Ficus cutting that is healthy but does not thrive

maregugJanuary 22, 2014

I started a ficus benjamina cutting two years ago. It was from a large, thriving mother plant and the cutting was pencil sized. It's rooted, it's healthy and I've had some leaf growth, but it's never gotten much bigger than the original cutting, even when using fertilizers after the roots were well established. When I re-potted about six months ago, the root system didn't seem very developed and were only located across the original cut. It was my first woody plant propagation and at the time, I had seen stuff on the internet that talked about cutting notches below the nodes on the woody stem that was going to be below the soil level, which would create a more extensive rooting network, which I did not do...I just went with the cut across the stem. I'm curious if I should try to do that now...repot the plant and in the process, cut notches below the nodes to establish additional roots and hopefully get more growth as a result. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Thanks so much!!

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

If your plant is already rooted, I see no reason to start cutting on it. Roots growing from more places is not beneficial. The plant will grow root volume as it needs it, and nicking (the inverse of notching) will not increase root system volume. Only a growing plant is going to make more roots, and a vigorously growing plants will make more roots more quickly.

It's hard to say why your plant is not growing vigorously. Moisture levels, amount of light, nutrient availability, and plant genetics will all play a part. If you think the genetic part and the nutrient part are not the issue, maybe review lighting/sun-exposure and watering. Also, maybe your plant is just catching up (readjusting and growing roots) after growing from a cutting. I've had many cutting-grown plants just seem to set for a while and then suddenly take off.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:48PM
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Thanks, Brandon. I'll be patient and see what happens. It's healthy enough, just not growing. Hopefully it will take off like you mention.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 6:50PM
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