My fig cutting rooting effort

All these fig posts remind me that I should give kelby an update of my rooting effort.

First the summary :
two kinds of fig cuttings: hardy Chicago and Sal’s GS;
two methods are used to root: moist paper towel&zipper bag and buried in top soil.
Cuttings were potted as they grow enough roots
rooting efforts started at the beginning of year,
Result: hardy Chicago grows roots much faster than Sal’s GS
the buried cutting method seemed to me to be better than the paper towel method.

Question: can I start to fertilize some of them now?

I apologize in advance for all the tedious details bellow, I use this post as a note for myself:grin:

I got 4 Sal’s GS and 6 hardy Chicago cuttings last December from kelby. At the beginning of the year, I wrapped all of them in wet paper towels and put them in zipper bags. After a few days, the paper towel started to get moldy. I then put 4 hardy Chicago, 3 Sal’s GS in plastic boxes, and buried the cuttings under couple of inches soil.1 inches soil at bottom, 1-2 inches on top. I just reuse the soil from growing annual flower.

Buried Hardy Chicago first started to sprout in a month, on February 11, I potted them. This is what they look 3 days ago.

The cutting (in the middle) has largest root and was buried horizontally, that’s why the growth is at the edge of pot, It has about 6 inches growth( from soil to the highest point of leaf) . all the others are potted vertically. The one on the left is fairing the worst, it started to wither after a couple of weeks, the roots were rotted, not sure why. It is still hanging in there.

The following picture is 2 hardy Chicago using paper towel method to root.

The right hand side one was potted on 2/11, it had lots of roots, but withered after a couple weeks, not sure why.
The left hand side one was slow to root, but is doing very well now, potted 2/20

Sal’s GS are much much slower to root.
This one is paper toweled cutting potted on 2/29

This one is a buried cutting potted on 2/20.

There is still one without root now after being buried 70 days! It has nice leaves though.

today I potted it anyway.
Pictures are missing for the last two potted Sal’s GS.


If they are rooted and growing, go ahead and fertilize but do it at a low concentration to avoid burning the young plants. Glad they rooted for you!

I got a few cuttings of Peter’s Honey Aka Kadota, how good is this fig.


Never had that one, but it is spelled “Kadota”. Good luck!

Oops. I didn’t wear my reading glasses. I swapped scions for this one. I will pot this one and update down the road how good it is.


All of them taste good when conditions are good. I think Peter’s is a Honey type flavor? At Mountain Figs they broke down flavor types. Kinda fun to have one in every group.
DARK SUGAR Improved Celeste, LSU Purple, Brunswick, Celeste, Brown Turkey

LIGHT HONEY Marseilles (Lattarula, Italian Honey), Champagne, Alma, Janice Kadota, Excel

DARK BERRY Mongibello (Mt Etna), Ronde de Bordeaux, LSU Black, Black Genoa

LIGHT BERRY Brooklyn White, Conadria, Latarolla (Lyndhurst White)

INTENSE DARK BERRY Violette de Bordeaux, Black Madeira (Figo Preto), Nero Barnisotte, Col de Dame Noir

INTENSE LIGHT BERRY White Triana, Paradiso, Adriatic, Calverte, Emerald Strawberry, Panachée

I have one in each group except maybe Light Berry. I have a lot not on this list. So not sure? Like Danny’s Delight might be Light Berry??

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I bought some Kadota last year at a market.I liked them a lot,very sweet. Brady

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Kelby, should I give them nitrogen for the leaves or phosphorus for the root? How soon can I get fruit?

Thanks again for the nice cuttings!


Just a balanced fertilizer. You’ll probably get fruit this year.

Sad to report that I think all my rdb cuttings are dead. I moved them into soil too quickly. I Used The Same method I’ve used in the past for hardy Chicago and Brunswick but I think I was a tad too aggressive. They had small roots but we’re starting to leaf out. The leaves are now shriveled and brown and after pulling the cutting back out of the soil the roots are now gone. :frowning: it was a fig I dearly wanted to add to my collection but I got in too big of a hurry.

So sorry to hear that. My fig cuttings do that to me too. I might have Hardy Chicago plant available that I can give to you if it is still alive after potted up. Or I can send you some cuttings in the fall.

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Yeah some root quick others don’t. I had one fig start to form leaves and just stall for 6 weeks, then started growing. A rare thing as others just died. Leave them root more before putting in soil. Some root so well you can root them right in soil.
I grew a bunch this winter and had to move them out as I needed the lights for tomatoes and peppers. It got cold so in the garage. Many lost a lot of leaves, but look OK. One is RDB, I had 2 that rooted and sent one to Matt. Mine has FMV, as I think all do, I can root one for you next winter or send you cuttings if all goes well this summer. If you don’t pick another up, just drop me a line about it the fall.RDB is a must have.

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I’m sure I can root one for you this summer, just ask if you need one.

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I took of few of the cuttings and placed them back in sphagnum moss in an attempt to see if they will being to root again. Not optimistic though. You all are very generous. I’ll let you know how it goes and if I end up needing more cuttings. Thanks.

Speaking of fig related things, I finally talked to Rafed. He lives less than 5 minutes form me. The Podpiper and I are going to go over his house this summer. If you don’t know he used to be a huge fig grower with over 250 varieties in his collection. Now down to only 20. I want to inspect his collection and take notes on what works here. What a great resource for me. He no longer participates in the forums which is sad, and I thought I would not have a chance to bend his ear. He was nice enough to give me his email and we have been chatting. I’ll bring some stone fruit over for him this summer.

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You have a golden opportunity. Take advantage of it all you can.
I’d even record the conversations, if he’ll let you.
Many years ago, I was lucky enough to have the same opportunity
with VERY highly respected and nationally known rosarian. He had
forgotten more about roses than I’ll ever know. He taught me so many things,
that I never would have known about. Things I still practice today, and teach
to other people. He’s the reason I’ve had so much success. When he passed away, there were so many arrangements of roses from his many admiring friends, that you could have opened a large florist shop. It was
akin to his entrance into heaven.


I would like to learn from your conversation with him on what kind of figs success in cold and wet great lake region.

I saw your rose from other thread, they are beautiful!

Very cool Ray you got to meet him. I listen to Farmer Fred out of Sacramento and also Garden Life. The guy on Garden Life is involved in auctioning rare roses. Farmer Fred often has Baldo on who has hundreds of roses. They often talk about rare hard to find roses. it’s hit and miss on the shows when the subject comes up… My mom grew roses, but I don’t myself. I removed her roses 20 years after she passed. Not cared for, and at the time I didn’t know how to care for them. She planted some awesome tulips 40 years ago, and they still come up every year. Unlike modern tulips which are beautiful but often only flower one season.
Thanks for posting that funny comment about what he forgot. And you emphasize how well known this fig guy is.

I have been rooting some more cuttings and Some are slow to root. I tried rooting some directly in soil. The main reason as they didn’t really want to root in moss. I noticed they did best when under my hot T5 4 lamp light. The heat and strong light seemed to make them root better. They really need heat no matter how you root them, don’t slack on keeping them warm. This seems key to getting them to take. I had one plant under T12 shop lights, it started leafing out then just stopped. It didn’t die, for 6 weeks it just stalled and sat there. I put it under my T5 and within a week it started growing. I thought for sure it was a goner.