How to Cultivate Multiple Branches on Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

YouTube video
Video how to prune a fiddle leaf fig

Have you ever wondered how to encourage your Fiddle Leaf Fig to grow multiple branches? Well, the common suggestions of pinching off the tips or notching might not always be effective. But fear not! We have discovered a secret that has a 100% success rate in growing multiple branches on Fiddle Leaf Fig trees.

The Mysterious Path to Branching

When we first started growing Fiddle Leaf Fig trees, we experienced the same issue as many others – our trees just kept growing taller without branching. We attempted pinching off the top of a few trees, hoping to stimulate branching, but we were disappointed when only one side branch grew from each tree. So why doesn’t this method work most of the time?

The answer lies in the growth rate of the top green and tender part of the stem. When you cut off the tip, the tree will try to produce new growth through a side bud. However, all the energy is then directed towards this one bud, resulting in the growth of just a single side branch. So instead of gaining multiple branches, we ended up with just one.

The Accidental Revelation

After several failed attempts, a fortunate incident revealed the best-kept secret to us. During our kitchen and living room remodel, some of our indoor plants spent a few months outside. One of our Fiddle Leaf Fig trees suffered sunburn on its upper leaves due to the lack of proper shading. In an act of desperation, we cut off the top 1/3 of the tree from its single stem – something we would never have dared to do otherwise. To our surprise, a few weeks later, two branches sprouted from the cut tree. It was a eureka moment!

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Unlocking the Method to Success

Now that we had stumbled upon this secret, we began pruning the lower leaves of our first successful tree to showcase the main trunk. This tree served as the blueprint for our subsequent attempts. Here’s the step-by-step guide to pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig to cultivate multiple branches successfully:

  1. Ensure that your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s main stem or trunk is at least 3 feet tall.
  2. Prune the stem lower, closer to the woody part. Avoid just pinching off the top tips or cutting a small piece of the branch.
  3. To access the woody part, make the cut at around 18 inches or more from the top of the stem.
  4. By pruning at a lower woody point, the buds will form at a slower rate compared to the top green part of the plant. This provides an opportunity for more than one bud to form simultaneously, resulting in multiple branches.

multi-stem Fiddle Leaf Fig in living room

As you can see, even when we pruned our really tall Fiddle Leaf Fig nearly in half at a woody point (which can be a nerve-racking experience), the tree grew an astonishing six new branches after a few weeks!

Exploring Notching as an Alternative

While we have not personally tried notching as a method to encourage branching, some people have reported success with it. If you want to explore this technique, you can find a helpful video tutorial on YouTube.

Additional Tips and Resources

When you cut a large branch, you can propagate it to grow more Fiddle Leaf Fig trees and share them as gifts. Simply divide a long cutting into multiple shorter ones. If you’re interested in learning how to propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig easily, we have a detailed tutorial for you.

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propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig cutting

Lastly, to ensure the overall health of your Fiddle Leaf Fig trees, we recommend checking out our five best care tips. These tips come from our own indoor forest and will help you maintain thriving and beautiful Fiddle Leaf Fig plants.

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Now that you’re equipped with the secret to cultivating multiple branches on your Fiddle Leaf Fig and armed with the knowledge to care for them, it’s time to let your plants flourish. Happy branching!