Placing a cutting or a single leaf in water is another traditional way of fiddle leaf fig growth. This technique works well for many individuals, and it’s entertaining because you can watch the rooted develop rather than having to wait for growth or yank on the cutting. In the glass container, they also look lovely.
I’ll admit, though, that it’s not my favored method for growing indoor plants, including fiddle leaf figs.
I prefer to make things as favorable to myself as possible whenever I can. As a result, I find that no commercial growers employ the water approach when deciding how to best propagate.
If you give it any thought, however, it makes sense. Since Ficus lyrata is not an aquatic plant, water propagation will not be the best environment for it to flourish in. But since most who attempt it succeed, it must be able to grow quite well in water.
Use a cutting with roughly 3 nodes, as mentioned above, rather than a single leaf for the greatest outcomes. (For an explanation of why using single leaves is not a wise choice, see below.)
Place the sliced piece in fresh water in a dimly lit area. To keep the oxygen levels stable, change the water every several days.
Here is where I fail with this approach. Normally, I forget. In comparison to an unwatered plant pot that seems dry and feels light as a feather, the water in the glass appears the same.
Because plants require oxygen, soil is a better environment for them than water. While there is some oxygen in water, it fades off the surface when the water is motionless. (A bubbler is required in aquariums in order to maintain the water’s oxygen levels.)
Watch for the roots to form; it took my leaf more than 6 weeks to do so. (Results are shown in the section below.)
Will fig cuttings germinate in liquid?
Cuttings of fig can easily take root in water. You only need a cup, some water, and a pair of clean, heavy-duty scissors or pruners. The entire process might take more than a month, but it could take as little as three weeks.
How can a fig tree from a cutting be started?
A fig tree can be started from fig cuttings in one of three ways, each of which is a straightforward process. You can root figs using any of these easy, uncomplicated methods; your choice will likely depend on the local weather conditions during the dormant season.
Layering for Fig Propagation
Temperatures that never drop below freezing during the dormant season are necessary for the first way of propagating fig trees outside. By burying a low-growing branch part with 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) of the tip exposed above ground and allowing the buried portion to root before removing it from the parent tree, figs can be rooted. Although it is the most straightforward form of fig propagation, it can be challenging to maintain the ground as the branches root.
Rooting Fig Cuttings Outdoors
Fig cuttings are an increasingly common way to root figs outside. Take fig cuttings from young, two- to three-year-old tiny branches late in the dormant season, after the threat of frost has passed. They should be around the breadth of your pinky, 1/2 to 3/4 inch (1.3 to 1.9 cm) thick, and 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) long. The tip should be cut on a slant and the bottom end should be flat. Apply a sealant to the disease-prone slanted end and rooting hormone to the disease-resistant flat end.
It’s preferable to use six to eight shoots when learning how to start a fig tree using this method to account for some failures. There are always several triumphs to give away!
Place the flat end of the rooted fig into a hole that is approximately a foot (30 cm) apart and 6 inches (15 cm) deep. Water thoroughly but not excessively. Your fig cuttings can develop 36 to 48 inches in length in a year (91-122 cm.). The next dormant season, the new trees will be prepared for transplant.
Rooting Figs Indoors
How to start a fig tree inside is the third method of fig propagation. If your spring weather is unpredictable, this strategy is helpful for getting started early. Use the aforementioned procedure to take fig cuttings. Newspaper should line the bottom of a 6-inch (15-cm) pot before 2 inches (5 cm) of sand or potting soil are added. Four of your treated cuttings should be placed upright in the pot, with dirt being added around them. Place a 2-liter container with the bottom cut off over the cuttings after thoroughly watering the plant.
Keep the fig cuttings warm and in a window with good light—but not direct sunlight. Water only when the soil is really dry. When you notice fresh growth, wait a week before taking down the temporary greenhouse.
If the weather permits, plant your rooted fig cuttings outside or in larger pots once you notice significant growth. For the remainder of the summer, keep the transplants moist and observe their development.
As you can see, propagating fig trees is a straightforward operation that, when carried out correctly, can be both enjoyable and cost-effective. Cheers to that!
