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  • About reviving repotted figs

    My puppy sometimes uproots smaller potted plants. This is one reason I try to go right for larger sized pots, because he can chew smaller pots if he can get to them. He doesn't chew up the plant, just the pots, but this means dumping the plant out most of the time. I bought 2 LSU Purples, and he did this to one of them. When I repotted, it was very wilted, because the roots had been completely exposed for a time before I discovered it. It has since recovered, but at a very much slower pace than the other LSU purple, which exploded in size and is now in a 16" diameter pot. The chewed one is still in the original 1 gallon, and only added 1 leaf since he did this (other one has about 10 in the same time frame, and they started the same size).

    Does anyone have any recommendations for how to revive freshly repotted wilted plants (whose roots got exposed)? I tried a honey + aspirin spray, and it DID seem to help the repotting, but didn't do anything for my cutting rooting, so not sure if the plant would have recovered on its own anyway (the other LSU purple grows like crazy, so that means this was a very vigorous plant to start with). Have you had success with anything worth trying? Thanks!

    Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)

  • #2
    Thought I'd add this paper since I was researching the subject. This may be of interest to those who have Fig Mosaic Virus, which I read was a big problem for certain figs (Black Ischia?). Apparently, all figs in the US may be carrying FMV, but not all are affected, depending on the individual plant's immune response. Aspirin appears to boost the immune response in plants, the way that our immune system is boosted by certain substances. Whether it actually helps fight FMV or not, it may help boost the plant's response to other bugs like bacteria and fungus, and there doesn't appear to be a downside (unless you use too much).

    I knew my spray was doing something, didn't lose a leaf, even tho all the green parts were floppy wilted!

    The tested amount ranges from 3/4 aspirin to 1 aspirin / per gallon (haven't found the mg used yet, so am assuming whatever the 'normal' bottle of pure aspirin contains... I used 325 mg in a spray bottle, but based on the below, I probably used too much at 1/3 a pill).

    Here's the paper and exerpt: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/...out-pesticides

    Exerpt from above paper:
    Salicylic acid, the chemical compound found naturally in most plants (as well as in the most-used medication, aspirin), is a plant hormone produced at elevated levels in response to attack by microbial pathogens. According to a report on the Web today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS Early Edition, week of Dec. 7, 2003) by BTI's Dhirendra Kumar and Daniel F. Klessig, the aspirin-like hormone is perceived by the SABP2 protein and a message is transmitted, via a lipid-based signal, to activate the plant's defense arsenal.

    Says Klessig, "Now that we know a key signaling protein in plant immune systems, we can work on ways to enhance the signal and help plants fight disease without using potentially harmful pesticides."

    The PNAS authors say SABP2 plays an important role in restricting infections by inducing host cells at the site of infection to undergo programmed cell death and sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the rest of the plant.

    SABP2 also plays a critical role in activating the innate immune system in other parts of the plant to guard against further attack or spread by the same pathogen -- and even against unrelated pathogens. (Innate immune systems, which mount an immediate defense against infections, are found in all plants and animals. But only vertebrates, including humans and other mammals, have additional levels of defense -- the antibody-producing B cell and T cell-mediated acquired immunity for a delayed response that can take weeks to develop.) The Klessig laboratory discovered the presence of the SABP2 protein in plants in 1997. But it took five years to purify the protein, which occurs naturally in "excruciatingly small amounts," then to clone the gene that encodes it, and finally to assess the role of SABP2 in disease resistance. The PNAS article tells how the researchers proved that SABP2 is a key player in innate immunity by silencing the SABP2 gene and watching the plant immune system fail.
    When the "take two aspirin" gene is silenced, a tobacco plant's immune system fails to prevent disease spread, according to BTI researchers Dhirendra Kumar, pointing to infected leaf cells, and Daniel F. Klessig, at right. Robert Barker/Cornell University Photography Copyright © Cornell University
    Although the salicylic acid-signaling experiments were done with tobacco plants -- because tobacco is a well-known plant species for studying disease resistance -- similar salicylic acid-binding proteins are found in other plant species, the BTI researchers say, making their results applicable to other crop plants.

    And the finding might even help immunologists understand evolutionarily related signaling pathways in vertebrates, including humans, according to another BTI researcher and professor of plant pathology at Cornell, Gregory B. Martin. In a 2001 research article, he suggested that some molecular mechanisms involved in innate immunity in mammalian and insect systems "are remarkably similar to the molecular mechanisms underlying plant disease-resistance responses." Innate immunity in all kinds of living things, Martin and his co-authors added, "might be an evolutionarily ancient system of host defense."

