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Don't give up on that cutting!

Posted by snaglpus 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 28, 10 at 12:31

Good day, I would like to know when do you finally give up on cuttings? And what are your sign the cutting is dead? As for me, it depends! On the 1st of March, I started a bunch of cuttings, Gold Celeste, Latturala, Parasido, Sal's, Atreano, White Marseilles, Unknown Yellow, Black Madeira, King, White Gem, Susser Georg and a few others. I carefully watched and cared for them daily. Well as you know, some cultivars just take root faster than others. Others are more sensitive, need more heat, less heat, less water, more water, etc. Well, one week ago I removed 3 Parasido cuttings and 3 Sal's cuttings from the bin. I did not see any roots and they looked liked they were dry and dead...I mean real dry.
Anyway, I watered them and placed them directly on my heating pad. I have an extra large heat pad with the metal bar keeping containers from touching it. I was so mad at these cutting and sure these 6 cutting were dead.

Well this week and after the remaining 30+ cuttings were showing some roots, I repotted them. There were 7 that did not show roots from what I could see but they were not dead (not leafed out yet). I decided to repot them anyway and it was a good thing I did! When I removed them from the bottle, they had roots but they had not reached the side of the bottle. I repotted them. One of the Celeste cuttings I got from Jon was 80% covered in my special superpot (I'll explain later) had hundreds of 2 inch roots sticking out all the way up the cutting but no leaves. I'm glad I checked them.

Well I forgot about the 6 sitting directly on my heat pad. I picked up one of them and noticed it had 3, 4 inch roots and half way down in the bottle it had a 3 inch branch growing and sticking out the side! I could not believe it! I checked the others and the same thing happened, roots and branches! From the top of the cutting down to the soil it looked dead and dry. So, how did this happen? Here is my theory. There was a temperature change over the past 4 weeks. We went from having 80 degree weather in March to having 70 and 60 degree weather by day and 40s at night in April. Plus my house temperature dropped from 77 degrees to 70 degrees. The heat pad kept them warm but the air temperature dropped. However I noticed something about those cuttings too.

When they arrived, I noticed some of the leaf nodes were half way down the cutting. I had an idea. I wasn't sure it would work but I tried it anyway. What if the cutting rooted and leafed out from the side at the leaf node? How would it survive without air? So, I made holes all over my plactic cup including the bottom...creating kinda a Superpot. I made sure my soil was light and airy using truface (perlite works too) and UPM and watered them every 3 or 4 days. I only watered the cuttings from the holes on the side until water dripped from the bottom. This gave the cutting more air and allowed it to breathe constantly and I watered it only when it was a little dry. Weeks later, I had roots coming out of the holes on the bottom and sides and sometimes straight from the top. I think this helped those dead cutting come back to life plus the extra heat.

Well I wasn't planning on keeping those 7 undead cuttings. I did not have have any more pots. So I went to the farmer's market and bought 50 of those tall clear 32 oz plastic containers you put dry goods in. I made holes all around the container and bottom, added my 60/40 soil, added the cuttings and place them in my greenhouse. I know they will grow well.

So, the moral of the story is don't give up on those cuttings! Cheers, Dennis


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Congratulations! Most of mine have leafed out except for some, (those in the baggie have not,) nor have those in the dirt outside. I expected the baggie to show progress sooner, but I guess I should be patient. I knew the ones outside would take longer because grapevines root fast, and the ones in the house were about 2 weeks faster than the figs, so I expect the same for those in the dirt, since the vines are all popping up outside. Figs should follow.

The only figs so far that have leafed are also in "superpots," AKA root pruning pots, with damp perlite/peat. Mine look like milk cartons and have NO bottom, and have been punched several times on the sides. I purchased them online. Monarch Plant Bands, Zipset I think. I wish I could SEE roots, but because there is no bottom, I can plant the whole thing and leave it there (biodegradable), or push on the soil and pull up the band with zero root disturbance.

I won't give up on those in the baggie and those in the dirt! Thanks for your post!


