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  • Rooting green/summer cuttings

    For various reasons I've wound up with some summer cuttings (broken branches, pruning, and such). Last year I had 100% success doing this, things look good so far. Nothing new here, Bass has a writeup on his site doing this.

    Take the cutting (some lignified/brown wood is ideal but green should still root if kept very humid), remove excess leaves, stick in a pot (I use plain potting soil), and cover with a bag. A tight fitting bag helps with all green cuttings. Keep in the shade and ignore except for occassional watering. Rooting hormone could be used, probably helps but I didn't have any handy when I did these.

    Last year I kept what I had inside all winter. They did ok but I didn't have a great spot for them (low light/cool temps). Also vectored spider mites. If this years plants are strong enough I may let them go dormant in a non-freezing area.
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

  • #2
    I used Bass's method to root a green branch of a 'new' unknown given to me by a friend, and took several branches off some other plants of mine to play around and make more copies. I did each in a separate cup, covered, vented every few days. Some did great but about 1/3 of them the green stems rotted, even though I tried to be cautious with moisture. Good practice for learning a new method, though.
    Ed
    SW PA zone 6a

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    • #3
      I have found that rooting green cuttings is extremely tedious. You have to babysit them 24/7 and even after that a lot will rot out and die. I find if possible that if I can leave a little hardwood at the base it is a lot more successful. Even as little as a 1/4 inch works.

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      • Kelby
        Kelby commented
        Editing a comment
        Brian, the bottom pot in the picture was a totally green, active growing tip. Since the bag is nice and snug I haven't touched it in 2 weeks (I was on vacation last week) and it still looks ok. Humidity is key.

      • jmaler
        jmaler commented
        Editing a comment
        My exact experience. I find tip cuttings the hardest of all. Even with dormant cutting tip cuttings are a challenge for me.

    • #4
      They are looking good

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      • #5
        This is about half of them......some varieties are easy with summer cuttings and other varieties the % is brutal.

        Click image for larger version

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        Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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        • cis4elk
          cis4elk commented
          Editing a comment
          Wow, that's alot of cuttings.
          For some reason I want Chinese take-out. Hmmm.

        • Bijan
          Bijan commented
          Editing a comment
          I find if I leave chopsticks or bamboo skewers in a humidity bin, mold will always grow on them before anything else and much more aggressively on them than anything else. I only use them for bare-rooting trees anymore.

        • WillsC
          WillsC commented
          Editing a comment
          Bijan,

          I have noticed the same thing with bamboo skewers so don't use them. What you see that looks like chopsticks are actually just small squares of untreated pine. No mold grows on the pine, probably due to the pine resin. I just cut them on the bandsaw, about 1,000,000,000 of them, or so it seemed

      • #6
        I have been starting summer cuttings under mist but the green cuttings are not doing well. I could put them in a humidity box or put a bag over them if that would help. How does heat affect the cuttings, I thought about trying some in the greenhouse but it gets over 100* in the day
        Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana
        Buffalo WV Z6

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        • Whiterk
          Whiterk commented
          Editing a comment
          How often do you mist your plants? Are you sure they are maintaining humidity?

        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          Nope, I don't use bottom heat for my summer cuttings in the basement. They are just in bags under lights with only a couple of leaves left per cutting. Most seem to be doing well so far.

          Temp in my basement is in the 70's most days.

        • growcrazie
          growcrazie commented
          Editing a comment
          I mist 10 sec every 10 min. much more the rest of my plants would rot. I may have to try bagging the harder to root cuttings. I have a lot of things I propagate under mist gooseberries , hydrangeas, grapes, viburnums, currents, barberry, boxwood...

      • #7
        I had a small branch get knocked off one of my trees, something to do with a kid and screen door. Anyway I removed all leaves but one, potted it, and put it in the shade sort of buried in vegetation. No bag. The one leaf fell off in about a week, but other than that it still looks good. We'll see, I'm going the absolute minimalist approach just to see what happens.
        Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
        Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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        • #8
          It is interesting but some cuttings are near 100% success and others like Maltese Falcon 1/5 (ouch).
          Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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          • WillsC
            WillsC commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, same ones mostly but there are a few like Native black that does fine in dormant but summer not so much. Think some of them really need to be kept less moist, experimenting with that now.

          • WillsC
            WillsC commented
            Editing a comment
            But overall so far I am at 80% for the summer cuttings and I can live with that.

