Propagation for Fig Tree

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by msgreek, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    Since June we have tried unsuccessfully to propagate a 26-year-old fig tree in our back yard. I tried cuttings with/without leaves; with/without root hormone; in soil; in water; inside the house with indirect sunlight; outside but nothing seems to work.
    Please help. My house recently sold and will be moving in 1 week. The tree is very special to my family. Someone told me that propagation for a fig tree can only be done in January. (We live in Southern California). Very sorry that I do not know the species of fig tree; only that it typically bears fruit twice annually and is of ruby color within and green out.
    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    woops forgot to write that I cut new growth from the ends of branches and used a potting root mix of perlite and peat. Also, when I tried just in water I added B vitamin in one vase and Iron in another - just to try all possible options,
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Sticking them in the ground in Feb. has been recommended. Try a web search.
     
  4. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    I did a web search. The only variance from web search to what I did thus-far was to winterize the clips by refrigeration for 2-3 weeks; something I did not try yet. Since time is of essence, I was hoping someone had recommendations.
     
  5. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    I needed just one fig tree, so I have only done this once - 5-6 years ago. The 3 dormant cuttings I got in late August (from someone who really knows his figs) was a mixture of 1 and 2 year old woods. I shortened them to 12-18 inches, removed all the leaves, and left them in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator for one week - I was told "to cure" the cut ends. What I noticed was that the "latex" seemed to congeal and seal up the ends. I stuck them in a pot with a soil less potting mix (Sunshine #4). All three rooted. I made the mistake of attempting to transplant two of them too early and they died. The single survivor was left in the pot for a full season's growth, planted in it's present location in 2002, and is now a healthy fruiting small tree.

    If I were in your situation, I would collect as many 12 inch cuttings of 1-2 year old wood as I can, remove all the leaves, tie them in a bundle, leave them in the referigerator and take them with me when I move. In your new house, stick them into soilless mixes, and wait. I suspect that the more cuttings you have, the more likely that you will come up with at least one successfully rooted cutting.
     
  6. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    Thank you so much for the information. Since my last post I moved from the house but will be returning tomorrow for the clippings. I am anxious to try the refrig method. The only problem is that the tree is about 15' tall and 10' diameter thus might have a problem detecting the 1,2 or third year growth. I guess at this point the main issue should be to take as many clippings as possible.
     
  7. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    Hi Weekend Gardener.
    This Wednesday will be the second week of winterizing the 1 and 2 year old growth cuttings. When you transpotted did you leave the cuttings inside the house or outside? What do you think would be the optimal location for rooting? I live in Southern California 3 miles from the ocean. Lately our overcast weather is 58-62 F. nights and 70-74 F. days.
    Thanks again for your help.
     
  8. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    Woops, forgot to ask if you think a 'root hormone' would help or is it over-rated?
     
  9. C.Dragonworks

    C.Dragonworks Active Member

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    I just cut a piece and stick it into sand... they never fail to root no matter what time of year....

    Make sure the pieces are brown wood not new green.... I have not had a green tip piece root... they are like all other Ficus very easy to the point of crazy! I simply cut a piece about 5-7 inches long strip all or most of the leaves and stick it into sand... keep in semishade and water.... Works well with Crape myrtles too! Cat
     
  10. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    Just an update to the propagation issue: After 'winterizing' the cuttings in the frig (3 weeks), I placed them in a mixture of half peat moss and half perlite. I placed the cuttings in different weather conditions (indoor and outdoor), different methods of lighting and also placed some in a greenhouse. Currently, the cuttings look good and without signs of wilting. The weather in California has been the mid-90s so the cuttings probably think it's growing season. I'll keep everyone posted.
     
