Advice for starting fig cuttings, helpful tips anyone?

terry_upstate_ny(5)February 22, 2014

I have been starting cuttings while waiting for spring to arrive. Last year was my first year for starting cuttings. I was able to get some fine new fig trees started this way, but not all my cuttings rooted properly.
This year I have started rooting them wrapped in damp paper towels in plastic bags, kept in a warm place. I am putting them in little plastic cups when roots start and green growth at the buds start, and putting them near a window for light. The green tips look like they grow by the next day. Some of the cuttings have a sweet fragrance, especially the Gino's Black.
Does anyone have any tips on growing fig trees from cuttings that they would like to share? Good luck with your figs this year!

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I saw that pealing the bark where the cutting is underground makes rooting 2X faster for me.
This is what happened and I do not know why.
My fig variety is a Middle Eastern fig which I do not know the name but it was growing well until I gave it away.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:04AM
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I tried cutting a small band of bark off some cuttings but I think I cut too deep, all the way the wood, because I saw no growth there while the cuttings were still wrapped in paper towels. There was some growth on the rest of the cutting.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:31AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

The damp paper towel in a baggie method is very popular.I'm trying some in wet Sphagnum moss inside a clear plastic shoe box,with bottom heat. Brady

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:27PM
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No do not cut to the wood, just peal the outer layer only.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:54AM
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The plastic bags with damp paper towels worked a little better for me this year, but I also kept them warmer. I also was able to cut the cuttings into small pieces of one eye/node each after they started growing green tips. So far they seem to be growing well.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 1:53PM
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how do you keep the cuttings warm?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 5:29AM
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I have the plastic bags with the fig cuttings in them in a plastic box near a heat outlet. They are kept in a dark container, and not losing any moisture.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 6:13PM
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For heat and humidity I used a large clear plastic tote with lid that sits an inch off the floor register. What I've done this year that has worked 100% so far is to first clean the cuttings with a disinfectant wipe and let it air dry. Then I wax the cut ends of the cuttings with a candle. I've found in previous years if a cutting rots it usually starts at the bottom where its exposed.

I use a knife and make 6 upward angle cuts just into the wood (3 on each side to the bottom 3 or 4 inches of the cutting.). I use a liquid rooting hormone and apply it with a qtip to the entire area that will be in the potting mix. I mix potting soil with coarse perlite 50/50 in a container. I pre-wet the mix just enough that it clumps together but does not ooze water if you sqeeze it. I put the cutting in a large clear cup with holes in the bottom for drainage. I fill it with the mix and compact it nice and firm.

I put the cup in the humidity bin and within a couple weeks I start to see the roots hit the cup edge. Then I wrap the cup with tin foil to keep the roots dark. Once the cutting starts to leaf out I slowly adjust the humidity by lifting a corner of the bin for a day or 2... then the other corner for a day or 2... opening it it more each day until the cutting has fully acclimated to the room. Once the roots are very well established in the cup I pot it in a 1 gallon pot.

The biggest thing to look out for is to not over-water the cuttings..... they will wilt and die if over watered. Once outside the bin, fungus gnats are an issue if doing this indoors. I use nylon knee high stockings to wrap the 1 gallon pots and twist tie around the cutting so that the gnats can't get to the soil.


This post was edited by tyler_j on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 16:23

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:34PM
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thanks for all your input. I am having some success with my fig cuttings but it could be better. I will keep trying. My ronde de bordeaux cuttings that I got this year were doing well at first then they all lost their leaves. So sad.More vigorous were the heirloom celeste cuttings that I bought, and my petite negrii from my mother plant. Waxing the ends seems to help the plants maintain more vigor.
I am also trying air-layering with good success, but that is another topic.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 6:03AM
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