Cutting a fig tree: when and how? Advice tips and tricks

Fig tree cuttings (fig tree) is quite easy to do. There are different methods giving good results even if you are not a gardening pro. Here is how to take a fig tree cutting with ease in a substrate, smothered or in water, and how to take care of your cutting until it can be transplanted to its final place.

When to cut a Fig tree?

This is at the end of winter or at the very beginning of spring, before the appearance of the leaves, that the cuttings of the fig tree are carried out in the vast majority of cases. This is the best time to succeed almost every time, the recovery being assured because the branches are then in full growth.

How to take cuttings from a Fig tree branch?

Here are different solutions to easily and quickly obtain a new Fig tree from a cutting.

The potted cuttings of a fig tree

Pour multiply a fig tree using a jar, just follow the steps below.

  • Select a vigorous 1-year-old twig that shows between 3 and 5 eyes. It is important to choose a very green twig, not yet quite in the state of wood but nevertheless displaying a certain firmness.
  • Cut the right chosen branch under one eye with perfectly sharp pruning shears to achieve a clean pruning. The tool must imperatively have been disinfected either with a flame or with alcohol at 90°. This precaution avoids any spread of any disease.
  • Top the fig twig by pinching it.
  • Delete the leaves.
  • Place a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot, such as gravel, which must then be covered with a mixture made up of 40% universal potting soil, 30% river sand and 30% mature compost.
  • Plant the twig in the substrate.
  • Tamp down and water copiously.

All that remains is to place the pot containing the cutting either in a cold greenhouse or in a nursery sheltered from the winds and full sun and keep the substrate moist by watering it moderately and regularly.

You have to be patient to finally see the first signs of recovery appear, such as new leaves or the development of roots. At the end of May, beginning of June, you should be able to see roots under the pot. This is the time to install the fig tree cutting outside if you have not already done so, and only when the risk of frost is no longer to be feared. Avoid full sun and exposure to prevailing winds.

Stewed fig cuttings

This method requires the use of a plastic bottle.

  • Cut the bottle in half.
  • Pierce the bottom of the half-bottle so that the water can drain properly.
  • Fill the container with cuttings compostpack it down and then moisten it sufficiently using a spray bottle.
  • Select a young twig with 5 eyes.
  • Prick it into the substrate and push it in enough so that 3 eyes are buried, the other 2 must be above ground.
  • Pierce the other part of the bottle in several places with the tip of a knife then, without removing the capturn it over the cutting so that it forms a cloche. Fix the two parts of the bottle well together with an adhesive. Air will be able to circulate through the holes and the cutting will benefit from a confined atmosphere.
  • Place everything in a very bright room, where the ambient temperature is around 16 to 17°C.

Young leaves should appear after a few weeks. It is then time to remove the cap and then take care to keep the substrate moist. When you see the roots, you can release the cutting from its bell and lay around the half-bottle either a dark cloth or paper so that the roots are not exposed to light. It may be necessary to add a little substrate to cover them.

As soon as the outside temperatures are above 14°C and the risks of late frosts are no longer to be feared, it is possible to take out the fig cutting provided that the bottle is installed in a corner of the garden well sheltered from direct sunlight and drafts.

Fig tree cuttings in water

This is another technique for multiply a fig tree quite easily. To do this, just do the following.

  • At the beginning of February, take a branch of about 15 cm.
  • Install it in a jar filled with water in which one or two pieces of charcoal can be placed so that it does not stagnate. In the absence of charcoal, the water must be changed regularly, namely as soon as it becomes cloudy.
  • Keep the pot indoors, in a bright room at 16°C.
  • As soon as the roots (which appear after a month) measure 5 or 6 cm, transplant the cutting into a pot with a pierced bottom containing a substrate made up of potting soil mixed with pozzolan.
  • Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  • From late May to early June, weather permitting, place the pot outside, in a shady corner and sheltered from the wind so that the fig tree shoot acclimatizes to the external environment.

Should a Fig tree cutting be stratified?

Stratifying a cutting consists of placing it in a wet sandbox which has the effect of softening the young wood. In this way, the roots will develop more easily. The stratification is especially recommended if two-year-old branches are used for cuttings. It is therefore not absolutely necessary when propagating fig trees from current-year branches because they are very tender.

Caring for a fig tree cutting

The cuttings of the fig tree are easily done and it is not difficult thereafter to take care of it.

Water regularly

It is very important from the potting to ensure that the substrate is always moist but without excessive watering all the same.

Remove side shoots

During the first year, care must be taken to remove all the shoots that develop laterally so as not to weaken this young subject. In this way, the sap is allowed to exclusively benefit the terminal bud.

Transplant a fig tree cutting

As for repotting, it can be done in autumn in a larger pot or the following spring if you choose to transplant your Fig tree in the ground. Note that in regions with mild winters, the fig tree cutting can be transplanted to its final place during the fall.

Protect the young fig tree against the cold

During its first four years, the Fig tree obtained by cuttings needs to be sheltered in winter but also in spring if late frosts are feared. In regions with a harsh climate, it is better to keep young fig trees in pots until they are 4 years old to be able to overwinter them without difficulty. The subjects grown in the ground must be protected by a wintering veil.

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