Saturday, February 7, 2009

Propagate Fig Trees

Today I went with Byron to get some wood. A friend of his had cut down some trees to make room for experimental blue berry bushes and peaches. Neither one do very well in Louisiana, and he is trying some new varieties for study.

He has an organic citrus orchard as well as figs and persimmons. After all the hard work of cutting trees was done he walked Byron and I to some fig trees in his orchard and proceeded to prune them to about six feet in height. It was a variety that in his opinion is one of the best fig varieties, Alma. I already have Brown Turkey and Celeste figs, so I was excited to try and grow this type of fig.

He explained to me how simple it is to propagate figs. This is how he propagates them all the time. He cut the branches into 8 inch pieces and gave them to me.

First you take the barely budding pruned fig branches in spring, cut them into 8 inch pieces, wet them, shake the excess water off and put them in a zip lock bag, then put that bag into another zip lock bag, and then store the bag of cuttings in the refrigerator for 30 days. After 30 days remove them and put them into pots of soil about 3/4 of the way down. Just leave a couple of buds sticking out. It's important also to keep the buds pointing upright in the natural orientation in which they grow. You can kinda look at the branch and see the bud pointing upward. It's also important to not let them dry out once planted.

Then wait for the cutting to root and sprout. He said it is so simple. So above is my stash of Alma fig cuttings! He said I should have more than I want with the cuttings he gave me. Hmmmm....there are never to many fig trees! You can always share.


Egghead said...

I would never had thought it would be so easy to propagate. At least it sounds easy. I will watch and see how your fig trees turn out. You will have to show us the progress when the time comes.

Sandy said...

Ooooo figs! My husband Victor is Portuguese - and there, fig trees seemingly grow wild there. So, this spring I want to plant a variety that can handle the cold up here. There are some diehard Portuguese folks around there that grow figs in pots and bring them indoors in the wintertime. I'm just not THAT hardcore!

Elizabeth said...

Just wanted to say, I really enjoy your blog!! the pictures are great, and I love your take on information!! Ill keep reading, also Linked my sister to your blog, she`ll probably like it too. We are both bloggers ourselves!! :)

Kristi said...

Hi Elizabeth, Welcome to my blog, and thanks for all the nice compliments. I'm so happy to have you and your sister as readers. Hope you continue to enjoy.


dan long said...

Nice post with a good picture, too! I'm a nurseryman who has fallen in love with fresh figs at our new place down south. I gathered cuttings and they've been patiently waiting for me in the fridge. I googled up "how to propagate figs" and your blog was way up in the results! I just needed a refresher in the technique since I've never done them before. We won't do them commercially but I really want more! My fingers are crossed.

maggysue said...

Hi Kristy,

You have inspired me to try to propagate my fig tree. There are never enough figs for the birds and us! I love your blog. We are practically neighbors. (Picayune, MS)


Anonymous said...

Did anyone have luck with the fig tree propagation? When I left my ex, the saddest thing to leave behind was the fig tree that was from my parents' fig tree that was from my grandparents fig tree! My boys have tried to dig up rootings from under the tree for me, but we've had no luck. I'm not giving up hope to get a fig tree going, and this sounds like a solution! Thanks! I'd like to know if anyone has had success. Karen (Lexington, SC)

Kristi said...

Dear Karen, Yes I have had great success in propogating fig trees in this manner. I can now say this as I have about fifteen happily growing trees in pots outside from these cutttings. I will post on it soon.


scottieie said...

Thanks for the tips. I was in the midst of making fig jam/preserves out of figs from our tree in our new house in SC. I just moved here Sat., so it was nice to see the figs.

I was thinking about how I would propagate them to get more fig trees to grow and I found the solution here.

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Anonymous said...

does he use this refrigerator technique with other pomegrantes or citrus, or just with figs. i just recently got into tree propagation like to here all the different ways people get those roots to pop!

Anonymous said...

Don. t make it so complicated... just cut as many s you want -plus some extra cuttings in October, November... dependes on your State an weather and stick them deep in the ground... just leav one bud or nothing out... put on top thick layer of mulch, wood chips etc. to keep it from frost then come back in late spring ... may be in May or beginning of June ! Now you have cuttings growing. Don tforget to water in summer at least once a week. Thats it !

Leenie said...

What a great blog! I was looking up info on propagating figs since a friend just gave me some cuttings. We've just had a very cold winter here in WV and the figs have been outdoors so I think I will skip the refrigerator step. Some blogs say to slit the stems a few inches before placing them in soil. Did you do this?

Lazarus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lazarus said...

Great blog, Kristi. Love your fig propagation instructions. When you say take cuttings in spring, are you saying March or April? I live in NC.

After the one month refrigeration, where do you keep the potted fig cuttings? Indoors or outdoors. Thanks!

Kristi said...

Thanks Lazarus,

Take the cutting right before or while the buds are just forming. Keep your potted cuttings out doors in a partially shady place.


Lazarus said...

Most of the fig cuttings leafed out beautifully! Do I plant them in the fall? Sept? Oct? Thanks!

A friend is going to remove a fig tree from his yard. Is this a good time to take some cuttings?

Kristi said...

Hi Lazarus,

I would wait until the fall. I'm so excited they took for you. I tried a little different method this year for some cuttings I took. I put them in the fridge...then directly into the soil in my raised garden bed. They've all leafed out well. I'm going to did them up and plant the ones that took well in pots. The next year I plan to plant them on our property in Mississippi. That way hopefully they'll have a little size on them.

If your friend is going to cut the tree down anyway you might as well give it a try. Who knows it might take, but it is best to take cuttings when the tree is dormant in the winter.

Jay Gaulard said...

I just wrote a post on how I failed with my first attempt at growing fig trees from clippings:

I think your method would probably work better than mine, especially when it comes to controlling the mold that generally occurs. Perhaps next time.

Thanks for the info.