Fiddle leaf fig multiple stems; Fiddle leaf figs are lovely houseplants known for their large glossy leaves. But did you know that they can grow more than one stem in the same pot?
If you’ve noticed multiple stems on your fiddle figs, you may wonder why and what to do about it.
Multiple fiddle leaf stems can make the plant look full and add more beauty to your home.
However, the plant may also look overgrown and out of control. That’s why most houseplant owners prefer to separate the fiddle leaf stem.
In this article, we’ll discuss what causes fiddle leaf figs to develop multiple stems. We’ll also show you some practical steps to take when you notice them in your plant.
Why Do Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees Have Multiple Stems?
Fiddle leaf trees naturally grow with multiple stems in the wild. This is because they need more support as they grow taller and broader.
However, these plants tend to favor one stem when grown indoors in pots.
Fiddle leaf fig houseplants can grow multiple stems due to aging or improper care. Also, when you prune or trim back the plant, it is likely to grow an extra stem in the same pot.
This is like a survival tactic. Multiple stems enable them to get enough nutrients for continuous growth and survival.
How Many Trunks Does a Fiddle Leaf Fig Have?
A fiddle leaf fig often has just a single trunk. However, some of them can have up to three or four trunks, depending on their age and size.
If your fiddle leaf fig has more than three trunks, consider separating them into different pots. You can also braid them together, so they don’t grow looking bushy.
Should I Split A Fiddle Leaf Fig With Multiple Stems?
If you’re lucky enough to have a thriving fiddle leaf fig, chances are it has multiple stems. While this is a sign of good health, the plant may start looking overgrown and bushy.
The stems will also start competing for nutrients if they continue growing in the same pot. Eventually, they won’t look as lush and healthy as you want.
You may want to separate multiple stems into two or more plants to help them grow better. The best thing about it is that you’ll have more fiddle plants to place in other rooms within your home.
When to Separate Fiddle Leaf Fig Stems
If possible, only separate fiddle leaf fig stems if they are more than two in one pot.
The best time to separate fiddle stems is during spring when the plant is actively growing. This will enable the stems to start growing on their own after transplant.
If you have more than two stems growing in one pot, it may be wise to separate them if:
- The fiddle fig plants looks bushy
- One plant starts drying out or dropping leaves
- One plant of the plants looks smaller and unhealthier
- The fiddle figs start showing stunted growth
- One of the figs drops off new leaves
- The soil gets hard and compacted
- The plants are root-wrapped
How to Separate a Fiddle Leaf Fig Multiple stems
Separating fiddle figs with multiple stems can be more challenging than it sounds. When doing it, you must be careful not to damage the stems.
Otherwise, they will dry out after repotting and will never grow into mature plants.
Here are the steps you need to take when separating multiple fiddle leaf fig stems.
Step 1: Check the plant’s health status
Before you begin, check the status of your fiddle leaf figs to ensure they’re healthy enough for separation.
A good indicator is the presence of new foliage at the top of the plants. That means the plants have enough energy to grow separately.
If there is no new growth, consider waiting until there are signs of life before proceeding with separation.
Step 2: Prepare your pot planters
If your fiddle leaf fig is healthy enough for separation, prepare two pot planters slightly larger than the current pot. Make sure each planter has drainage holes at the bottom.
Fill the pots with houseplant soil to repot the plants immediately after separating them. Don’t add too much soil, though. Ensure you leave more room for the plants to grow effortlessly.
Step 3: Dig out the stems carefully
Now that your planters are ready, it’s time to start separating the stems.
Begin by carefully digging out the stems using a spade or shovel. If any roots are stubbornly clinging together, use pruning shears to snip them off without damaging any part of the plant.
As you remove each stem, keep the plants upright, so you don’t damage the leaves.
Step 4: Loosen the fiddle leaf fig roots
The roots of the separated stems are likely to be entangled in a root ball. Once you’ve removed all the stems from their original pot, use a spade to loosen the roots from the root ball.
This will help you lift each stem out without damaging its root system. It will also ensure the stem picks up growth faster after transferring.
