Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
Ficus lyrata

(after the harp-shaped lyre)

Fiddle leaf fig tree growing and care instructions. The best way to prune and propagate fiddle leaf house plants. How to air layer Ficus lyrata and make more little fiddlers.

The fiddle leaf Ficus tree is so named because of its dark green, tough, papery, violin-shaped leaves. The thin, upright stems of this plant will grow to a height of 5-10 feet in a pot.

Hailing from tropical Africa, it makes a striking house plant as long as the temperature in your home does not fall below 66 degrees F. in the winter.

F. lyrata plants sometimes grow straight up on a single stem. Nipping out the growing tip will force your tree to branch.


Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Care

Fiddle Leaf fig tree in a pot.

Beautifully grown F. lyrata in the foreground.

The plant in the pot behind it is a Christmas palm.

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Ficus lyrata likes to send its roots down deep. The best place to plant it is in a greenhouse bed. If that is not possible, use the deepest pot you can accommodate. Place it in good light, but shield it from direct sun in order to avoid leaf burn.

Keep the tree’s soil moist to the touch. If it dries out, the leaves will turn brown and drop.

Feed your Ficus tree 3-4 times per year with any water soluble house plant food. If it grows too quickly, reduce the number of feedings.


How to Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig Propagation of a Fiddle Leaf Plant

The pruning and propagation of Ficus lyrata go hand-in-hand. When it becomes too tall, air layer the tops of the stems.

If you do not want more of these delightful plants fiddling around your living room, just snip the stems off at the height you desire and discard the cuttings.


How to Air Layer

A large fiddle leaf fig tree planted beside a tree fern with elephant ears at its feet.

A large fiddle leaf Ficus planted beside a tree fern with elephant ears at its feet.

How to Air Layer

  1. Using a sharp knife, slice part-way into a stem at the height you want the remaining plant to be once the air layer is cut away.
  2. Insert a wooden toothpick into the cut to keep it open. Wrap a wad of moist sphagnum moss around the stem and over the cut. Wrap plastic wrap around the moss and secure it with twist ties.
  3. Check the moss every couple of days to make sure it doesn’t dry out. In a month, it should be full of roots.
  4. Cut off the stem below the rootball. Pot your new F. lyrata.

Once the air layer has been removed the old stem will sprout new leaves and branch.

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Other Figs:

Weeping Fig Tree

How Strangler Figs Kill

Kadota Fig Trees

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