Starting Fig Cuttings

| April 25, 2016
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

All of our fig cuttings rooted! I have a lot of experience propagating stubborn plants, even going so far as to do it for others by request. I have used different layering techniques, and even plant tissue culture to be successful, but recently I cloned Lattarula Fig cuttings. I have never started figs from cuttings, but they are fairly easy by comparison to other plants; which was a welcomed surprise. If anyone is interested in increasing their success rates, here is the method I used.

1.) Get a large clear Tupperware container. I like large takeout soup containers. It should be large enough to place the entire cutting into a soil-less media and still have room for leafing out, and unconstrained rooting.

2.) Prepare sterile coco fiber(my soil-less media of choice), rinse and ring out if it seems salty. Fill containers with well drained coco fiber.

3.) Dip the cutting ends in rooting hormone, organic options do exist, but I won’t get into that here. This step isn’t ‘necessary’ if you prefer not to aid in root growth via a chemical means.

4.) Place all but the top 2.5-3 inches in the media.

5.) Add a liquid fertilizer to filtered, preferably sterile water, and water in the cutting. Just water enough that beading of water on the inside of the clear container is visible, and no more.

6.) Loosely cover the container with plastic wrap or a lid. You want some gas exchange, but you also want to maintain a high moisture content.

7.) Keep in indirect light and keep warm. If you have a heat mat, use it to apply bottom heat. Try not to exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with a sweet spot around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

8.) Keep the humidity high, by adding water to the coco fiber media as needed.

After about 2 weeks there should be enough root growth to reduce the humidity, and reduce the watering. When a small root ball is visible, remove bottom heat and slowly increase the lighting the figs receive. After 3-4 weeks, plant up cuttings into a light organic potting media, and keep well watered, but not damp.

Don’t be fooled by leafing out, sometimes a plant will leaf out before or during rooting. Don’t reduce heat or humidity, don’t increase light, and don’t transplant until a root ball is visible and healthy.

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