My rooting hormone didn't work on my fig. Am I doing it wrong?

I have been gardening for many years, but I have just recently started planting fruit trees. I have always had a love for fruits, but I was constricted to mainly only apples trees in northern New York, which I didn’t even have as they needed another tree to pollinate and space was an issue. When I moved to coastal North Carolina, I had a lot more space and finally my love for fruit trees could be fulfilled. I also had many neighbors that had large fig trees, and I was inspired to see if I could get one myself. I took a clipping from someones tree, and planted it in a small pot with rooting hormone. (IN THE WINTER)However, my rooting hormone didn’t work and they never took root after weeks with correct care. I also used rooting hormone on a king sago from costco that was struggling in a very small pot, but I didn’t see any progression. (It made it for other reasons) I eventually gave up on the figs, but now I wonder–Was it my neglect or was it the rooting hormone that failed the figs.


There have been several post here on rooting fig cuttings… see that one for starters.

Lots of good details included in those posts.

Good luck.



Welcome Sabastian, Definitely check out the link above.

Was it powder or gel? What kind of rooting hormone? Personally I stopped using any rooting hormone on figs with better results.


Figs donot require rooting hormone to root. They do require a well drained but moist medium in sunny location. Include a minimum of 4 bud nodes, of a dormant one year old wood. make a slant cut on the end planted, and scratch some of the outer bark to expose the green cambium and leave only 1 bud exposed above the soil line. Water it in well and place mulch over the soil to hold moisture. The best time is a couple weeks before bud swell. The best medium is 1/3 river sand, 1/3 compost and 1/3 garden soil.
Kent wa


You really don’t need rooting hormone to propagate fig cuttings. All they need is moisture and warmth. You can even do it in a glass of water quite successfully. Personally I root them in soil since that’s where they are going eventually. You can also have great success pushing the cuttings into the ground beside the fig tree you took them from. I always do a few like that after my winter pruning and get several new trees of that variety. Because I have some kind of bizarre affliction I keep making more fig trees even though I already have about 50.


I think I have the same brain disease.

I started 7 or 8 new trees to give away after planting my first one last year. 8 out of 9 or so (I got a from elsewhere to add a second variety) took. I just stuck them into damp potting mix for about a month at 70F. Clear plastic cups so I could see when they grew roots. Potted them up when the roots were starting to fill up the cups’ space with roots.

I used rooting hormone with most of them, because I had it already, but the earlier ones only took a couple days longer to root without it. Which for all I know could have been slightly lower temperature or something. The one that didn’t take was probably not hardened off enough and damaged from the cold. I tried to start a tree from an “angry bird foot” looking cutting because if it worked I thought it would be funny.


That angry bird foot would probably look neat as a bonsai. I started doing bonsai because I ran out of room on my property for anymore full size trees. Well I probably could squeeze more in, but taking care of all these trees is quite a significant time investment. I had to draw a line in the sand eventually. So I started making them into bonsai. They look super cool and allow me to keep collecting a wide variety. This is an example of what I’m going for with the fig bonsai. I’m also doing many citrus bonsai.



I understand your frustration. I had same experiences as you did with fig cuttings.
You probably had either too wet or too dry soil. the cuttings either rotten or dry out before they root.
This year, I had thee methods rooting figs. One dipped in root hormone, used perlite and peat moss mix with heating mat. This batch was not successful. The mix was too wet and the cuttings were rot. Second method used pure perlite on a heating mat without hormone. This method was very successful. All cuttings were rooted. The third method , I wrapped the cuttings in moisture paper towels put them in a plastic bag. The cuttings started to mold after a week or two . I cut the mold portion off, sanitized the remaining cuttings with bleach, wrapped the cuttings in a moist paper towel , then wrapped them in kitchen wrap. They look OK so far, no mold, seem started to grow roots, and the buds started to swell too. I will let this batch grow few more days then pot them up.

This is the picture of figs that I used second method to root. I started
them in later February, and potted them few days ago.