Do you want to have your own herd of Fiddle leaf figs? What if you do not need to spend a significant amount making the purchase? The ideal solution is to propagate the gorgeous rainforest houseplant. However, due to the sensitive nature of the plant, even the idea of propagation may seem intimidating. It is natural that you don’t want to cause stress to the existing plant in an effort to grow others.
However, most homeowners realize later that propagating the Fiddle leaf fig is relatively easy. You need to follow the directions correctly and make sure that you take the health of the plant into consideration. Anything stressful can cause shock and distress. With that handled, you can move on with the process of propagation.
One of the best ways to grow more Fiddle leaf figs in your home is to propagate them. That will save money while giving you the immense joy of bringing a new plant into existence. There are mainly three methods of Fiddle leaf fig propagation. These include air layering and using water and soil. You need to know about these procedures in detail so that you can follow them rigidly.
What Do You Mean By Fiddle Leaf Fig Propagation?
Fiddle leaf fig propagation is the method by which the stem or leaves of the plant is used to grow new plants. The leaves or stem cut is placed in soil or water and allowed to grow, leading to the development of a self-sustaining Fiddle leaf fig. Though these stunning houseplants are high-maintenance, they are relatively easy, when it comes to propagation.
When Is The Best Time for Propagating Your Fiddle Leaf Fig?
It is vital to note that Fiddle leaf figs are sensitive houseplants. That means that you cannot decide to propagate the plant at your convenience. The ideal time for Fiddle leaf fig propagation is the spring season. The main reason is that during this time the plant is inclined to grow naturally.
If you want to ensure that the propagation goes off smoothly, cut off the branch that is already showing symptoms of new growth. When you place it in soil or water, root formation occurs and leads to the development of a new plant. Since the propagation is done in spring, the plant has time to adjust and grow before winter comes.
Methods To Propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants
There are three different methods one can use to propagate Fiddle leaf figs. Take a look at them –
Soil propagation is one of the methods that you can adopt to propagate your Fiddle leaf fig. For this, you will need to use a pair of sterilized, clean, and sharp scissors. The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that the soil must stay damp when the formation of the new roots takes place.
Follow these steps to conduct soil propagation of Fiddle leaf figs –
Step 1: Use a pair of sharp pruners to cut off a small stem section diagonally.
Step 2: Place the stem cutting into a rooting hormone. That ensures the growth of the cutting and prevents any infection in the wound.
Step 3: Take a small pot and fill it with the right potting soil mixture. Keep in mind that a hole needs to be dug before you actually cut the stem.
Step 4: Place the stem cutting into the hole. You need to ensure that at least 1-2 inches of the stem is beneath the potting soil.
Step 5: If there are leaves at the stem base that touches the soil, you need to remove them. The leaves that continuously touch the wet soil will encounter rotting soon.
Step 6: Pat the soil and make sure the hole is filled.
Step 7: Water the soil and regularly check to ensure that the soil remains damp.
Step 8: After a month, try to move the stem cutting gently. If it doesn’t move from the spot, it means root formation has already taken place.
Perhaps, the easiest way to propagate Fiddle leaf figs is to opt for water propagation. In this case, it is vital to use sterilized cutters. Keep in mind that you need to cut a section that is less than or equal to six inches.
Here are the steps you need to follow –
Step 1: Firstly, diagonally cut a section of the stem. The smaller the section, the better the chances of success at propagation. Make sure that you leave at least one or two inches of the bare stem before you cut off the section.
Step 2: Remove extra leaves from the base of the cut section. If more energy is spent on keeping the leaves alive, there will be interference in new root formation.
Step 3: Now, place the cut stem section into a rooting gel. That will promote growth efficiently.
Step 4: After this, put the section into a jar containing water. The water needs to be at room temperature. You can use tap water instead of rushing to find purified water.
Step 5: You must excise caution while placing the stem section into water. No leaves should come in contact with water otherwise rotting will take place.
Step 6: Now, keep the jar in a place where it will receive adequate sunlight.
Step 7: You need to make sure that there is no evaporation of the water. The stem must be submerged in water for propagation to take place.
Step 8: After a week or two, check out for white minuscule dots on the stem base. That will eventually lead to root formation.
Step 9: You need to wait for two to six weeks for the new roots to grow from the stem cutting.
Step 10: Before you decide to place the new sapling into the soil, make sure that the roots are long enough. Smaller roots will face difficulty in anchoring to the soil.
Step 11: When you see a large number of roots, you can transfer the plant into a potting soil mixture. However, you must keep the soil damp for some weeks to let the plant be accustomed to the new growing conditions.
