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What You Need To Know On How To Propagate Fig Trees?

How To Propagate Fig Trees

Knowledge of how to propagate fig trees was handed down to me a long time ago.

Watching my expert gardening parents who were former Italian immigrants ply their craft in the garden, probably didn’t mean too much to me back then.

But many years later, it’s something I appreciate more than ever and wish I would have appreciated the skill they displayed much more during my formative years.

A lot of what I remember is through natural memory but it’s something you really don’t forget.

I had my chores to perform growing up on a farm. Part of it was in their massive gardens. My parents ran two vineyards and propagating plants was something they did regularly.

For example, where vine varieties are concerned, they were always propagating different varieties to coincide with the latest wine trend. Propagating fig trees is a little different, but not a lot. Just a different variety of fruit.

Being of Italian descent, we had fig trees almost everywhere. Wherever a vacant spot opened up around the yard, my dad would often put in a fig tree. Or an olive tree.

I have a video posted below that will run you through the art of how to propagate fig trees. It’s short but comprehensive and the host, James Prigioni does a great job in describing the process.

In this article, I’ll also look at why you should and shouldn’t propagate fig trees with some facts you should know before planting.

Are Figs Fruit?

fig cutting propagationFig trees are a type of fruit tree that is native to the Mediterranean region. They are also known as Ficus Carica.

Okay, before I continue, I’m calling figs fruit because that’s what I grew up knowing them as. And I dare say, most everyone else.

Technically, they are not a fruit but what is known as an inflorescence. I don’t want to confuse you here so I’ll try and explain this the best I can.

Inflorescence are described as a cluster of flowers and seeds. They are contained within a bulging stalk. (For a more detailed explanation, click here.).

Another simpler way of explaining this is it’s basically the process of flowering within the fig trees.

I hope that was clear enough but truthfully, I didn’t worry about it or give it any though all those years ago and neither should you. Just produce a fig tree and enjoy it’s produce!

Facts About Propagating Fig Trees

fig tree propagationBut first, some interesting facts you should know.

Fig trees can be propagated by planting fig cuttings in a pot of soil and keeping them in a warm, humid environment.

The fig tree is a deciduous plant that can grow over thirty feet tall. It has dark green leaves and produces small greenish flowers in the springtime. With fig trees, the flowers are the actual fruit.

The fig tree produces fruit that is edible and sweet tasting, which is why it has been cultivated for centuries.

A fig tree transplant can be propagated by planting a cutting in a pot of soil (3-5 gallons) on a porous surface.

The top of the cutting needs to remain above the surface of the soil, which is why they should be planted in soil of a airy nature which can include vermiculite or perlite.

It is important that the soil used for propagation has good drainage because plants grown hydroponically can develop root rot if the roots are constantly wet.

Fig trees can also be grown as an ornamental plant. This means that the plant is not intended to produce fruit or be harvested for its fruit.

Most fig varieties are self-propagating.

Cons Of Growing Fig Trees

Ficus CaricaGrowing up on a farm, it really didn’t matter where we propagate a fig tree. But if you live in suburbia or even an apartment and using a large container, be warned, fig trees can get messy.

One of the main cons is that they will eventually drop their fruit if not collected. Another drawback is they have large leaves and like to discard them in the fall.

Now if they could move to an area and drop their leaves and fruit without causing a mess that would be great. But they are rooted and will rely on you to clean up their mess. Just be warned.

Another con I should mention is that they do attract insects. This is especially so when the fruit over ripens. Expect bees and wasps to be a factor.

And lastly, you should know that they have a vigorous root system although it’s a slow evolution. By this, I mean they have the ability to break through tough material like concrete.

So before planting, make sure there are no underground pipes or wires nearby. And plant them at least 20-30 feet away from your house.


cutting fig plantsAs far as pros are concerned, being easy to propagate is close to the top. If you want to propagate a fig tree, check with friends, family or even neighbors and ask if they will allow you to grab a couple of fig cuttings.

They are easy to maintain and can adapt to slight shifts in temperature. While I say this, they don’t like cold winters so if you are in an area where it drops below forty degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) regularly, it might be better to grow a plant inside in a large container.

Mild winters are preferred. That would be forty five degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) and above.

Fig trees can produce a lot of fruit so be prepared for it. In fact, they can produce twice during a season. I hope you like figs!

And finally, the biggest reason to grow a fig tree in my opinion is they are not cheap tp buy. Plus, because figs don’t continue to ripen when you pick them, it’s often difficult to find the perfect fig at the supermarket.

So growing them yourself makes a lot of sense.

Conclusion: How To Propagate Fig Trees

how to propagate fig trees from seedIn conclusion, propagating fig trees is a relatively easy process that can be done in a variety of ways.

By following the steps provided in this article, you should be able to propagate your own fig tree with little difficulty.

Also, I would suggest you learn about the fig tree and know it before planting one. As I mentioned, there can be some drawbacks if you plant them in the wrong spot or wrong environment.

We’ll look at the pruning process and maintenance process in another article.

How To Propagate Fig Trees
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JD Dean

Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

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