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Getting your fig cuttings to root: some information  RSS feed

Posts: 2078
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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I struck a good deal on eBay that came through today: in my mail I found a dozen healthy-looking fig cuttings, four each of three different kinds. So of course I went looking for information on getting them to root. We've got one good thread here on Permies that includes a helpful video from YouTube:

If you're more the type who learns from text and pictures, I found an extremely good photo-illustrated web tutorial from Encanto Farms Nursery.

I decided to hedge my bets, doing two of each type via the bag method (keep them warm in a damp plastic bag until they start to root) and two of each type directly in small pots of well-drained potting mix. We'll see how it goes!
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I've used a different technique with 100% success with fig. I simply take dormant branches (cut while leaf-less around December or January), nick the bottom third with a sharp knife, wet the nicked area with water, then dip in store-bought rooting hormone. I then plant the treated cuttings in 12-15" sections of plastic drain pipe (soft plastic, 3-4" in diameter) filled with soil. I usually almost totally immerse the cutting in soil, with only one or two buds showing out the top.

You need to leave the pipes in place immediately after filling with soil so the soil doesn't just fall out the bottom. Once the soil has been compacted by one or two waterings, it is firm enough that you can relocate the pipes to a more convenient location. Leaves sprout out in two months or so. When ready to plant, you simply slip the cutting out the bottom, but if it's stubborn, you can slit the pipe down it's length with a razor knife.

I like this method because you simply leave the pipes in the back yard and do nothing other than water occasionally. Since the rooted cuttings are already in soil, they are ready for final planting once they're out of the pipe. To improve portability, I've arranged multiple pipes in a plastic milk crates that I can pick up and move at will.
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Figs are really easy to root. I think you just need to stick the cuttings in a pot of soil and they will work almost every time. They don't need the root dip.
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