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Three or four of the cuttings I gave up on and threw into my compost bin have since rooted and are growing. Two of them made themselves known several weeks after I had spread the compost around other trees.

You just never know...


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Was that a hot compost pile and if so do you know appox temp.
Anyhow congrats to all it nice to read these success stories and the different ways that seem to work
Sal


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Shhhhh! I don't think it's "rocket science." I'm a grandma and I grew up in the era of "If you don't have multiple Ficus Benjamina's in your home, you are a terrible person!"

I learned quickly that they root in water, and replant easily. Ficus Benjamina or Ficus Carica. All figs. Should be easy to root!

I now only have Ficus Carica, and am happy with the plan!
Suzi


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

The compost pile was "cold", but that's a relative term here in Arizona. It was damp, and our weather has been mild, with temps mostly from the 60's into the low 80's.

Those cuttings appeared to be dead. Kind of hard to uproot them after they beat the odds. So for now at least they stay put.


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Fig cuttings can be amazing. I had a Sal's that I gave up on, and needed a label in the tomato patch so used the dead cutting to hold the label. It sat in the ground for a year (delayed garden maintenance), then I saw some leaves growing from a node below the ground. I thought, cool! and left it in the ground. The my chickens got loose and ate off all of those leaves. I thought, *@^%#! It sat another year, and some more leaves grew out. Now, another year down the road, I have it in a container, and it's 2 feet tall, and has a little figlet. I think this year it will really take off, the growth looks sturdy and healthy.


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

I had a similar experience with a Sal (Gene's/EL), I wonder if it's just typical of the variety?

Literally, I got my cuttings of it around Thanksgiving or shortly after. I had it in a baggie, and swore it had root initials forming (this is prior to me waiting till a few longer ones formed). I potted it up, only to have it sit for 6-8 weeks doing nothing. The terminal bud was still good, so I bit the bullet and dumped the cup one day only to find there were no roots! So, it wasn't limp or moldy, I put it back in the bag. It sat there for another 8-9 weeks, then FINALLY popped out some roots. So I cupped it up, and just a few days later (bad pic - roots aren't that orange or fuzzy)

This is just one more reason 'not to give up on that cutting'!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Mine are slow this year. I needed that encouragement - and picture.
Cath


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

It only took that cutting 6 months to get there!

Hang in there. If you can stick i nthere long enough and keep the mold off .... it's eventually going to root.

I think patience and "not loving something to death" are the two important (albeit intangible) ingredients used in rooting anything. ;)


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 29, 10 at 9:50

If you find yourself in danger of loving your trees (or cuttings) to death - you don't have enough trees. You need to spread the love around instead of heaping it all on one plant.

There's actually a pearl in that observation somewhere if you think about it.

Al


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

From my fig research activities.....

If a fig cutting that is rooting indoors is taking rather long to root, it is VERY LIKELY that not enough moisture is being provided to (or reaching) the cutting. Some cuttings simply need more moisture than others and there are several variables that control the length of the cutting's re-hydration period. Many seemingly dead fig cuttings can be saved (revived) by burying it in wet "builders" grade sand. Wet sand will re-hydrate a cutting rather quickly sans mold......wet sand is slightly acidic and anti fungal. Bury a few fig cuttings in wet sand for a week and then look at them and you will see how well hydrated and clean looking they will become. FYI--I was told that a very famous French fig expert uses sand in his fig rooting method. Personally, I do not like to use sand because it is completely inert. I prefer a rooting mix which contains nutrients.....and I prefer to hydrate my cuttings along the FULL LENGTH of the cutting by wrapping in a damp and heavy paper towel......a HEAVIER paper towel (holds more moisture)and is helpful for some cuttings.