What happens if the top of a fiddle leaf fig is chopped off?
Your fiddle leaf fig probably has no other branches that will allow it to transition from a fiddle leaf shrub to a fiddle leaf tree. In addition, bear the following in mind before proceeding:
The amount of regrowth that results from pruning depends on how severe it was. The reason for this is that the plant is trying to grow again in an effort to balance the root system below with the shoot system above, which is now designed to support the plant at its bigger size before trimming.
Usually, the most active shoot growth takes place 6 to 8 inches after the pruning cut.
Make the cut on your fiddle leaf fig
Make a decision regarding the size of the Ficus lyrata cut. Once more, the branching will be more noticeable the longer a part is clipped. (And the less the plant will grow in height, at least for that shoot.)
Your fiddle leaf fig won’t be encouraged to generate as many lateral branches off of the main trunk if you simply pinch out the fresh buds at the top with your fingers.
If you want to encourage a little lateral development to make your plant appear fuller near the top, pinching is more helpful.
On the other hand, you’ll see a lot more branching if you remove 12 of the top shoots.
Choose the node that you want to cut above. The spots on stems known as nodes are where leaves, buds, or branches can grow. However, not every node has leaves or branches; some nodes may only have a mark and a little thickening of the stem. Internodes are the parts of the stem that lie between the nodes.
3. Make use of a clean pair of pruners. Just above the top of your node, make the cut. Cut just above the node rather than into it, which would harm it.
Any plant in the fig family, including your fiddle leaf fig, will exude an oozing, milky, white sap when cut. Simply avoid eating it, getting it in your eyes, or letting it land on the carpet because it can be annoying.
4. As a final piece of advice, wait to remove leaves from the trunk of your fiddle leaf until the new branches have begun to grow. Your plant should be as robust as possible because those leaves aid in the development of the new lateral buds.
(Are you wondering what to do with the plant pieces you pruned? Why not cultivate a second fiddle leaf fig?
I’m done now! Now, give your new lateral buds, which will eventually grow into branches, a few weeks. While the exact length of time varies on a number of variables, your chances of success are higher if you attempt this in the spring, when fiddle leaves are actively growing, as opposed to the winter, when they are largely dormant. In comparison to winter, when the plant will need more time to heal the cut and form new buds, springtime will see rapid new development.
Should I remove my fiddle leaf fig’s bottom leaves?
You should be aware of what those bottom leaves do before selecting when to remove them.
Lower foliage has the same function as that fresh, vibrant growth up top: the leaves work to mix that green chlorophyll, commonly known as “the meat of the leaf,” with sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to produce sap, the plant’s own sweet food.
So let them alone if you want the trunk, roots, and new growth to continue receiving energy from the sun through the foliar producers and absorbing it.
Another advantage of the lower leaves is that this is typically where the most frequent watering issues show up. To put it another way, many owners of fiddles may detect overwatering and underwatering based on early warning indicators from these bottom leaves. You lose access to one of the plant’s early warning systems if you remove them.
Keep in mind that the lower leaves should be saved for the very last stage of shaping because they AID in giving the tree its characteristic shape.
Once more, deciding whether or not to remove these lower leaves depends on what they do for the plant.
How long do fig cuttings take to germinate?
Few tasks are more satisfying for a gardener than being able to multiply their own plants. Although many vegetable gardeners throughout the world reproduce plants by sowing seeds, the nuanced art of propagating woody plants by rooted cuttings presents its own special difficulties and rewards.
Because they are simple to root and grow quickly and vigorously when young, figs are one of the first woody plants that many gardeners try to propagate via cuttings. Figs are often the entry plant for people into the fascinating realm of woody plant multiplication because the majority of kinds root quickly, typically in around 3 weeks.
We’ve tried a lot of different methods over the years, and there are almost as many varieties of figs as there are rooting techniques. You can get figs and other plants to root using a variety of methods, and you don’t need a professional greenhouse to achieve it. Some of the approaches include rooting cuttings in plastic Ziplock bags while we’re traveling and climate-controlled greenhouses with bottom heat and mist.
