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  • Transitioning From Cups to Soil

    I have been at this for a few years now, but I there is still one area where I am having trouble. I have a great success rate with rooting in plastic shoe boxes with coco coir. I also have a high success rate going from the coir to cups with Perlite. From there, they go into 1 gallon nursery pots with Pro-Mix HP. That is where I tend to lose them. I know I'm supposed to transition the cups into a drier environment slowly, but no matter how hard I try, I seem to always kill a few, either during dehumidification or just after transplant. I would expect that with young healthy leaves and a cup full of roots, this should be the easiest step. I demand 100% success by now! I would love to hear any suggestions, tips, tricks, etc. to help me and the other newbies out.

  • #2
    Fabric containers

    And also Surround WP seems to really help with heat stress.
    Last edited by hoosierbanana; 02-23-2015, 02:09 PM.
    .

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    • #3
      When rooting Dormant Fig Cuttings break up the process into different stages....

      1. Pre-rooting in moist material and humid environment for root emergence.
      Maintain moisture and tempearture around the cutting @ 72 - 78 F, whether pre-rooting in bag or bin with paper, Moss or coir or in seedling plug trays. they Should be placed in the dark, 20 - 60 days. (Note: Pre hydrating the cuttings for 2-3 days reduces this pre- rooting time)

      2. Potting Up cuttings:
      a. Pre-rooted
      Plant in pre-watered moist mix, use humidity chamber only if the ambient humidity is low or there are leaves and no roots.
      Misting leaves is preferable to humidity chamber.

      b. Direct rooting
      Plant in pre-watered moist mix, Maintain moisture and tempearture around the cutting @ 72 - 78 F, use humidity chamber for an initial "pre-rooting" stage 20 - 60 days. Misting is preferable to humidity chamber if ambient humidity is not too low. (Note: Pre hydrating the cuttings for 2-3 days reduces this pre- rooting time)

      3. Water growing cuttings:
      Fertilize the rooted growing cuttings as soon as possile with dilute balanced fertilizer (preferably water soluble)
      Watering from bottom is preferable, but watering from top will work OK. Both methods should be metered (specific measured amount) for this first part of this stage.

      4. Up potting to 1 gallon and larger containers.
      Plant in a pre-watered moist mix. Plant the cutting as a "Plug" do not disturb the root ball.

      Here's an informative document with more detailed info but not Fig specific. Good Luck.
      http://www.flor.hrt.msu.edu/assets/U...esplanning.pdf
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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      • ako1974
        ako1974 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Pete - thanks for this checklist. I've been doing things slightly differently with good results, but this has all the details that are a good reminder when I say to myself, "What did I do last year?"

      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Ako,
        Thanks. The differences aren't really as important as the similarities.

    • #4
      Real good information Pete, including the article. I see you mention twice, the PRE-Hydrating the cutting for 2 - 3 days, but no where does it say what this is. My assumption is we are soaking the cuttings in water or other solution, for a few days, but due we freshen the cuttings cut ends before we do this?
      Art
      St Louis County, MO Z6B

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      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Pre-Hydrate... pre-soak in a wet environment (plastic bag) for 2 - 3 days with sopping wet Long Fibered Sphagnum Moss, Coco Coir potting mix or Water with an adjusted pH 5 - 6. Start with warm (tap) water and once cooled they can even be placed in the crisper for the 3 days. The entire cutting will be absorbing the water (hydrating) not just the ends. You can prep them by cutting just below the bottom node if needed and sealing the top cut end with wax, grafting tape or non toxic water resistant sealant.
        Last edited by AscPete; 02-23-2015, 02:00 PM.

      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        If using rooting hormone it can be applied after the Pre-hydration stage.
        In rooting fig cuttings the "pre-rooting" is simply the Hydration stage for the dormant cuttings performing a separate "hydration stage" has always decreased my actual rooting time.

    • #5
      I find cuttings do best if there are a lot of roots and the roots are at least 2" long before going into potting mix. Like many I pre-wet the soil but not soaking wet. The roots still need air spaces in the soil.
      Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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      • cyberfarmer
        cyberfarmer commented
        Editing a comment
        Only 2"? I let them get almost that long in the rooting bin before they go to cups. I don't take them out of the cups until the cup is full of roots. Maybe I'm waiting too long before going from cup to soil?

