How to Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Fiddle leaf figs are a beautiful and popular houseplant, but they can be a bit finicky. Learn how to prune your fiddle leaf fig to encourage healthy growth and prevent problems.

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A fiddle leaf fig tree is a popular indoor plant due to its large, glossy leaves. The tree can grow up to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, so it’s important to prune it regularly to keep it manageable. Pruning also encourages new growth and keeps the plant looking its best.

Here’s how to prune a fiddle leaf fig tree:

1. Start by removing any dead or dying leaves. These can be easily identified by their brown or black color. Use sharp, clean pruning shears to make clean cuts close to the stem.

2. Next, prune off any leaves that are crowding or rubbing against other leaves. Again, make clean cuts as close to the stem as possible.

3. Once you’ve removed the dead and damaged leaves, you can start trimming back any long or leggy branches. Cut these back to about 6 inches from the main trunk of the tree.

4. Finally, shape the tree by pruning any branches that are growing out of place or that are too long. Cut these back to 2-3 inches from the main trunk of the tree.

The Benefits of Pruning

Pruning a fiddle leaf fig can help to encourage new growth and make the plant healthier. It can also help to shape the plant and keep it a manageable size. If you are new to pruning, it is important to understand the basics before you get started. This section will cover the benefits of pruning and how to get started.

Pruning Increases Air Circulation

Pruning your fiddle leaf fig increases air circulation and allows the plant to direct its energies to growing new leaves and branches. When you prune, you remove old, dead leaves and branches. This gives the plant a chance to focus its energy on new growth. If you don’t prune, the plant will eventually become choked with old growth and will stop producing new leaves and branches.

Pruning also encourages branching, which gives the plant a fuller, more robust shape. If you want a tall, thin fiddle leaf fig, you can achieve this by pruning off the lower branches. If you want a shorter, full fig, allow the lower branches to remain and prune off the upper branches.

Pruning Promotes New Growth

Pruning your fiddle leaf fig helps to promote new growth and keep your plant healthy. It is best to prune in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. Pruning also helps to shape your plant and keep it looking its best.

To prune your fiddle leaf fig, start by removing any dead or damaged leaves. Then, cut back any long or leggy stems. Finally, shape the plant by trimming back any stray branches. If you are not sure how to prune your plant, ask a garden center employee for help.

Pruning Reduces the Risk of Pests and Diseases

Pruning not only keeps your plant looking neat and tidy, but it also helps to reduce the risk of pests and diseases. By removing dead or dying leaves, you eliminate potential hiding places for pests, and by getting rid of diseased leaves, you stop the spread of disease to healthy parts of the plant.

The Best Time to Prune

Fiddle leaf figs are a popular houseplant because of their large, glossy leaves. They can grow quite large, so pruning is necessary to keep them looking their best. The best time to prune a fiddle leaf fig is in the late winter or early spring. This will give the plant time to heal and regrow before the growing season begins.

Pruning in the Spring

Pruning in the spring is a great way to help your fiddle leaf fig tree flourish. The new growth that emerges after pruning will be strong and healthy, and the tree will be able to better absorb nutrients and moisture. Spring is also the best time to remove any dead or damaged leaves, as well as any diseased or pests.

Pruning in the Summer

Summer is the best time to prune a fiddle leaf fig. The tree is actively growing during this season, so pruning will encourage new growth. New growth means more leaves, which means your fiddle leaf fig will look fuller and healthier.

Pruning in the summer is also a good way to manage the size of your fiddle leaf fig. If you want to keep your tree small, cut off the tips of the branches. This will stunt the growth of the tree and keep it compact.

Pruning in the Fall

Pruning in the fall gives the plant a chance to heal before winter sets in. It also helps to shape the plant for the following year. Avoid pruning within two months of the last frost, as this can damage new growth.

Fiddle leaf figs are typically pruned in late summer or early fall. However, they can be pruned at any time of year if necessary.

Pruning in the Winter

While the best time to prune a fiddle leaf fig is generally in the winter, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you start chopping away.

First, make sure that your plant is healthy and free of pests or diseases. Winter is a good time to prune because the plant is dormant and will be less stressed by the removal of leaves. However, if your plant is not in good health, it may not be able to handle the stress of pruning.

Second, take a close look at your plant and decide which branches you want to remove. It’s often helpful to mark these branches with tape so you don’t forget which ones you want to remove.

Third, when you’re ready to start pruning, cut each branch at a 45-degree angle just above a set of leaves. This will help encourage new growth.

Fourth, after you’ve finished pruning, water your plant well and place it in a bright spot. The additional light will help it recover from the stress of pruning and encourage new growth.

How to Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle Leaf Figs are a beautiful addition to any home, but they can be a bit finicky. One of the most important things to keep in mind when caring for a Fiddle Leaf Fig is that they need to be pruned. Pruning a Fiddle Leaf Fig can seem daunting, but it’s really not too difficult. Let’s go over the basics of how to prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Step One: Sanitize Your Tools

It is important to sanitize your tools before pruning your fiddle leaf fig. This will help prevent the spread of disease and infection. You can sanitize your tools by soaking them in a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water for at least 30 minutes.

Step Two: Remove Dead or Damaged Leaves

Now that you’ve cut away any crossed or rubbing branches, it’s time to focus on the leaves. Start by removing any that are dead or damaged. These can be diseased and, if left unchecked, can spread the problem to healthy leaves.

Use sharp, clean pruning shears to make clean cuts as close to the stem as possible. If a leaf is only partially damaged, you can try to cut away the bad parts and leave the rest.

Be sure to dispose of any leaves you remove in the trash; do not compost them.

Step Three: Cut Back the Stem

Now that you’ve removed all the dead, diseased, or damage leaves, it’s time to cut back the stem. You will want to cut the stem back to about 6-8 inches from the soil. This will encourage new growth and help the plant to bush out. Be sure to use sharp pruning shears or a sharp knife when cutting the stem.

Step Four: Prune the Roots

If your plant is pot-bound (the roots are materializing out of the drainage holes), it’s time for a root pruning. Fiddle leaf figs don’t like to be disturbed, so take care when removing your plant from its pot.

Gently remove the plant from its pot and loosen any tightly packed roots with your fingers. Cut away any extremely long or damaged roots, then replant in fresh potting mix. Use a well-draining pots that’s only slightly larger than the root ball.

Water deeply, then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. As with any type of pruning, Root pruning will shock your plant, so give it some time to recover before moving or fertilizing it.


That’s it! You’ve now learned how to prune a fiddle leaf fig tree. Remember to sterilize your scissors or pruning shears before and after each cut to avoid spreading diseases, and make sure to water your tree well after you’re done pruning. With a little care and attention, your fiddle leaf fig will continue to grow and thrive for years to come.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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