How To Get Fiddle Leaf Fig To Branch? A Detailed Guide

If you are growing a fiddle leaf fig at home and want to create one, this article is for you. Most of these plants are tall, straight, and can even reach your ceiling.

Yet, you want to create fiddle leaf fig trees with multiple branches that has a stable height. You may wonder: ‘how to get fiddle leaf fig to branch?’ This article will give you the answer and make fiddle leaf fig to branch into a lovely branching plant.

Let’s read on to discover!

The procedure for preparing equipment for notching - How to get fiddle leaf fig to branch

The procedure for preparing equipment for notching

What Is Notching?

Notching is the act of cutting or wounding a tree trunk. The primary purpose is to encourage it to branch out in that area.

In these areas on the trunk, the sap will not to continue to flow. The main component inside the sap is a hormone that can inhibit or promote growth.

So, notching will help leaf buds grow about 30-50% faster because the fig tree directs resources and energy to that area of ​​the leaf buds.

Fiddle leaf fig tree - How to get fiddle leaf fig to branch

Fiddle leaf fig trees

Notching, Pinching, And Pruning: What Are Differences?

You can use many methods to cut and shape the trunk to your liking and control its growth. However, let’s distinguish between these techniques.


The notching method will create cuts or lesions on the trunk. This branching will be stimulated to grow faster.


Pruning occurs when you remove the branches or leaves of fiddle leaf fig trees. This action has an excellent effect on improving the health of the plant.

Pruning also helps to remove damaged and dead growth areas. In addition, trim leaves and branches in cramped spaces to promote air circulation.

As a result, you can prevent some plant diseases, such as powdery mildew. Besides, you can also learn about another common condition of the Ficus Lyrata plant, root rot, for better protection.

Fiddle leaf figs branching also allows beauty lovers to shape trees according to their wishes by pruning branches in certain positions.


Pinching fiddle leaf fig is the act of cutting off part of the top of a tree to encourage branching to develop from that area.

In some cases branching a fiddle leaf fig affects only pruning; this action means removing a main top from the branch.

Ficus Lyrata tree in a white pot - How to get fiddle leaf fig to branch

Ficus Lyrata tree in a white pot

Why Should You Trim Your Fiddle-Leaf Fig?

Pruning will help the fig tree grow healthy and lush like most trees.

This plant is known for its fastidiousness and high care requirements. However, you can solve this problem by diligently removing dead branches, diseased leaves or pruning to create a ventilated area.

Any plant requires a certain amount of care. For fiddle-leaf figs, the effort will likely be a lot higher. Another benefit of pruning is to limit the overgrowth of Ficus Lyrata in outdoor environments.

In an outdoor environment with ideal conditions, this tree can reach a maximum length of 12 feet. Don’t be too surprised because this number can get 50 feet if they breed in the lowland rainforests of western Africa.

The average growth rate of Ficus Lyrata indoors ranges from one to two feet per year. You will probably have to consider repotting them or pruning them to keep the size under control.

The final benefit concerns the aesthetics and shape of the fig tree. Typically, you will find small leafy figs that are bushy, small trees, or columnar with a single trunk in the center.

How To Get Fiddle Leaf Fig To Branch? A Detailed Guide

You may wonder: ‘how to get a fiddle leaf fig to branch out?’ Please refer to the steps and the detailed instructions below.

Set of farming tools - How to get fiddle leaf fig to branch

Set of farming tools


The first step that you need to make sure of is to have the tools ready to perform the pruning process. The important tool you need to prepare is a sharp knife or pair of pruning shears.

Be sure to disinfect metal tools with dilute soapy water and alcohol before use. So, you can eliminate the risk of spreading bacteria and fungi to your plants.

Another recommendation for you before operating is to wear gloves. During pruning, the trunk can ooze sap, irritating the skin.

When falling and clinging to the floor, tree sap is also very difficult to clean. It will help if you put a tarp before the liquid runs down the floor.

Wiping house plants from dust and bugs prevention - How to get fiddle leaf fig to branch

Wiping house plants from dust and bugs prevention

How To Branch Fiddle Leaf Fig: Step-By-Step Guide

Instead of trimming the top area, notching requires the caretaker to make a incision above the node.

This technique is quite complicated for newbies. You should only use them instead of pruning if you do not want to reduce your tree’s height.

The way notches work can also disrupt this flow of auxin (a growth-regulating hormone). This effect will disappear after the wound heals.

Here are the basic steps to prune your fig tree indoors.

Step 1: Identify The Nodes

Use a sharp, clean blade to make an incision above the button. Use the sharp end of the removable blades instead. Often, quality pruning tools will make you feel more comfortable and easier to manipulate.

You also need to practice identifying the nodes on the trunk. This part is the areas on the stem that have soft leaf buds.

You can find them in the middle of the slightly thicker area between leaves or branches or on the trunk. Sometimes, they look like a line running around the trunk of a tree.

Start by moving the blade from side to side to cut. Besides, use the sharp edge of scissors or a knife to push into the trunk.

