Ask a Question forum: How to top fiddle leaf fig.

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Mar 23, 2017 12:41 PM CST
Hi folks!

I just bought a fiddle leaf fig. Now i wonder where, and how, to top it. I want it to look something like this: , is that even possible?

Are there any risks topping it when it comes straight from the store?

This is how it looks now:
Thumb of 2017-03-23/misterisse/315a5b

from the top:
Thumb of 2017-03-23/misterisse/501c54

And just under the two top leaves:
Thumb of 2017-03-23/misterisse/424a5c

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Mar 24, 2017 1:45 PM CST
My first thought when I read this post was, "Quickly, with a sharp blade, so as not to cause it too much agony". So I didn't respond. But neither has anyone else. Sighing!

The reason Fiddle Leaf Figs make great house plants, even though they can grow into pretty good sized trees, is that they grow very slowly. I suspect the one in the photo you admire is 20 or 25 years old.

Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will grow branches at the nodes just below where ever you cut. To make it have a trunk the length of the one in your sample photo, you would need to let it grow another couple feet. See you in five years. Smiling

Edited to add: Yours will never be variegated.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

[Last edited by DaisyI - Mar 24, 2017 1:47 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1396767 (2)
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Mar 25, 2017 9:47 AM CST
The Fiddle-leafed Fig that you want yours to become was grown in a nursery where several small plants were potted together and their stems were braided while they were still young and pliable. By putting multiple plants together in the same pot, it has multiple stems that each produce foliage and give what appears to be a branching effect.

Yours is a single stem and it is unlikely to ever put out side branches. Thus, it will never be as full and lush as then one in the photo. Yours has a single growing tip that will continue to grow straight up unless you pinch or prune it. My suggestion is that you let yours grow to the desired height and then simply pinch out new grow buds as they emerge. Pinching will not harm the plant, but it will keep it at the desired height and deter lower leaf drop. Sometimes, constant pinching will cause branching lower down on the stem, but that is unlikely. A larger pot and fertilizer will not make it branch or grow faster. Be patient with what you have.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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