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The fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is a favorite among all houseplant lovers for its beautiful green leaves that can add an aesthetic touch to any place where it is located. If you want to get a new fiddle leaf fig or your current fiddle leaf fig is dying, consider propagating as fiddle leaf figs are easy to propagate.
To propagate a fiddle leaf fig, you need to cut a good stem. A good stem cutting should have at least 1-2 nodes. Nodes are areas where buds and leaves grow on the branches. Place the cutting in soil or water. Wait for the roots to grow, after which you can transplant the fiddle leaf fig.
In this article, I will explain everything that you need to know about propagating your fiddle leaf fig so that you can do it successfully on the first go.
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When is the best time to propagate fiddle leaf fig?
The best time to propagate your fiddle leaf fig is during the growing season, that is, during spring or summer. It is when the plant is active and growing.
On the other hand, winter is the dormant period, and the plant rests and doesn’t grow during this time, so if you propagate the fiddle leaf fig in winter, the plant will not have fast growth, and the propagation might even fail.
Always try to get a healthy stem when you are trying to propagate. If you are using a damaged part, the plant might not be able to propagate, or even if it does, it will not survive for long.
If your plant is not at its best health and looks stressed or droopy, don’t propagate it and instead give it some time and take care of it. Then, when it seems healthy, you can go ahead with the propagation.
You might have a fiddle leaf fig that is about to die, and there is no chance of its survival, and you want to propagate it. Try to get the healthiest stem with one or two healthy leaves to grow and survive.
You have to be patient as it can take time for the roots to come out after propagating the plant.
Supplies needed to propagate fiddle leaf fig
It would be best if you had a few supplies to propagate your fiddle leaf fig. It’s better to keep them handy before you start propagating so that you don’t have to go about looking for them.
- A pair of sterilized scissors or clippers
- Cotton balls
- A jar to keep the cutting
- A soil mix
- A pot for propagation
Using sterilized tools is vital because you don’t want to spread any infection or pest infestation down to the new plant. The disinfectants are also used to get rid of pest infestation.
How to propagate fiddle leaf fig?
Now that you have learned about all the supplies, let’s check out the different methods of fiddle leaf fig propagation.
There are three ways to propagate your fiddle leaf fig:
- Water propagation
- Soil propagation
- Air layering
Let’s see how we can perform each of these.
Water propagation of fiddle leaf fig
Make sure that you are using clean tools. For example, you can clean the pruner using the disinfectant so that if there are fungus and bacteria, they won’t spread, and the disinfectant will kill them.
1. Prepare for propagation
Be ready with a jar of water where you will put the cutting. The water should not have chlorine; you can use distilled water or leave tap water out for some time to reduce the chlorine. Use a jar that can support the stem.
2. Cutting the stem
Make a clean cutting three inches below the first leaf of the stem. Choose a branch with healthy leaves, and if there are more than 2-3 leaves, you can remove the extra leaves.
Be gentle and patient while doing this. Don’t let the cutting remain outside, and insert it in water immediately after you have made the cut.
3. Insert it in water
The next step is to put the cutting in the jar of water, which we had prepared right before starting with the propagation process.
As we have mentioned already, you should use the correct-sized jar that can support the stem.
You should change the water of the jar at least once a week. Not changing the water will lead to the development of algae in the water.
The plant gets the nutrients from the water, so changing it will help the plant get more nutrients to grow roots quicker.
If the leaves of the cutting are dipped in water, they will start to rot, making sure that only the stem is placed in water, not the leaves.
4. Place the plant in a bright spot
Fiddle leaf figs love sunlight, but direct sunlight will be harmful to them.
You can place the jar near a window that gets indirect light throughout the day.
5. Wait for the roots to come out
It can take around a month for the roots to come out. So you have to be patient and wait for it.
You might notice some growth after three weeks. Let the roots grow for one more week, and then you can repot it.
6. Repotting the plant
When the roots look long enough, you can take them out from the jar of water and place them in a pot with potting soil.
You can prepare a soil mix beforehand and add it to the pot. Then, before repotting the plant, check the roots to make sure they are white and crispy and not brown and mushy.
For the first two months, you can keep the soil moist. This will help the plant to grow its roots faster. However, ensure that the soil is not too wet as that can cause root rot.
After three months, you can start adding fertilizers to the soil.
Soil propagation of fiddle leaf fig
The steps are almost the same as the water propagation. The only difference is that the plant needs to be repotted in soil.
1. Cutting the stem
Use sharp and sterilized scissors to cut the stem. First, cut a branch that has the node from where the roots will grow.
You will insert the node into the soil. Use a soil mix that lets air pass in the soil and supports proper drainage of water.
2. Choose the right pot.
Take a pot that has proper drainage holes. Fiddle leaf figs hate sitting on the water, and it can cause root rot. So adequate drainage is critical that will let the excess water drain out.
The pot should be of the correct size. It depends on the size of the cutting. Choosing the wrong size will obstruct the growth of the roots.
And we would repot the plant frequently.
3. Plant the cutting in the soil
To not disturb the new roots, it would be best to dig the potting soil, make a hole, and place the cutting inside it.
Pat the soil and water it a little so that the soil can settle down around the cutting. The leaves should not touch the soil.
If the cutting doesn’t remain upright, you can use a stake to support it.
4. Place the pot where there is indirect light.
Light is essential for the growth of the plant and its roots. Therefore, keep the plant near indirect or filtered light.
Direct sunlight will scorch the leaves and absorb all the water that the plant requires.
Ready for the plant to grow and the roots to develop. Then, keep watering it to get all the nutrients, but make sure not to overwater it.
Air layering of fiddle leaf fig
Air layering is the method that lets a stem that is already a part of the tree grow roots. You can use this to propagate a large cutting.
Let’s check out the steps:
- First, you need to choose which stem you would like to propagate. Choose a healthy stem with healthy leaves on it.
- Create a small cut under any node on that stem. Do it with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.
- After you have made the cut, dab some damp sphagnum moss around the stem.
- Cover the area where you have made the cut with plastic and secure it from all ends.
- Wait for two weeks and check for roots in the area covered with plastic. It can take a lot of time, maybe months.
- After you see enough roots, cut the stem below the covered section and remove the plastic. Be careful while doing it as you don’t want to damage the roots.
- Now you need to plant this cutting in a new pot without getting rid of the moss.
Can you propagate a fiddle leaf fig leaf?
It is doubtful that a leaf will grow a whole new plant. New growth starts from nodes found in the branches, but leaves don’t have nodes that can produce a new plant.
A leaf can grow roots if you propagate it in water, but it is improbable that it will develop a new plant.
How long does it take to propagate fiddle leaf fig?
It takes around a month to see roots after propagating. You can notice small roots by the end of the third week, but you should give it one more week to grow longer roots.