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Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
Cool, thanks for the links...
So i think Im not even close to move them out of the plastic storage box (whose clear sides are covered so no light gets inside to mess up roots)...
Pic is attached from the leaves...
So i guess what i got out of your post is that: basically if the leaves are not opaque yet, then don't move. right? Its been 2 weeks since Ive seen roots approach the sides of the cups (transferred it 3 weeks ago to cup, and 6 weeks total since started in the ziplocks).
I was worried the roots would just run out of space, or the 80% perlite won't be enough to live in.... but seems like my leaves are just babies compared to the roots and the roots will stop moving upwards when they hit air

Question #2...when a root starts turning brown like in the ziplock, is it a goner? i was 3 days straight it the bag with no air other than me blowing in there and it started turning brown/shriveling at the ends. Had enough moisture in there, and 3 days ago when I did take it out, it was only for a minute (and not the 5 minutes i think you said it takes to shrivel the roots). Hoping it doesnt die. Im not moving that guy to the cups yet as it only has 1 longer root.
I had one like that so far, and I just transferred it to cups and it did root (but it did have other roots on it).

Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
So some of my roots in the 16oz plastic cups are approaching this level:
The roots are almost all the way up the cup... and getting some side feeder roots.
Should I still leave it in the plastic storage box/greenhouse or up-pot it and gradually move it to sunshine, or ( put a solid color cup/sleave on the outside of the cup and ...
Think i saw a thread here before about this, but can't find it at the moment.

PS theres a little brown on the roots near the slide slits since more air is there, Guess this is fine?

Subject: First attempt at rooting cuttings Replies: 22
Posted By: persianninja Views: 1,363
The newspaper ziplocks method working pretty well for me. But it was annoying seeing mold in there occasionally so i tried some other stuff just to experiment.

I tried moving a few from the ziplocks that at least had green budding growth but no roots yet to see what would happen. I put them directly in perlite mix (80%perlite rest potting mix) in the 'alternative' plastic cups inside the plastic storage box as some peeps do(which would have been step 2 from the ziplocks). But it seemed like the top fizzled out and dried up even though the humidity seemed pretty good. I cheated and looked inside the cups and the cuttings didn't have root initials mostly. Other peeps seem to have better luck... So I put some of those back in newspaper and they eventually responded well and caught up to their newspaper buddies, and also put some back in the ziplock with spragnum moss (with the ends sticking out like newspaper method). The sprapgnum ziplock method seemed pretty good, but more messy than the newspaper (more chance to break off roots pulling off the moss as transfering it out ). I also learned my lesson that it would be good to get even bigger ziplocks as the ends sometimes are a tight fit or I'll buy some of those Uline bags to try that method next year.

Some remaining ones I tried keeping in the alternative cups but a little different experiment and they rooted... I put perlite mix covering bottom, moist spragnum moss in middle, and perlite mix on top. My thinking was the roots will grow in the perlite and work their way up which you would be able to see ... The Spragnum moss in middle traps moisture between the other solid layers for the cutting without getting too wet more effectively, and also a plus as you can see much more clearly the amount of moisture on the sides. Anyway once i saw roots develop in the perlite bottom layer and reach towards the top, I just dug the moss out and replaced with perlite mix, and I can see roots are now growing through that. Will try a few more like this.

Anyway got 6 cuttings rooted, and a few more on the way. yay.

Attached Images
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Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
One more question:
When there is bud/green growth at the bottom like this what do you do?
When I transfer it to the cup, this part will be covered ...
Looks like its a new bud moving upwards... Will it move all the way to the top eventually if i put it in a cup with 80%perlite? or should I pretty much view it as a goner? There is some top bud growth on this one, so not terribly worried about losing the bottom, but just thought I'd ask what peeps do with cuttings with growth like this.

Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
Cool, thanks satellitehead!

Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
One more question... Do people ever use mycorrhizae fungi tablets in the plastic cups to promote root growth? or the roots don't need to suck in any nutrients as plant is using internal energy... so not needed until plant up/move to ground in springtime?       
Also I think i used yer setup with the plastic cups satellitehead... with an 80% perlite mix in the plastic cup and 5 draineage holes in shape of dice,  and some holes on side (burned them in quick with a soldering iron hehe)... How often and how much do you water a single cup/cutting? I am trying to figure out with condensation on sides how much to water, but i dont want to kill it on first day... do you water enough so it actual drains within first minute, and then wait a couple days before watering again? Thanks for any advice on this

Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
Cool, thanks satellitehead and everyone for getting my first fig cutting rooted! :)

I am working on a few cuttings of Paradiso White, White Atreano, Sal's Corleone, LSU Gold, Marseilles Black currently. Looks like White Atreano and Marseilles Black might be next to form roots. Rest look a little dull but I'll wait it out. A few i experimented with going straight to storage bin/plastic cup look a little dull, while ones in bag at least have some green buds and look non-dormant. I know its not a good idea as it could damage roots if forms... but I did take the soil out slowly on some the plastic box ones, and see no roots, soil was a bit wet so going to add some more Perlite to the mix for better drainage, and re-cup those. I do like the idea of this method just using a perlite mix early on as it seems like no mold issues as much as just air/water in bag method (but just hasnt been successful as baggie method).

