How to Propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig: A Detailed Guide

Fiddle leaf fig is the common name for the plant scientifically known as Ficus lyrata due to the papery texture of the foliage. However, the mature fiddle leaf fig might be quite costly when bought directly from the store. On the bright side, making more of this beloved houseplant is not expensive making it possible to increase your indoor plant collection or gift to other plant lovers. Here you will read a step-by-step guide on how to propagate fiddle-leaf figs by using stem cuttings so that you get healthy new shoots.

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Understanding the Basics

Propagation Methods: It is important to note that fiddle leaf figs can be propagated in four ways, which are through stem cutting, air layering, leaf-cutting, and pruning. That said, stem cuttings are by far the most common and efficient which will be our main focus in this guide.

Best Time to Propagate

Fiddle leaf fig is best propagated when it is actively growing and this is the onset up to summer. This is when the plant focuses on new growth and development, increasing the probability of taking cuttings.

Materials Needed:

  • Usually, a pair of sharp and clean pruning shears or a knife can easily do the job.
  • Such a lively parent fiddle leaf fig plant
  • A rooting hormone is optional but ideally should be used to encourage root development and growth.
  • It is a small pot that has an additional feature of drainage holes.
  • Well-draining potting mix
  • Transparent polyethylene bag or test tube (for humidity)
  • Shower or spray jar
  • Step-by-Step Propagation Process

Step 1: Choose a Friendly Parent Plant:

Select a vigorous plant with well-developed roots that does not exhibit symptoms of disease or pests. The parent plant should have several robust and healthy branches to facilitate the development of scions. The branch that will be cut for sale should ideally, be at least 12 inches long with several leaves.

Step 2: Prepare Your Tools Properly:

Before pruning, you need to sanitize the pruning shears or knife in rubbing alcohol or hot water to reduce the spread of diseases. This step is very important because it determines the health of both the parent plant and the cutting that is taken.

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Step 3: Go for the Throat:

Choose a branch on the parent plant from which you will be taking a cutting. Cut the stem at an angle around one-fourth inch below the last node of a branch or where a leaf originates from. It is preferred that the cutting be about 6-12 inches long and should possess at least two to three leaves. When the lower leaves are removed, there will be more energy directed towards the roots to strengthen the plant.

Step 4: Treat the plant with Rooting Hormone:

Using a rooting hormone can increase the likelihood of rooting by simply dipping the cut end of your stem into the rooting hormone. Rooting hormone has growth regulators that enhance root initiation and growth.

Step 5: Plant the Cutting:

Prepare a small pot with an appropriate drainage material such as perlite or coarse vermiculite. One can buy a mix that has been produced for the houseplants or you can make your mix using perlite, peat moss, and pine bark in the proportion of 1:1:1. Create a hole in the middle of the potting mix and carefully place the cutting such that the leaf node is submerged in the soil. Tighten the soil around the cutting to ensure it is standing well.

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Step 6: Produce humidity:

Fiddle leaf fig cuttings develop roots most effectively in a moist environment. Put the cutting in a transparent plastic bag or transfer it to a container to enhance the humidity and heat trapped inside. This will assist in maintaining humidity levels which is an important factor in root development. Do not let the covering touch the leaves to avoid the growth of fungi and other related diseases.

Step 7: Care and Control of Water in Cutting:

After transplanting, water the cutting again to ensure the potting mix is fully moist but not waterlogged. Make sure that the cutting is placed in an area of the plant where it is exposed to bright, indirect light. If the cutting is exposed to direct sunlight, it will affect it and may even wither.

It is important always to monitor humidity and make sure that the cutting is misted and that the soil remains moist at all times. Do not over-water the plants, as this can result in root rot. Look at the cut ended daily to be certain that it is not in the process of drying up.

Step 8: These strategies include patience and monitoring of the process:

Rooting may take several weeks up to a few months. Please be patient and check the cutting process frequently. After a few weeks, one can check for the root development by pulling on the cutting lightly. If you experience some form of resistance it means that roots are developing.

Step 9: Budding the Established Stock Plant:

When the cutting has a healthy root system, it is time to move it to a better pot to allow for growth. Select another pot, which should be only slightly bigger than the current one and should have drainage holes. You can use soil that has good drainage and plant the rooted cutting into it leaving it at the same level as it used to be when contained in the other small pot.

Place the newly potted plant in an area that receives a fair amount of light, but not direct sunlight, and water it well. Slowly make the transition of adjusting it to the new conditions by lowering the humidity for about a week or two.

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Tips for Successful Propagation

Choose the Right Cutting:

It is recommended to choose a healthy branch with multiple leaves which is not infected and in good health, to maximize your chances of growing succulent from stem cutting.

Maintain Humidity:

This point is a topic of significant debate among horticulturists since it relates to the growth of roots that require high humidity levels. This can be achieved if one uses a humidity dome or a plastic covering over the fruit to ensure that the right temperature and humidity conditions are maintained.

Avoid Overwatering:

Although less is more in terms of moisture, it is possible that if we water the plants too much at times may lead to the formation of root rot. Make sure that the pot has good drainage so that the roots of the plant will not be put in water for too long.

Be Patient:

Getting to the source of the problem requires time. This makes it essential for growers to exercise a lot of patience and also ensure they give the cutting a lot of care to help it root well.

Monitor for Pests and Diseases:

Ensure that it is monitored closely for signs of pests or diseases that might affect the yield and quality of the crop. Make a quick intervention should there be any signs of diseases crashing your new plant.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Wilting Cutting:

This could be a result of lack of humidity or over-humidifying the plants. Modify the amount of humidity and pay attention to the issue of draining.

No Root Development:

However, if after several weeks, one does not observe any signs of roots developing, then it could be that the cutting was weak or the environmental conditions were not suitable. It is better to try one more time to make a new cut.

Yellowing Leaves:

This can mean that the plant is getting too much water or the light conditions are not suitable. Reduce the amount of water the plant is exposed to and make sure the cutting gets light but not direct sunlight.

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It is quite fulfilling to propagate a fiddle leaf fig since it creates an opportunity to have more of them or simply share the beauty of the plant with others. If you adhere to the process described in this guide and continue caring for your fiddle leaf figs, you can effectively propagate them and feel the joy of the new sprouts. If you follow these instructions carefully and with due diligence, you will attain strong-growing fiddle-leaf fig plants for your indoor environment.