JohnB
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Fig Tree Cuttings Ready?

I am trying to start a fig tree from cuttings from my Janice Kadota fig tree. The existing tree is about five years old. Its branches go dead each winter, but one or two new ones sprout up each spring. They never get past three or four feet high.

The cuttings that I took were bare when I started. I have kept them in water and they have sprouted some leaves. Each stem feels bumpy with tiny little dots all down the branch.

Forgive the dumb question, but are they ready to be planted (see attached photo)? Are roots supposed to sprout? I plan to keep them indoors in a well lit area until spring. Also, do I put them in one or separate pots? :?

Regards,
John
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applestar
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Re: Fig Tree Cuttings Ready?

I would wait until they grow some roots -- sometimes they take a long time, but the bumps are probably proto-roots. I bunch them together and wrap the bottom few inches with moistened paper towel, then put the cuttings in a plastic bag.

If you do this, since yours have sprouted shoots, loosely tie/tape closed the bag just below the growth, then place in a bright warm area but not in direct sunlight.

I have some that are just starting to grow roots -- I would guess it's been about a month... almost two. I started another bunch on Friday, this time standing them in a bag with moistened coir in the bottom.
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RadRob
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Re: Fig Tree Cuttings Ready?

There are many ways to grow cuttings and Applestar's method is one of them. I don't like to mess with them when they're in a bag checking them daily because they will rot without some airflow. From the color of the water on the cuttings you might be close to that now.
I start cuttings every year and the easiest method I found is to just stick them in potting soil and keep them moist. I usually take 6-8 cuttings and clip off most of the leaves except a few smaller ones and put them all in a pot and what ever grows is a bonus, some will not make it. I use a shallow pan to hold water for the container and try to keep it full but I do forget and it does dry out sometimes before I notice without any major problems. I keep them in the shade with dappled sun for a few hours each day and when they start growing new leaves I start giving them more sun. I think those are ready to be put in soil and they should grow roots in no time.

Here's some I started in June, you can see they have grown new top growth and it's time to separate them.
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applestar
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Re: Fig Tree Cuttings Ready?

Haha -- I don't check daily. :> I am exceedingly lazy.

In the summer heat, I put them somewhere very shady, like under a bush or something. In the fall-winter, the slowed growth cuttings from branches that were about to go dormant keep better enclosed so as not to dry out, and it might take as much as 4-5 months.

It's better to keep them wetter than it might seem wise. I just checked mine and in the process BROKE OFF a few roots that did grow but got stuck in the paper towel that had become barely damp. :roll: :roll: NOTE TO SELF "Do not unroll dried paper towel without getting them soaking wet first!"

I've noted in the past tries that even though some of the cuttings may die, and get moldy or rot, the rooted survivors actually seem to use them as nutrient source :hehe:

But I agree with you -- I have always mostly advocated rooting almost any cutting in potting mix rather than rooting in water because the air/soil roots are different from water-soaked/grown roots. In warm conditions with cuttings that were about to leaf out or were in active growth, rooting in a pot would be ideal.

Yours look SUPER! :D
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JohnB
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Re: Fig Tree Cuttings Ready?

Thanks for the info guys!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Fig Tree Cuttings Ready?

What works for me (and I did start some fig cuttings this spring that are doing very well) is to plant them in potting soil and then put a humidity dome (aka 2 liter soda bottle with the bottom cut off) over them. When they have leaves and no roots, you really want to cut down the water loss from the leaves, which keeping them humidified does.
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ElizabethB
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Re: Fig Tree Cuttings Ready?

Hi John,

A few observations

The climate in NYC is not the best for figs. They can not take a hard freeze without major damage.

Are you growing your fig indoors or out? What are the growing conditions summer and winter? If you can give you existing tree the proper growing conditions you won't lose so much of it.

Regarding your cuttings - I am not a fan of rooting in water. Roots that develop in water are different from those that develop in soil.

I find that figs are very easy to root. I use 3/4 to 1 gallon black nursery pots and plain potting soil - not fertilized. I plant 1 cutting per container. If there are leaves I remove them all. Saturate the soil. Lighting is not a major issue until new leaves begin to appear. They do need to be kept warm. Once the cuttings start to leaf they need to be in a very sunny, warm location. You may consider artificial light and warming pads.

Keep the soil evenly moist. Creating a mini green house with a soda bottle or a milk jug helps keep your cuttings from drying out. The soil MUST be kept evenly moist. Not soggy, not dry, just moist throughout the container.

Plant your cuttings in small pots and give them the right growing conditions. If you need help with lighting and heating issues AppleStar is the BOMB. She grows vegetables year round and she does not live in the deep south.

Good luck John. I hope your cuttings root.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

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applestar
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Re: Fig Tree Cuttings Ready?

Here's one from the bunch I mentioned above. The cuttings had fallen over for a while and upper portion of one got sufficiently moistened that it decided to grow roots from leaf nodes just below the top-most bud which had started to unfold.... After accidentally breaking off some of those roots, I re-wrapped the cuttings individually and stood them upright... and the roots that had started to grow at the top turned brown and started to dry out.

So I cut that cutting off just above the next most likeliest to grow bud, and stuck this piece -- no more than 2 inches long, if that, in this little cup of potting mix.

...that was maybe Tuesday -- it looks like this little guy wants to grow :-()


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