Pre-Rooting Fig Tree Cuttings | Pleased w/ the Results
Updated: Jan 31, 2023
Pre-rooting fig cuttings can't be any easier. Simply wrap the cutting with a wet paper towel, place them in a plastic bag, and house them in an environment that's between 75-80F. Over 2-3 weeks, you'll see root formation along the lenticels of the cutting. That's it!!
From there we can see that the cutting is ready to be up potted which is the perfect timing to do so. When timed correctly this process should ideally line up with warm end-of-spring/early summer weather.
I would highly suggest watching my latest video for an up close and personal view of the process of pre-rooting fig cuttings:
Why pre-rooting fig cuttings works
Pre-rooting is not a fig-specific technique. It's been around for a very long time. You could say that people even do pretty much the same thing when rooting in water. The difference is with fig cuttings and my recommendation is that we stop at root primordia formation.
The lenticels of the cutting are where root primordia form, which is essentially the beginning stages of root formation. The humidity trapped in the plastic bag and the wet paper towel combined with higher temperatures are what enable the cutting to start this process.
Any one of these missing factors and we won't see the results were looking for. This is simply what happens in a normal rooting process, but we're getting the opportunity to see under the hood.
Instead of watching this process or imagining this process under the soil, we can see it firsthand and I have to admit there are numerous benefits to this learning process as well as simply using this rooting technique.
Once we see that process take effect, we can very simply move the cutting to a different and more appropriate environment.
Can you root fig cuttings in water?
Rooting in water can certainly work and yield good results, but usually not great results with fig cuttings therefore, especially because the cutting is wrapped in a wet paper towel, it's best to stop this process at the right time.
I've noted that some cuttings (even before the 2-week mark) are showing roots that are even an inch in length. Once the paper towel is removed, the roots are damaged or destroyed, so I think it's best to capitalize on the right moment to maximize this process.
Give pre-rooting a try
Again.. all that's needed is moisture along the cutting and the right temperature. Move the cutting once the root primordia have formed at the lenticel locations to preferably a 1-gallon-sized pot OR even plant it in the ground!
A 1-gallon-sized pot is a fantastic size however to establish fig trees in and once a tree is fully rooted out in that size, you can do anything you wish with it from that point.
Check out the video below for more on how to care for young fig trees once they've reached the 1g size:
What I would not do is plant it into something small and risk the inevitable transplant shock that will have to occur at a future date.
This is why the Fig POP method is not something that I recommend and from my experience, pre-rooting takes all of the benefits of the fig pop method without having the negative of requiring up-potting and risking transplant shock 1 month down the road.