The Best Way To Grow A Fiddle Leaf Fig From A Cutting

The Best Way To Grow A Fiddle Leaf Fig From A Cutting

You can easily grow a fiddle leaf fig from a single cutting, which means you can easily grow more fiddle leaf fig trees for FREE using this simple method. In this article, we’ll cover what tools you need to get started, a step-by-step guide on how to propagate fiddle leaf fig cuttings, and tips for success!

(Featured Image: Repotting Fiddle Leaf by J. McQueen)

This post contains affiliate links to the plants and products we recommend from our trusted suppliers. We earn a small commission from purchases made through these links, which helps us maintain this website. Thank you for your support!

8 Easy Steps To Propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig Cuttings

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Healthy Fiddle-Leaf Fig Cutting: Select a healthy stem cutting that is 6-12 inches long and has at least one or two healthy leaves. Make sure it has a leaf node (the area where a single leaf attaches to the stem) at the bottom. New branches are usually a good option for cuttings.
    • Be very wary of buying your mother plant from a big box store. These plants are frequently infected with mites or fungus that will not be noticeable until you see your other plants become infected. We highly recommend purchasing your fiddle leaf fig tree from Fast Growing Trees, which sells multiple sizes and 2 varieties of these trees!
    • Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (2ft to 7ft options)
    • Bambino Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
  2. Clean, Sharp Pruning Shears or Scissors: Use clean and sterilized tools to make a clean cut.
  3. Clean Glass or Vase: You’ll need a container filled with water to root the cutting. Choose a clear glass or vase to easily monitor root development.
  4. Filtered or Distilled Water: Use clean, chlorine-free water. You can let a glass of water sit out for 24 hours to allow chlorine to dissipate or use filtered or distilled water.
  5. Optional: Rooting Hormone (Powder or Gel): While not mandatory, rooting hormone can help stimulate root growth and reduce the risk of bacterial infection. I love this rooting hormone powder by Garden Safe and have had a lot of success with my indoor plant propagation.

Steps to Propagate a Fiddle Leaf Fig in Water:

  1. Take the Cutting:
    • The first step is perhaps the most important. Using clean and sharp pruning shears or scissors, make a clean cut just below a leaf node. This is where roots will form.
    • Remove any leaves or leaflets from the lower part of the cutting, leaving one or two leaves at the top.
  2. Optional: Apply Rooting Hormone:
    • Dip the cut end of the cutting in rooting hormone powder or gel if desired. This step can help stimulate root development.
  3. Place in Water:
    • Fill your clean glass or vase with enough filtered or distilled water to submerge the leaf node and a portion of the stem. The cutting should sit in water, but avoid fully submerging the leaves.
  4. Monitor the Water Level:
    • Check the water level regularly to ensure the base of the cutting remains submerged. Add more water as needed to maintain the desired level.
    • For best results, change the water every few weeks to prevent stagnation and ensure freshness.
  5. Provide Bright Indirect Light:
    • Place the container with the cutting in a well-lit location with indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can be too intense and may harm the cutting.
    • If you do not have enough natural indoor light, consider adding a small grow light like this clamp on desk LED grow lamp!
  6. Be Patient:
    • Roots should begin to develop in 6-8 weeks, but can sometimes take up to a few months to develop. Check for new root growth through the vase or pull the cutting out to inspect.
  7. Transplant:
    • Once the cutting has developed a healthy root system and has started to produce new leaves, it’s ready to be transplanted into a small pot with well-draining soil.
    • Handle the rooted cutting carefully during transplantation to avoid damaging the new roots.
  8. Acclimate Gradually:
    • When moving the rooted cutting to soil, gradually acclimate it to its new environment by increasing its exposure to light and adjusting the watering routine as needed.
    • Wait a few months before transplanting your new fiddle leaf fig tree into a decorative pot to prevent shock.

Remember that success with water propagation can vary, and not all cuttings will root successfully. Propagating multiple cuttings can increase your chances of success. Consistency in maintaining water quality and light conditions is crucial throughout the process.