I have saved some seemingly hopeless cuttings by burying them in sand inside of a vented plastic strawberry clam box. However, it is much MUCH preferable to simply use a better grade of paper towel and avoid this problem in the first place....not all brands of paper towels perform the same. Also, I let my wrapped cuttings tell me when they need more water by observing their surface. Dull and Damp looking.....they are OK. Shiny or Dry looking.....the paper towel needs more moisture or the cutting is not wrapped properly. You CANNOT gauge the re-hydration progress of a moist paper wrapped cutting by looking to see if any condensation exists on the baggie INNER WALLS (or condensation on the rooting cup INNER WALLS for that matter). The baggie method allows you TO LOOK AT THE CUTTING ITSELF and see what it needs........more moisture, less moisture, bud nipping, figlet nipping, etc. When roots initials do appear, those cuttings are then fully primed and ready to grow rapidly in their new rooting cup environment.

I have not paid any attention at all to floaters or sinkers in the past. However, I most definitely will be paying more attention to this detail in the future to see if the floaters are actually the cuttings that need more water of re-hydration (slower to form roots). Maybe just an overnight or two soaking in a hydrogen peroxide "spiked" water solution would cause them to sink (re-hydrate)....time will tell. I will be conducting some controlled testing to see if there is any linkage.

Dan


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Sometimes, "ignorance is bliss" Not sure which scientific guru said that, but if you just put the cuttings in warm damp soil, ignore them, they will rise and shine, all on their own!!

Olives are not Figs, BUT... last year (I live where Figs, Citrus, Grapes and Olives thrive), I grabbed a few suckers off of Golf Course olives during a round of golf. Came home, stuck them all in the dirt, and waited.

Most died (those in full sun), but there were 2 that were in North Facing Shade. A couple months later, OMG!! Leaves! NOW, I have two free olive trees, and the fruit of those babies is good when you cure it, and I know how to do that!

I hope Dan and Al don't fight again! Nice thread. I hope we can keep it simple! Most of us are not scientists. We don't want to know "why." HOW is our keyword!
suzi


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

  • Posted by gorgi z6b NJ (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 29, 10 at 18:01

A few years ago, having some extra fig cuttings, and
not knowing what to do with them, I winter-bundle-stored
them under my little compost heap. Came late spring,
and some of them rooted and sprouted leaves...

3 basic composting facts:
(a) best is a 50/50% mix of "nitrogen"
(e.g., GREEN grass clippings) and
"carbon" (e.g., BROWN dried leaves).
(b) a minimum 1 cubic yard of material is required to sustain high temperatures.
(c) no addtional additives are required, all organic material eventually rots.


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RE: xyz-Don't give up on that cutting!

  • Posted by gorgi z6b NJ (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 29, 10 at 18:09

Forgot a 4,5th very important facts about composting:
(I am sure there is more)
(d) aerate that heap (oxygen); once a week, at most once a month.
(e) keep moist (not soggy).


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 29, 10 at 18:34

Suzi - there should be no fighting if someone expresses a different opinion and explains why they hold that opinion without being provocative. People are here to learn about cuttings, so as long as posts follow the topic and are cordial, no one should have a problem with them. Some people are interested in getting the best information they can possibly get, and cordial disagreements are excellent ways to exchange information. Allow me to clear a few things up, please.

Sand doesn't have a pH. It is primarily silica and insoluble in water. If you get a pH reading from sand, it's from the impurities in it. The pH of sand can either be acidic, or basic, depending on what the impurities are. Since sand is neutral, and we have no way of knowing what is in it, we can't assume it is antifungal. Quite the opposite is more likely the case.

The impurities often include salt (see link above). Increasing salt levels, like increasing fertilizer levels, are known to make water movement across cell membranes more difficult, so we should consider carefully whether or not we should use sand in an attempt to rehydrate cuttings, as well as whether or not we should include any fertilizer in the media we use for starting cuttings.

Root initials cannot be seen, but once root primordia are visible, cuttings can begin uptake of nutrients from the soil solution. Until that time, cuttings cannot absorb nutrients from the medium, or do so very poorly.