Step 5: Lift out plants from the pot
After losing all the roots from their old potting soil, lift each stem, one by one, using a spade. Be gentle when transferring your leaf figs so you won’t damage any delicate parts.
Young leaves, branches, and foliage are always vulnerable during such activities.
Step 6: Repot fiddle leaf fig plants
Once you’ve safely removed all the stems, repot each into its own pot. Ensure you cover all their roots with fresh potting soil so they can start growing again.
Also, ensure you leave the top two inches of the planter soil-free. This will give you room to water the stems after replanting and allow them space to adapt.
Step 7: Water newly repotted plants
After repotting, water the new fiddle leaf fig. Pour enough water to moisturize all parts of the plant’s root system.
However, be careful not to overwater and make the roots soggy. Overwatering can cause root rot and kill the plants before they mature.
Step 8: Add fertilizer
After watering your newly repotted plants, add a little organic fertilizer to every pot. Fertilizer will give the new fiddle leaf figs a nutrition boost to help them start growing.
Follow the instructions and be careful not to put too much fertilizer. It may be wise to get organic fertilizer since they tend to have a better nutrient balance.
It’s done! You’ve separated and repotted your fiddle stems successfully!
Now you can place them where they can get at least six hours of indirect sunlight daily. Keep monitoring your new fiddle leaf fig to ensure they’re all healthy and happy.
Can You Braid a Fiddle Leaf Fig?
Yes! You can braid a fiddle leaf fig that has multiple stems. However, if you want to braid, you should do It while the stems are still young.
Younger stems will be flexible and easier to braid than when they grow older. They will also adjust to the new shape faster as they continue to grow.
How to Braid A Fiddle Leaf Fig
Would you like to braid your fiddle leaf fig stems? Braiding multiple stems together will make your plant look tidy and less bushy.
Here’s the process you can follow to braid your fiddle leaf fig plant.
Step 1: Choose the right plant
Choose a young plant with thinner trunks that are more pliable. The branches should also be roughly equal in size and shape. You can prune off any overgrown figs.
Step 2: Select your braid positioning
Once you have the right plant to braid, decide on the braid positioning. Generally, it’s best to braid at the top of the plant where it can receive maximum sunlight. With too little sunlight, your fiddle fig plant may become too tall and leggy.
However, if your plant has two or more main stems from one point near the base, consider positioning your braid around them.
Step 3: Start braiding
Start braiding by taking one stem and crossing it over another in a horizontal motion. Continue until the stems are firmly intertwined.
Take the third stem and cross it over the other two stems in a vertical motion. Do so until all three stems are securely wrapped around each other. Keep the pressure gentle, so you don’t damage the leaves.
Step 4: Secure the braid
Once you reach the top, secure the braid with a twine or thin wire. Then, tie the end of the twine to the stakes. Avoid using anything too thick that could damage or cut into the bark.
Step 5: Trim any excess stems
Once you secure everything, trim off any excess stems that stick past your desired braid length. Monitor the figs as they keep growing, and continue the braid.
How to Encourage Fiddle Leaf Fig to Grow Multiple Stems
If you want your fiddle leaf fig to have a fuller and bushier look, you can encourage it to grow multiple steps. You can do this by either pruning, pinching, or notching the plant.
1. Prune the plant
The most common way to encourage your fiddle leaf fig to produce multiple stems is pruning. Pruning involves removing excess leaves, stems, and branches from the plant. It also involves removing dead or damaged leaves.
Pruning helps reduce the competition for light and nutrients between multiple branches. It allows them to branch out more freely and form multiple stems. To prune your plant, always use clean scissors or shear.
2. Pinch off the top buds
Another way to encourage multiple stems is to pinch off the top bud of the plant. Pinching encourages lateral branching, which helps give your fiddle leaf fig a fuller look.
Start by gently tugging off any dormant buds at the top of the main stem. If they come off easily, go ahead and pinch them off one by one until all the buds are gone. Be careful not to pull too hard when doing this.
3. Notch the fiddle stems
Notching each stem of your fiddle leaf fig can also encourage the growth of multiple stems. This involves making shallow cuts on the stems (about ¼ inch deep) using sharp shears or scissors.
Notching creates minor wounds on each stem where new buds can form. The new buds will eventually grow into new branches.
