Rooting figs, sprouting seeds, winter of 2019/20


I don’t have many good options when it comes to windows to start seedlings in, but this is my office desk right now. Jujube seedlings (thanks again @jujubemulberry), nectarine seedlings, pluot seedlings, Niagara grape cuttings, a homemade hybrid tomato, and pear seedlings started for a relative. I keep saying I need to invest in a grow light, but never seem to get around to it.


you’re welcome, and yes, many of us(if not all) in this forum would love to make things happen for everybody! :slight_smile:


I have some rooted Niagra, though it wasn’t intentional and is a bit of a pain to deal with. I have a Niagra on my fence and part of it droops to the ground and keeps rooting. Let me know if you want me to send you some.


Figs are easy to root so it works dormant or actively growing. Rooting them spring or summer works but I only leave on one or two leaves cut in half.


Thanks @BobVance. I’ve got a Niagara growing on an arbor by my garden and these were just what got pruned off of it. I couldn’t stand to just throw them away. If these root I’ll give them away to friends or family. How vigorous are your jujube seedlings? My pluots are growing like gangbusters while the jujubes are mostly hanging out with a few leaves each.


Mine are not vigorous at all. So far, among the 1.5 month old ones, the biggest has 8 leaves. Among those planted 1 month ago, 6 leaves. I’ve started them in the past and after 2+ years, the biggest is about 2 feet tall.


I needed to touch dirt today. Decided to plant my fig cuttings.
I took cuttings from My Chicago Hardy growing outside and kept them in a plastic bag for about a week until they looked like this:

Then put them in dirt and placed on a window sill. I’m not planning to plant another CH but this gives me something to baby over the winter. If they root I’d be happy to give them away.

Note my very stylish pots - repurposed energy drink bottles :blush:


Wonderful :slight_smile: I see mulberry on the background of 1st picture?


To ensure better rootings success, I would wrap them with parafilm so the cuttings won’t dry out or go moldy.
The best method is to Cleft graft them. I did 2 top tiers fig last night. 2 CLBC on the VBD rootstock.

Black Tuscan on the tip of B. GRIS.



@Susu, is this your first time? I think that medium is soaking wet and your cuttings will likely rot.


I’ve rooted fig cuttings before but killed them about 90% of the time. I see your point about the wet soil…:slightly_smiling_face:


The optimum moisture for root growth is much drier than most people think. A stable environment is very important for cloning as well. You want to avoid fluctuations in temperature/humidity, and keep the cutting/clone staked and immobilized at all times. You are basically incubating them until the roots form. If the rooting medium is too wet, the cutting will absorb necessary water through the callous, without growing roots. New root growth is very delicate, so immobilization is crucial for optimum growth. Rooted clones recover from transplant SO much faster when immobilized.

One of the key feature of the ‘fig-pop’ method is the medium is basically sealed against evaporation. Most people still put too much moisture in the bags. Coco-peat is a great rooting medium because when you firmly squeeze excess moisture from it, it is nearly the perfect moisture level for rooting. If the medium is not sealed off, it should at least be covered to reduce evaporation loss and promote even moisture. Weigh your containers if it helps you determine moisture content-always water with a squirt bottle if needed. The weight will absolutely not increase until the clone puts out new growth.

If you are new to cloning, I recommend Rapid Rooter sponges, or a similar brand. Tag the clones by folding masking tape over them sticky-to-sticky, and root them in a single large container. All the little cups complicate things.
By far the easiest way to maintain a perfect moisture level is with Hydroton clay pebbles and a humidity dome. Fill a container with Hydroton, and place it in a deep drip-tray full of water. Plant the twig & sponge until there is a single layer on top the sponge, and the bottom is at least 2" above the water line. This method takes advantage of the perfect wicking properties of Hydroton clay, and has worked on even the most stubborn of medicinal plants. I wash everything with 1% H2O2, even the sponges, to prevent mold. Parafilm will probably eliminate the need to humidify the dome, but the dome is still useful for preventing rapid changes in climate.

I will probably post a demonstration of this method before Winter is over, since I will be rooting some figs of my own. I am wondering if I have time to root them and get them into a dormant state before late Spring. My concern is that most of the growth/benefit gained during the Winter is cancelled out by shock when it is moved outdoors.
Figs are among the easier trees to clone, and once you have it down, you will probably do perfectly fine with just a roll of Parafilm and proper moisture level.


Jack-in-the-pulpit seeds done with initial cold stratification, and potted up for their first “summer” of the year.


@Nil, you post is the best of my findings on the subject during past two years, it explains extremely well my success and failures with mulberry cuttings! Mulberries are relatives of figs. Check this please,


Parafilm prevents molding? How?


What is “immobilization”? Not touching it / not trying to replant it?


Stake it down, or otherwise tie down to prevent any movement. Any time there is a shift in the clone, there is a constriction and redistribution of hormones in the tender roots.


Protecting it from oxygen i think.


I had a few cuttings in the past with water or moisture collecting on the leaf nodes and they rotted with molds. Same thing that when you store the fig cuttings in the ziploc bag in the fridge, without para film the cuttings will go moldy fast with all the moisture collected in the bag.


Rinse them in 1% H2O2, and use it to wet the paper you store with your fig cuttings. It kills mold spores, and slowly breaks down, releasing O2 that inhibits mold growth. The parafilm holds in moisture, but not air. The oxygen passing through is what inhibits the mold.