      • Needaclone
        Needaclone commented
        Editing a comment
        You're rooting in coir, so it is probably much easier to let the roots grow longer. In long fibered sphagnum moss, letting the roots grow long is a risky proposition -- the odds of damaging them while trying to remove all the moss is so much greater. Even if you chop the moss into smaller pieces it is still tricky.

      • Harborseal
        Harborseal commented
        Editing a comment
        "AT LEAST 2""

    • #6
      Do you ever put a humidity dome over the leaves? If so I would recommend not doing so as soon as you pull the from the shoebox. Can you show pictures of the state of your figs just before you put them up? I am having great success with coir in boxes and then straight into Mini Sips without humidity domes. I keep mine in the coir though. Maybe I will run into problems when I go to soil next.
      Brian
      Carolina Zone 7b/8a Wanted: Col De Dame

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      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        I go directly from 2 liter SIPs to potting mix without any problems., just as long as you keep the root ball intact and pre-water the potting mix.

      • Yeehova
        Yeehova commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the tip. It makes sense to eliminate dry spots that would come in contact with the roots. I usually water well after transplanting anything, but I think I will start prewatering as well.

      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        You're welcome. The one problem with "watering in" fig cuttings is that in the early stage the roots and cuttings are very moisture sensitive. Too much moisture can slow or stop growth and result in the mix staying and getting water logged, which leads to rotting and cutting failure.

    • #7
      Originally posted by cyberfarmer View Post
      I have been at this for a few years now, but I there is still one area where I am having trouble. I have a great success rate with rooting in plastic shoe boxes with coco coir. I also have a high success rate going from the coir to cups with Perlite. From there, they go into 1 gallon nursery pots with Pro-Mix HP. That is where I tend to lose them. I know I'm supposed to transition the cups into a drier environment slowly, but no matter how hard I try, I seem to always kill a few, either during dehumidification or just after transplant. I would expect that with young healthy leaves and a cup full of roots, this should be the easiest step. I demand 100% success by now! I would love to hear any suggestions, tips, tricks, etc. to help me and the other newbies out.
      I did the same last year and hated the experience. This year I decided to do it differently: from the cups I plant them straight into the ground. I cannot be happier!
      Out of 30+ cups, I have lost only one and that was the damn squirrel digging holes under the cutting. The moisture in the real soil is more even, not too dry and not too wet. I provide a partial shade.
      I think since your conditions are similar to mine in LA, I suggest you try a similar approach.
      The soil I use is a more sandy/airy soil, not the heavy clay stuff.
      And since we have a moderately rainy season now, the oxygen in the water and the nutrients do their magic on a daily basis!

      I forgot to mention. The ground spots are not the permanent locations. The figs will grow there until the Fall or so and then I either pot them up or move to more permanent locations.
      USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: De la Roca, Lampeira Prush, Bass’ Favorite Fig, Raspberry Tart, Cavaliere

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      • #8
        Cyberfarmer,
        Have you tried going right from the shoebox to a 1-gal pot using your standard potting medium?
        I was (and still am) going through the noobie stage when trying this, but I seemed to have better success doing that than doing the intermediate cup stage. (However, another variable is that I waited until the end of winter to do it. It could get out of hand if you start in the fall or early winter, just because the 1-gal pots take up much more space than cups.)
        Jim
        Jim -- Central NJ, Zone 6b

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        • #9
          I do pretty much as Jim does, i go from the baggies new style straight to half a gallon clear orchid pots filled with a 50/50 mix of perlite and seedling soil.
          As soon as i see the first signs of roots circling i up pot to 1 gallon.
          Out of the 40+ cuttings i rooted this way only one failed on me and is on life support, but still not dead.

          Rotterdam / the Netherlands.
          Zone 8B

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          • #10
            It sounds like many of you are advising that the solution to transitioning from cups to soil is to NOT USE CUPS AT ALL. I could try this in the future, but meanwhile, I already have almost 40 rooted out, leafed out cups in my bin. Any advise for me now that I have already committed to this path? I'm getting the impression that I'm the only one using cups anymore, and even then, the only one who has trouble going from cups in humidity bin to soil outdoors.