A fiddle leaf fig cutting with roots shown propagated in a glass of water.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Rooted Cutting

When Is The Best Time To Take Fiddle Leaf Fig Cuttings?

The best time to take a cutting from a fiddle leaf fig is during the spring or early summer. This is when the plant is in its active growing season, and it’s more likely to root successfully. Here are some reasons why this time is ideal:

Active Growth

During the spring and early summer, fiddle leaf figs are actively growing, which means they have a higher level of energy and are more likely to produce new roots from cuttings.

Warmer Temperatures

Warmer temperatures create a more conducive environment for root development. The combination of warmth and longer daylight hours promotes faster growth.

Recovery Time

Taking cuttings during the growing season gives the parent plant more time to recover before the arrival of winter. It reduces stress on the plant and ensures it has enough energy to produce new growth.

Seasonal Changes

Fiddle leaf figs can be sensitive to environmental changes, especially during colder months. Propagating during the warmer season provides a more stable environment for root development.

When taking a cutting during the spring or early summer, be sure to choose a healthy branch with several leaves, as this will increase your chances of success. Additionally, follow the proper steps for preparing and planting the cutting, as mentioned in previous responses, to give it the best chance of rooting and thriving.

​Fiddle Leaf Fig Propagation: Tips For Success

Propagating a fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) can be challenging, but with the right techniques and care, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some tips for successfully propagating a fiddle leaf fig:

  1. Choose Healthy Parent Plant: Start with a healthy and mature fiddle leaf fig as the parent plant. Healthy parent plants are more likely to produce healthy cuttings.
  2. Select the Right Time: Take cuttings during the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. This is when the plant has more energy for root development.
  3. Use Sharp and Clean Tools: Use clean and sterilized pruning shears or scissors to take the cuttings. Clean tools reduce the risk of introducing disease or pests to the cutting.
  4. Take the Right Cuttings: Select stem cuttings that are at least 6-12 inches long and have at least two leaves. Ensure that each cutting has a leaf node (the area where a leaf attaches to the stem) as this is where roots will develop.
  5. Apply Rooting Hormone (Optional): While not necessary, using a rooting hormone can increase the chances of successful rooting. Dip the cut end of the cutting in rooting hormone before planting.
  6. Create a Mini Greenhouse: Cover cuttings with a clear plastic bag or plastic wrap to create a humid environment if you are using a soil propagation method. This helps prevent moisture loss and encourages root growth.
  7. Provide Indirect Light: Place the cuttings in a bright location with indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves. A location with bright, filtered light is ideal.
  8. Monitor Moisture Levels: Keep the soil consistently lightly moist but not waterlogged. Water sparingly and ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent root rot.
  9. Maintain Humidity: Maintain a humid environment within the plastic covering. Periodically open the covering to allow fresh air in and reduce humidity if necessary.
  10. Be Patient: Rooting can take several weeks to a few months, so be patient. Check for root development by gently tugging on the cuttings after a few weeks.
  11. Transplant Carefully: Once the cuttings have well-developed roots, transplant them into larger pots with regular fiddle leaf fig care. Acclimate them gradually to their new environment to avoid shock.
  12. Keep an Eye on Pests and Diseases: Monitor your propagated fiddle leaf fig for any signs of pests or diseases, and take appropriate action if necessary.
  13. Adjust as Needed: If you encounter issues like mold or slow growth, adjust your care routine accordingly. Mold can often be prevented with proper ventilation, and slow growth might indicate the need for more light or nutrients.

Remember that not all cuttings will root successfully, so it’s a good idea to take multiple cuttings to increase your chances of success. Additionally, maintaining a consistent care routine and attention to detail will help ensure your fiddle leaf fig cuttings thrive.

