Rooting bundles of fig cuttings in a box of peat moss

This is my first attempt at this method, mentioned by @fruitnut in another thread. I have a couple questions for people already familiar with it.

A few weeks ago I placed reasonably fresh cuttings in indoor buckets of barely moist ground sphagnum peat moss. They are buried about 1/2 way. The lids are kept closed and the buckets are mostly in deep shade all day.

I check on them once a week. Today I noticed some have new roots about 1/8" to 3/8" long. At what point do I attempt to put them in individual pots? What media is recommended for the pots?


I’ve had good luck with Pro Mix HP. Put them in that, water good, drain out excess water, weigh a few if needed for a reference point, and let them grow. I use 4x4x9 inch tree pots. With a cutting and moist mix it’s 800-900 grams.

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I started these 4/11 in a 2 gal pot of promix hp. I kept them in indirect light and covered part of that time… to discourage shoots and leaves (for the first month).

I started letting them have indirect light again about a week ago… then morning light only for a few days… and today first day in full sun.

No heat mat / bottom heat was used… just outside temps.



Interesting approach to monitoring moisture.

I’m not in the south.

Hi @fruitnut –
About 1/3 of the cuttings looked suitable and the remainder I put back in the “incubators”.

I potted up the candidates in plain Kellogg’s Patio Mix that I have on hand, then soaked them. I’ll weigh them again after they drain.


  1. Shall I put them back indoors in the dark (72°), under 6-hour grow lights adjacent to a window (65°-84°), or outdoors in full shade (50°-70°) ?

  2. What percent of water weight loss might indicate time to irrigate?

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We watered back to original weight after 5-10% weight loss. They don’t need light until they start leafing out. Light won’t hurt as long as the cuttings don’t dry out. In those temperature ranges warmer is better. But I’ve heard reports of success even colder than that.

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OK, thanks! In the dark they go.

@Richard … I am not in California.

But last spring… i did all the fancy stuff to get fig cuttings to root and shoot… bought the container, promix hp, heat mat with thermostat control… started cutrings in 4x9 tree pots mid Feb in my basement, etc…

And in the thread last year on rooting fig cuttings… someone from California told me we just stick them in the ground here (or in pots) outside and they root and shoot.

So this year i tried that here in TN… just poked cuttings in a pot on 4/11 and left them outside… and it sure looks like that worked wonderfully well.

You might try it sometime. For me on 4/11 date apples are blooming, dogwoods, morel mushrooms, etc…

What mine look like today 5/13… a few days now in full sun and they are exploding with growth.

Again these were just stuck in a pot and left outside for a month on the north side of my home. They have been moved to south side now.

Soooooo easy and worked soooo well.

I have a system where I’m fully rooting on peat moss. My cuttings start on an aeroponic box and once they develop enough roots I put them on what I call a rooting box until next spring. The mix is just peat moss with a smidgen of osmocote for good measure. I do it this way because the rooting box which is something like 15" by 21" allows me for a fairly high density of new plants, upwards of 35 per box. In the spring once the box thaws I can gently tease the plants out of the box just by pulling on them.

My opinion is that by far the characteristics of the follow up media to root them depends on what you are doing rather than the plants themselves. On my rooting box I need the outmost loose soil, so I use 100% peat moss for a whole season. If they were going in pots they would get at least a third of sand as it gets extremely windy here so the pots need to be stable. On the ground they would get a ton more well composted horse manure to compensate for poor soils. Provided proper water/nutrition/acidity the plant would be happy on any of those conditions.

California is not one climate or soil, nor is northwestern San Diego county where I live. Your Spring is very different from mine.

This thread concerns rooting bundles of fig cuttings in a box of peat moss. I’d love to hear your experiences with this method.

3 in peat in a pot… or a bundle in peat in a box.

Yes…now i see how those are way different.

I mean… you had a bundle in a box… i had 3 in a pot.

Good luck… hope every one of your bundle makes it.


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Especially when the container is closed (see photos), kept in the dark, very little moisture, and with temperature hovering around 70°F.

@Richard … i tried that last year… in a cool room (basement) 65-67 deg… in the dark first month… bottom heat 75-77 deg… and at first i closed the lid on my container… (mine was a clear plastic container)… but was assured by others that would cause problems.

I then left the lid open… 5 of 6 made it. I was happy with that for sure.

When someone told me last year just stick them in a pot outside or in the ground when it starts warming up… I thought it cant be that easy… it wont work here. Oh well… I know for sure which method i will use next year.

I will make one change next year … 1 cutting per pot. Give all my family and friends figs eventually. Might even sell some once I retire.

Best of luck to you.

I’ve done that in inland locations. It’s not an option in the Spring at my present location.

Fruitnut is known for his professional experience and decades of success with “cuttings in a closed box of dry peat”. That is why I sought out information from him and others who have repeated success with this method.

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