Grow a Fiddle Leaf Fig From a Cutting ~ Plus Care Tips

My first was a purchase, then I got totally hooked.

I have a love for Fiddle Leaf Fig trees, the current “it” plant of interior decorators — you see them in model homes, magazines, Pinterest pix, and home sales photos. Yes, you can grow one yourself.

Truth is, you can get one for $19.99 at Home Depot. I bought three, different years. We live near the beach in Los Angeles, for weather perspective. The care is simple, in my book:

This is my west-facing Home Depot purchase, just to get you excited. It has doubled in height in one year.

Some Care Tips First

— don’t bother to transplant. Just leave in original container (baskets obviously cover up the pots) — I saw a gigantic one in a hotel in Uzbekistan, maybe 12 feet tall, in a 5-gallon plastic tub, with dirt as dry as a bone. Hearty!

— don’t worry about how much to water. A lot, a little, doesn’t really seem to matter to the Fiddle. That said, when it rains here in Los Angeles, I put the Fiddles outside for a soak of that nutritious H2O. Then I wipe the leaves dry. They adore it.

— keep out of direct light, as it burns the leaves. They want indirect/filtered light. I have one in a south-facing window, one west-facing, one north-facing. We have no east-facing windows, otherwise there would be one there.

— every 4 to 6 weeks (or when I remember), I stick a half-spike of Miracle Gro fertilizer into the soil close to the trunk (see photo at end for the packaging).

Another Home Depot purchase, it’s grown four times it’s original height in two years. West facing, diffused light. Once it touches the ceiling, it will bend across the top.

Ok, Let’s Make a Baby… Fiddle

Being a DIY gal, I wanted to see if I could propagate one myself. A fun but long project, take a look:

Bottom leaf, cut it cleanly, close to the base. And if you are in a model home and see a plant, be careful nobody sees you when you snap off a bottom leaf!
Put it in water, set in diffused light for at least SIX WEEKS, seriously takes that long. The binder clip is just to prop it up. I was lazy and never changed the water, just topped it off occasionally.
Eventually, roots appeared. These grew quickly once started.
Here’s the golden tip, from my sister (former editor of a gardening magazine). Hormone rooting powder. Home Depot purchase, enough to root a lifetime of Fiddles.
It has the consistency of corn starch, and I coated everything GENTLY to not lose the roots.
Cleared out a dead something in this 5-gallon bucket, removed rooty junk and mixed in fresh potting soil. Soaked it with water before punching a little hole with a stick and gently tucking in the cutting all the way to the base of the leaf.
Washed off the spider webs on this drip tray. Left everything outside until water stopped oozing. Then brought inside to the same window lighting as it’s Mama.
SECOND CUTTING TEST – let’s see if I need the rooting step at all… a second leaf, cut crisply, dipped in the hormone powder and planted alongside the sister leaf.
AHA!! Fast-forward three weeks, non-rooted leaf (bottom right) failed. Rooted leaf is perky and happy. Keeping the soil moist for now.
Just for safe-keeping, I added a MiracleGro plant food spike.
I write the date of when I use these, and snap in two to give a plant half. That is plenty, my opinion.

And now we wait, this How-To was published on June 5. Later this summer, there should be enough growth to show an updated picture, and hopefully more thereafter.

Have you ever grown a Fiddle Leaf Fig from a cutting? Tell us your story in a comment!

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