How to encourage new growth on your plants through notching
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!