Another method to propagate Fiddle leaf figs is via air layering. In this process, the stem that is used for propagation remains attached to the original plant. It is the ideal practice if you want to use a large section for propagation.
Check out the steps that you will need to follow for air layering –
Step 1: First of all, you need to select the section you want to propagate. Make sure that the stem section is thick and has a bare stem (minimum of four inches).
Step 2: Use a cutter to make a wound underneath the node of the stem section you have selected. It will appear as a slashing of the stem section in the upward direction.
Step 3: Put sphagnum moss on the wound that you have made.
Step 4: Now, use plastic to cover the wound and surrounding stem area and seal it off with electrical tape.
Step 5: After two weeks., check if any root formation has occurred. It may take a few months for roots to appear.
Step 6: Do not remove the plastic to check for root growth. The clear plastic should offer the view without much hassle.
Step 7: When you see enough roots, cut the stem section and get rid of the clear plastic.
Step 8: Be gentle while transplanting the new growth into a pot. Keep in mind to not remove the sphagnum moss as it might disturb the newly formed fragile roots.
What To Do After Propagation?
After propagation takes place, it is vital to shift the newly developed Fiddle leaf fig into another pot. Make sure that the container is of appropriate size and that the soil mixture is suitable for growth. For best results, it is essential to use a fresh soil mixture. If you don’t want to change the soil, try adding more peat. That will increase the water holding capacity of the soil mixture.
After that, you need to choose a medium-sized pot. The size of the container is crucial as a small one can restrict growth, and a large one can lead to water collection and root rot. Place some soil and mesh into the bottom of the pot. Now, make sure that the stem cutting is placed straight. After that, fill the pot with soil. Keep in mind that you need to be gentle in order to avoid damage to the new roots.
It is crucial to maintain that the soil is damp for the plant to thrive. You can also try misting in order to keep the Fiddle leaf fig healthy. As the plant is still growing, you need to pay special attention to its maintenance.
FAQs Related to Propagation Of Fiddle Leaf Fig
Can you use a single leaf for propagating fiddle leaf figs?
No, you cannot use a single leaf for the propagation of your Fiddle leaf fig. That is because a single leaf doesn’t have lateral buds. These buds are essential for the growth of new leaves and stems. This type of stem cutting is also known as blind cutting. The leaf may live for a prolonged period of time, but there will be no growth. That is why these leaves are also termed zombie leaves.
I have observed new stem growth from a single leaf cutting. How is it possible?
If you have observed new stem growth from the single leaf cutting of Fiddle leaf fug, it is due to a bud. The most probable reason is that a partial section or a tiny part of the bud was present along with the single leaf cutting. After some time, the bud can grow and lead to stem growth. However, that may take years and will not happen in all cases.
How to cut sections for the fiddle leaf fig for propagation?
There are some things you need to consider before cutting sections from the fiddle leaf fig for propagation. Make sure that you have three nodes in the stem section that you have cut. Here, having three nodes is not compulsory, but it will give your more chances of root growth. The cutting of the stem will exude a milky white sap. You need to clean it before proceeding with the next steps.
Is it possible to propagate pruned fiddle leaf fig sections?
You might not be aware, but this is actually possible. You can prune the excess parts of the fiddle leaf fig and then use these sections for propagation. However, you need to make sure that the cutters you use are sterilized and concise. Another thing you need to maintain is that there is a bare stem left at the base of the stem cuttings. Moreover, there must not be many leaves if you want the propagation to be a success.
What to do if the propagation is not working?
First of all, you need to understand that the active growth of the propagated fiddle leaf fig is slow. That is because the plant is investing maximum energy in the new root formation. Thus, you will not be able to see the visible growth of the plant for a prolonged period of time. However, you need to keep a close eye on the plant and make sure it remains healthy. The plant will start to grow when the root forms.
Do I need to fertilize the propagated fiddle leaf fig?
Actually, there is no need to use fertilizers on the newly propagated Fiddle leaf figs. That is mainly due to the powerful ingredients used in fertilizers. Instead of helping the plant grow, there might be an adverse effect.
Are you eager to grow more Fiddle leaf figs? For that, propagating the existing one is an exceptional idea. There are three district methods of propagation available. You can choose any procedure you want. Here, the trick is to make sure that propagating doesn’t cause shock or distress to the plant. Though the process may seem too technical, it is actually relatively easy. You need to invest time and patience and be gentle.
Have you recently propagated your Fiddle leaf fig? Comment below and share your unique experience with us right away!
From childhood, I have been extremely fascinated with plants and gardening. That has eventually led me to pursue BSc and then MSc in botany from the University of Calcutta. My deep love for plants has probably stemmed from the gorgeous terrace garden that I have seen my father nurture as long as I can remember.