The popular fiddle leaf fig tree is a popular houseplant that is known for its large, glossy leaves. Even a healthy fiddle leaf fig tree can be quite tall and skinny, even though many prefer it when its trunk is thicker.
If you want to strengthen your fiddle leaf fig tree’s trunk, you’ll need to learn a few tricks of the trade. And one trick that many people talk about is shaking a fiddle leaf fig to thicken it. But does it work?
Read on to find out!
How do you strengthen and thicken a fiddle leaf fig trunk
Here are a few tips to help you strengthen and thicken your fiddle leaf fig tree’s trunk:
1. Water your fiddle leaf fig regularly
In order to keep your fiddle leaf fig tree healthy, you’ll need to water it regularly. Watering your fiddle leaf fig will help to keep its leaves glossy and its trunk strong.
Water literally helps to fill out the cellular structure of the plant, so by watering your fiddle leaf fig tree regularly, you’ll help it to grow a thicker trunk. It will also help to keep the trunk looking straight and strong, rather than weak and spindly.
Find out more: How Often Should You Water a Fiddle Leaf Fig?
2. Fertilize your fiddle leaf fig tree
Fertilizer directly impacts the size of your plant’s trunk. If there are enough nutrients for the plant to grow, it will put more energy into growing a thicker trunk.
You can fertilize your fiddle leaf fig tree every two weeks to one month with a half-strength solution of fertilizer. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging, as too much fertilizer can actually be harmful to your plant.
Best fertilizer for Fiddle Leaf Figs
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
A great fertilizer with the perfect balance for your fiddle leaf fig. Simply dissolve in water and feed your plant to watch it thrive.
3. Give your fiddle leaf fig plant enough sun
Fiddle leaf fig plants need light to thrive and love it when they get enough sun. They originated in Africa where the light was abundant. When they receive enough sunshine, their stems not only thicken but reach high for the sky.
You can give your fiddle leaf fig plant a little extra sun by placing it near a south-facing window. You can also supplement light by using a grow light. Set this light for 12-16 hours per day to give your fiddle leaf fig plant the sun it needs to grow a thick, strong trunk.
4. Shake or wiggle your fiddle leaf fig tree
Shaking or wiggling your fiddle leaf fig tree will help to thicken its trunk. This is because the act of shaking or wiggling the plant will stimulate the cells in the trunk to divide and grow.
Do this once a week, being careful not to damage the plant. You can also place your fiddle leaf fig tree in a spot where it will receive a little bit of natural movement, such as near a door that gets opened and closed often.
5. Give your fiddle leaf fig some time outside
When the fiddle leaf fig grows outdoors, it can climb to heights of 40 feet and its trunk can become as thick as two feet in diameter. So clearly, spending time outdoors is a huge factor when it comes to a thick and sturdy trunk.
You can give your fiddle leaf fig some time outside by placing it in a spot where it will receive indirect sunlight. Be sure to bring it back inside before the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, as fiddle leaf figs are not cold-hardy plants.
Why should you shake your fiddle leaf fig?
You should shake your fiddle leaf fig’s trunk because this is similar to exercise for the plant. The act of shaking or wiggling the trunk helps to stimulate cell growth, which in turn leads to a thicker trunk. Grip an area of the trunk that isn’t too close to the leaves and give it a little shake.
You may even want to shake the plant at different areas of the trunk so that you’re toning the whole pole.
Make sure not to shake the plant too hard or you could damage it. You can do this as frequently as once every other day or as little as once a week.
It will take a growing season or two for you to really see results, but eventually, you’ll have a fiddle leaf fig with a thick and strong trunk.
Keep in mind that during the plant’s dormant season (winter), growth will slow down, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see much progress during this time. Just keep up with your shaking routine and your plant will thicken up come spring.
Will wiggling my fiddle leaf fig tree weaken its roots?
In general, wiggling or shaking your fiddle leaf plant won’t damage its roots. Especially if it’s a healthy plant that isn’t very young, it should have enough of a root system to support itself. Be careful doing this though if your fiddle leaf fig is a bit weak.
That is, if you have a very young fiddle leaf fig or one that is not particularly healthy, it’s possible that wiggling the trunk could damage some of the roots. So use your best judgment and only shake or wiggle the plant if you think it can handle it. Better safe than sorry.
Does shaking help plant growth?
Yes, shaking a plant can help to kick in the plant’s growth hormones, which increases its growth rate. This promotes growth by creating a mild stress response in the plant that signals its cells to divide and grow. Shaking also helps to aerate the roots, which is important for plant health.
Additionally, shaking can help to remove any pests or diseases that might be clinging to the plant.
