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How to Root a Fig Plant

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How to Root a Fig Plant

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Overview

A lot has been written about how to root a fig plant, but the truth of the matter is, there is a very simple way to start fig cuttings that works almost every time. It requires no rooting hormone, and takes up almost no space. There are a lot of other ways to root a fig cutting, but this way consistently yields good, quick results.

Step 1

Take several cuttings from a fig tree, keeping track of which end of the cutting was closest to the trunk. Take your cuttings with a sharp knife or pruning sheers. Cuttings should be 6 to 8 inches long and should be taken in mid summer, after the new growth has hardened off a bit.

Step 2

Dampen a paper towel and wrap it gently around the lower end of the cuttings--the end that was closest to the trunk. The paper towel should cover approximately the lower 3 inches of the cuttings. Four or five cuttings can be wrapped together in one paper towel if you wish.

Step 3

Place the wrapped cuttings inside a plastic baggie and seal the baggie shut. Place the baggie in a warm (70 to 75 degrees F) location where it will receive indirect light. Do not place the baggie in direct sunlight.

Step 4

Check the baggie in 3 to 4 weeks and carefully unwrap the paper towel. Look for any root growth on the cuttings. If there is no growth rewrap the cuttings and reseal the baggie--check again in a couple of weeks.

Step 5

Fill flower pots with a 50/50 mixture of vermiculite and sand. Make a hole large enough to accommodate the newly-rooted cutting and carefully place the cutting in the pot, making certain not to damage any of the new roots. Carefully push the sand and vermiculite mixture around the cutting and then water until the soil is damp but not too wet.

Step 6

Cut the bottom off a washed plastic 2-liter soda bottle and set the bottle over your cutting to form a simple greenhouse with an open "chimney" at the top. Place your cutting where it will get plenty of indirect sunlight each day and keep the soil damp but not wet. Too much water will result in root rot and not enough water will cause the roots to dry out and die.

Step 7

Plant your fig tree outdoors the following spring, putting vermiculite and sand in the hole when planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not wet your paper towels too much when wrapping your cuttings. Remember, because your cuttings will be in a closed plastic baggie there will be virtually no evaporation during the 3 or 4 weeks it takes for your cuttings to root, so very little water is needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife or pruning sheers
  • Fig cuttings
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic baggies
  • Flower pots
  • Vermiculite
  • Sand
  • Clean plastic 2-liter soda bottles

References

  • Principals of Rooting (point #5)
Keywords: rooting a fig tree, cuttings, propogating fig trees

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.