Blog Fiddle Leaf Fig How To Properly Propagate A Fiddle Leaf Fig

How to Properly Propagate a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Curious how to propagate fiddle leaf figs? We break it all down in our comprehensive guide. Read on to learn more!

@Kiersten avatar
Dec 30, 2021

If you’ve ever wondered how to propagate a fiddle leaf fig at home, never fear, dear reader. We’ve got you covered. Keep reading as we teach you just how to successfully propagate a fiddle leaf fig!

Photo by Mimi

What is Propagating? 

Propagating is taking off or removing a section of a plant to grow a new plant from it. This is the ideal and most inexpensive way to increase the plants in your house and enrich your environment with even more oxygen. 

However, propagation is not just a way of creating new plants. It’s also beneficial for the parent plant. This is especially true if the plant needs pruning to maintain optimal health. 

Spring is the ideal time to propagate fiddle leaf figs because it is their growing season (spring is also the time to take out your pruning shears because it's when the plant recovers the fastest). However, depending on your location, you can also propagate them whenever there is ample light and warmth in your surroundings. 

Stages of Propagating a Plant

Generally, the propagation of any indoor plant, including fiddle leaf figs, occurs in three stages. 


The first step is to cut off a section of the plant. For this, you need a healthy fiddle leaf fig plant that is big enough to spare a portion of the stem and a couple of leaves. You will also need a clean and sharp pair of shearing scissors.

At this point, it is important to remember that your cutting shouldn’t just be a leaf; it should also include a part of the stem and nodes. Nodes are the bumps on the stem where leaves grow out from. The ideal count is at least 2 to 4 leaves and 3 nodes in the cutting. For best results, cut the plant below a healthy leaf and between nodes.  


Now that you have your cutting, it’s time to nurture it. You can do this in any medium, be it soil, water, or even air. Just be sure to clean off the bottom part of your cutting to have an exposed area beneath the leaves. This is where the roots will grow from. 


When your fiddle leaf fig grows enough roots, it’s time to plant it in proper soil and potting mix. Be sure to choose a pot that provides enough space for the plant to grow without being too big. The pot should also be designed to allow proper drainage. The potting mix should be chosen considering its nutrient value, as well as its draining capacity. 

Methods of Propagating a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Water Propagation

Water propagation is one of the easiest ways of propagating a fiddle leaf fig plant. All you need to follow this method is:

  • A healthy fiddle leaf fig 
  • A sanitized pair of scissors 
  • A canister of water 
  • A rooting hormone / gel (optional) 

For water propagation, you don’t need a large cutting. About 6 inches should be enough. If the cutting is too big, the plant will require too much energy to keep the leaves and stem alive. 

That’s energy that should otherwise be going to developing and growing roots. Still, if you mistakenly had a large stem cutting, cut the leaves in half. This lessens the plant's energy requirements. Below are the steps of water propagating a fiddle leaf fig.

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Photo by Altilana


Cut off a small section of the stem diagonally. Make sure there are at least a couple of inches of bare stem at the bottom. To achieve this, you can also strip off some leaves from the bottom of the stem. 

Make sure the shearing scissors are clean. It’s recommended to place them in boiling water for a couple of minutes to sanitize them and then wipe them dry. This will ensure that neither the cutting nor the plant gets infected.  


Clean the cutting and wipe off any dirt, sap, etc., from it. To stimulate growth, coat the diagonal end into a rooting hormone or gel. Fill a glass jar or vase with room temperature water. You can opt for any type of water, tap or purified. 


Place the water jar in a warm area that gets a lot of indirect light. This will help the cutting grow roots and thrive. Place the cutting in the water so that only the stem touches the water, not the leaves. If the leaves get submerged in water, they will rot and negatively affect the root growth. 


Let the roots grow while ensuring the water doesn’t evaporate. You can maintain the water level so that the stem stay submerged. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to change the water every few days. Just make sure there is enough water. 