Step 2: Make The Cut

An important note is that you need to cut right above the nodes. Please do not make an incision underneath, as it will disrupt the growth of the growth-regulating hormone auxin.

Cutting just below this area shifts the flow of carbohydrates from vegetative to reproductive growth. Thanks to this, it promotes the flowering and fruiting of green plants.

A typical width you should cut is about ⅓ of the way around the trunk and has a depth of about ⅓ inch into the trunk.

The cutting angle should be around 45 degrees if you want to take advantage of a single-cut method. You’ll need to add a 45-degree cut at the opposite angle for the double-cut notching.

The cut should be deep enough for the white sap to ooze out. You must clean it as soon as you see it because children or pets may mistake it for milk and lick it.

Step 3: Let Your Ficus Lyrata Heal

Once they’re cut, leave them alone so they can heal independently. Over the next few weeks, branches will grow from the shoots.

Your success chances are higher when you prune the branches during prime growth times. Early spring and early summer are the most favorable times.

Step 4: Don’t Strip The Leaves

The last tip you should remember is not to strip the leaves out off the stem. Wait until the young leaves sprout new branches.

Those leaves support the shoot to grow faster. Thanks to that, the fig tree will also grow healthier and lusher.

When To Do?

As for the dead or diseased leaves, you can remove them. Removing or pruning these signs of an infestation should be done as soon as possible.

One of the most recognizable signs of pests is leaves turning yellow or brown. If they are found, remove them quickly with sharp, sterilized pruning shears.

Pinching fiddle leaf fig should take place in early spring or summer. In the winter or when there is little light, plants limit their activity and enter a dormant state.

Pruning will only put your Ficus Lyrata under stress and shock during this time. This condition leads to several diseases and can even kill the plant.

The lack of light makes it harder for the wound to heal than usual. This plant needs at least six hours of sunlight per day with an East or South-facing window.

How Long Should You Notch?

The rate of successful budding of the plant after notching falls between 30% and 50%. Yet, you should see results within six to eight weeks if the plant grows well.

After two months, if you still don’t notice any signs of growth, try again.

Important Tips For A Successful Notching

Notching is not a surefire action. To increase that rate, you must follow some tips and avoid making the mistakes below.

Female hand spraying plant leaves with water - How to get fiddle leaf fig to branch

Female hand spraying plant leaves with water

Plant Care

The most important tip is undoubtedly the proper and proper care of the tree. The basics of Ficus Lyrata care can save you time and effort later on.

Watering And Drainage

No plant can live and thrive without water. So, ensure you always water enough so the Ficus Lyrata can turn green.

You also need to pay attention to the soil system and potted plants to have good drainage. This plant does not like soggy and too wet soil.

The soil structure suitable for drainage should be light and capable of efficient aeration. The best soil you should try is a fiddle leaf fig, particularly potting soil, as it has the ideal balance between drainage and moisture retention.

Another notable alternative is cactus mixed with vermiculite or perlite. As for watering, ensure the top two to three inches of soil will feel dry to the touch.

If you want to know exactly when to water, use a hygrometer. When the level is at 3 or 4, it’s time to add water to the plant.


Twigs need a lot of sunlight to grow new branches. So, ensure you’ve placed the plant in a bright spot and can get plenty of indirect sunlight.

You can even expose the Ficus Lyrata to direct sunlight if they are used to such an environment.

A perfect location for a fig tree is an east-facing window. Window placement near the West or South is also acceptable, but too much direct sunlight can burn leaves.

If you place the tree in the north-facing window area, the tree will not receive enough natural sunlight. You will probably have to add an artificial light source for the Ficus Lyrata to grow.

Full-spectrum bulbs that you can fit into your lighting fixtures are the best alternative.

Nutrient-Rich Soil

The growth of new branches requires adequate and consistent nutrients. Make sure you have provided enough fertilizer and good soil for your plants.

A potted plant can only come in contact with a certain amount of soil. They will quickly use the nutrients in it in just a few months.

Once the plant is one to two months old, add nutrients by fertilizing.

Thick Truck

One of the recommendations when notching is not to touch the stems that are too thin or weak. If you can’t control the strength of your hand, you can remove its branches.

Look for trunks of a certain thickness and stiffness. It also makes the fiddle leaf fig notching process easier.

Soil to repot indoor plants - How to get fiddle leaf fig to branch

Soil to repot indoor plants


Another critical factor in Ficus Lyrata care that people ignore is ensuring the roots can breathe and the air circulates.

Every year, you should repot the plant or watch for some signs. If the soil or roots start to harden, consider repotting.

When making a change, choose pots two to three inches larger than the root ball. It helps to create space for the roots to grow without draining much water.


Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how to get a fiddle leaf fig to branch. The sequence of steps is quite simple. However, you will need a lot of practice to master this technique. The process to get fiddle leaf fig trees to branch is:

  • Identify the nodes.
  • Make the cut.
  • Let the tree heal.
  • Keep the leaves on the stem.

The most critical key is patience. You will need a lot of time to observe the tree’s growth and make appropriate decisions after pruning or notching.

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *