Rooting fig cuttings - the method i'm using - video


The box is relatively small, with the inside only 10-11" long. It does mean that I didn’t space them all that far from each other. But, I think they are a bit further apart than they appear in the photo. Still, I need to catch them before they get too large of root systems.

If I have one which doesn’t fit well in a pot, I think I’ve got some taller (18"?) square pots around that I can try. Rolling River nursery sends out tress in them sometimes, and I rarely toss out a pot, until they start breaking.

The Edding pens aren’t all that easy to find for shipment to the US. I thought I had some on Amazon, then noticed that the shipping was 50 pounds. I finally found a 3 pack on Ebay for $18 including shipping. Though only one of the pens is the white 8055. I ordered one, but if anyone has other (cheaper) suggestions, I’d be happy to try them out against the Edding.


I talked to a friend yesterday that uses paint markers on his cans and said two-years is as long as the paint will last.

Jaime, how long have you witnessed Edding pens last on pots? Of course more sunlight equals more ware. My friend has his containers in bright sun all day whereas I heard you say on your video that many of your containers are in quite a bit of shade for the reason you aren’t available to be watering all the time, etc.

I bought two Markall paint markers off eBay yesterday Bob. I’ll see what I think of them, but, I wonder if the Edding markers are paint? I didn’t find that they are. Jaime what do you say?

@dimitri_7a I almost bought a Milwaukee paint marker but I was on Grainger’s website and a person can put in values to find the right paint marker and both Markall and Milwaukee had the exact same values: -50 F; like up to 400 F for heat; same weather resistance and so forth. Can’t go wrong with Milwaukee though. Do you have any long term experience with Milwaukee paint markers? I tossed and turned over Sharpie products… couldn’t pull the trigger.



Unfortunately, it’s my first time using them so I can’t speak from experience on their marking durability over many years. On living tissue that expands over time I wouldn’t expect any marking pen to last more than a single growing season. I only expect the marks to last until the cuttings leaf out and get big enough for me to get one of those metallic tree tags on them.

For marking things like pots (that don’t flex too much), tools, etc. its all about surface prep; if you clean the surface well and wipe it down with ethanol I would expect it to last many years. That being said, one of the use cases for the Milwaukee INKZALL pens appears to be marking rusted metal and having it sit around for a while so I’m not sure if surface prep is too critical, although it definitely cant hurt.


That still beats a sharpie. I had a bunch of pots where I was trying to turn it different ways to see where the light reflects slightly differently and make out a few letters.

I looked at Inkzall and the black ones are really well reviewed (4.9 star on 30 reviews). Regretably, black won’t show up well on many things, like pots. There is very little feedback on the silver & gold ones though and several people said that they were dried out to start of got that way quickly.

I found another kind on Amazon that I will try as well. It is 12 different colors from Beric (60% off at $16). I figure that even if I don’t like them for labeling pots/cuttings, my daughters will want to use them. In fact, I may want to make sure to keep them away from them, until I know what they want to paint… :slight_smile:

Are there any I need to stay away from to avoid a toxic affect on cuttings? Or are they all OK, since they dry pretty quickly?


That’s a great deal there.

As to toxicity to plants… I have no idea. Those say they’re safe for people so they will be safe for plants as you’re aware of I’m sure.



Here is a test .
Stapled to the sunny side of the house
So far silver metallic sharpie wins !
Sharpie permanent marker ( bottom left -2016 ) loses , can’t read after one year.
Bottom right garden marker2016 ? Could read after one year. Not after 2 yr.
Want to test some paint markers soon…


FYI I picked up a white inkzall for a couple bucks at Home Depot. As stated above I haven’t done any long term durability testing but the things that I have marked appear to be holding up very well. I’m pretty sure I read they are non-toxic.


In semi-shaded conditions the Edding marker is still there after more than 2 years in pots (some were done 3 years ago and i can still read them). On wood, even in full sun, they usually last the season - on grafts, in the following spring, i can still read them (but you have to shake the pen and use a good amount of ink/paint - i believe it’s paint).

I envy you guys that have access to the metal tags. No such thing over here and importing them is out of the question due to the high shipping rates on that particular item (probably due to weight).


The metal tags are just a very thin aluminum sheet wrapped around some cardboard. If you can find a local source of aluminum sheeting that is 3-4 times as thick as standard aluminum foil used for cooking you can probably make your own.


Thanks. I have tried doing a few out of aluminium cans but they were unusable (too thin) so i forgot about it.The corrosion level in my area was quite impressive (i couldn’t read nothing after only one season).
I will try to find thicker aluminium sheets and try again.


I have read of people using beer/ soda cans to make tree tags.



I switched to cheap “U.S. Art Supply” paint markers and they seem to be as good if not better than the sharpie paint markers.


I’m trying a black sharpie ‘Extreme’ on some tags in my greenhouse to see if it may work better than the normal black Sharpies I was using. They’re supposed to be able to last in conditions where UV or heat may degrade the ink, but we’ll see. I wish they had an extreme version of the metallic sharpies!

So far the best / longest lasting one I’ve used has been the metallic silver sharpie as others have mentioned.
I like to mark on a tag to place in the container and mark on the bark of the tree ‘just in case’ with things that go into my greenhouse that will get repotted eventually.

Seeing how @Hillbillyhort does his plant tags and the emphasis he places on making sure not to lose the identity of the plants (redundancy is good!) stuck with me and I am loving using the beer/soda can aluminum tags on my outdoor trees


I used the black sharpie Extreme because of its advertisement. Well, it is worse than a regular sharpie, in my opinion. I use it on plastic tags and aluminum tags in the spring, By the fall, I barely could read anything on either tags.

This was the 2nd and last year of me using the Extreme sharpie.

For your indoor use, it should work better.


Yes, the Sharpie Extreme failed to impress me for lasting labels. Seemed just like a Sharpie.


Well that’s a bit disappointing! At least it’s not too much worse than a normal sharpie. :slightly_smiling_face:


I got my Markal paint pens yesterday and aluminum/silver marks on black plastic much better than white.

Like @Hillbillyhort I tacked up a sample with date to a south/southwest corner post on my deck.



Instead of 3-5 weeks, it looks like the first one rooted in just under 2 weeks (12-13 days). I’m not sure if it is just one, or multiple that have rooted. I’ll be taking it out to pot up later today. That should help to spread things out a bit in the box, as they are packed pretty close. I’ll try not to disturb the ones with no visible roots.

Back in November (37 days ago), I potted up 12 cuttings after putting parafilm around the tops. Most had powdered rooting hormone (I used liquid Clonex on the coir box). So far, I see roots coming out the bottoms of 4 of those pots.

I got pretty excited when the first one I checked was this one. But it turned out to have the most roots of the entire bunch.


Seeing your post - and knowing that we started our cuttings at about the same time - I just checked mine. Of the two I checked I can definitely see there are small root nodules forming but they are only about 1mm long. Maybe another two weeks before they will be ready for transplanting.

I had a bit of mold forming on the peat moss surface so I had couldn’t keep the container fully closed. This may have dried out the cuttings a bit but they are still viable and a few seem to be budding. I am also starting to think rooting hormone powder actually slows the rooting process. When I apply it in the future I will be only using it in gel or liquid form.


I checked and it looks like all 3 of one variety rooted. None of the other 7 (from 3 other varieties) had any roots. So it looks like this one is just particularly easy to root.

Here are a few pics…

Interestingly, the roots aren’t coming from the places I scored. You can see it better in this pic.

Even though only one type has rooted so far, I’m still pretty happy with the method. None of what is left are moldy yet, which they definitely would be with the bag method. I changed the paper for the second time on a couple bags today. They’ve been in there for about a month now and I’ve had them on top of the coir box. In each bag, one of the 3 cuttings had a few tiny roots.

RDB rooted in bag (30 days):