Love plants? Plant propagation is an easy way to get free new plants. I love propagating plants and fiddle leaf figs are some of my favorites.
Fiddle leaf figs (ficus lyrata) are notoriously hard to keep alive. The most important thing is to find a spot they like – with indirect light through a window – and leave them there!
Rotate the pot but don’t move it to a new spot unless necessary. These trees grow best in one happy place!
Also check for air vents – AC or heat blowing right on them can cause brown spots on the leaves.
I water my Fiddle leaf figs once a week until water runs out the drainage holes in the bottom. Never let it sit in water without drainage – it will make the root ball get mushy.
But, every so often I like to take cutting from my fiddle leaf fig plants!
I do a big chop of my tall plants once a year but take cuttings from my smaller, bushy fiddle leaf whenever I feel like it 🙂
What Is Fiddle Leaf Fig Propagation?
Propagation is the act of taking a piece of an existing plant and turning it into a rooted cutting which then can grow to be a new plant.
The main way to propagate a fiddle leaf fig tree is by taking a cutting from the stem.
The benefits of taking Fiddle Leaf Fig cuttings
There are a few benefits to taking cuttings of your fiddle leaf fig.
- It keeps plants from getting too tall – we have a FLF tree that keeps touching our 8 foot ceilings! I have to cut it back or it will be cramped.
- It encourages plants to branch – usually, when you cut a stem, one or more branches grow from just below your cut.
- You get free plants – the cutting can then be rooted in water or soil and will grow it’s own root system and become a new plant!
How to propagate a fiddle leaf fig from stem cuttings
STEP 1: Take stem cuttings
Select a stem that is healthy and growing new leaves.
Take a cutting just ABOVE a leaf.
You want a segment at least 6 inches long.
Remove any lower leaves that might fall in the water. I like only 3-4 leaves per cutting, so the plant can focus energy on growing roots and not keeping tons of leaves alive.
STEP 2: Prepare stem cuttings
Remove any leaves that would fall into the water/soil.
You can remove any of the dark brown, dry flaky bits off the stem that will fall in the water too. They should pop off easily. You can leave them, but I find that they tend to get mushy and make the water foggy.
STEP 3: Place is water or moist soil
You can root fiddle leaf fig cuttings in either water or soil.
For water, I like a mason jar. Make sure no leaves touch the water.
In soil, I use a pot of potting soil. Keep moist – more moist than you normally would for an established plant.
Before placing in soil, you can dip the tip of the stem in water and then into rooting hormone. In my experience, this helps roots grow faster.
STEP 4: Place in indirect sunlight and keep moist
Place in a sunny window for best results. Change the water or keep the soil very moist. You can cover with a clear plastic bag to keep moist, though I have never seen a benefit from doing that.
You will slowly see roots develop. You want roots to be about 2″ long to plant it.
Keep water changed and not foggy and keep soil moist.
STEP 5: Plant in soil
If your plant is not already in soil, now is the time to put it there. Select a pot with plenty of space for the plant to grow, and be sure that it has proper drainage so it doesn’t get soggy!
Want to encourage your current fiddle leaf fig plant to branch AND get new, free fiddle leaf fig plants? Here is how to propagate your plant with cuttings!
- Fiddle leaf fig plant
- Rooting hormone
- Jar of water OR pot of soil
- Take a stem cutting - cut right above an existing leaf.
- Remove any leaves or brown flaky bits that would fall in the soil. Leave up to 4 leaves per stem.
- Wet stem and dip in rooting hormone.
- Place in jar of water or pot of moist soil.
- Place in sunny window.
- Change water or keep moist.
- Roots should appear in 1 month. Should be about 2 inches long in 2 months.
- Plant once roots are 2 inches long.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do you propagate fiddle leaf figs?
You want to cut right ABOVE a leaf node. This will encourage your mama plant to branch and your baby plant to root!
What time of year should you propagate your Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Spring is best – Fiddle leaf figs do most of their growing in the warm weather, so try to but at the beginning of growing season!
How long does it take to root fiddle leaf fig cuttings?
You should see roots within a month. It might take 2 months to get roots sufficient to plant.
Can you root fig tree cuttings in water?
Yes! Stick them in a jar of water and just top off and change the water as needed.
A perk of propagating in water is that it is easy to watch the roots grow!
Do I need to use rooting hormone when rooting a Fiddle Leaf Fig?
You do not HAVE to use rooting hormone. However, I have found that it increases the success rate and makes roots grow faster.
Rooting hormone doesn’t really work when rooting in water because it washes away.
This is the rooting hormone that I use. One jar lasts a very, very long time.
Can you root a fiddle leaf fig from a single leaf?
Yes, I have successfully rooted a Fiddle Leaf Fig leaf. HOWEVER – if there is no stem, it will never grow. You need even a small piece of stem or it will just be a rooted leaf cutting forever!
Be sure to check out some other propagation guides: