How to promote fig cutting growth: fertilizer? sun?

tcleigh(6)June 26, 2011

Hello all:

This year I have several Brown Turkey cuttings that I rooted in different ways in order to experiment. I had a lot of initial success with the Improved Baggie Method but honestly my best results to date have been those cuttings that I just stuck in a 1-gallon container with potting mix in the shade. Several of those are maintaining a couple of good sized leaves but are not really growing beyond that. One had a small new, seemingly healthy, leaf forming until just recently when it fell off.

I'm wondering how I can get these cuttings to grow faster. I've seen pictures of other cuttings that have become veritable small trees in the span of one growing season, but mine are not as encouraging.

Should they be getting more direct sun at this point? I started them in March. Should I be fertilizing? Please help!


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I would fertilize them now with 1/2 the recommended strength of liquid Miracle Grow all purpose fertilizer and gradually introduce them to an area with more sunlight. FYI, in your zone 9 climate it is not at all unusual to root a fig cutting and have it develop into a nice 2 to 3 ft. tall fig tree by the fall. It is all about procedure and timing......

IMO, the best time for you to start your cuttings (both baggie and/or outdoor pot method) is in late December. There are many reasons for starting at that particular time....and those reasons will become apparent to you as you root more cuttings.

Also, Peat moss cut 50/50 with coarse all purpose (AKA building) sand makes an excellent rooting mix for rooting by the outdoor pot method. IMO, it is significantly better than full strength potting mix or soil. If you root your cuttings in a small pot (quart) will know when it is time to move them into a lager pot with a final potting soil. When you see roots emerging from the holes of the smaller pot.....move them to gallon pots.

In early spring it is OK to feed them with some slow release fertilizer too. You don't want to use slow release too late in the growing season if that plant will be exposed to winter cold. If your plant WILL NOT be exposed to any freezing temperatures.....this is not an issue. of luck to you.

Semper Fi-cus

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 11:31AM
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dan - can you please explain why 50/50 peat moss and building sand mix is better?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 12:09PM
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danab_z9_la time you root some fig cuttings, try both ways and verify what I have suggested for yourself.

Semper Fi-cus

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 6:02PM
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Thanks a lot, Dan!

This year was my first genuine attempt to propagate from cuttings so there's still a lot I don't know.

I fertilized my surviving cuttings and moved them to a place with more light (still not direct). In your opinion, how long should I wait to move them to a place where they'll receive direct and prolonged sun exposure?

I took cuttings in March this year but I'll start earlier next year. Also appreciate the mix suggestion -- I'll give that a shot too!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 2:31PM
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