Ask a Question forum: Branching out my fiddle leaf fig

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Jillpickle
Mar 21, 2017 7:32 PM CST
I'm a somewhat novice gardener. I've had a lot of plants but not much experience with anything extreme like air layering, or whatever it's called that I'm about to ask about lol. I've had my fiddle leaf fig plant for about two years. It started out more bushlike, and awhile back I actually killed off an entire branch. Now I think I have him figured out and he's growing happily. I've posted a picture, he's more like a small tree now. Although I would like for the tree to branch out. I only have one tall stalk. Will it happen naturally? Or is this something I can coax the plant into doing? Any instruction or video links would be greatly appreciated.
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Name: Kate
NEKingdom of Vermont (Zone 3a)
www.LabourofLoveLandscaping.com
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant and/or Seed Trader Sempervivums Tropicals Garden Ideas: Level 1
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LabourofLove
Mar 21, 2017 7:53 PM CST
Fiddle-leaf figs WANT to be trees and sometimes won't branch until they are much larger. If it were mine, I would make a small nick with a sharp knife about 4" above soil level. NOT completely around the stem, just a small cut. Do not remove any bark. Sometimes, this sort of 'damage' will induce the stem to make a branch.
Kate Kennedy Butler
Glover, Vermont

life without music would be a mistake Nietzsche

Jillpickle
Mar 21, 2017 9:07 PM CST
Hi labouroflove,
I was actually hoping to make the tree branch out at the top. Would this method work there also? Also I like the fact that you said they like to be trees and want to beach when they're larger. Is that a possibility? I was just hoping I wouldn't have one tall skinny trunk with no branches forever. If that is the natural way of the tree, then I think I'd like to wait it out a while long and see what the natural growth is like. Thanks so much
Name: Kate
NEKingdom of Vermont (Zone 3a)
www.LabourofLoveLandscaping.com
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant and/or Seed Trader Sempervivums Tropicals Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
LabourofLove
Mar 28, 2017 5:41 PM CST
Well, if you want it to branch at the top, just nip out the termina leaf/bud. That should do it.
Kate Kennedy Butler
Glover, Vermont

life without music would be a mistake Nietzsche

Planter11001
Oct 17, 2017 12:46 PM CST
I've been looking around the Web for the answer to this very question. I found a video that mentioned that we can "notch" the trunk above a bud where we want a branch to form. I did this earlier this week and upon inspection today I found something happening below the notch. See picture. Is that a new branch forming?
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Oct 17, 2017 4:30 PM CST
I hate to be a killjoy here, but it is very unlikely that your Fiddle-leafed Fig will ever branch the way that you would like it to. When potted and grown indoors, it mostly grows taller with a single growing tip.

Pinching out new leaf growth repeatedly will cause it to put out a secondary growth stem at the top. Notching might work, but it rarely does. That is not a new branch in the photo.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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