First, make sure to take strong, healthy cuttings from the growth of the previous season. Between late October and February, dormant cuttings can be taken at any time of the year. We haven’t really noticed much of a difference, but many growers claim that fig cuttings obtained in the fall have more sap in them and so root more easily. Despite the fact that dormant cuttings are normally easier to root, we have successfully rooted hardwood and softwood cuttings at just about any time of the year. Usually, and occasionally already, wood removed from close to the base or where it is touching the mulch line or soil will root more readily.
Additionally, we have seen that the wild fig seedlings we have collected root quickly and with great vitality. So be cautious of them when traveling through the fig wasp country!
Your cuttings can be divided into the proper sizes for germination once you’ve gathered them. Cuttings that are too big or too little lack energy and won’t be able to support all the leaves that are produced. Typically, we choose cuttings that are between 4-6 inches long and have at least 2 nodes.
There are numerous alternatives for the media that you’ll be putting the clippings in. The most crucial thing is to make sure it lacks nutrition and fertilizer! Although it is possible to successfully root cuttings in potting soil or rich compost, your chances of success will significantly decrease. Since the immature cuttings don’t yet have roots, they require an entirely sterile mixture because they can’t absorb the nutrients in charged soil. They will decay as a result of the nitrogen, and when rooting cuttings, the distinction between rotting and rooting is crucial.
With a ratio of roughly 30–40% coconut coir to 60–70% perlite, our preferred media is washed coconut coir and perlite. The perlite adds aeration and prevents the media from becoming anaerobic while the coconut coir holds onto moisture. Because figs are susceptible to rotting if the media is kept too damp, we use somewhat more perlite when growing them. Keeping the media excessively wet is the main reason why fig cuttings and cuttings of many other species fail. The cuttings may decay if they have not yet been calloused over.
When in doubt, we always err on the side of keeping figs somewhat more dry. The rooting media is basically only there to supply humidity so the cutting doesn’t desiccate before it can form roots because they aren’t actively taking up water during the rooting phase. We’ve had success rooting figs in plastic bags with damp paper towels while traveling or abroad because maintaining humidity in the cutting is crucial.
After you have cut your branches into 4-6 inch cuts, you can reveal the vibrant green cambium layer beneath by scraping a thin layer of bark from the bottom of the cutting. Figs appear to root from almost everywhere, with extensive rooting happening along the internodes, in contrast to some species, such olives, which root exclusively from the nodes.
Most fig types don’t entirely require rooting hormone. They naturally have a strong tendency to root, thus there is no difference between figs that are rooted with or without hormone. We advise using a low strength hormone if you decide to use hormones.
We bury about half to two thirds of the length of our cuttings in the media, spacing them about an inch and a half to two inches apart. You can put it on a heating pad or in a warm area once all of your cuttings are set. Since it emits some heat, we’ve heard of some people utilizing the top of their refrigerators to root cuttings, but it works anywhere that stays between 75 and 80 degrees.
The two most important conditions for properly rooting your fig cuttings are warmth and humidity. In this instance, we are cutting dormant hardwoods, so they don’t even need light until they start to produce leaves. You can maintain the appropriate temperature for your cuttings with the aid of a basic soil thermometer. Additionally, spraying your cuttings occasionally and using a plastic cover over them can both assist maintain high humidity levels.
Buds should begin to open in about a month, but try not to pot them up too soon out of excitement or impatience. If figs are potted up too soon, they are prone to collapse. However, if they’re pushing vigorous, active shoots, you can be relatively sure they’re sufficiently rooted and pot them up into a lightly charged potting soil. Normally, we wait two months before doing this.
You’ll soon be delivering young fig trees to everyone in your neighborhood and all of your pals! Perhaps a fig tree could be planted clandestinely in the vacant lot on the corner or the empty parking lot on the route to your preferred dining establishment or grocery store. Or perhaps you’ve spotted a fig tree flourishing in your area that you simply must have, and rooting it yourself is the only way to guarantee you receive the same variety. But for the love of figs, do not add to the confusion of the already countless fig synonyms by giving them a new varietal name. When naming an unidentified variety, it’s customary to use the location of the variety’s discovery and add “Unk.” to the name to indicate that the variety is unidentified.