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  • Rooting Stem or Green Fig Cuttings and a Hydroponic DWC Fig Cloner

    There are simple proven methods for rooting green fig cuttings, (1), (2), (15), (16) which are standard stem cutting rooting procedures with standard containers, potting mixes and plastic "Humidity Domes". Hydroponic Deep Water Culture Cloners (9), (10), (11) or DWC Bubble Cloners, are some of the simplest hydroponic devices, the available internet build instructions (12) are simple and easy to follow. A DIY bubble cloner for pre-rooting fig stem, green or summer cutting can be build from a dollar store plastic shoe box and aquarium supplies at a material cost of under $20 for a 12 site cloner. When used for fig propagation the bubble cloner is only used to pre-root the cuttings, once rooted they are up potted to a standard cutting mix. The DIY Bubble cloner could be made in a larger size, but I opted for the smaller size and water volume because better results have been reported when the water or nutrient solution is replaced weekly, for the 6 qt shoe box this would be ~ 3 quarts.

    More sophisticated (complicated) equipment has been used to successfully root fig cuttings like the automated intermittent mist systems, (3) and Aeroponic Cloners. Snaglpus (Dennis) shared his success with Aeroponic Cloners, (4) and a link in his Opening Post (OP) led to a Topic in another forum on other DIY Cloners, (5). I decided to test the simple Hydroponic cloner on green fig cuttings since I had all of the materials already on hand except for the 2" net cups and an aquarium air stone (I've since eliminated the net cups and drill 1-3/4" holes to mount the Neoprene Inserts). The Hydroponic cloner is modeled on a DWC Bubble Cloner, (6) . The air stone and net cups cost less than $4.00 total, the foam inserts were cut from 1/2 of an old dollar store knee pad. A similar commercially available 4 site Deep Water Culture or DWC Hydroponic Cloner that uses the same bubble principles, (10) and can be purchased for around $30.00, (8 site - $60.00), a 24 site OxyClone (7) which uses a small water and separate air pump costs $50.00 including shipping.

    DIY Bubble Cloner Material list;
    1 10" Bubble bar - $2.77 (17*)
    1 Sterilite 1642 "Shoe Box" - $1.00 ea. (18*)
    1 Single Aquarium air pump - $6.77 (17*)
    1 Kneeling pad 3/4" neoprene - $2.00, (18*) or 12 - 2"x 3/4" Hard Neoprene Inserts - $8.00 (13)
    1 airline - $1.88 (17*)
    1 roll tape
    1 Black plastic bag or small piece of black plastic (to shade the reservoir)

    For cloning fig cuttings I decided to use the experience gained from rooting summer or green cuttings with a method posted by King Fig , Dan_LA, (Dan A.), (8). My observations from using this method was that the area of the cutting that produces the healthiest root initials was above the water line and only the bottom end of the cutting has to be in water to maintain the active vascular system. This water rooting method was 100% successful in rooting an initial test group of green fig cuttings.

    Bubble Cloner Instructions - Fig Stem Cuttings;
    1. Take ~ 6 inch long cuttings. Remove larger leaves, leave the top 2 and trim if needed in order to reduce transpiration.
    2. With a clean, sterile blade, re-cut the bottom of the cutting Just below the bottom node, keep the cuttings well hydrated (in a vase).
    3. Place a clone in each neoprene insert with ~ 3 inches below the insert.
    4. Place clone machine 2 feet below fluorescent lighting or in a partially sunny window (light is required).
    5. Fill the reservoir with ~ 3 quarts of spring water.
    6. Adjust pH level to 5.5 - 6.5 if needed.
    7. Maintain water temperature at 72 - 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
    8. Start air Pump and run cloner 24 hours a day (if there is a power failure the clones still have access to water).
    9. Mist the leaves with water once or twice daily.
    10. Clones will root in approximately 14 - 21 days.
    11. When roots begin to emerge add 1/2 tsp. of water soluble fertilizer per gallon of water to aid in root development.
    12. The solution should be changed weekly to remove any bad microbes and or maintain strength of the nutrient.

    The Bubble Cloner produced roots within 21 days and the rooted cuttings were ready for potting within 28 days. Although the Cloner required additional Labor, equipment and energy (electricity) it was successful in rooting collected green cuttings withing a short time period with relatively minimal effort and cost. I was also able to fabricate additional shoe box cloners and used them for propagating other plants which grew surprisingly fast, pinched Tomato suckers rooted in only 3 days.


