How to Get Root Cuttings From a Fig Bush


Propagate a fig bush by collecting root cuttings in late winter. Root cuttings do best when taken during the plant's dormant period, when the roots store the most energy. Each root cutting will produce two or three new stems, which in turn generate their own root systems. When new stems are fully established, the original root will disintegrate. Parent plants should be at least 2 years old to produce the size of root needed for root cuttings.

Step 1

Sharpen your knife or cutting tool. This will ensure a clean cut and prevent unnecessary injury to you and your fig bush.

Step 2

Dip the ends of your cutting tool in rubbing alcohol or douse with boiling water to prevent the spread of disease.

Step 3

Remove the top 1 to 2 inches of dirt 6 inches from the main trunk of your fig bush. The digging area should be no more than 6 inches in diameter to expose as few roots as possible.

Step 4

Find a solid root that is at least as thick as pencil and 6 inches in length.

Step 5

Sever the root from the bush with a knife. Carefully cut the root at the point where it splits from a larger root section.

Step 6

Remove any adjacent roots smaller than a pencil in diameter. This should leave you with a single root 6 inches in length.

Step 7

Transfer the root cutting immediately to potting soil. Leave the top 1 inch of the cutting exposed, and keep the cutting away from direct sunlight.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not to sever roots unnecessarily while digging.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Knife
  • Rubbing alcohol or boiling water


  • The Art of Bonsai: Propagating Figs
  • New Mexico Master Gardeners: Propagation
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System:Growing Figs
Keywords: root cutting, fig cutting, fig bush

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.