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how can I get my fiddle leaf fig to stand straighter?

February 9, 2019
I’ve had this fiddle leaf fig for maybe 6 months. I love it but I wish the branches stood straight up rather than outward. Can I fix it?

Comments (8)

  • Bill_minn_3b {West Central MN}

    The branches are stretching towards the source of light by the windows.

    Give it light from above and it will grow in a more 'upward' direction. :-)

  • Kittin
    These windows are the best light source I have. I can move it so it’s in front of only one window. I placed a steak in there but I don’t think it’s tall enough and I don’t want to cause strain on it. All the other fig trees I’ve seen are more of a bushy looking tree, I don’t like how mine looks.
  • Bill_minn_3b {West Central MN}

    Can you put it outside during the growing season, so it gets some real light?

    Trees are not houseplants. You can grow them in a container for many years but if they don't get enough light, the will develop the best they can which can be weird if not getting enough direct light.

    I would acclimate it to the outside, giving it short periods the first week or two. Not a lot of direct sun at first. Then increase each week so it eventually gets several hour a day direct sun.

    How long has it been in that pot? In may be time for an upgrade.

  • Kittin
    I could put it outside but I really enjoy having it in the house. :( I’ve seen lots of pictures of them in houses on Houzz and love how they add to a space. Just wish mine was shaped better. Are there ways to trim it without harming it? It’s in the same pot I bought it in, and I bought it probably 7 months ago.
  • T T

    You might try *gently* tying the two limbs together (or to a central stake), starting closer towards the crotch where they join, and then, gradually (over several months), adding additional ties. Obviously, you'd want to use something that has some give, and won't damage the bark of the tree. I'd use a panty hose leg.

  • Bill_minn_3b {West Central MN}

    " I’ve seen lots of pictures of them in houses on Houzz and love how they add to a space. "

    A picture, that took an instant to take, doesn't tell you the history of that tree. It was most likely was developed by the owner by moving it outside to inside during the seasons, so it gets enough sun to accomplish a required amount of photosynthesis.

    Photosynthesis is how plants make food for the roots. The more food that can be made for the roots, the more robust the growth of the tree can be. This also includes water, nutrients and type of media. These are referred to as 'plant culture variables' which together are necessary to grow nice plants.

    Cutting off branches where the leaves reside only reduces the photosynthesis the tree can accomplish, thus making less food for the roots and putting the tree under more stress than it already is.

    7 months is probably not too long in a pots life, so you can probably go a year or two, if the media is correct. Bark based media, is excellent for growing trees in pots. (more information and be found in the 'Container Gardening' section of this forum).

    So,once the 'plant culture variables' are all met, your tree can grow into the type of tree you see others, who know what to do, have in their houses. :^)

  • Kittin
    What months would be considered growing season?
  • Bill_minn_3b {West Central MN}

    What part of the world do you reside in?

    Big city name is close enough.

    In my part of the world, it's still winter. June through August is pretty much our frost free period and if I was going to wheel a large pot outside, thinking 2 wheel cart here, I would put it out during that time so I wouldn't have to move it in & out during cold spells.

    If you have a deck or patio, it might be possible to put it out on that during the day and if your nights were cold or frosty, you could move it in at night. That way, you could possibly start putting it out much earlier in the year and leave it out later.

    I do that to my Opuntia and started seeds (March or April) to get them acclimated to the sun earlier in the season.

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