About burying cuttings in wet sand for a week to rehydrate: "Sand" covers a lot of territory. If we don't qualify what 'sand' is, most people are going to think of 'play sand' or 'builders sand'. Strangely enough, how we use that sand can easily determine if the cutting will rot or survive the treatment. Even though fine sand drains quickly, it holds a considerable amount of perched water. If you were to take a flat bottom container or pail, and throw an inch of sand in the bottom, then lay a dozen cuttings in the container, cover them with sand, and wet them. The cuttings could easily rot in a week's time - depending mostly on the temperature, with the warmer it is the more likely rot would be. The same would be true if you stood the cuttings vertically and buried them with wet sand. The lower part of the container would remain saturated with perched water and the bottom of the cuttings would be subjected for anaerobic conditions for the duration.

If you still wanted to try to use wet sand to rehydrate a cutting, you must be sure the cutting is high enough in the container that it is completely above any perched water. Even then, there is the fact that the sand would be very poorly aerated and gas exchange poor - not a good situation for cuttings, which prefer all the aeration you can give them.

If the cuttings are viable, they will rehydrate quickly, Tossing them in a bucket of water for an hour should completely rehydrate any viable cutting. Water will quickly enter the cuttings from either end and through their lenticels, like you see here.

Basically, if you have more cuttings than you need - some that float and some that sink, opt for the sinkers and use the floaters to mark where you planted seeds - maybe they'll root in the ground with no heroic efforts required.

Al



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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

All comes out smiling, tags Dan with a couple of light jabs, then backs towards his corner, maintaining an alert but defensive posture.

Will Dan take the bait? Will he return in kind? Or will he come out swinging?

Stand by sports fans...


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 29, 10 at 21:11

Wbg - it's not like that at all, and there is no need to fan the flames. There is no bait. I simply disagree with certain things and plainly, cordially stated why. It doesn't have to go any further than that. We've both stated an opinion and the forum is wise enough to choose which carries the most weight. It's very simple, and how any gentleman disagrees.

Al


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Right.

Standign by...


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

The bottom line to all of this is that it is really ALL ABOUT RESULTS.....not someone's pet theory or conjecture. One does not have to know any of the underlying science to successfully root fig twigs. However, it sure does help improve your success rate if you do know a bit about the underlying fundamentals and the variables that are WITHIN YOUR CONTROL. As I've stated before, it is very difficult to argue against proven results....IMO it is plain ridiculous to do so BEFORE giving it a try. It either works or it doesn't. Anyone can verify for themselves the validity of the information that I have posted. I know for a fact that it is very useful information for anyone having problems rooting fig cuttings indoors. Keep an open mind to this and try what I have suggested, You can improve you success rate and have fewer setbacks. However; the information that I have given above is absolutely FREE, which means ANYONE is perfectly free to completely ignore it.

Dennis, please let me know if I have wasted my time in responding to your OP.

Dan


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Dennis How bout them figs? What a great pleasure we all get when things work out no matter the Who, What, Where, Why, method we use
Sal


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

As I've clearly stated above.........

"The bottom line to all of this is that it is really ALL ABOUT RESULTS.....not someone's pet theory or conjecture."

Dan


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Hey Sal, here is what happens when you don't give up on cuttings!
Cuttings in Greenhouse
Here is a picture of the cutting that started half way in the bottle. If you look close, you'll see another sprout popping up.
Busting Loose
Here are some cuttings on the floor of my greenhouse.
Cuttings on floor more
more on the floor..
Cuttings on floor
These cuttings are on the shelf on the right..
Cutting and heater right
These cuttings are on the self on the left...
Cutting and heater left
I placed the heater inside because last night was our final cold evening for the season...I hope. Outside temperature got down to 38 degrees. I couldn't risk loosing any so I spent a good hour placing them inside. Some of these cuttings sprouted leaves before they rooted. I had to wait till the roots came before potting them. Some leaves dried up but since I repotted them, new leaf buds have started and the trees are growing well. This greenhouse heats up fast once the sun hits it. The tree standing in the corner is Stella. She loves the heat! I noticed my 4 Black Madeira cuttings grew faster in this greenhouse too. I guess it needs a lot of heat too! Today I removed 90 percent of the cuttings and relocated them to my covered deck on a shelf in the shade. It's 106 degrees in the greenhouse now. The cuttings will die if I leave them there. Temperatres over the next 4 days is suppose to be over 80 with 50 and 60s at night. I will leave them on my deck till the end of May. Thanks for watching and don't give up on that cutting! Cheers, Dennis


