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  • UCD cutting received today- now what?

    I received a few UCD cutting today and stuck them in the frig to deal with tomorrow. What would you all suggest to treat these cuttings at this point? I am a new to figs and not sure how to treat these cuttings. I am in zone 6 in SW Missouri and our last frost date is around April 20. I was thinking about putting these cutting directly into a potting mix. Will appreciate any help or suggestions at this point. Thanks everyone.
    SW MO Zone 6a

  • #2
    There's huge amounts of information about rooting, and many different methods. Everyone has a preferred method that fits with their watering habits, free time, and rooting setup.
    If you're an "overwaterer" you may prefer perlite or Promix HP for rooting. If you're a "tinkerer" you'd probably do best with sphagnum or paper towels. This doesn't work well for those that aren't gentle with the delicate roots.
    If you don't have the time to micromanage or tend to the cuttings everyday, using a heat mat and potting soil, with the cuttings simply stuck works well too.
    The trick is keeping the cuttings in humidity, but not wet. As soon as you have a couple of large leaves, you can water more freely, and start feeding very small amounts of diluted fertilizer.
    It'll take about 2 months to get the cuttings to a stage where you can start transitioning them to less humidity and more sunlight, so starting them now will be fine in your zone.
    You will probably commit your fair share of massacre (as most of us do) so cutting those longer sticks to 3 or 4 nodes may increase your chances. Since you haven't rooted before, you may also want to consider a couple of different techniques with duplicate cuttings. Don't rule out grafting, which is easily done with a razor blade, and only requires 1 bud, and a host plant.
    NewEnglandGardening has some nice videos on fig rooting posted on YouTube.
    Good luck, and keep us posted.

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    • #3
      Very wise, Rui!
      USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: De la Roca, Lampeira Prush, Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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      • #4
        Thank you Igor...whoa, you're a Senior already! I better start posting some more!

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        • #5
          No need to be jeleaus! Over the past month I was about 10 times junior and 11 times senior
          USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: De la Roca, Lampeira Prush, Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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          • #6
            Thanks everyone. I was concerned about how to handle these sticks as far as sterilizing them before doing anything else. How would you treat these new cuttings from UCD when they arrive? Thanks so much.
            SW MO Zone 6a

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            • #7
              Are they covered in moss and look old or relatively young wood?
              USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: De la Roca, Lampeira Prush, Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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              • #8
                I just got mine, and I did the following:

                1) Cut all in half (as most were 10-14 inches)
                2) Cut old ends off (where they made their cuts...I took about 1/2" off, as they were dry looking)
                3) Dip in 10% bleach for 20-30 seconds. I rubbed the sticks in the bleach water to remove dirt and help the bleach get into nooks and crannies
                4) Rinse well in hot water
                5) Label with sharpie at apical end (so important!)
                6) Get some low melt wax (I used tea candles in a mason jar melted in a pot of boiling water...I tried nuking them, but all it did was make the mason jar deadly hot), and dip the bottom of all ends in wax...about 1/2" up the stick on each end
                7) Stick in damp coconut coir.
                8) Figs. I hope.

                As a side note, I did notice that the coco coir and wax....interact. Somehow they begin to stick, and sometimes stuff even looks like its growing on the wax. Doesn't seem to affect the cuttings though...they root anyways.
                Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

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