You can use a natural breeze or even a fan to shake the plant. Any way that you can get a consistent breeze blowing over the plant will work over time.
Related: How Fast Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Grow?
Why is my fiddle leaf fig trunk so thin?
If you have a fiddle leaf fig that’s tall and skinny, it’s probably because that plant was placed in an area of your home that didn’t get much sun or movement. Fiddle leaf figs need both of these things to grow strong and healthy.
To fix this, you can try giving the plant more sun by placing it in a brighter spot in your home. You can also try giving the plant a little shake or wiggle every few days to help stimulate growth. With time and care, your fiddle leaf fig’s trunk will strengthen and thrive.
How do I make my fiddle leaf fig grow thicker?
The trunk isn’t the only part of your fiddle leaf fig plant that you want to grow thick and strong – the roots, stems, and leaves of the plant are all important, too! This plant has the capacity to grow quite large, so it’s important to give it the care it needs to reach its full potential.
Here are a few more tips to help you grow a thick and strong fiddle leaf fig plant:
1. Prune your fiddle leaf fig regularly
Pruning helps to stimulate growth and encourages new fiddle leaf fig leaves and branches. When you prune your fiddle leaf fig, be sure to use sharp, clean shears. Make cuts at an angle just above a leaf node (where the leaves meet the stem).
You can prune your fiddle leaf fig as often as once a month or as little as once every few months. Focus on removing weak or dying leaves to concentrate the plant’s energy on the strongest areas. Just be sure to do it regularly during the spring and summer to encourage growth.
2. Repot your fiddle leaf fig tree every few years
When your plant grows, its root system will expand and eventually outgrow its current pot. When this happens, it’s important to repot your fiddle leaf fig into a larger container. This will give the roots the room they need to continue growing strong and healthy.
When you do repot your plant, be sure to use fresh potting mix and a clean pot. Select a pot that is no more than 2 to 3 inches larger in diameter than the current pot. After repotting, water your fiddle leaf fig well, and be sure to place it in a spot where it will receive bright, indirect light.
3. Give your fiddle leaf fig plenty of water
Since the diddle leaf fig originated in a tropical climate, it’s used to being in an environment where it gets a lot of rain. To replicate this natural habitat, you’ll need to water your fiddle leaf fig regularly.
Be sure to check the potting mix before watering – if it’s still moist, wait a few days before watering again. Water the plant until water runs out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
4. Fertilize your fiddle leaf fig tree regularly
If your fiddle leaf fig doesn’t have a healthy blend of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, it won’t be able to grow properly. Fertilizing your plant will help to ensure that it has the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy.
You can use a specific fertilizer for a fiddle leaf plant or purchase a tropical plant fertilizer from your local nursery or garden center. This will help the plant to produce lush, green leaves.
5. Give your fiddle leaf fig tree enough sun
When fiddle leaf fig trees grow in the wild, they literally grow on top of other trees, so they’re used to getting a lot of sunlight. To replicate this natural habitat, you’ll need to give your fiddle leaf fig tree plenty of sun.
If you don’t, your plant will get leggy. That means it’ll grow tall and thin in an attempt to reach the sunlight. When this happens, the plant becomes unstable and is more likely to fall over. You’ll want to strengthen a fiddle leaf fig trunk by putting your plant in a spot where it will receive bright, direct light.
6. Occasionally dust or mist your fiddle leaf fig leaves
Fiddle leaf figs are used to being in an environment where there’s a lot of moisture in the air. If you live in a dry climate, it’s important to occasionally dust or mist your plant’s leaves to replicate this natural habitat.
Cleaning your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves will help to keep the leaves healthy and will also, similar to shaking fiddle leaf fig plants, will keep the leaves tough and resilient.
7. Provide the appropriate temperature and humidity for your plant
Fiddle leaf figs like being in warm climates. The ideal temperature for a fiddle leaf fig is between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, your plant may start to experience some stress. Low humidity will also cause your plant to experience stress and thin out. The ideal humidity level for a fiddle leaf fig is between 40 and 50%.
8. Make sure the soil you’re using is well-draining
It’s important that the soil you use for your fiddle leaf fig is well-draining. If the potting mix doesn’t drain well, the roots of your plant will start to rot.
Best soil for Fiddle Leaf Figs
Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix
Light and well-draining (perfect for avoiding root rot) while being packed with just the right nutrients – that will feed your plant for up to six months. The best soil for keeping your fiddle leaf fig healthy and strong.
To make sure the soil you’re using is well-draining, you can add perlite or stones to the potting mix. This will help to improve drainage and will also help to aerate the roots.