You should be able to notice white dots appearing around the base of the stem within one or two weeks. In 2 to 6 weeks, the plants will have roots visible a couple of inches in length, with smaller roots growing out of those. This is the ideal time to plant the roots. 


When you’ve established enough roots to sustain plant growth, it’s time to plant it. Take a small pot, proportional to the size of the new plant. Keep the soil moist so that the roots can gradually adjust to soil life after being in the water all the time. Although generally, it is best to dry out your fiddle leaf fig cutting before, you can water the soil more than usual at the start.

Soil Propagation 

Soil propagation is when the newly cut plant is planted directly into the soil. As you can’t see the growth of the roots in real-time, the way you can see them in water, it can be a little tricky for beginners. 

This is because it’s hard to gauge the moisture level in the soil, which is important since the cutting needs more moisture to grow new roots. However, the plus side of soil propagation is that you won’t have to disturb the plant once it grows its roots, as you do in water propagation. It’s already potted and planted, which is nice if you want to eliminate extra steps and can stay on top of ensuring there is plenty of moisture available to fuel the roots.

To successfully propagate a fiddle leaf fig plant through soil propagation, you will need: 

  • A healthy fiddle leaf fig 
  • A sanitized pair of scissors 
  • A pot that allows room for growth
  • A nutritious potting soil
  • A rooting hormone / gel (optional) 

Once you have your supplies, simply follow the steps below, they aren’t too different from water propagation!


Follow the same technique mentioned earlier to get a healthy cutting of your fiddle leaf fig. With sharp, clean scissors, cut the main stem of the plant diagonally, leaving a few inches of bare stem.

Also, don’t forget to ensure your shearing scissors have been cleaned and sterilized before use so that you don’t accidentally infect your cutting or your plant. 


For this step, do as mentioned above and clean the cutting. Remove excess leaves, sap, and any dirt and debris. Dip the cutting into a rooting hormone to stimulate growth. Prepare your pot for the fiddle leaf fig cutting to be placed in so it’s ready to go. 


Create a hole in your pot to ensure you don’t have to put too much pressure on the cutting to get it embedded in the soil. Otherwise, this may disturb the rooting hormone you’ve applied to the bottom of the cutting. The goal is to have at least 1 to 2 inches of the stem under the soil. However, prevent leaves from getting under the soil to avoid rotting. If you are thinking about air layering the newly cut plant, cover the end with sphagnum moss and securely wrap with plastic. Another way is to use a root ball.


Once the newly cut fiddle leaf fig plant is planted, settle the soil around the end of the plant to make sure it’s touching it on all sides. Keep the soil damp to create an ideal environment for root growth. If the cutting isn’t thick enough to stand on its own, you can support it with a small stake. 

To check to see if your root is growing, gently wiggle the cutting after about a month or so. If it stays put, that means a root system has been established. Congrats! You’ve successfully propagated your fiddle leaf fig plant.

Other fiddle leaf fig care tips:

  • Watch out for pests, like a spider mite, because they might just eat parts of the plant.
  • Make sure the fiddle leaf fig gets plenty of sunlight. If it's exposed to direct sunlight, the better.
  • Prune the dead parts of the plant to keep healthy leaves and stem.
  • Fiddle leaf figs thrive with humidity. Consider purchasing a humidifier for the plant during colder seasons. 

As you can see, learning how to propagate a fiddle leaf fig plant isn’t difficult, it just requires some planning and following each of the steps carefully. By following these instructions, we have no doubt you will be propagating your fiddle leaf fig in no time! Considering you’re committed to fiddle leaf fig propagation, you should also be just as committed to caring for the plants. That includes learning how to spot root rot fiddle leaf fig signs, look for fiddle leaf fig brown spots, learn fiddle leaf fig watering, and fiddle leaf fig pruning. All of these steps are important for healthy fiddle leaf fig plants to grow. 🍃