What's new
The Fig Spot

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on the site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other fig members through your own private inbox!

Growing out fig cuttings

jas

Newly Registered
Fundamental
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
12
Okay. So I'm a newbie to this. I have a few dozen cuttings from my trees and some others sent to me. I've got them in some Rubbermaid translucent storage boxes on a couple of chairs right in front of a bank of south windows. I keep the lid on most of the time and air out for a couple of hours most days. I have moisture forming on sides and top and it seems to be working like a nice mini greenhouse. As you can see most have spouted and I've go little green leaves. How do I decide when to move out of the box and into pots?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20211106_105729.jpg
    IMG_20211106_105729.jpg
    780.6 KB · Views: 14

Figology

Newly Registered
Fundamental
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Messages
94
If you can see root formation you can up-pot. I wait until there’s at least a handful of roots before I transfer.

Make sure to crack the lid more and more over the course of a few days to acclimate to less humidity. Your leaves will die if not and your plants usually won’t have enough energy to recover.
 

jas

Newly Registered
Fundamental
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
12
Thank you - that makes sense to do it gradually. I'm probably going to leave them where they are for a while. They seem happy. Then gradually crack the lid to reduce humidity a little at at time? I can't see roots well yet and I'm reluctant to disturb them to find out.
 

Shaft

Newly Registered
Fundamental
Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Messages
322
I believe in the six leaf rule. At that point, do what you want as far as up potting

Because you have a humidity dome it's going to be a lot harder to get it out of the box. Look up hardening off on YouTube. Same concept. Expect losses

Next time, toss the lid. You don't need it
 

jas

Newly Registered
Fundamental
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
12
I'm new to propagating figs but not new to gardening. I've started dozens of rose bushes and hydrangeas over the years using Rubbermaid container method. I've got a good spot near a south bank of windows with a heat vent directly under the chairs my boxes are sitting on. Lots of sun filtered by translucent boxes and some bottom heat. I've been gradually cracking the lid on my fig cuttings, then leaving it open a few hours moving up to several hours a day. I estimate another week or so until cover can stay off for good. I made some mistakes on the first batch of cuttings from my own three trees but it didn't cost me anything and about 75% of them are maturing onto nice baby trees. My second batch of about two dozen cuttings from other people's trees have 5-8 leaves each and all look very happy except for one cutting which I assumed was dead until I got ready to pull it out. It has surprisingly large new roots so I'll leave it alone for now.

The second batch I just dumped potting mix straight into the box and planted cuttings in rows. They are about 4-5 inches apart. Question is: will I regret this? How difficult will it be to repot individually later ? Especially if roots eventually grow into each other? I think I should get them settled with no humidity dome for at least a couple of weeks before trying repotting? I know some plants hate transplanting but I have little experience with figs on this issue. I have another batch of cuttings coming next week and I may experiment with not lidding some of those boxes. Should I go back to individual pots for each cutting?

This is getting addictive. Good thing I've got 2 acres. I'm going out over the weekend to stake down a couple of sheets of black plastic on my south facing back hill to kill grass. In late spring I'll remove plastic and do a raised bed and starting planting some of my new fig babies in the ground and others in big pots that I can drag into the basement in the winter. I was eventually hoping to do a hoop house over my more delicate varieties for winter but not sure how soon that will happen.
 

Shaft

Newly Registered
Fundamental
Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Messages
322
Makes perfect sense for soft wood cuttings like roses and hydrangeas. Humidity dome is real good for those. On lignified wood you want to avoid humidity

I put my cuttings into a tote with medium along the bottom,, in cups filled with medium. Then I pour medium into the area around each. Roots stay separate
 

jas

Newly Registered
Fundamental
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
12
So what is a realistic expectation for an experienced grower? What percentage of planted cuttings make it to mature producing trees? It stands to reason you lose a bit more while learning but what is realistic to aspire to?
 

Shaft

Newly Registered
Fundamental
Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Messages
322
I dunno, hard to say. I'm pretty new to this. When I was doing it on a smaller scale, people seemed astounded I was getting 70-90% depending on what species (I do non-fig stuff too). Now I'm working on a much larger scale (this winter should see 10-20k cuttings attempting to root) so we'll see. I've heard from experienced sellers that 70% is an EXTREMELY HIGH percentage at scale.
 

Figology

Newly Registered
Fundamental
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Messages
94
So what is a realistic expectation for an experienced grower? What percentage of planted cuttings make it to mature producing trees? It stands to reason you lose a bit more while learning but what is realistic to aspire to?
Unless someone has a dedicated green house, watering schedule, and good soil, numbers are going to be significantly lower.

I had an 80% success rate rooting cuttings in fig pops (coco coir/perlite). Then I lost an estimated 20% when I transplanted those to potting soil. I lost about 1/3 of the fig pops due to a combination of weather and soil shock.

I started my cuttings in the summer, so heat might be a major factor in the death rates considering they are all outside here in SoCal.

I’d say my current success rate is 50% out of 200+ tries but I’ll have to wait to see what survives until at least next year.

Commercial farms have everything down to a science. You’ll see success rates in the 80-85% range with all the variables well controlled.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
125
Messages
737
Members
86
Latest member
rcnblg
Top