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Fiddle Leaf Fig Update

Other posts in this series: Part 1, Part 3

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of requests for updates to last year’s fiddle leaf fig tree post.  So I’m happy to say, the tree is still doing quite well!

To sum up, here’s a quick look at the growth from last year.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Update - >> <<

It was extremely gratifying to see it thrive under my care!

So what has happened since then? Not a whole lot actually, but there are still some fun things to share about.

September marked the last of the growth for 2013. Pretty much as soon as Fall arrived, it had entered into Winter dormancy.  At this point I already felt that it had outgrown its pot, but decided to wait until the next growing season to subject it to the trauma of re-potting.

When March rolled around, the days were getting longer, and the growing season was fast upon us.  I decided this was the perfect timing for re-potting.  As you can see from the photo below, my little tree had not changed at all since September.

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So how did I know it needed to be re-potted?  Honestly, I would have re-potted it whether it needed it or not, but there were a few possible clues.  First, proportionately the plant just seemed way too big for the pot. Secondly, whenever I watered it, very little water seemed to absorb into the soil and tended to drain right through into the dish.  That was a clue that there might not be much soil left – most of it was probably taken over by roots.  This hunch was supported when I took a peek at the bottom of the pot.  Tons of roots were growing through the bottom of the drainage hole.

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Anyway, I went ahead with the re-potting. The root situation that I saw confirmed that it had become root-bound.

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Look at all those roots!  I think if I had left it much longer, it would have choked itself to death.  When re-potting, its important to loosen up the roots a bit before transferring to the new pot.  Even with more space, it will continue the habit of growing in this tight knot and choke itself.  Loosening up the ball a bit will help it to grow outward again.

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Also, a note on the new pot I used.  I bought this gold metallic glazed terracotta pot from Anthropologie. Unfortunately it didn’t come with a drainage hole which is a big problem for fiddle leaf figs (they don’t like soggy roots.)  So I simply used my power drill with a masonry bit to drill a hole into the bottom.  Worked like a charm!

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Less than a month after repotting, rapid leaf growth began again. It may have already started in earlier in March, but the buds were covered by flaky brown husks so I didn’t notice.

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I let it grow happily for about a month longer, but decided to do some pruning again in late April – once again, in order to encourage branching.  Here’s a photo of the poor thing after I chopped its head off.

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I decided to propagate the severed top again.  This time I gave it a longer stem than I did in my last post so I was able to fill the rooting cup with more water. This is way better because I don’t have to check on it and refill the water quite as often.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Update - >> <<

Today it’s been about a half a month since I pruned.  The cutting still does not have any roots, but that always takes at least a whole month.  The main plant is doing great though!  It already has 3 new leaf buds! One growing from the main stalk, and two growing out of leaf armpits which will eventually grow into two new branches! Hmm, I’m sure there must be a more technical term than “leaf armpits”…

Fiddle Leaf Fig Update - >> <<

Fiddle Leaf Fig Update - >> <<

Keep checking in for more updates!  I plan to keep adding photos to this post throughout the summer =)


58 comments to Fiddle Leaf Fig Update

  • Shriver Lenox-Cucé

    Hi Cheryl
    My FLF is 8′ and has 3 trunks. However, the issue I have is that it has roots growing above dirt level (even as high as 20″ up the trunks). These roots are quite skinny and appear to want to grow down to find dirt. Can I just cut them off? They are below the lowest leaves and above the dirt line.

  • hi there! i just bought a tall beautifull fiddle leaf fig and i’m very excited to keep him healthy and happy!
    i’ ll be in touch

  • Maritza Marquez

    Omgosh! Your plant is so beautiful, when I purchased mine it had so many leafs, now it’s down to about 5 and no signs of new ones, I am thinking the pot might be too big and need to pot to a smaller pot where the roots feel a little more tight since I read they don’t like the too much room.

  • Cathy

    Hi Cheryl,
    I would like for my FLF to stay bushy instead of a tall tree,
    How can I accomplish that? I was given a starter like a bush, about 5
    Leaves and then I was given 2 separate leaves. The two separate leaves
    Are getting bigger and that’s it, so what should I expect from them?

  • Beverly

    I have a very healthy looking fiddle to read but now the new girl that’s coming out the leaves look spotty a lot of brown spotting throughout them over the whole leaf not sure what is happening. Does anyone have any ideas?

  • Morgan

    Do you have any current pictures? Is it still alive? Is it massive?

  • Kerstin

    What direction does the window face that the FLF is in front of? Thanks!

  • Cindy

    How do I stop new bud leaves from falling off before they develop fully? My fiddle leaf seems to be doing well except for this issue.

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