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House Plants/Getting a Ficus lyrata to branch


Hi Will,
 I bought a Ficus lyrata which has done very well growing strait up.  I would like to have it branch such that it would be 'tree form' - any suggestions as getting this to happen? Do some cutting branch and others just want to grow vertically?
Thanks in advance.


Hi Kate,

Ficus lyratas do not branch readily and only sporadically and unpredictably when they do. Sometimes they branch spontaneously, but you have no control over that. Pruning a stem back occasionally will cause the stem to put out two new stems, but more commonly it simply puts out a single new growth stem that continues to grow upward.

The best way to get a branched Lyrata is to buy one that has been grown that way at the nursery. Unbranched Lyratas are usually grown with multiple stems in the pot so that you have a fuller plant.

I have written detailed articles on pruning and on Ficus lyrata care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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