How to Propagate Fig Trees
Let me first say that I’m not the Fig Tree expert. My neighbor has been a Master Gardener for a very long time. He has planted thousands of plants. He has a bit of knowledge to share and I’m ready to learn. On his property there are several varieties of Figs. When I offered that I wanted to start some Figs, my neighbor graciously allowed me to take some cuttings. He also shared how he used to propagate them when he worked at the Botanical Gardens. They would put cuttings in Perlite alone and claimed 100% success with his propagation.
My method will be a little different. I’ll be using course sand.
For planters I choose the yellow Kitty Litter buckets. These are a great resource. They have so many uses. It pains me to know that many of these go from the grocery store to the house then to the trash when empty. What a waste.
Check out this video of my process of how to propagate fig trees.
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We start with a Fig branch with a few leaves on the end.
Notice all those little bumps? That’s where the branch will make roots.
The Kitty Litter bucket has 8 holes drilled for drainage. There are 4 holes on each of the short sides of the bucket.
An old towels is torn and used to cover the drain holes to keep the sand from pouring out. UPDATE: This project failed. I believe the old towels over the drain holes was part of the problem. When I discovered that the Figs didn’t live I poured the sand out. The sand was smelly at the bottom. What that tells me is that the drainage was not good and it all became anaerobic.
Lay the towel over the drain holes and cover with sand to hold them in place. (See update above)
The Fig tree branch is placed in the sand and covered. Give it plenty of surface area below the sand level so it can produce lots of roots.
I like to keep some room at top of the bucket. It’s not filled all the way up with sand. This allows me to pour the water in so it can sit on top and drain down through the sand.
All the leaves, except for a few are cut off. We certainly do not want to bury any leaves below the sand.
This branch with multiple smaller branches will give me three more Fig tree cuttings to propagate.
The yellow buckets are set down in these larger square plastic container. This will allow the buckets to sit in a little bit of water I can control the water level this way. Also, I can use less water by re-using water that drains out.
This step may be not needed but I figure it can’t hurt to give it a try. I took some Willow leaves from the Willow trees that I started in a similar way. These leaves were soaked in water to release the rooting hormone.
The Willow water is poured on the Fig tree cuttings. Hopefully this gives the roots a jump start.
… and finished. There you have it! Four Fig trees started in the Daddykirbs Garden.
Why Propagate Fig Trees?
This is a good question. Isn’t it easier to just go to the store and buy a tree when you want it? Well, it might be, but consider what I’ve done here. This was all free. Yep, I spent no money and will potentially have four fruit bearing trees on the farm to enjoy for many years to come.
I talked to my neighbor (building community) and learned from him how to start, grow and care for these trees. He gave me the cuttings. These free cuttings were planted in sand that was already here and placed in buckets that were free to me. Saving money and helping the environment at the same time by keeping these buckets out of the landfill.
Once I was finished planting the cuttings they were all placed in a larger container that, again, was saved from the dumpster and landfill. By re-using the items I save myself time and money by not having to go to the store (saving gas too) to buy new items that would serve the same purpose.
Free fruit trees sounds pretty good to me!
Is this how you propagate Fig trees?
How about sharing in the comments your method? I’d love to hear from you.
If you haven’t watched the video… you may want to check it out. There is a surprise funny ending 🙂
I found a BETTER way!
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With the failure of this attempt to propagate Fig trees I learned that proper drainage is important. I will try again soon.