    When tobacco mosaic virus attacks a tobacco plant, the PNAS authors report, the immediate visible effect of SABP2 is to enable salicylic acid to induce the so-called hypersensitive resistance response. "We see programmed cell death at the site of the attack as plant cells sacrifice themselves for the overall survival of the plant," Klessig explains. "We believe programmed cell death helps restrict the infection to a small part of the plant. Something similar happens in animal systems, when virus-infected cells or cells with defective growth control that could become cancerous undergo programmed cell death," he says, noting that aspirin has been found to have a protective effect against cancer.

    Even as the infection is being contained, the plant begins to signal other parts of itself that it is undergoing attack. "This leads to long-lasting, broad-spectrum systemic resistance to infections against the initial attacking pathogen and also against other viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens," Klessig says. "Systemic acquired resistance can last throughout most of the life of an annual plant."

    Earlier this year the Klessig research group announced (in the May 16, 2003, issue of the journal Cell) their discovery of a plant gene for nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme that rapidly produces nitric oxide (NO) after infection. This is one of the earliest responses to pathogen attack.

    "With nitric oxide synthase and now with SABP2, as well as other defense-signaling pathway components that have already or are sure to be discovered, we are beginning to see some effective and sustainable alternatives to pesticides," Klessig says, suggesting two possible strategies: Genetic manipulation could enhance a crop plant's ability to make more of a scarce defense-signaling compound or a limiting receptor needed to transmit this signaling compound. Alternatively, crops could be treated with a functional mimic of the signaling compound itself when plant disease is anticipated.

    "Either way, we are utilizing and enhancing a plant's own natural defenses," Klessig says. "That should be a better way, both because it will be much more difficult for pathogenic organisms to develop resistance and because we can avoid contaminating the environment."

    He adds that an attack by a plant pathogen "marks the start of a war. If the plant can recognize the pathogen and activate its defense arsenal in time, the plant usually wins. But if the pathogen circumvents detection or the defenses themselves, the plant is in trouble. The more we learn about plant immune systems, the better are the chances we can help important crop plants win their war -- without the collateral damage from chemical pesticides."
    Last edited by hstark; 06-07-2016, 03:34 AM.
    Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)


    • #3
      Also, the above paper does seem to explain why the aspirin didn't help rooting cuttings... it appears to activate a fight or flight instinct in the plant. Root growing may require a more 'relaxed' plant growth mode, while healing from damage is different, the plant begins rebuilding its existing immune system and spends resources on that for future resistance, and not putting out new growth. That may make it grow much slower initially as it 'redesigns' itself on a cell by cell basis.

      So my aspirin sprayed LSU Purple grows more slowly right now, but will be a far tougher disease/infection resistant plant than the faster growing LSU Purple that grew like crazy? That would fit the surmise/hypothesis anyway, guess I'll know when they are both bigger and I can compare then.
      Last edited by hstark; 06-07-2016, 03:36 AM.
      Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)


      • #4
        Well doh... actually, I may be wrong about it not helping rooting. I have been trying to root the cuttings that BlueMoon sent me, and just remembered I spritzed them with the same spray (aspirin and honey), which became much diluted because I sprayed water on top of that.

        While I can't speak for roots, the tips and buds are greening up, like they want to sprout, even though I don't know what's going on in the soil part. They've been rooting for a week, and I did use root hormone on these (30 year old rootone, hehe). I'm leaving them alone and checking in 2 weeks. This could have nothing to do with the spray and everything to do with the rootone, since I did that too.
        Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)


        • #5
          really interesting what are ratios of aspirin and honey baby or regular asprin.


          • #6
            My original was 1/2 a Bayer aspirin (325 mg) with 1/2 a spoonful of manuka honey in a 1 quart sprayer. This is way more than the Cornell test indicated, which was 3/4 to 1 tablet per gallon of water. Plus, I kept reusing that quart as some of the water evaporated in the heat. It SHOULD be no more than 1/5 of a tablet of aspirin in 1 quart, per their tests. However, none of my figs died, and every sick and rooting fig was sprayed.

            The only one that's not doing so great is my original brown turkey big branched cutting (around 14" tall with a big branch full of fig buds), which I got tired of because it never rooted, and I just put it outside in another plant pot. It's got no cover either, just sitting in a milk jug. That one's NOT doing a thing, but since I just wanted roots, it's become an experiment. Rest of the cuttings look really good and want to start pushing leaves (don't know about roots, don't want to pull them out).

            Last nite, I made another sprayer bottle (having used up the first already), but only shaved 1/5 of an aspirin tablet in it, and have been squirting my puppy pulled out of pot plants with that.
            Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)