Can I Cut My Fiddle Leaf Fig All the Way Down | Nursery Insider

Can I Cut My Fiddle Leaf Fig All the Way Down 

If you have a Fiddle Leaf Fig plant (it’s called Ficus lyrata), you can cut it way down, but you need to be careful and follow some rules. When you chop a Fiddle Leaf Fig a lot, it’s called “hard pruning.” 

These plants can grow back even if you cut them a lot, but there are things you need to know.

First, cut it when it’s growing a lot, like in spring or early summer. That’s when it can heal better and grow more. Get good cutting tools that are clean and sharp so you don’t hurt the plant.

When you cut it, leave a few healthy leaves on each stem. These spots are where new growth will come from. Don’t cut too near the main stem, as it can stress the plant. Use a special powder on the cut parts to help them grow new roots and get bigger faster.

After you cut it a lot, take care of it well. Put it in a bright spot, but not in the direct sun. The sun can be too strong for the new growth. Keep the soil damp, not too wet. Don’t water it too much. As it grows again, you can change how you water it.

Remember, it takes time for the Fiddle Leaf Fig to get better. Be patient and wait for new leaves. Watch out for any problems while it gets better.

How to Prune Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Pruning your fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is an essential aspect of its care to encourage healthy growth, maintain a pleasing shape, and prevent overcrowding. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prune your fiddle leaf fig:

Tools and Materials

  1. Clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors
  1. Gloves (optional)
  1. Disinfectant (e.g., rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide)
  1. Paper towels or cloth
  1. Pot or container (if you’re propagating cuttings)

Pruning Steps

Choose the Right Time

Prune your fiddle leaf fig during its active growing season, typically in spring or early summer. This is when the plant has the most energy to recover and produce new growth after pruning.

Inspect the Plant

Take a close look at your fiddle leaf fig and identify the areas that need pruning. Look for:

  • Dead or yellowing leaves: These are usually the first to go. They can be a sign of overwatering, underwatering, or other issues.
  • Leggy growth: If your fiddle leaf fig is getting tall and sparse, you can prune to encourage bushier growth.
  • Overcrowded areas: Remove branches or leaves that are blocking light from reaching the interior of the plant.

Prepare Your Tools

Ensure your pruning shears or scissors are clean and sharp. You can disinfect them by wiping the blades with a cloth soaked in disinfectant. This helps prevent the spread of diseases.

Remove Unwanted Growth

Carefully cut off any dead, yellow, or damaged leaves by making clean cuts close to the main stem. 

Additionally, if you notice any unhealthy or crowded branches, trim them back to the main stem or a healthy node (the point where a leaf attaches to the stem).

Promote Bushier Growth

To encourage a bushier appearance, you can selectively prune the tips of branches. Cut just above a leaf node (the point where a leaf attaches to the stem) to encourage new growth to emerge from that node.

Consider Propagation

If you want to propagate your fiddle leaf fig, you can use the pruned cuttings. Make sure each cutting has at least one leaf and one node. 

Dip the cut end in rooting hormone (if available) and plant it in a pot with well-draining soil. Keep the soil consistently moist and provide bright, indirect light for the new cutting.

Monitor and Maintain

After pruning, monitor your fiddle leaf fig for a few weeks. It might experience a temporary slowdown in growth as it redirects energy toward healing and producing new growth. 

Ensure you’re providing proper care in terms of watering, light, and humidity.

Remember that fiddle leaf figs are sensitive to changes, so avoid pruning too much at once. It’s better to start conservatively and make additional cuts later if needed. Regular maintenance and pruning will help keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy, vibrant, and well-shaped.

Benefits of Pruning Fiddle Leaf Fig All the Way Down

Pruning a fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) all the way down, also known as “hard pruning,” can offer several benefits for the health and appearance of the plant. Here are some potential advantages: 

Encourages New Growth

Hard pruning stimulates the plant to produce new growth from the base, which can result in a bushier and more compact shape. This can be particularly beneficial if your fiddle leaf fig has become leggy or top-heavy. 

Renews Overgrown Plants

If your fiddle leaf fig has become too tall or its lower leaves have become sparse, hard pruning can rejuvenate the plant by removing the overgrown or unhealthy parts, allowing fresh growth to emerge.

Improves Air Circulation

Removing dense foliage through hard pruning can improve air circulation within the plant, reducing the risk of fungal infections and other diseases. 

Prevents Pests and Diseases

Pruning away diseased or infested parts of the plant can help prevent the spread of pests and diseases to healthier sections. 

Enhances Aesthetics

Hard pruning can result in a more balanced and visually pleasing shape for your fiddle leaf fig. It can also help maintain a manageable size, which is important if you’re growing the plant indoors. 

Reduces Stress on the Plant

If your fiddle leaf fig is struggling due to factors like overgrowth, root congestion, or poor lighting, hard pruning can reduce the overall stress on the plant by removing the parts that are struggling the most. 

Facilitates Repotting

If your fiddle leaf fig has outgrown its current pot, hard pruning can make repotting easier and less stressful for the plant. It allows you to remove excess foliage, making the plant lighter and more manageable during the repotting process. 

Increases Longevity

By promoting healthy new growth and preventing the plant from becoming overly leggy or weakened, hard pruning can extend the overall lifespan of your fiddle leaf fig. 

Opportunity for Propagation

The pruned cuttings can be rooted to create new plants through propagation. This can be a cost-effective way to expand your collection or share plants with friends and family. 

It’s important to note that hard pruning can be quite drastic and should be done with care. 

Make sure you have a clear understanding of the plant’s needs and growth habits before attempting such a pruning technique. Also, be patient after pruning, as it may take some time for the plant to recover and produce new growth.

Final Thought

In summary, yes, you can cut your Fiddle Leaf Fig all the way down, but it’s important to do so carefully, during the active growing season, and with consideration for the plant’s recovery needs. 

Following these guidelines can help increase the chances of successful regrowth and a healthy, rejuvenated plant.


How much can I trim my fiddle leaf fig without harming it? 

You can trim up to a third of the plant’s foliage at a time without causing excessive stress. Pruning too much at once can shock the plant, so it’s better to do gradual pruning over a period of time.

When is the best time to cut back my fiddle leaf fig? 

The best time to prune a fiddle leaf fig is in the spring or early summer when it’s entering its active growth phase. It allows the plant to recover and grow new foliage more effectively.

Will cutting my fiddle leaf fig all the way down encourage new growth? 

Yes, cutting back your fiddle leaf fig can stimulate new growth from the nodes below where you’ve made the cuts. Pruning strategically can lead to a fuller and more compact plant over time.

What should I do after cutting my fiddle leaf fig? 

After pruning, make sure to provide your fiddle leaf fig with proper care, including sufficient sunlight, appropriate watering, and a balanced fertilizer. Keep a close eye on the plant’s response to the pruning and adjust care as needed.

Can I cut my fiddle leaf fig all the way down? 

Absolutely! Fiddle leaf figs can be pruned back significantly if needed. However, it’s important to follow proper pruning techniques to ensure the health and growth of the plant.

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