How to Prune a Ficus Lyrata


The Ficus lyrata, also known as the fiddle leaf fig, is native to India, Southeast Asia and Malaysia, according to the University of Minnesota. They are tropical trees and hardy between USDA zones 10b to 11. While the Ficus lyrata can grow to heights of 40 feet and spreads of 35 feet, it can grow indoors if it is properly pruned and provided enough light.

Step 1

Prune to encourage a single central leader, the branch that sticks up vertically, during the tree's first or second year. Choose the strongest central branch and prune off the others.

Step 2

Cut off any dead, damaged or diseased branches at the base of the fig tree.

Step 3

Prune under the canopy of the ficus lyrata to keep the trunk clear. Remove any water sprouts or suckers that grow from the trunk. Prune the branches so that people can walk under the canopy of the tree if it is grown outdoors.

Step 4

Remove any crossing branches and any over-reaching branches. Thin out the branches of the ficus lyrata by about 20 to 30 percent if it is growing too bushy.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • University of Minnesota: Rubber Trees, Weeping Figs, and Other Friendly Ficus
  • University of Florida: Ficus lyrata Fiddleleaf Fig
  • Texas A&M: Fiddle Leaf Fig Ficus lyrata
Keywords: prune Ficus lyrata, Ficus lyrata, pruning Ficus lyrata

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.