots it probably means your plant is not happy. Maybe too much water? Too little? Too much sun or not enough? Just google your problems and you will surely find the answers you need. But don’t be alarmed if you do run into these problems, most of us do! Your plant is a living thing and no two plants are exactly alike! Over time you’ll learn what your plant loves!
I hope that helped! Let me know if you have any questions about propagating your Fiddle Leaf Fig!
If you would rather skip the propagation process all together and buy a plant online, this one is a great option! It has over 1,000 5-star reviews and it’s on sale!
Here are some of my favorite garden supplies that you can buy online!
And here are some baskets that will make your plant look super chic inside! Just make sure you buy cheap plastic pots with drainage holes (linked above) as well as a plastic drip tray that will fit inside of your basket! That way, you can water your Fiddle Leaf Fig appropriately and also save your basket (and floors) from water damage!
If the thought of growing a real Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is giving you anxiety, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite faux trees of all different sizes and price points!