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How to Propagate Fig Trees

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Fig trees are well-suited to propagation, with late winter the best time to propagate stem cuttings. Established fig trees can withstand temperatures down to 10 degrees F without substantial damage. Fig trees do not require pollination to produce fruit.

Cut stems for rooting in late winter. Cut 1-year-old stems growing in the center of the tree. Make the stems between 6 and 8 inches long and approximately as thick as a finger.

Line the bottom of the plastic container with newspaper and place 2 to 3 inches of potting soil into the bottom. Place as many as four cuttings in one plastic container, standing them so that the cut ends are in the soil. Add more potting soil to fill the container--you should see just the tips of the cuttings.

Water the soil and place the container in a location where there is bright sun, but not direct light. Keep the temperature at 70 degrees F or higher.

Cut off the bottom of a plastic bottle--a soft-drink bottle works well--and place the bottle over the container. Keep the cap on the bottle.

Water the cuttings only when the soil dries out completely. Lift the container and if it feels light, place it in a shallow pan filled with water. Allow the soil in the container to soak up water from the pan. Remove the container when the soil is moist again.

When new shoots and leaves extend from the cuttings, remove the bottle cap. If the cuttings continue to grow after several days, remove the bottle. If they wilt, replace the bottle and try again in a few days. If they thrive, it is time to transplant the cuttings.

Fill the 1-gal. containers almost to the top with potting soil. Plant each cutting in a 1-gal. container so that the original cutting portion is under the soil and the new growth is above it. Tamp down the soil around the stems. Mix the fertilizer with water according to package recommendations for your container size and fertilize each newly planted fig tree.

Wait four to six weeks. If the fig trees are healthy and the weather stays above 70 degrees F, plant them outside.

Dig holes in a sunny location and plant the fig trees so that they are at the same depth as they were in the 1-gal. containers. Water the trees regularly throughout the remainder of the growing season. Never allow the trees to wilt.

Place 2 to 3 inches of shredded mulch around the base of the fig trees to help conserve moisture in the soil and protect the roots.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden shears
  • Fig tree
  • Plastic container with drainage hole (4-inch diameter)
  • Newspaper
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic bottle
  • Scissors
  • Pan
  • 1-gal. containers
  • All-purpose fertilizer (water soluble)
  • Shovel
  • Mulch

About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.