  11. C.Dragonworks

    C.Dragonworks Active Member

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    Sounds good one of the local greenhouses closed and they had different figs planted all over so I took 20+ cuttings..... no leaves on any of them but they are doing well.... Never had one fail so Fingers crossed for both our fig adventures... Oh and wish luck on the rose,camillia and other cuttings I have going too... Cat
     
  12. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    Hi Cat
    The leaves did fall off your fig tree? What state do you live in? Southern California has had summer like conditions for the past few weeks. Although I did not go back to my past residence (going this weekend) I don't think the leaves have fully fallen yet. In doing more research on propagation several local nurseries told me about the "falsifying winter" method (in the frig)....
    How long ago did you place the cuttings in the greenhouse? Did you use any form of artificial lighting? And, will you be adding any iron or B to the soil? Sorry for so many questions. I'm starting to take each pot and try different methods for rooting.
    Regards, Maria
    p..s... woops.... I noticed you are in Texas. Your weather conditions must be a little different from So. Cal...
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2006
  13. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    I placed the pot with the cuttings in a spot out doors, with bright indirect light. Because our climate calls for stretches in December through to February with below freezing temperatures, I kept the young cuttings in an unheated greenhouse, maintained above freezing temperatures.
     
  14. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    Hello... But did you take the cuttings at the proper time of year after the leaves fall? My problem is that my residence sold before the proper time to take cuttings. Yesterday I noticed a bit of green growth where a node is. I'm wondering if this means the cutting will take ?
     
  15. C.Dragonworks

    C.Dragonworks Active Member

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    I never worry about if the leaves are on or off... I just take the cutting and stick it into a pot of soil... So far all I have doen no matter when during the year have taken... I even take them while riding the horses out... ride home and stick in the ground... Ficus are the easiest to grow! Cat
     
  16. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    My fig has gone very wild. Branches all over the place including running along the ground and layering its self. As a result I have two more fairly large trees of the dark coloured fig. The birds and I luvvvv them. So maybe if you have a long flexable branch pin it down into a pot or the ground so it can layer. I use my tree like a summer arbour hence the run away nature of it.

    Liz
     
  17. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    Spring is finally here and time to plant some of my cuttings. Since my last post I winterized the cutting from October. My biggest mistake was once they were planted in small pots I watered too much. The best thing I did was to invest in a hothouse/greenhouse. Although our California winter was pretty mild, the greenhouse protected the cuttings from 2 weeks of harst evening temps. I am in the process of working the area where my first cutting will be planted in the ground. I am very excited to see new growth when finally in the ground... Thanks again to everyone that private messaged with suggestions during the winterizing process.
     
  18. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Looks like you are doing just fine! I suspect that you have very green thumbs without even knowing it!
     
  19. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    Thanks ! Normally I'm pretty successful in the garden. This time around I was just very scared to loose the sentiments of the fig tree. The biggest mistake I made during the process was the over-watering issue. Somewhere in this web site I read something about bleaching the cuttings if the roots get mold from over-watering. Interesting issue that i need to research.
    One huge current issue: It seems there is a problem in my area with wild rabbits. Any suggestions how to keep them away from the cutting once in the ground ? Are rabbits attracted to fig ?
     
  20. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Do you have a dog? Rabbits in this country are a plague. So are the foxes that eat them. All introduced specis. The rabbits eat every thing so I would assume fig leaf would be nice. My Maremma dog keeps the rabbits and foxes off my property.

    Liz
     
  21. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Hey Liz, I hear cats can catch and eat rabbits too :-)

    Like any animal in overpopulation, they will resort to eating things that they may normally have left alone. If there are enough tender greens around, the rabbits should leave your Fig be.

    Simon
     
  22. msgreek

    msgreek Member

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    Too bad there isn't a natural spray that might fed them off. Cats or dogs in the backyard would just be who eat who or what. If it's not the little critters we have the big critters that eat the little guys. I'll probably put chicken wire around the cuttings just to make sure. That would be a bummer if the critters ate the fig leaves !
    Does someone know the home-made solution to spray in the garden to ward off fruit flies ? I think it was something like water in a spray bottle with an ounce of Ivory Dish detergent.
     

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