I think next time I root, I'll do the new alternative plastic 'Urline' bag method. Seems like it'll cut down on mold.

Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
Hey all,
Just wanted to update:
Got my first few roots on a Paradiso White, Seems like all my Paradiso's started white rooting initials within 10 days, and this one had roots after one more week. and had some followup questions:

1. Can I put it in step 2 (the plastic cup/plastic storage bin) with that kinda root growth, or I need more roots to form or current ones get longer? Couple pics attached. PS had more moisture in that bag than i wanted as you can see in background, but seemed to work for this variety.

Also when moving to the plastic box, is it alright that the top is not fully enclosed?
Have some in there currently to test rooting in there as someone liked in this forum vs ziplock-bag and the top doesn't get completely closed since I have an inch or 2 of egg-crate on bottom so cups dont sit in moisture. Think the posts i read says thats fine and even recommended so doesnt get too moist/mold, but wanted to confirm.

and lastly, i remember reading to remove leaves in the bag as they will rot in there... But in the plastic box, should leaves be removed so cutting can still focus on roots? or let it leaf out in there?


Let me link up to the pics i uploaded:

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Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
I have Pro-Mix BX and I have to say I like it better than some others.  To me, it is very light and superb for cuttings!  I also like MG.  I add more perlite to it sometimes depending on the pot I am using.  I've used Fafard and it is very good also.  Good thread!  cheers,

cool, I'll probably stick to stuff I can find closer to Philly in a garden center.
Seems like alot of peeps tried Perlite and (ProMix BX or Fafard 3B) rooting medium. Sounds good to me.

( For peeps near NJ, i heard these guys carry Coarse Vermiculite: [couldnt find, heard they have it cheap though])

Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
Like, the cuttings are about 18"-20" long

wow, those are long cuttings!...

For regular style of rooting cuttings in a bag/cup, ive seen 50-80% Perlite with some other stuff added to the cup.
Why for this outside experiment, would you cut that down to 15%? Quick guess: Will the Perlite hold too much water from things cant control like rain and hence you thought to cut the  %
of that down?

Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
Cool, I'll probably end up trying rooting some now to practice, and most later.

I'm curious, the ones that you are messin' around with and buried 8" deep... is that covering up the whole cutting (to keep them dormant for whole winter and you'll unbury it later to see if roots form in early spring)? or a little is sticking up from the dirt (like you thinking maybe roots might form with moisture even while cold outside)?

Subject: Happy thanksgiving Replies: 10
Posted By: persianninja Views: 955
Happy Thanksgiving all!

Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
Thanks satellitehead those links helped.

No, I cleaned them, bagged them up and started rooting them on top of my refrigerator the minute they arrived, in most all cases. 

Last question based on that statement... I am getting a few cuttings next week. For some reason I assumed I would keep them cold/dormant all winter (by keeping in fridge or buried outside in a bag) and try to root in spring...
Is it more recommended to just try to root them right when i get them as it seems you do? Re-reading Herman's email, it seems like he said I should let them stay in fridge for 10 days and then start rooting them. I guess I just assumed since its winter and I was thinking a month+ after rooting and leaves start appearing, what to do with all these plants since I dont have a greenhouse :). Just gradually put them in sunlight indoors?


Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
Perlite dust and fines hold too  much water and lead to rot, just like other materials which hold too much water and not enough air. You need both.

It is not my current preferred method

Pitangadiego, so what products and mixture ratio do you recommend to start off with nowadays (seems like based on your first post you recommend a balance of both perlite/vermiculite)?

Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
Wow, thanks satellitehead and Pitangadiego. I numbered my questions so peeps could fill the ones they could answer... I didnt think 2 people would answer all my questions! Thanks!

I guess some followups...
I started 100+ cuttings this last year with the vast majority getting no cold storage.

Since you said you dont do cold storage, does that mean you took cuttings in the spring and most survived?
(or you took cuttings in the winter and just left them around the house until spring?)

