Wondering if you can propagate your fiddle leaf fig plant? I’m sharing all about fiddle leaf fig propagation, including how to propagate fiddle leaf fig plants from cuttings and branches. And how to propagate them in water (my favorite way!) and soil. It’s not fool-proof, but it has a high success rate. Here’s how to get the best results!
Fiddle Leaf Fig Propagation and how to Successfully Root New Plants
I wrote all about how to care for a fiddle leaf fig tree or bush last year. In that post, I gave an overview of fiddle leaf fig propagation as well—and today I’m finally reporting back with my real-life experience propagating fiddle leaf fig plants!
How to propagate a fiddle leaf fig in water
In my opinion, the easiest way to propagate a fiddle leaf fig is in water. Whenever a plant can be propagated in water, it’s my preferred method! That’s because I like being able to monitor the root development. If you plant a cutting directly in soil, you’re just kind of in the dark when it comes to development.
Here are the steps I recommend following when propagating a fiddle leaf fig cutting in water. I recommend this method for propagating both leaves and small stem cuttings!
Step 1: Take a cutting from a healthy plant
So you can use this method for both leaves and small stem cuttings. That’s because it’s pretty much the same root growth approach—the leaves have the “stem infrastructure” in them. If you’re taking a leaf, make sure you get the tiny “stem/node” that attaches the leaf to the stem.
However, be warned—taking a cutting from a leaf may not yield a new plant, even if the leaf roots. It would be a fun experiment to try if you lost a leaf on the plant or if you were pruning your plant. But I ultimately recommend taking a stem cutting that has buds on it.
When taking a small stem cutting, just make sure you get enough length on the stem to turn it into a plant. Remove a few of the lower leaves so you’re able to get the plant nice and rooted in water.
Make sure the cutting isn’t too large and doesn’t have too many leaves. This is another reason to remove the bottom leaves. You want the new plant’s energy to be spent on developing a new root system—not on the existing leaves! You can also cut the leaves in half to conserve energy, but I don’t love this approach because I like the plant to look complete when I plant it. Removing the lower leaves is better in my opinion.
Step 2: Put the cutting in water
Put the cutting in water in a sunny spot. I have mine in my test tube propagation station that I built. Refresh the water every week or so. You’ll soon begin to notice growth on the bottom of the cutting.
The growth will be white and will look like little cauliflower clusters. This is good! But don’t pull the cutting to plant it just yet. Be patient and give it another few weeks to start sprouting some good new roots.
This will help reduce the shock when you transfer the plant to soil. It will already have a nice root system developed, which will hopefully help it adapt to its new conditions quickly. You might even notice new growth from the top of the cuttings while they are rooting in water! If so, this is great!
Step 3: Plant the newly rooted cutting
Once your cutting has a sufficiently developed new root system, carefully plant it in a pot with fresh well-draining soil. Water the plant and keep the soil moist until you notice new growth sprouting from the bud on the top of the cutting. Fiddle leaf fig plants also enjoy a humid environment, too, so misting the leaves on the newly planted cutting will help keep the plant happy.
You can cut the larger original leaf or leaves in half to help conserve the plant’s growing energy. This way, the plant can divert more of its energy to establishing the new plant’s root system.
And here’s this plant a few months later! It is enjoying some sun outside in my backyard every afternoon. Since it’s so hot out, I make sure to keep it watered every day.
Propagating fiddle leaf fig cuttings in soil
You can propagate cuttings directly in soil, too. This takes a while—don’t worry if you don’t see new growth on your plant for a while. There’s a lot going on under the surface! Your new plant is dedicating all of its energy to developing a brand new root system.
Just repeat step one above to take a great cutting. Then plant directly in soil. You can dab the soil-end of the cutting in rooting hormone powder, which will help speed up the root development process. You can get rooting hormone online or in any local nursery, and it’s pretty cheap! One bottle lasts forever, too.