          • COGardener
            COGardener commented
            Editing a comment
            80% is a nice number

        • #9
          They rot so easy. I think the hardwood is a lot harder to rot then newly lignified or green wood.

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          • #10
            Originally posted by Brian M View Post
            They rot so easy. I think the hardwood is a lot harder to rot then newly lignified or green wood.


            Maybe. I find the lignified summer cuttings or semi lignified root well and faster than winter but it could just be the added warmth. The last cutting, the one from the very tip is quite hard to keep from rotting when it is soft and green.
            Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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            • #11
              A bit blurry, but here's roots on an Adriatic JH that I started from a broken branch 3-4 weeks ago.
              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
              https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
              SE PA
              Zone 6

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              • #12
                I did a writeup with some pretty photos (If I do say so myself) over my blog if anyone wants to check it out. I've had super results rooting this way this year, somewhere around 90% success.

                http://thefarminthegarden.blogspot.c...-cuttings.html
                https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
                SE PA
                Zone 6

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                • #13
                  Kelby,

                  That is a very nice write up, thank you. Will mention though in case newer people try it......the process Kelby describes works great on SOME varieties, even most varieties, but there are some where it won't work at all or at a very low percentage. So don't be discouraged if the results don't match.
                  Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Thanks Wills. Good point on some working better than others. The limited varieties I've done all root well, especially RdB and Adriatic JH.
                    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
                    SE PA
                    Zone 6

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Nice article and photos... Thanks.

                      Inclusion of dilute liquid or Gel Rooting Hormone formulated for "Green Cuttings" could also increase the success rates and decrease rooting times.
                      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                      • Kelby
                        Kelby commented
                        Editing a comment
                        It could, personally I haven't seen a need for it but when I find that hard to root variety I'll try that!

                    • #16
                      A lot of success and failure hinges on the right balance between moisture and air. I think what Kelby does and is not making explicit is that he gets the soil at the proper degree of wetness (not too wet) THEN puts the cutting in the soil and encloses the whole thing in a bag. So he creates the proper ecosystem and causes it to stay the same (except temperature). If you add water to the system it often becomes too wet and that's when the problems start. You certainly can water just the right amount, especially if your medium has lots of large chunks to maintain air spaces, but it's harder to keep it just right all the time. In a system where water is free to evaporate it's more prone to be too dry alternating with too wet and only short periods of just right. Again, it can be done, it's just harder and more work.
                      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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                      • #17
                        this summer I brought some cuttings from far away, it was "green" and "new" wood but they were also long cuttings, so long that I believe there was old wood at their bottoms. the cuttings were taken in summer in the first week of July, and brebas had just been picked. I cloner rooted 3 and perlite-cupped a fourth. I used some hormone. All of them took a long time to form roots, maybe at least a month. I lost two additional greenwood-only cuttings in the cloner. By August all 4 remaining cuttings had rooted, and in late august they began to leaf out and in the first week of September all of them went into 1-gal containers. The cloner cuttings have responded particularly well. The perlite cutting is alive but is not recovering from the transplant shock very vigorously. It has been very warm and humid in my basement. I think they all love that.
                        Rafael
                        Zone 10b, Miami, FL

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                        • #18
                          I find this thread very interesting.. Since I'm new to fig growing, the only cuttings I've ever done were green & non-dormant. I've had great success with all of them (VbD, Celeste (Or could be a sneaky BT), & CH) except MBVS. That one began leaf out quickly & then rotted away just as quick ;( I was wondering if there are certain varieties that are known to be easy to root as well as those that are known to be "more fussy"? I've done several searches but I don't come up with much besides that Celeste seems to be an easier one to root from what I've found.. Would anyone else care to share their experience? I just started a few CddN cuttings less than a week ago.. So far nothing but it's only been a week.. Hoping this one is not one of the fussier varieties lol..
                          WL: Moro Di Caneva, Fracazanno Multicolore, Dels Ermitans, a nice spread somewhere in California that has the wasp! 😉
                          My Plant Inventory: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...HZcBjcsxMwQ7iY
                          Cuttings Sale 2020/21:
                          https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...YgmHS0_lo/edit

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                          • #19
                            I just started a new rooting green cuttings experiment with coarse sand in wicking buckets a couple days ago. If it works I'll do a detailed post. So far the sand seems to be staying moist but not over wet. Keeping hopeful. Other than that, keep them almost dry as cactus when starting out

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