How to encourage new growth on your plants through notching

How to encourage new growth by notching. Photo by  @vintagerevivavls

How to encourage new growth by notching. Photo by @vintagerevivavls

The latest in plant care tips for keeping your foliage happy and healthy, brought to you by premium plant delivery service Léon & George.

Ficus owners—ever wonder how to make your Fiddles or Rubber Trees grow new branches? Summer's here and the perfect time to test out a technique called notching. Basically you're making a deep incision that causes your plant to panic. Yes, sounds painful at first, but then your plant will try to relieve itself by growing new shoots!

  • Find the nodes - pick an area where you'd like a new branch to grow. Identify where the nodes are, small bumps on the trunk, usually with some space between each one. 

  • Make the cut - Take a sharp clean knife and make an angled cut about 1/4 of the way through the trunk. You should immediately see a white sticky sap, indicating you've made the cut correctly! Wipe up the sap with a wet towel so it doesn't drip everywhere.

  • Wait - Make sure your plant is getting bright light and on a consistent watering schedule and never drowning. Mist the leaves every now and then to create humidity. In a few weeks, you should start to see one or multiple tiny bumps in the area that you cut. Be patient as these grow out and enjoy your fuller ficus!

After a few months, if this technique doesn't seem to be working don't worry. Expert Ficus owners report that this method works about 50% of the time. You can try again, or stay tuned for other upcoming tips!


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Rubber Tree

With dark leaves and crimson casings holding new leaves, perfect for decorators that want plants in other colors than green.