Pruning, Notching, & Pinching For Fiddle Leaf Fig

Are you inspired to grow indoor plants like your favorite artist or YouTuber’s room? Plant Fiddle Leaf Fig is a majestic but simple plant that may pop up in your mind. With that greeny leaf, you will immediately fall in love. Now that you’ve paid attention to these broadleaf plants it’s time to level up to learn how to help it branch with Notching, Pinching, and Pruning fiddle leaf fig method!

fiddle leaf fig


In its natural state, your plants will grow and develop according to their needs. The roots will elongate looking for water sources, and the stems will move to where the sun is getting a lot for photosynthesis in the leaves. When you care for plants, you often find that the growth of these plants requires external assistance such as our help.

If you have cared for a variety of vines, you will find that pruning is a routine in itself for you to make your plants lush and bushy. So it is with the Fiddle Leaf Fig plant. If you cut a trunk or branch, new stems will appear in the area you cut. Of course, if you do a lot of cutting, your plants will grow new stems and look shadier.

To start pruning the Fiddle Leaf Fig plant, you can do the following methods :

Pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig

The first and most common method of growing stems on your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant is pruning. If you have mature plants, you can do this method by cutting them at the height where you want to grow branches. Use a cutting tool such as a sharp cutter to cut it and viola, the easiest way to grow branches on your Fiddle Leaf Fig.

The emergence of this new branch is because by pruning it, you will activate dormant shoots below the part you cut. The growth hormone (auxin) that supplies the stem will be transferred to the shoot where it is cut.

Generally, you want several branches for plants. You can do this by trimming the top bunch of leaves in your Fiddle Leaf Fig.

The shoots will later grow on the leaves where the stems meet. To increase the odds, do this method near adjacent shoots. Its growth will take a while, be patient as it will soon grow!

Also, consider the distance between nodes. The shoots that you can later grow from this node. Later it will appear with a small ring around the stem and often houses a brown leaf veil.

You can observe the buds starting to enlarge within one to two weeks. Or depending on your environment, it may grow longer.
This method is best used when your plant is taller than desired for the branches. Because you’ll chop it up and end up throwing one part of the stem. Suppose you have a 5-foot Fiddle Leaf Fig, then you have to cut 2 feet to leave the 3 feet you want.

pruning fiddle leaf fig


Tips for Pruning

  1. Use a clean & sharp pair of cutters
  2. Cut the stem on an angle
  3. Wipe off any sap with a clean paper towel
  4. Prune just above a leaf. Dormant buds (nodes) sit at the point where a leaf meets the stem. You may be able to see a small brown (or sometimes green) bump at this point.

Another alternative if you don’t want to pruning fiddle leaf fig is the notching method.

Notching Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

The notching method is a method of forming new branches but not pruning them or not removing the height of the plant. This method encourages your Fiddle Leaf Fig to form a branch on each part of the stem of the plant and focuses on the bottom. When performing this method, you can perform two tactics

Diagonal Cut

This technique is done with an area over the leaf or a Fiddle Leaf Fig knot and then make a small cut about a third into the stem.

Double Cuts

Like the diagonal technique but do two cuts. This cut should be spaced 1-2 mm apart to remove one of the tree trunks. Then remove one part or one small piece from the stem.

If you are trying to branch the Fiddle Leaf Fig for the first time, we do not recommend the notching method. You can try the pruning method first to feel the thickness of the stem and adjust your pressure when cutting. If you try this method right away, you could end up chopping all of your favorite Fiddle Leaf Figs.

This method is also not guaranteed to directly grow stems. You can try six levels on the stem of your plant by aiming for two or three branches. Don’t forget to use this method with an adult Fiddle Leaf Fig or a woody stem only.

Notching Tips

  • Make sure the notch is right above the leaf or knot
  • Shape a diagonal notch around third of the stem
  • You need a sharp knife so you can form form the notch neatly
notching fiddle leaf fig
Source : Pinterest

Pinching Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

The pinching method is a method of using your thumb and index finger to break off the growing tip of a Fiddle Leaf Fig. Pinch at the top of the shoot or called the growing tip. This method is similar to the pruning method but does not use cutting tools.

This method is suitable if you already know exactly the height you want for a branched Fiddle Leaf Fig. Wait until your plants reach the desired height, then then you take the steps to pinch your plants.

After pinching them, you should see a brown bud with a lip on top after a few days. The buds are where the leaves grow. Later the leaves will form and ripen, then a brown covering will appear, retract and dry up. Let this dry and come off naturally.

Even though the name of this method is called pinching, if you can’t break it with your hands or feel the result will be messy, you can use a cutter.

pinching fiddle leaf fig
Source : Garden

Why Can’t I get my Fiddle Leaf Fig to Branch​?

The above methods have a great success rate of growing branches. However some factors can hinder branching, so it’s best to make sure you address these things for the best chance of branching.

Lack of Nutrients

How long has it been the last time you checked the soil quality on your Fiddle Leaf Fig? Was it when you bought it and put it in the pot the first time? Nutrients from fertilizers are not continuous because your Fiddle Leaf Fig plant has absorbed it to grow so far. So if you don’t provide nutrients to your plants with fertilizer, your plants will lack nutrients.

Before you start pruning to create new stems on your plants, make sure your plants are in prime condition with balanced nutrition. Learning about fertilizers does take time, you can start by using a standard organic fertilizer to get started.

The Health of your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Take a look at your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Does anything look different? Before you start pruning you should look at the overall condition of your plant to ensure its health. Like a person who is sick, if he is asked to work forcibly, the results will not be optimal. Likewise with your plants. Generally, broadleaf plants can be attacked by pests that prevent your leaves from growing properly or have white spots on their surfaces. Also, make sure that no insects depend on your plants to maximize the growth of your Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Energy Levels

Now if you are still failing at growing Fiddle leaf fig stems, you can review where you put your plant. Plants need sunlight for the growing process including photosynthesis. If you put this plant mostly indoors it is likely that it does not get enough sunlight. You can put it outside most of the time like from morning till noon so it gets the sunshine you need. If you live in an apartment or do not have open space, you can adjust the location of the plant so that it gets light in the morning or afternoon.

Then don’t forget to pay attention so that the sunlight you get isn’t too extreme. If you leave it in the hot sun, your plant leaves can dry out or even burn. To overcome this, adjust the landscape of your room. If you are still unsure, especially if the climate where you live is hot, you can prepare led lights for the growth of your plants.

The Time of Year

Season also affects the growth of your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Don’t forget to do pruning, shaping, or pinching in the Spring and Summer. This season is a growing season because of the warm temperatures. If you do it in the winter Fiddle you will not experience significant growth.

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