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Hey Dennis: Truly awesome. How bout them figs... I had the misfortune of a bad wind storm blowing and I forgot I had my cuttings in cups out side . Well, they blew into pool and I did not notice till early next day, was going to just trash them but like a good fig soldier I got some mix and cupped again. Not much hope I thought, salt and chlorine as I have salt generator for pool which makes chlorine from salt . Any way out of 6 that blew in one Verdal Longue now has roots and is ready to pot in the coming days, the Panache I'm still hopping for The rest of the VL I really don't care as I only want one. So there you go another almost success story will update maybe with pics in near future. Way to go to all the success stories and all the different but successful methods as there are many.
Keep those new and old methods coming, even though I don't root many figs it is still FUN Reading and Learning

Dan I couldn't agree with you more "The bottom line to all of this is that it is really ALL ABOUT RESULTS."

Sal


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!!

Here is a picture of the Verdal Longue that went swimming and some of my figs in pots and garden. The figs are only 1-2 yrs old and some new starts in 3 gal pots
Sal
5/1/10

5/1/10

5/1/10

5/1/10


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

  • Posted by mrhappy z8 - Austin, TX (My Page) on
    Sat, May 1, 10 at 16:14

I accidently closed the garage door on two batches of cuttings Wednesday night. I scooped them up and put them back in the pots. They look to still have a chance as of today.


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Sal, I would have thought that salt water would have killed that cutting! I'm glad it didn't. I heard Vl is one good fig. I got 2 cuttings growing strong out side on my deck. I really want to taste that fig. Awesome pics Sal.

Mrhappy, what happened to the beam that's suppose to protect from crushing objects that block the beam?

Dennis


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

My experience from a single season is that moisture is mostly what matters. I took a few dozen cuttings from my fig late fall so I could wrap the rest more easily. I put 20 or so in a trash can lid with dirt in the house and kept them watered. One in the house was in a pot wrapped in plastic which did really well. I dumped the rest under the deck and covered them with 4-5 inches of mulch.

Over the winter the house was too dry for many of the indoor cuttings although some got a bit green once I put the them and the dirt in a plastic bag. They also got mildewy. But outside in early April I uncovered the mulch after a very snowy winter and there were little green nubs on most of the cuttings. Those all went down the hill in some space between the limestone ridges and about 1/2 have sprouted with daily watering. The ones closest to the rock and shade seem more likely to sprout.


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Thanks Dennis the salt in pool is just a tad bit more than what we have in tap water I should have clarified on that.
The VL shows signs of FMV can you confirm that observation
Sal


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Dennis,
They were just outside the beam and just under the door. It came down and compressed the 2 liter bottles and then spewed them out into the driveway. After I invented a couple of new words I went out and repotted them. Some root/initials were still on some of the cuttings.
Richard


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Sal, yep, my VL cuttings are showing signs of the virus too. Rats! I hope these cuttings grow well. I got 4 Black Madeira cuttings in my 109 degree greenhouse. I had these cutting chillin in with the rest of the cuttings I had them indoors for about 8 weeks and nothing. So, in the greenhouse, they are now budding and leafing out! At temp of 110, I took them out and let them rest with the rest of the cuttings. I had to take Stella out too. Lookds like I'm I'm going to have plenty of figs this year.

Richard, I now understand what happened. How about those cuttings! They survived the garage door! Gota love those figs. Dennis


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RE: Don't give up on that cutting!

Thanks Dennis for the reply and confirmation I will try to nurse it through along with the VDB and Madeira which show signs
Sal


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