I would never in a million years use vermiculite.  Period.  Not when rooting

The tutorial here (which i think Pitangadiego/Encanto Farms wrote) recommends "coarse vermiculite" if you going 100% of it (or mix of fine vermiculite with perlite if thats hard to find). Have you tried just the 'coarse' kind to test out? I'll probably try those two methods and your mix and see what works out for me.
Quote:  "Coarse vermiculite produces very good results. The coarse texture allows for good air penetration in the media, while the vermiculite holds the moisture well. When I couldn’t get the coarse vermiculite anymore, I switched to a mix of 60% Perlite and 40% finer vermiculite. This medium also works well."

Propagation is not rocket science, and where we often fail is when we OVERTHINK or OVER-RESEARCH it.

haha, true :). Just trying to perfect a plan of attack so I'm prepared and not caught off-guard by common mistakes... and If there is an ultimate method a pro uses more often, then Id like to know his secrets ;).

Subject: fig cuttings questions... Replies: 47
Posted By: persianninja Views: 2,903
Hello all,
I read the guide here on rooting cuttings and it cleared up a lot of vagueness or different methods I been reading in other tutorials ...
Had some questions still left though that may help other people and didn't want to bother anyone specifically with answering all these questions [ Bass/Herman/etc :) ]:
I got these structured as bold numbered questions below to make it easy to track answers :). Thanks for any info guys.

1. If getting the cuttings started in a bag, do you prefer using damp paper towels or damp newspaper (read someplace newspaper ink discourages mold growth).
Mold seems to be mostly and issue of fresh air. puff the bag up for more air volume and air them out regularly. Sphagmum moss, instead of paper seems to inhibit mold, as well. Paper type doesn't seem to be an issue.
2. I read one thread almost the same exact steps, but the person was more worried about mold and washed the cuttings beforehand with toothbrush/anti-bacterial soap (not just warm water), and then dipped them afterwards in 1partbleach/9parts water to definitely make sure cuttings are clean... and then airdried them before putting them in the paper towel/ziplock.
Would you guys recommend the same, or would the anti-bacterial soap and bleach steps be overkill (and in fact possibly harmful)? Shouldn't be harmful, See, also, #1 above.
3. I read one person slightly cuts a 'wound' in the bottom of cutting end with a knife so it forces the cutting to focus on healing that end of branch ... and since the plant focuses on the end of the cutting, roots may grow better if slightly damage the cutting like that. Any truth in that? I wouldn't think so. A fresh would can lead to rot. Better if they are callused over or dried just a bit at the bottom end.
4. Are there any mixtures you would recommend when you transfer rootings to plastic cup step. I saw coarse vermiculate, or 60% fine vermiculate 40% perlite.
Whats more common to find at garden center/easier to find (or amazon links to good brands I can buy). The material is not so much the issue. You need to be concerned about particle size and water holding ability. The finer the particle size, the more water it holds, and the less air is in the mix. Perlite dust and fines hold too  much water and lead to rot, just like other materials which hold too much water and not enough air. You need both. Some materials, like vermiculite naturally hold more water. Coarse Perlite holds very little (maybe too little).
5. figs4fun member told me in email recently that "You have to keep [the cuttings] in the refrigerator(vegetable bin),at least 10 days to get dormancy time.
Once they got dormancy time they will be growing right away if you provide condition:warmth and moisture.
" I just thought I'd ask here to clarify...
Lets say I keep my cuttings buried in the ground, (or in refrigerator) to keep them dormant till spring when i will root them... I am confused why putting them in refrigerator to get 'dormancy time' will help them to grow... It seems like putting them in fridge to keep them dormant will cause them to do opposite (not grow) during that time period. I think I'm just reading that statement wrong possibly, but thought Id ask what he meant. (Maybe he meant if they are buried in ground, then move them to fridge for 10 days after un-bury them? or just make sure to keep them dormant so they will grow later). Not sure. Not sure that cold storage is necessary. It is definitely not needed for green cuttings, and probably detrimental. Dormant cuttings probably don't need it.

Anyway that'll clear up the steps to root cuttings other people give me. But I had questions on how to take cuttings themselves... Think I read I should go for branches that are pencil-finger thickness and cut them about 6-8 inch (cut them with i guess a few amount of buds? on the branch). All you need is one  bud. However, 6-8" is a good size to work with. 3/8-1/2" is probably somewhat optimum,  but tbinner cuttings can be rooted, and I have rooted cuttings up to 2" in diameter.
6. Is their a best place to cut the branch so that the branch leftover on donor tree can still offshoot and grow easily and not look ugly? and also cut it in such a way so the cutting can more easily root. I'm thinking either cut it right above a bud so the donor tree can offshoot from it right at the tip where it was cut and not look ugly (since it'll hide the cut better) ... ORRRRR cut it right below a bud, so that the cutting can root out of that (I don't think if roots more easily come out of buds or they really come out of any part of the branch... if latter then, making the cutting right above the bud makes more sense to me so donor tree still looks good). If you leave 2-3 nodes on first years growth, that should provided plenty of buds on the parent tree, Cutting root, most often at the bottom regardless of bud location. Some root better at buds and some root anywhere they feel like.
7. Any preferred angle to make the cuts or perfect horizontal cuts are fine. No preference.
8. I guess people just gradually prune the tree to take cuttings. Like take 1 cutting from a few available branches that are available to cut. but just curious.... Can you follow the branch down and keep on taking cuttings from same branch? It seems like most people do, because in pictures of cuttings i see, both ends of branch are cut. Make as many cutting from a branch whenever you feel like it.

