Grafting Figs

Does anyone have any experience with this? I’m wondering if temperature is important here, like it is with stone fruit, if this could be done inside under lights in the winter. Thanks

I’ve had good luck with T buds anytime the bark is slipping. I didn’t do well with chip buds in Sept.

I think Alcedo was talking about grafting figs in March. Maybe you could find that with the search function. In general they seem easy to bud/graft.

They are a bit different in that even on young plants the bark is thick. I tore up my finger nails trying to T bud that thick bark. Had to rely more on a tool to open up the bark.


There have been a few discussions on fig grafting, for example:

To me, the easiest type of graft is the cleft graft and you have to use
dormant scion wood. Depending upon your location, March through
spring is the best time to graft, but you also need to cover the graft,
so that it doesn’t dry out. A plastic bag will serve the purpose.

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Thanks for the links. I probably should’ve done a search first. A good tip in the second link about making sure to let sap stop gushing before grafting.

Thanks Ray. I was thinking of trying mine inside under lights so that the cuttings are still in good shape. Spring is a long ways away up here in the northeast.

I guess I’ll just give it a shot and post my results.

I received some varieties that i absolutely want to preserve (2 cuttings of each). I started rooting one cutting of each but i’m reserving the other one to graft. With that one cutting i will do chip grafts (using the lower buds) and a whip and tongue graft, using the top half of the cutting with the terminal bud.

I started doing that last year, after losing a couple of precious varieties due to failures during the rooting process or after the up potting (root rotting due to excess rain). Now, i don’t lose any varieties because i always use my backup (grafting) and usually i end up with several successful grafts of each one, which is also good to have more cuttings in the following year.

The cuttings will still be in good shape for grafting if disinfected, dried and then wrapped in kitchen transparent film (they can stay healthy for months this way). I have several cuttings in my fridge waiting for the end of February/beginning of March so i can begin grafting.

If you really want to graft now, you can do it in a heated room directly into a rootstock that has sap flowing or, in alternative, you can graft a robust and easier to root cutting that will serve as stock with the desired variety and then root the grafted cutting. It works well, but i prefer to root into a well established stock (in a container or planted)


I had good luck with my gratf efforts done in late September/early October -

They are all dormant now and they had almost no growth, being grafted so late in the season, but i don’t see a single graft that seems to have failed. I will confirm their success in the spring, except the one’s i’ve done using the whip and graft technique. These even managed to produce a few leaves before they entered into dormancy due to the stable weather we experienced in the fall.

Here’s one grafted in the 29th of September - photo taken in December 12:

On the contrary, the chips that i grafted in June, July and August had time to grow quite well, like this one, grafted in mid June (first photo in October and second photo now)

But the growth from a cutting with a terminal bud grafted to a robust stock using the whip and tongue technique can’t simply be matched by chips, like in the following example:

Variety Sbayi, grafted in March (photo in April):

In June it was like this:

One of the branches in October

By the end of the year i had to prune it !! to control the growth.


Just one more example. I received a single cutting of Black Bursa and it’s was very thin and small (3 inches). If i tried rooting it, it would probably fail. So i grafted it instead into a young plant (1 year) rooted Moscatel Branco in a pot.

Here’s a few photos with the evolution of the graft.

Grafted in March (photo in April)

In early May

In the end of May

In July

In September

In October


Im having a tough time getting takes grafting fig. I did 5 grafts to small sprouts coming off the crown of my VdB that i cut down. I grafted dormant wood onto stock that was starting to wake up. So far only 1 graft looks alive, and its not really growing which makes me think it will collapse eventually. Any tips? I did cleft grafts and i ringed the stock below the graft to slow the sap bleeding. Ive had close to 100% takes on apples and pears, not that that means anything, just that i have had some experience at least with clefts.

I do cleft, bark, or a whip with no tongue because fig has hollow center. The trick is using a rubber band wrapped tight up and down the union and I make atleast 10 small cuts below the graft to let it bleeds out and I barely watet the pot. Too much water just make it bleeds at the union. Always used parafilm.

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Thanks for the feedback. I only did one or two cuts. Will do more next time. I wrapped the union tight with electricians tape then i wrapped parafilm over everything including the scion. If all of them fail i may try bark grafting on the main stump. Ive got a few scions left in the fridge.

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Is anyone else grafting figs this spring? I am trying again after failing the last time I tried maybe 15 years ago. I chopped down an old not so hardy fig right at the ground and did half a dozen bark grafts to 2-5" trunks there. This was a couple weeks ago and so far nothing is happening. I painted them in Doc Farwells like I do with all of my grafts. I also grafted pawpaws on the same day and those are just starting to wake up so I still think there is a reasonable chance they will make it…

If the grafts make it I will mound up some soil at the base with the aim of getting these new guys to root and to freeze-proof them. Not sure that will work, either… I did chain saw the old ones right at ground level for this reason.


I typically have 80% to 90% success rate with fig grafts, mostly cleft and some bark.

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I cant believe one of the most followed grafter in youtube started here too.

What temperature for figs do you guys advice when grafting?

I just did grafting of 15 varieties out there, no sap running this time, I didn’t know about this thread otherwise I would try something different. They all wee splice grafting, we will see if they took. I didn’t use rubber band, I just used parafilm tape to hold the edges together, then I tied them with more plastic tape, wrong kind I ordered from Amazon.

Update. All the splice grafting for figs failed miserably, not a surprise, this is my second time grafting.
So I re did a few cleft grafts with BNR, Adriatic JH, and Figo Preto. So far BNR seems to be emerging.

I might try Fig grafting for the first time,if there are some cuttings left over.A fair sized Dessert King,will most likely be the root stock.
I recently bought some scions from Ben B,near Seattle and he suggested to do it around April,when highs are near 60F.
Also,some generous forum members,sent me some.Thanks

I’ve only done two fig grafts but they both succeeded. I grafted new growth as scion onto fully active and leafed out rootstock during summer.


My attempt at rooting fig cuttings using various methods didn’t pan out, they all got moldy. I tried to salvage those cuttings by grafting them onto my 6 years old in-ground brown turkey. Not sure if they’ll take though since I think it’s might be too early for zone 7A in VA to be grafting in March. I’m crossing my fingers and hope that at least one or two of those 8 grafts will bud out soon.

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I don’t like rooting fig cuttings indoors, you get gnats, fungus, mold, red spider mites, etc… Thank goodness I live in California, I just leave them outside.

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