Pruning A Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (I kept it alive for a year!!)
It’s been a year since I bought my fiddle fig leaf tree, Miss Fiddle, and she is still alive and well! Standing at over 9ft tall, the main stem was getting crazy tall and it started to get really top heavy, so it was time for trim. It was a bit terrifying cutting down something I have been trying to keep growing for over a year, so I did a ton of research on the process of pruning, and thought I would share. It ended up being less scary then I thought, and after taking 2 feet off the main stem, and removing most the leaves with brown spots, Ms. Fiddle is already looking better! You can see in some of the pictures I have string keeping the stems from drooping, and now that there is less weight on the top, I hope it will start growing upwards.
Before you cut: you may want to wear gloves, because the tree will release some sap that is super sticky. I, of course, did not follow this step, and am still trying the get the sap off my fingers. Also don’t cut around carpet, or uncovered floor. Lay down a tarp or dropcloth so you don’t make a sticky mess.
Best time to prune: Early springtime. You should remove all the dead growth and trim down the unwanted new growth.
How to Prune:
1. Use a sharp pair of pruning scissors, so you get a clean cut.
2. Cut at an angle, between two leaf nodes
3. Cut the main stem to the desired height.
4. Dab the cut stem with a wet tissue immediately after cutting to prevent sap from dripping and allowing the stem to heal faster.
5. Remove any unhealthy leaves and branches. Brown spots can be a number of problems, including over or under watering, diseases or insets.
7. If you want to keep you tree from growing too large, you can also prune the roots by removing the tree from the pot and cutting off 20 percent of the root ball (the mass formed by the roots of a plant and the soil surrounding them). Place back in your pot and fill with new soil.