How To Avoid Mold When Propagating Fiddle Leaf Figs

Mold can be a common issue when propagating fiddle leaf fig cuttings, especially if the humidity levels are too high or if the cuttings are kept in excessively moist conditions. To avoid mold while propagating fiddle leaf fig cuttings, follow these steps:

  1. Use Clean Tools and Containers:
    • Start with clean and sterilized tools such as pruning shears or scissors.
    • Use a clean and sanitized pot or container for planting your cuttings.
  2. Choose Well-Draining Soil:
    • Ensure the potting mix you use is well-draining. A mix of perlite, peat moss, and regular potting soil allows excess moisture to escape, reducing the risk of mold.
  3. Properly Space Cuttings:
    • Avoid overcrowding the cuttings in the pot. Give each cutting enough space to allow air circulation around the leaves and stems.
  4. Avoid Overwatering:
    • Mold thrives in damp, stagnant conditions. Water the cuttings sparingly to keep the soil consistently lightly moist but not waterlogged.
    • Use a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom of the container.
  5. Provide Adequate Ventilation:
    • Ensure there is some airflow around the propagating area. You can achieve this by:
      • Opening the plastic bag or removing the plastic wrap for short periods each day to allow fresh air in.
      • Using a small fan set on low nearby to gently circulate the air around the cuttings.
  6. Maintain Appropriate Humidity:
    • While maintaining humidity is essential for root development, it’s important not to overdo it. You can reduce the risk of mold by:
      • Using a clear plastic bag or wrap to create a mini greenhouse effect for the cuttings. However, periodically vent it to prevent excessive humidity buildup.
      • If mold does appear, remove the plastic covering and allow the cuttings to breathe for a while.
  7. Monitor and Address Mold Promptly:
    • Keep a close eye on the cuttings for any signs of mold. If you notice mold growth, take immediate action:
      • Remove affected leaves or cuttings with clean, sterilized scissors or shears.
      • Sprinkle a thin layer of cinnamon or powdered sulfur on the soil surface. These natural antifungal agents can help prevent mold growth.
      • Increase ventilation to discourage mold.
  8. Maintain Good Hygiene:
    • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the cuttings or working with the propagating setup to prevent introducing contaminants.
  9. Choose the Right Location:
    • Place the propagating setup in a clean and well-ventilated area. Avoid locations with excessive humidity or poor airflow.

By following these steps, you can create a favorable environment for propagating fiddle leaf fig cuttings while minimizing the risk of mold growth. Monitoring your cuttings regularly is key to catching and addressing mold issues promptly.

A fully mature fiddle leaf fig tree that was grown from a cutting 2 years ago.

Mature Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Water Propagation vs Soil Propagation

Water propagation and soil propagation are two common methods for propagating plants, including many houseplants like fiddle leaf figs. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them often depends on the type of plant, personal preference, and the desired outcome. Here’s a comparison of water propagation vs. soil propagation:

Soil Propagation

  1. Advantages:
    • Suitable for Many Plants: Soil propagation is a versatile method that works for a wide range of plants.
    • Smooth Transition: Cuttings rooted in soil often experience less stress when transplanted to their permanent pots because they are already accustomed to soil.
    • Faster Root Development: Some plants root more quickly in soil compared to water.
  2. Disadvantages:
    • Less Visibility: You can’t see the roots developing in soil, so you may need to gently check the roots, which can disturb the cutting.
    • Risk of Overwatering: It’s easier to overwater cuttings in soil, which can lead to rot if not careful.
    • Soil Type Matters: Using the right type of soil mix with good drainage is essential for successful soil propagation.

Which Propagation Method To Choose

  • Water propagation is a good choice for plants that root well in water, and it’s excellent for observing root development. Use it for plants like pothos, philodendrons, and coleus.
  • Soil propagation is generally suitable for a wider range of plants and can be more forgiving if you tend to overwater. It’s often preferred for plants like fiddle leaf figs, snake plants, and succulents.

Remember that some plants may root successfully using either method, so you can experiment to see which works best for your specific plant. Additionally, factors such as temperature, humidity, and the time of year can influence the success of both propagation methods.

Expand Your Indoor Plant Collection!

Indoor plants, like a fiddle leaf tree, make an attractive addition to indoor decor. Additionally, indoor plants are proven to improve air quality and can often be beneficial for mental health. Many varieties of indoor plants can be duplicated using this propagation method.

If you are interested in expanding your indoor garden, check out these related articles:

A successfully rooted fiddle leaf fig cutting in a jar of water.

Rooted Fiddle Leaf Fig Cutting