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  • Fig cutting rooting question - Roots growing straight up?

    I am new to figs but I have a tendency to jump in head first with new things.. I currently have 150 or so fig cuttings currently rooting in my kitchen on a backers rack with some light. I read a bunch of different options on "the best way" to do it. So I am trying a few for myself. I have a 60 in cups of potting mix, 80 or so buried 1.5" deep in potting mix and 10-20 in jars of water just to see if that will work or not. I know I could also put them in paper and bags but wheres the fun in that... I have 9 or 10 different known varieties and a few unknown.

    I looked at some of them today, they have all been in their respective methods since 10/19/15 and the cuttings in the cups seem to be doing well with both a little foliage growth and decent root growth in 2 weeks. The ones buried in potting mix seem to be popping through and also have a lot of decent root growth. The ones in water seem to have starts of roots but not much of anything and I have a bunch of Black Mission Fig cuttings that dont seem to be doing anything in the cups or buried in soil yet.

    My question is regarding the ones buried in soil. They are 6-8" cuttings when i go to pot them, do I just cut them apart into different plants since they seem to be popping up with multiples per cutting. Also in the picture you can see a bunch of the cuttings are growing roots straight up onto the top of the soil and even up the side of the container.. Whats the deal with those ones? What can I do to "fix" that? The only thing I can think of is they are on a bakers rack above 2 additional lights so maybe the heat from the bottom is confusing the growth? Thoughts? Suggestions? Is this normal?

    Photos attached, please excuse the mess. Im lucky my girlfriend puts up with my hobbies Thank you everyone!
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 4 photos.
    2022: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to madisoncitrusnursery.com

  • #2
    "..you can see a bunch of the cuttings are growing roots straight up onto the top of the soil and even up the side of the container.."

    Well, you clearly potted those wrong side up

    When cuttings first start their roots, they seem to grow in every direction; nature telling them to seek a good source of nutrients and grab onto it.
    Looking good!

    Sometimes they get wild roots for me too.
    If there are enough nodes, you can try cutting a portion of the cutting and starting another plant, but that's a little risky.
    How many cuttings do you have in the tub?
    Timing will be everything when it comes to potting up. If you wait too long you'll be sweating through a stressful root detangling.


    • #3
      That one only has 6 fig cuttings in it. 3 celeste 3 lemon. 3 olympian and 3 desert. Now that I look at it I bet I know the problem obviously it's my fault ... I hade these cuttings originally all stood vertical in about 5 inches of perlite for a few days before deciding burying was a better option.. I'd bet money on the fact those oddly rooted ends were the ends in the perlite starting root sites 360 degrees around them. The foliage you see is what used to be the top end. Mystery solved I assume I'm waiting for these to grow for a while before potting. But your root untangling doesn't sound like fun.. how long would you wait? Also would you plant each cutting as a whole or snip them in half if possible root wise?

      Thanks Rui, I hope to have more of a clue when I get your cuttings
      2022: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to madisoncitrusnursery.com


      • #4
        I grew some Kathleen Black cuttings that had roots growing straight up... I was worried at first, but in the end things worked out ok. The figs eventually fixed the problem on their own.


        • #5

          Welcome to our figs forum community.

          You can cut the 6" - 8" cuttings into smaller pieces but they will usually take longer to reach fruiting size the extra roots will be air pruned once they are potted. The air roots usually occur when the roots grow out into good ambient conditions for healthy root growth, 85% - 90% Relative Humidity and 70F to 80F Temperature. Good luck.
          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
          Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


          • #6
            Thank you Pete, I guess my confusion and its probably just my own ignorance but I dont understand the process of getting the ones I have laid down in dirt into pots. I guess in my mind I am supposed to pull them out and lay them flat in the pots as well. So that would require at least 8 inch pots but to get the tree in the middle that would be a 16 inch pot for each. Or am I supposed to pull these out of the dirt and stand them up in the new pots? My question about cutting them was more if they come up with multiple nodes growing leaves along the length of the buried cutting and roots in between would you just cut them and plant 2? ,-,-',-,-' vs ,-,-' | ,-,-' I think that is my disconnect is not understanding the next step. The rest of my cuttings will be growing in cups as it makes more sense and I think it gets me much further on my way to a "tree" quicker.
            2022: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to madisoncitrusnursery.com


            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              I usually try to cup the cuttings as soon as they start growing roots about 1/4 inch, less roots to damage...
              I've since started using the direct plant in cup methods which decreases the 'handling', here's some topics in the sticky from the Forums 1st page, http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...erenced-topics . I use the humidity domes for the initial rooting only, they are transitioned to ambient conditions as soon as possible.

            • LouNeo
              LouNeo commented
              Editing a comment
              Thank you again, I believe the cup method is the method I will be using moving forward. My humidity dome is the 15x15x30" bins they are working amazingly so far. I was just told the dirt method was a better option and do far im not loving it. Ive read posts in that link as well as 2 or 3 other forums, I have so much info on rooting which is why I tried so many different ways and got overloaded. Everyone thinks theirs is the best. I havent seen much that tells when to transplant root length wise or when to get into ambient humidity wise though. So thank you for that! I feel confident in what im doing now!

            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              This topic may be helpful with creating the necessary stages when rooting fig cuttings, http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox....growth-6765676 Although there are many different fig rooting method the requirements for success are universal.