            Comment


            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              IMO, the problem is not the cups but the humidity bins... The cups should be transitioned from the bins as soon as possible during the rooting process, a transitioning procedure needs to be planned. I've mentioned and used this in the past, its worked in practice.... If you have reasonable root development in the cups, pinch some of the larger leaves, not the tips, but leave the stems on the cutting, they will fall off. The cups can be transitioned to dryer air quicker, due to the reduced stress on the cutting. Also when up potting pre-water the mix, make it moist and well aerated, not wet, do not "water in" the cutting, afterwards place them in the "shade" for a few days. Good Luck.

            • cyberfarmer
              cyberfarmer commented
              Editing a comment
              I missed the part about pinching the leaves. Makes perfect sense. When I move air layers into pots, I've always had better luck if I cut all the leaves in half to reduce moisture loss. I don't know why I wasn't able to carry this logic over to rooted cuttings on my own. Thanks.

          • #11
            I've had good success up potting to 1 gallons from cups. I always mix 1:1 MG potting mix with pearlite and keep the soil barely damp.
            Phil
            Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

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            • #12
              There are some great tips here. I never thought of pinching some leaves to transition the cuttings. Great idea Pete.
              My process is slightly different, maybe because of how dry our air is. Once the cuttings have roots that are circling and well branched in the cups, I pot them up in one gallon pots using pre wetted pro mix HP or the like. I try to keep the cup plug intact, but it does not really seem to matter. Probably not too different yet, but once potted I keep them in the high humidity environment where the cups are for about 5 days. At that point they start a new flush of growth, and that is when I start weaning them off humidity. To do this I first put them at an end of the humidity tent that is slightly vented, then in a few days move them to a lower humidity tent.
              The two ways I would loose cuttings when potting were:
              1. The roots were too tender for the transition. Waiting until they are branching seems to fix that.
              2. After the shock of transplant further stressing the plant by moving it to dry air before it had recovered.

              Weaning off humidity in the cup stage does not work well for me as the cups dry out far too fast and I loose them simply from lack of water.

              Hope that helps.
              Andy - Zone 6a Lat 39.9º N, Altitude 5390' Westminster CO ⚘ Scion List

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              • #13
                I am using cups also - I start the cuttings in a box with minimally moist perlite and as soon as roots appear I move them to a 32 or 44 oz cup using 2/3 ProMix Ultimate and 1/3 perlite for better drainage. I keep them in a humidity bin for a few weeks and gradually transfer them to room air by gradually opening more of the cover. Has been working fine for me this year - last year(my first year rooting) I tried to transition them quicker and lost some.
                I think the increased humidity in the bin makes for less stress on the developing leaves, as the baby roots may not be able to keep up with the water demand of the leaves. Some of these leaf out before or simultaneous with roots. My home air is dry - 33% humidity, while I keep the bin humidity higher, initially at 80% before starting to taper it.
                Ed
                SW PA zone 6a

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                • #14
                  So far, so good.

                  We've had rain for the past three days, which is unusual here in So. Cal. I decided to take advantage of the cool, humid weather and get my first wave of cuttings out of the humidity tent. None of the cups were "full" of roots, but all had plenty of roots swirling around inside. I put them in 1-gallon pots with damp Pro-Mix HP. I placed them under the eaves on the north side of the house. They will get no direct sun and no direct rain. They have been out there for two days with no signs of sadness (yet). Even though the weather is wet, I have been misting the leaves with a very diluted solution of Miracle Grow and seaweed extract. I just hope things continue to go well when the sun comes back out.

                  In addition to those transplants, I also potted up a group of rooted cuttings directly from coir. All had lots of roots, but no real leaves yet. I buried them right up to the top bud. I hope that since they have never had leaves while under humidity, the new leaves will be automatically adapted to the outdoor environment.

                  So, for both of these groups, no humidity tent is being used at all. I am just keeping them in the shade, and keeping them misted a few times a day. Thanks to all of you for all of your advice. Wish me more luck.

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                  • #15
                    Best of luck with your cuttings. Note I did not offer any advice. You never want to see how I pot up.
                    NC Zone 7a-b

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                    • #16
                      Come on Sharon, spill the beans!
                      Dave- Waterford, Ct. Zone 6a

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