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Fig rooting success - now what?

Posted by saswein NY-7 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 19, 10 at 21:11

After past rooting failures, I simply put some fig cuttings in a vase of water. I was very surprised to find that 3 definitely have roots and new leaves, and possibly one or two more will as well.

I don't know the variety, but I know they are white figs from a plant that was wrapped for the winter. Now I have to decide where to plant them. Does anyone have any thoughts about placement? How far apart should they be placed from each other? Should I wait a little longer before planting outside? I am thinking of putting one or two in a pot.

Thanks for any ideas!!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fig rooting success - now what?

  • Posted by ejp3 7NY (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 20, 10 at 10:17

Make sure you have a good number of roots that are 1/3 of an inch or longer, then I would put the cuttings in cups of perlite until you get roots circling the cup. It is way too early to put them in the ground for 2 reasons. First the are much too immature and second the weather isn't warm enough.

RE: Fig rooting success - now what?

Your battle has just begun. Those roots are tender as can be, direct-sowing in the ground outside is a bad idea. I would personally pot the stick(s) up in a loose media (I use an 80/20 mix of perlite and no-fertilizer potting mix), and put them in a mostly-enclosed space (like a plastic storage bin), in a spot that doesn't get direct sunlight for at least 3-6 weeks to let the roots establish, then repot it in a 1gal container using a 50/50 mix of perlite/fertilizer-free potting mix.

Whatever method you choose, keep the cutting out of direct sunlight until it has an established root system, and don't let those roots come in contact with direct sun. If you really want to plant it in the yard, do so in the shade, it may survive (you never know, you may get lucky), you can always transplant it next year when it gains some momentum and actually has a root system. Be sure to monitor its water intake, though, and really keep an eye on it. This is much easier to do while it's inside the home.

RE: Fig rooting success - now what?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 20, 10 at 13:13

While fig cuttings may root readily in water, the roots produced this way are quite different from those produced in a solid, soil-like or highly aerated medium (perlite, screened Turface, very coarse sand, e.g.).

Physiologically, you will find these roots to be much more brittle than normal roots due to a much higher % of aerenchyma (a tissue with a greater percentage of inter-cellular air spaces than normal parenchyma). If you want to eventually plant your rooted cuttings in soil, it is probably not best to root them in water because of the frequent difficulty in transplanting them to soil. The "water roots" often break during transplanting & those that don't break are very poor at water absorption and often die. The practical effect is nearly equivalent to starting the cutting process over again with a cutting having diminished energy reserves.

If you do a side by side comparison of cuttings rooted in water & cuttings rooted in a solid well-aerated medium, the cuttings in a solid well-aerated medium will always (for an extremely high % of plants) have a leg up in development on those moved from water to a solid medium for the reasons outlined above.


RE: Fig rooting success - now what?

Hi Saswein,
My grandmother used to root her fig cuttings in a vase for months. I remember many many seasons ago seeing them and she would wait until the vase bottom had a bundle of roots in it before transplanting into a pot . She would sit water out and change the vase water frequently and i asked her one day why she has these jugs filled with water and she replied to air out the chlorine in it ( chicago water ).

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