How to Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Do you have a fiddle leaf fig that is growing out of control? It may need pruning. Pruning a houseplant may seem daunting, but it’s pretty simple! In this blog post, we will show you how to prune your fiddle tree so that it remains healthy and looks great. Keep reading for tips and advice on how to trim your plant.

Pruning of Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle-leaf figs are tropical trees often grown as a houseplant. They are known for their long, shiny leaves reaching up to 12 inches. Fiddles are from arid areas of Africa and need a warm temperature to survive.

If you live in an area with these conditions, you may be able to grow a Fiddle tree outdoors.

Pruning is an integral part of caring for any houseplant. Pruning helps to make new growth and keeps the plant looking its best. It is also important to prune away dead or damaged leaves to prevent the disease from spreading.

Why Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Pruning is vital for many reasons. It helps to make your plant grow stronger, shape the plant, and remove damaged or diseased leaves. It can also help increase the sunlight that reaches the plant’s lower leaves.

It’s generally recommended to prune your Fiddle tree every 6-12 months. If you notice that the leaves are starting to look yellow or brown, this is a sign that the plant needs to be pruned.

When to Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig?

The best time to prune a Fiddle tree is spring or summer. This is when the plant is actively growing and will be able to recover from pruning more easily. This can ensure that your plant will continue to look healthy and whole.

However, you can also prune in the summer if necessary. Avoid pruning in the fall or winter, as this can shock the plant and damage new growth. These considerations are essential when deciding how and when to prune your Fiddle plant, as pruning at the wrong time can cause more harm than good.

What are the Different Techniques of Pruning?

You can prune your houseplants in a few different ways. The type of pruning you do will depend on the shape and size of the plant, as well as your personal preference. Here are some of those techniques:


Topping pruning is a horticultural technique in which the main stem or leader of a young tree or shrub is cut back to encourage the growth of lateral branches. This pruning is typically done on trees and shrubs grown for their ornamental value, such as fruit trees, roses, and topiary.

The technique is controversial among horticulturists, as it can result in an unsightly tree with weak, poorly attached branches. However, when done correctly, topping pruning can encourage the growth of strong, healthy lateral branches.

When choosing to top prune a tree or shrub, it is essential to consult a knowledgeable arborist to ensure the plant can recover from the pruning.


Pinching pruning is a method of pruning that involves pinching off the new growth of a plant. This type of pruning encourages plants to produce fuller, more compact growth.

It is often used on shrubs and bushes grown for their ornamental value. Pinching should be done when the plant is young before it can develop into its full-grown form.

There are two types of pinching: soft pinching and hard pinching. Soft pinching is done by gently squeezing the stem between your thumb and forefinger.

This will remove the growing tip without damaging the plant. Hard pinching is done using a sharp tool, such as scissors, to cut off the growing tip.


Thinning is when you remove entire leaves or branches from the plant. This is a good option if your plant is too dense or if there are damaged leaves that need to be removed. When thinning, cut at the base of the leaf or branch so that new growth can occur.

The goal of thinning pruning is to improve the plant’s health by reducing weight and wind resistance and increasing ventilation and light penetration.

When to Use Which Technique?

The technique you use will depend on the shape and size of your plant and your personal preference. If your plant is too tall, you may want to use topping to encourage lateral growth.

If your plant is too dense, you may want to use thinning to remove some leaves or branches. And if you want to encourage a fuller, bushier plant, you may want to use pinching.

How Much Should You Prune?

How much you prune will also depend on your personal preference. If you’re doing light pruning, you may only want to remove a few leaves or branches. But if you’re doing more extensive pruning, you may want to remove more.

Just ensure not to remove more than 1/3 of the plant at a time, as this can shock the plant and damage new growth.

Likewise, too little pruning can result in an overgrown, unhealthy plant. So it’s crucial to find a balance that works for you and your plant.

Pruning Tools

You can use a few different tools to prune your growing Fiddle tree. The tool you use will depend on the size and shape of your plant and the extent of the pruning you’re doing.

For light pruning, you can use your fingers to pinch off new growth or remove small leaves. For more extensive pruning, you may want to use pruning shears. These sharp scissors can help you quickly remove larger leaves or branches.

For huge plants, you may need to use a pruning saw. This more extensive, more powerful tool can help you remove thick branches.

How to Prune a Fiddle Leaf Fig.

To prune a Fiddle plant, you’ll need a sharp pair of pruning shears. Before you start, it’s important to sterilize your pruning tools. This will prevent the spread of disease. To sterilize your instruments, soak them in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water for 30 minutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Remove Dead, Yellow, and Brown Leaves

Start by removing any dead, yellow, or brown leaves. These leaves are no longer serving a purpose and can be safely removed. Cut these leaves off at the base of the plant, careful not to damage the main stem.

Prune Damaged or Diseased Leaves

If you notice any leaves that are damaged or diseased, it’s crucial to remove these as well. These leaves can spread disease to the rest of the plant. Cut these leaves off at the base of the plant, careful not to damage the main stem.

Trim Overgrown Leaves

If some leaves are significantly larger than others, you can trim these down. This will help to add volume and keep the plant looking full. To do this, cut the leaf off at the desired length.

Shape the Plant

Once you’ve removed all the dead, yellow, and brown leaves, you can start shaping the plant. Use your pruning shears to trim any overgrown branches. You can also use this time to thin out the plant if it looks too dense.

To do this, cut off branches that rub or merge. This will increase the passing of air and prevent disease. Not only this, but it can also help the plant to grow more evenly.

After you’ve finished pruning, it’s essential to dispose of the leaves and branches properly to make the disease doesn’t spread. You can either compost them or throw them away in the trash.

Pruning any houseplant is relatively simple and easy to do. Following these tips can make your plant healthy and look its best.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Pruning

Pruning is a great way to keep your Fiddle plants healthy and looking their best. But you can do a few things to get the most out of it.

Here are a few tips:

  • Prune in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. This will assist in encouraging healthy growth.
  • Avoid pruning in the winter when the plant is dormant. This can shock the plant and damage new growth.
  • Prune early in the morning before the heat of the day. This will remove stress on the plant.
  • Water your plant before and after pruning. This can make your plant healthy and firm.
  • Use sharp, sterilized tools to avoid spreading disease.
  • Throw pruned part immediately, as this can stop the spread of germs.

Following these tips can help ensure that your plant stays healthy and looks its best.

American Plant Exchange Fiddle Leaf Fig Indoor Houseplant 3G Pot, 36-40" Tall

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it! Our guide on how to prune a Fiddle tree in your home garden. These steps can help your plant thrive and grow healthy and strong. Make it a habit to keep your tree alive by occasional pruning and save your plant from long-lasting damage.  Have any questions or tips of your own? Be sure to share them in the comments below!

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