    References;
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z28Gsa5oHMw (Ray Givens)
    2. http://www.treesofjoy.com/content/ro...d-fig-cuttings
    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFL-jEkWSV8 (mister)
    4. http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=7023364
    5. https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=169382
    6. https://www.icmag.com/ic/showpost.ph...mp;postcount=1
    7. http://www.oxyclone.com/
    8. http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox....mp;postcount=1
    9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=246kWxZT0Hg
    10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcMzhiEMrYo
    11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ66usEQtOM
    12. http://forum.grasscity.com/do-yourse...le-cloner.html
    13. http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Bay-Hydr...57f74:m:m5WgC8 O3JNMpdQR1QPVj6yg
    14. http://www.ebay.com/itm/24-BUBBLE-TU...gDO40WYwnaAUm9 Lx8u51nA
    15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHj8E-7E7-8
    16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyXSNzywqvw
    17. Walm*rt
    18. Dollar Store
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 11 photos.
    Last edited by AscPete; 11-11-2015, 03:19 PM.
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

  • #2
    Pete ,

    Thank you for the very nice instructions!
    I noticed that the cuttings rooted in a glass with water have very different and more gentle roots, they have a hard time sometimes adjusting to a soil.
    How are the roots originated in a water cloner? How do they handle the transfer to a pot with soil?
    USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

    Comment


    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      You're welcome.
      The roots that form above the water in the moist air are like soil roots, they are not weak and spindly like most water roots.
      The cuttings were up potted like any other bare rooted cuttings.

  • #3
    Thanks for another well described how to topic.

    Did you use any hormone or score the sides of the cuttings?

    Have you tried this with dormant cuttings?
    Last edited by fitzski; 11-12-2015, 10:01 AM.
    Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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    • #4
      Kevin,
      You're welcome.

      Neither Rooting Hormone nor Scoring was used...

      I fabricated a deeper Bubble Cloner container for trialing with dormant cuttings where the cutting is completely suspended above the solution, But have not committed to a full trial, but it works. The Pre-rooting in Bag has been a complete success with most hormone treated cuttings are fully rooted in less than 21 days so IMO, the bubble cloner is really unnecessary for dormant cuttings....
      You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

      Comment


      • fitzski
        fitzski commented
        Editing a comment
        Wow! Talk about an explosion of roots. Looking forward to starting my first set of cutting this weekend. Thanks again for all the ideas.
        Last edited by fitzski; 11-12-2015, 10:01 AM.

    • #5
      Pete as you know I use this method among others, I have noticed that the healthiest roots are white, but after a time they start to turn brownish. Some have said this is good, I don't think I agree. Your thoughts?
      Rafael
      Zone 10b, Miami, FL

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        White roots are healthy fast growing feeder roots, as they age they turn tan then light brown over time, develop an outer layer (epidermis), and only the white tips and smaller 'hairs' perform the 'feeder' functions of absorbing nutrients and water. So the larger the mass of white roots the better. They often turn brown and develop the harder outer shells from (wet) dry cycles.

    • #6
      Very young roots will turn a light brownish if they're getting too much water. If I see that in a cylindrical plastic bag I'll cut holes in the side of the bag near where the roots are. That usually works. I recently rooted a super finicky variety where whenever the roots touched the plastic they'd turn brown. I had to get that one out of the plastic bag much earlier than I wanted to.
      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

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, lack of air exchange is often a big problem for the roots, which is why its important to provide sufficient aeration for hydroponic clones and the newly up potted rooted cuttings.

    • #7
      I received my cloner today, a T24 TurboKlone. I will try to get this to work for tip cuttings. They are what gives me the most trouble to get to root. I swore a couple months back no more cuttings, only air layers. Well I have a few cuttings in the crisper in spite of what I said earlier.
      Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Good Luck.

    • #8
      Pete re your last comment on "sufficient aeration" at the transplanting stage, what is your best advice in order to do that? A fluffy, slightly prewet mix with lots of perlite? What else?? I find that losing cuttings at the transplant stage is the most precarious part of this otherwise very successful rooting method.
      Rafael
      Zone 10b, Miami, FL

      Comment


      • Rafaelissimmo
        Rafaelissimmo commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you Pete. Now your comment has produced another question (sorry): what is watering in? The pots can get very dry in my basement and I would normally water with some superthrive fairly soon after up-potting. The cling wrap: just around the surface and around the base of the cutting, so the leafed out cutting is exposed but no humidity escapes the pre-wetted mix? Is that what you are trying to achieve? Do you remove the wrap after a few days or water through the wrap say once a week? Thank you again Pete.

      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Sorry for the reply delay, busy on a new work project...

        When you first transplant a bare rooted plant into potting mix or soil the mix (soil) and plant are often watered with a shower of water to settle the mix around the roots (watered in), this is often a death sentence for newly rooted fig cuttings.

