Propagating a Fig Tree

Category Fruit Trees
There are several ways you can propagate a fig tree some are more successful than others. This is a page about propagating a fig tree.


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June 16, 2010

I would like to plant a fig tree in NJ. What is the best time of year to do that? Also, I will be cutting off a stem from someone else's tree, where should I cut from?
Thanks you.

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Leelola from Somerset, NJ


June 19, 20100 found this helpful

Hi LeeLOla. Will a fig tree make it through the winter in your part of the country? From what I have read about propagating dog woods you pick a healthy branch about twelve inches or so long and cut it off. Then starting from the lowest node (where a set of leaves branch out) you strip the leaves and cut just below this. Make sure your pruners are sharp and everything is sterile and clean such as your pot.


Dip the end in rooting hormone and stick it into a rather loose sandy starting compound. Keep this warm and moist. This doesn't always work and I've known people to try 10 starts just to be sure. I've never started a fig so this may not be the best way. If your winters are too cold there are ways to bury the tree over the winter but I'll leave that for another post.

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July 18, 20100 found this helpful

I live in North Jersey and have had a fig tree for years. Typically I take cuttings from the top of the branches, strip the leaves and stick the cuttings in a glass of water. I usually do this in the late fall. Change the water throughout the winter and when I have a good root system, I put the individual cuttings in a pot. I gradually move the pots outside and when the cuttings get to be a good size and look strong, I give them away to be planted.


Recently, I took cuttings in July and they seem to be rooting nicely in the water.
In the late fall (November, December), I tie the tree up, cover it with old blankets, then loose plastic. Put several inches of leaves around the base/roots. Uncover in April.
Get lots of figs in late August, Early September. Mmm, talk about good.
A new planting in the ground should probably be watered regularly during the first season. After that, I never water. Fig tree loves hot, dry, sunny weather for best figs.

Good luck.

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June 16, 2010


I have a few fig trees and my friends wish to have branches to propagate. I have done this in the past on a hit and miss basis, but I would like to know what is the best way to start fig trees. When is the best time? We tried winter and they did not grow. Is it best to start in water until rooted or to put in soil?

Hardiness Zone: 8b

Angelina from Glendale, California


Angelina, In your climate, early spring or summer is a good time for propagation.

Figs can be propagated from seed or by air layering, but taking stem cuttings and rooting suckers are probably the easiest methods for propagation.

  • For stem cuttings, take the cuttings from a vigorously growing stem that contains some of last year's growth. You want the cuttings to be somewhat woody and not entirely green, as soft wood stems are more likely to rot.

  • The cuttings should be 6-8 inches in length and about a pencil to a pinky finger in diameter.

  • Remove the bottom leaves to expose 1-2 nodes and dip the cut ends into a rooting hormone.

  • Insert the cuttings into a 4-inch plastic pot filled with a light, porous potting medium. (Plan on 1 to 4 cuttings per 4-inch pot.)

  • Moisten the soil and cover the pot with a plastic bag or a 2-liter pop bottle to keep cuttings humid (cut off the bottom and leave the cap on).

  • Place the pot under the protective shade of your mature fig tree.

  • Once vigorous growth appears, remove the cap on the bottle to harden off the cuttings. Once hardened, they are ready to be given away (probably the following spring).

To root suckers, wait until they are about 6 inches tall (mid summer is the point when they have usually developed roots), cut them out and insert them into pots containing moistened, well-drained soil. Cover the pots in the same way you would the stem cuttings and place them in the shade. Harden them off once vigorous new growth appears.


More Feedback:

RE: Propagating a Fig Tree

Someone gave me one a few months ago. We found that the best time to do it was in spring. We cut a branch into pieces, dipped one end of each piece into rooting hormone, then put it into a container of soil. We used the bottom half of water bottles. Most rooted, but a few didn't. We kept them in the containers until the roots could be seen, then transplanted in a larger pot or planted them outside. (07/15/2006)

By susan

RE: Propagating a Fig Tree

Never prune a fig tree! Figs are produced from new growth and one-year-old growth. If you get rid of that, it will never bear fruit.

Fig trees are not truly trees in the sense of wood, they are more like a hollow-branched bush, as the inside of a fig trees branches are soft. That is why they are sometimes affected by freezing weather/cold wind. (03/16/2008)

By Dan, Brick, NJ

RE: Propagating a Fig Tree

I found the best way to root it is wrap it in damp paper towels, "not wet" and put them in a plastic bag and place it in a warm place like on top of the fridge. Or you can root them in 50/50 perlite and vermiculite in a clear plastic cup with holes at the bottom. Water it till water comes out of the bottom, then put them in a large tub and seal it with plastic to hold the moisture. I have mine in an aquarium.

Good luck. (02/01/2009)

By hashy

RE: Propagating a Fig Tree

I have pretty good luck rooting fig trees and anything else I want to by cutting the new growth off, about 6 inches. Stick it in soil, keep damp, let it stay there about a year or longer then if you see new leaves on it. You can transplant it where you want it. Keep damp all the time. Good luck. (02/07/2009)

By kw

RE: Propagating a Fig Tree

To make fig trees produce I put lot of manure around mine. I get it from Lowe's in 40 lb bags and put all the bag around it if it's a big tree. Keep damp all spring and summer. My tree makes about 10 gallons every year. I freeze them, share with neighbors, make preserves, and also freeze the preserves. Good luck. (02/07/2009)

By kw

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