After you plant your cutting in soil, make sure to keep the soil moist and cover the above-the-soil area with something like a plastic bag. This creates a greenhouse effect that will help the cutting root and grow. Once you notice new growth sprouting on the top of the cutting, the plant is rooted. Yay! You can start treating it like any other plant. 🙂
How to propagate a fiddle leaf fig from a branch
I’m also going to talk about how to turn a fiddle leaf fig bush into a tree, which I touched on in that post, too. The fiddle leaf fig comes in two forms: bush and tree. A bush has multiple branches, giving the plant a fuller look. The tree form has that waif-y look that everyone associated with fiddle leaf figs—a tall, single branch with a bobble head look of leaves at the top.
Here’s how I did it. While repotting my fiddle leaf big bush, I exposed the root system and gently broke apart the roots. I separated one of the branches that has lost quite a few leaves on the bottom, ensuring I left some of the root system attached. I did NOT remove the roots by cutting the branch off with shears or a knife.
How to turn a Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush into a Tree
I then followed all of the instructions for propagating a fiddle leaf fit stem in soil…except it was a lot faster that using a cutting as a starting point! That’s because I was basically dividing the plant and keeping some of the existing root system in place. I did make sure to keep the soil moist until I noticed new growth, which took about two weeks.
Here’s a photo progression of what the first new leaves looked like over a few days. Exciting!! The two new leaves photographed here only took about a week to grow to the size of the other leaves. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this gorgeous plant progresses over the next few months, especially through spring and summer growing season!
Fiddle leaf fig propagation update!
Alright guys, I am back with a happy update about this fiddle leaf fig bush propagation that I turned into a tree! It is still putting out new leaves, though it hasn’t put a new leaf out all winter. (I’m updating this in April 2021, so last winter.)
I tried to hold off on watering it too much over the winter both because it was in a pot without a drainage hole and because I didn’t want to overwater it over the winter when it was too cold and not putting out new leaves. Typically if a few leaves get droopy and I water it, they will perk up.
However, after I’d watered this guy, it still stayed a little droopy looking. So I decided to pull the trigger on repotting it into a larger planter pot with a drainage hole. And some fresh soil with worm castings for nutrients, of course.
Here are a few pics of the process. After I repotted it with fresh soil and then showered down the planter, I put it back in place. As you can see, it perked up really well! It did drop one leaf after repotting it, but that’s ok. It was a smaller leaf, and this definitely isn’t unheard of with fiddle leaf figs. They can drop leaves during stressful periods.
When is the best time to propagate a fiddle leaf fig plant?
As with most plant propagation, the best time is in the spring and summer. This is because it’s actively growing and will rebound nicely from the shock of developing a new root system and planting it.
That said, I propagate plants all year round and have successfully propagated fiddle leaf figs from cuttings and branches all year round. It just takes longer when it’s not growing season! I did try to wait until the spring to plant my cuttings that I’d rooted in water.
How do I care for my new fiddle leaf fig plant?
When you notice new growth sprouting from the buds on your new plant, you can begin treating it just as you would any other fiddle leaf fig plant. It’s officially a new plant! That includes fertilizing it occasionally with a well-balanced houseplant fertilizer (don’t fertilize while it’s rooting).
Fiddle leaf fig plants like well-draining soil and stable temperatures. They like a lot of light and don’t like being near temperature fluctuations like heat or AC vents or open doors or windows. If you notice they’re dropping leaves, you need to make a change. Your plant is unhappy. Sometimes it just takes a bit to find where a plant is the happiest.
Once you find a spot where your fiddle leaf fig is happy, make sure to keep the humidity levels high. This is especially important to remember in the winter when indoor air can be super dry. I like to spritz my fiddle leaf fig leaves with water to keep humidity levels high.
Want more plant care tips? You’ll also love my guides on how to take care of monstera plants, how to take care of rubber plants, caring for peperomia plants, caring for ZZ plants, and how to care for philodendron.