As with pruning, always use clean tools when notching to avoid spreading disease from one part of the plant to another.
How To Turn Your Fiddle Leaf Fig From a Bush To a Tree
Over time, a fiddle leaf fig can sprout leaves all over its multiple branches, giving it a bushy and overgrown look.
But did you know that you can still turn your fiddle leaf fig from a bush to a tree? This requires some patience since the plant will slowly take the tree shape as it keeps growing.
Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Remove the lower leaves: Gently snip off a few bottom leaves and branches every week until they reach the desired height. The plant will grow new shoots sideways and take the upward shape of a fiddle leaf tree.
- Repot the plant: If the pot is too small, you may need to repot the plant. Find a pot that’s tall enough for the roots of your tree—about 12 inches—and wide enough for them to spread out with ease. This will give the plant enough space to grow without getting root-bound.
- Prune Regularly: Snip off any stems or leaves that detract from their lateral shape using gardening shears. Do this weekly, and be careful not to cut off too much at once.
- Stake your fiddle leaf fig: Insert bamboo stakes into the potting soil around the plant’s stem. Then, tie the stakes together with a soft twin or garden wire. This will keep its multiple branches from drooping down or growing outwards and give your plant an attractive tree shape.
How to Encourage Branching in Fiddle Leaf Figs
Fiddle leaf fig branching makes the plant appear fuller and bushier. This adds to its aesthetic appeal in your home decor.
If you want your plant to grow multiple branches, here are the best practices to encourage branching.
1. Prune away dead or damaged leaves
Pruning away damaged or dead leaves will stimulate new growth points on your fiddle leaf fig tree. You should also prune away any branches that look weak or unhealthy.
If you regularly prune, the plant will focus more energy on growing new healthy branches.
2. Repot with fresh soil
If you haven’t repotted your fiddle leaf fig plant recently, it might be time to do so. Repotting with fresh soil provides more nutrients for the plant, encouraging more branching.
Ensure you use a quality potting mix that’s specifically formulated for houseplants.
3. Rotate regularly
To ensure even branching throughout your fiddle leaf fig, rotate it regularly so all sides can get enough indirect light. This will encourage balanced growth, which promotes further fiddle leaf fig branching.
Place your plant in indirect sunlight, as too much direct sunlight can burn fiddle leaf fig leaves or cause them to turn yellow and drop off.
4. Provide adequate water and light
Like any other plant, your fiddle leaf fig needs enough water to grow more and healthier branches.
To encourage fiddle leaf fig branching, water the plant regularly and give it plenty of indirect sunlight throughout the day (about 6-8 hours).
Be careful not to overwater the plant, as this may encourage root rot and bacterial infection on fiddle leaf fig.
Why does my fiddle leaf fig plant have multiple stems?
If your plant is young, it may grow multiple stems to increase its chances of survival. This also enables it to grow more leaves to support photosynthesis. However, older plants may grow multiple stems as a result of pruning. Regardless of the reason, they can make your fiddle leaf fig look fuller and more lovely.
How many branches should a fiddle leaf fig have?
A healthy fiddle leaf fig should have three to four branches coming off its main stem. If your plant has too many branches, you may want to prune some to encourage new growth. Pruning will also create an aesthetically pleasing shape for your plant. Just be sure to use clean and sharp pruning shears.
How many stems should a fig tree have?
Your fiddle leaf fig should only have one main stem with two to three lateral branches. Anything more than this can be detrimental to your plant’s health. Too many branches can cause overcrowding, which limits airflow and prevents light from reaching all parts of the plant.
Don’t Let Multiple Stems Stress You!
Multiple stems can make your fiddle leaf figs look full and healthy. However, they can also be a bother if they start overgrowing and looking bushy.
If you notice more than one stem on your houseplant, you don’t need to worry. You can always separate them or braid them, so they grow together as one plant.
Multiple stems on fiddle leaf figs can also be economical for you. If you need a new plant, you won’t need to go buying again.
All you’ll need to do is separate and transplant the extra stems into separate pots. You’ll then have more than one plant for your home decor.
Always remember the best time to separate multiple stems is when the plant is still young and pliable.