        Yes, the cling wrap is 'mulch' on the top of the container to decrease evaporation from the potting mix. The wrap is usually removed in a few weeks, if there is no mold growth. I water with a fixed (measured) amount through small holes in the wrap.

      • Rafaelissimmo
        Rafaelissimmo commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Pete, I can affirm that something is killing transplants from time to time, I will try to avoid "watering in."

    • #9
      jmaler stated that tip cuttingsare harder for him to root. Does anyone else experience this? I havent noticed either way. I need to pay more attention. I wonder if the tip is more focused on leaf growth. Any thoughts?

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        In my experience they (dormant tip cuttings) aren't harder to root, just slower to start growing, which might be due to the auxins (hormones) that were present in the growing tips.

    • #10
      I am setting up a T24 TurboKlone on a cycle timer. Should the fan cycle with the pump or run continuously?

      Also, does it matter which side of the stem collars faces up?

      Thanks
      Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

      Comment


      • Merle
        Merle commented
        Editing a comment
        I run my continuously. Not really, one side looks better than the other, but I have noticed with the ugly side up it lets in a little more humidity with the dome on top.

    • #11
      Well looking around the internet at Cloners I came across this A Fog Cloner Anybody here use one or know anything about them?

      Click image for larger version

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      Wish List -

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      • #12
        Dave,
        That looks like a DIY aeroponic cloner that uses an ultrasonic humidifier (instead of a bubbler) to create mist/fog. (I bought parts to make one earlier in the year but got sidetracked.) There were threads (on this and other forums) about this technique -- if I recall, people were having good success. I think AscPete may have tried this technique too. (I've been away from the forums for a good number of months, so my memory is foggy (pun fully intended)).
        Cheers,
        Jim
        Jim -- Central NJ, Zone 6b

        Comment


        • AscPete
          AscPete commented
          Editing a comment
          I've tried the 5 gallon bucket with a bubble or DWC cloner, but haven't tried fog. Pre-rooting dormant fig cuttings in Coir is just faster and simpler.

      • #13
        I went to a Hydroponics store today and asked about it he said they have nozzles that spray a fog like that or you could buy a fogger he says it is a real nice set up because there is allot of oxygen in the fog and you see roots quicker then the conventional nozzles ???
        Wish List -

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        • #14
          Took these photos yesterday. Started these cuttings 1/7/16. Running a T24 cloner 24/7 @ 2 minutes on and 15 minutes off, something I read on an herb forum. I added Z7 per directions to tap water with ph adjusted near 6. The room temp runs 65-74°. Everything seem to be OK for now. There is a white substance on the bottom that looks like a mineral deposite. Water is still clear. Haven't noticed any skum or slime on inside of reservoir or on cuttings.

          A couple figs need to be moved to soil soon.

          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
          Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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          • #15
            Jerry, how often do you change out your water? Once a month has been working great for me with the T24. I only have 5 fig cuttings in it though, the rest is all conifers, loropetalum and black mulberry.
            You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 9 photos.
            Last edited by Merle; 01-28-2016, 05:08 PM.

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            • #16
              Merle, your results are just awesome.

              As far as changing the water, this is my first go at this cloning thing. So, I guess I should think about changing it when the cloner has been in service for a month. Thanks for the tip.
              Last edited by jmaler; 01-28-2016, 07:55 PM.
              Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

              Comment


              • #17
                Jerry,
                I've been told that you can leave those fig cuttings in for quite a long time (if you're so inclined.) There's no need to pot them up just when the roots start to show like that. You could opt to leave them in the cloner for much longer to let the roots get very well established, mature, and tougher. (...that is, if you don't need the space for yet more cuttings ;-)
                The downside is that the roots could end up growing into the baskets -- but it doesn't look like you're using any, so that shouldn't be an issue.
                Cheers,
                Jim
                Jim -- Central NJ, Zone 6b

                Comment


                • jmaler
                  jmaler commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Jim, I have more cuttings in the refridgerator crisper waiting to be pre-rooted, so, yes I need to move them along as fast as possible. I have given thought to making a cloner like some of the other figgers have done. That would give a little more capacity.

                  And, back in the fall I swore off rooting cutting in favor of plants. So much for that idea. I even passed on a opportunity to trade for some cuttings I really wanted. Oh, well.

                • Needaclone
                  Needaclone commented
                  Editing a comment
                  >> And, back in the fall I swore off rooting cutting in favor of plants. So much for that idea.
                  Ha, ha, ha. I did that last year, too....and I ended up with getting more cuttings than the previous year!
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