It’s easier than you think!
Fiddle-leaf Figs seem to have a bad reputation for being hard to keep alive to begin with, but that’s honestly not true, they just need a good amount of indirect sunlight. However, this post is actually about propagating them, which is crazy easy!
I’ll admit I’ve only done it once, and this was my first time ever doing it, but if it was this easy for me it has to be easy for everyone else. Of course for this experiment, you’ll have to have access to an adult Fiddle-leaf. If you have one of your own or a friend that doesn’t mind sparing a small limb.
You only need two things to get started.
- Cutting/Pruning Shears (sanitized)
- A cup of water
Once you’ve got your tree to cut from, find a small branch that has at least two leaves already grown from it. You can also pick a longer branch and cut towards the end, again keeping at least two leaves on it—the leaves help with photosynthesizing and growing after it’s cut.
Take your shears and cut the branch at an angle right after a leaf or if it’s a short branch, right next to the barky trunk. Drop that happy boy in your cup of water and place it in a sunny spot inside. 100% direct sunlight is not the best as it can burn the leaves, just like the adult tree but it does like very bright light—so as bright as you can get it without full sun.
I cut my piece during its growing season so I saw fast results, within a week I already saw roots forming. Once the roots are about an inch long you can pot it! It took only about 2 weeks for mine to get to that length.
It’s really that easy, next I’ll show you how to pot your new cutting.
What you’ll need:
- Moisture Holding Potting Soil
- Rocks for drainage
- Sphagnum moss (not required)
- Gloves (optional, but why not get messy)
- A pot that’s at least 6″ in diameter and same in height—It’ll stay in this pot till it gets bigger, so we want to give it growing room.
Add your rocks to the bottom till they cover about an inch in height. If your pot has drainage holes you can skip this step. Then add a layer of sphagnum moss (you can mix it with some of your potting soil to help pack it all down).
Adding a layer of rocks helps keep your dirt from sitting in water and turning into mud. The sphagnum moss keeps all of the dirt from running down into the rocks, similar to a mesh or net, while also absorbing water for your roots to still be happy.
Now it’s time to get your hands even dirtier!
Now fill your pot up with your potting mix. Stop when you’re about an inch and a half from the top of your pot, if you can spare 2 inches happily, go for it. I’m terrible at filling my pots up to the rim and then later find myself struggling to water them by having to wait for the water to get absorbed. Giving an inch or two of room in the top lets you water the plant more evenly without having to sit and wait for it to sink in.
Once that’s done, push a hole into the very center of the pot to give room for your cutting. Make sure that the roots go down with the plant and not stick up out of the top. I stuck mine in at the halfway point between the last leaf and the roots. Push the dirt down to fill the gap to support your cutting. I give my plants a little wiggle to see if it needs more dirt to secure it or not.
waste not want not!
You always want to water your new plant directly after repotting them so why not reuse the propagation water that was there when it was growing in your cup? Of course, you’ll probably need more water than that but it’s always great to recycle when you can.
Be sure to give it enough water to where all of the soil seems moist. If your pot has a drainage hole I would advise watering it till you see water run out the bottom. If it doesn’t have a drainage hole, watering till the soil is moist will be just fine.