P.S. Im sure you'll see this Bass... My friend invited me last weekend to take some cuttings of that tree you are interested, so we agreed to meet at his uncles... I got all ready to go, It was a nice day outside so decided to ride down on my motorcycle with a backpack/pruning shears ... I smelled of gas since I had been working with some gas/motorcycle earlier ... and right as I was about to leave, he informs me that there may be a lot of people at his uncles since they were holding a memorial for their grandpa (he failed to inform me earlier about this important piece of information lol). I felt bad I would show up on a motorcycle, in ripped jeans, and smell horrible just to steal some cuttings during a memorial lol (especially since I don't know his family that well). But just wanted to say I didn't forget about you. I'm going on vacation Dec3-14 and 18-26, so I'll try to take 'em sometime in next month.
9. Can I taking cuttings anytime during dormancy is fine right? Yes. But freshness matters when rooting, so do not take too early unless the wood much be lost to frost/freeze.
10. Followup question... Are cuttings taken in March/April (or right before you would get started on rooting them) just as good as those in early-mid dormancy (November-Jan) Maybe better See #9..

11. quick question i just thought of... so to bring a plant out of dormancy, you take it out of garage as it gets warmer...  I guess X hours over Y degrees brings trees out of dormancy... just curious what X/Y variables would be here. I was originally thinking freezing(32 degrees)... but i was like garages (and refrigerators for cuttings) probably don't get that cold over winter. Like I'm willing to bet my garage above freezing through most of winter.

Edits in red by "Pitangadiego". Moderatorishness has its privileges. ;-))

Subject: Black Bethlehem Replies: 26
Posted By: persianninja Views: 7,178
Yum, looks good Bass... I think I want a Black Beth plant (and Ronde de Bordeux plant) to round out the fig collection for next year. Let me know if you selling any in spring when I come out to get the miracle fruit plant, otherwise I'll look out for cuttings you selling :)

Subject: Moving a larger in-ground fig tree Replies: 12
Posted By: persianninja Views: 3,278
Suburbs of Philadelphia. cold winters, hot/humid summers. I wouldnt say the winters are harsh like NE, but we do get a 1 or 2 major snowstorms a year. and *sometimes* a couple days of unusually cold weather (in the negatives). They protected the tree hence why its so large.

(I can maybe ask him, he is nice guy but he may not want the tree staying that long till Spring.)

Subject: Moving a larger in-ground fig tree Replies: 12
Posted By: persianninja Views: 3,278
k i shall wait till dormant. I saw it today and took a night pic which didnt turn out so well. But can see it is protected via a pole where they wrap around the tree which i guess i shall do as well (was hoping it was cold hardy). it is pretty big though, reaches top of shed (8/9 feet). I thought he was Italian but he was Polish, curious if he just got a regular tree back in the day. or if he got it somewhere unusual. He'll ask him mom soon about it.
Told him I'll be back in December to get it.

Subject: Moving a larger in-ground fig tree Replies: 12
Posted By: persianninja Views: 3,278
Cool, thanks for advice...
K, I may dig around the tree/trench it a month before like Ken recommended ...

Is it a definite that I should optimally move it when its dormant (in a month or 2)?

Subject: Moving a larger in-ground fig tree Replies: 12
Posted By: persianninja Views: 3,278
I met a man who lives a few minutes away who was selling his 8 foot fig tree for $30 bucks and i jumped at the chance ( it'll join my other lil' fig trees i got this year from Bass which have been great :) ). I am not sure how to transport it and when... should i wait till it drops its leaves and gets dormant in a month or so (think he said it still has a few figs on it lol)? Its planted in the ground unprotected and i assume its been there for a while even in philly's cold weather. I think his uncle probably planted it a while back. Seemed like an Italian family, so I was gonna ask if his mom knows if he brought it back from Italy and from where there.

Anyway anyone got detailed instructions? How to dig out the root structure etc... I am probably going to rent a truck in a month to move it as Im not sure if it'll fit in my toyota :). Pretty pumped as he said it gave off more than a 100 figs last month.



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