Making figlets the FigFairy way

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by katydidagain, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    I promised a quick summary of common ficus culture so here goes...

    Major caveat: Figs root best when you practice fignorance; during my 1st year learning, I lost many choice specimens due to my impatience. Resist the urge to tug at sticks with new leaves; unlike most propagation projects, new growth has nothing to do with success. Figs send out roots just once; disturb them and they give up. Just keep watering and wait...

    Best way to obtain practice cuttings is to observe your neighborhood. Despite my astigmatism and refusal to wear glasses, I can spot a ficus at 100 paces while driving at 60 mph; yes, I carry clippers and other stuff. Those that grow outside in your area will produce for you, too. Make friends with owners and request their prunings or a branch; true gardeners share.

    Season? Experts promote fall; I think spring/early summer is much easier.

    Sucker or branch? Actually the latter is often easier. Yes, a branch not a "tip". Older wood roots best.

    Rooting hormone? Not necessary but won't hurt.

    Length of specimen? I've successfully rooted nodeless 2" sticks but prefer at least one and 2 or 3 is better. (About 6".)

    Diameter? I prefer at least 1/2" which means older wood; green tips (this season's growth) can work for fall cuttings (dormant) but are my nemesis.

    Technique: Grab a gallon pot, fill it with good soil and plant your cuttings up to 12 or so per pot. Depth? You can literally bury a stick but leaving about 1" above the soil seems optimum. If propagating in warm weather, tuck your pot under a tree and water it; fall cuttings do well in a low light basement. (Old unveiling pictures: http://www.geocities.com/rustynail54us/figlets.html) Master fignorance! I'm still at about 50% success after 3 years; not every one will root so plan accordingly. Do label your cuttings! I use addresses from where collected if variety isn't known; that way you can check on fruit desirabilty easily and cull if necessary.

    Wait 2 to 3 months before tipping the pot. Branches that are reddish or a yellow bleached color are dead; it happens. Odds are you'll have at least 1 figlet in the group. Gently place figlet(s) into their own pot(s) or plant permanently. If your winters are harsh, you stand the chance of losing top growth and sometimes roots the 1st several winters. I haven't a clue how to overwinter them in a shed or garage; mine have always come back so check out the figforum at gardenweb for that and additional information. (Take their advice with a grain of salt.)

    Long term care? Mine grow in leaf mold and are mulched by fresh wood chips; I don't add lime as suggested. Again, I break the rules but they do well for me.

    A few of my ladies: http://www.geocities.com/rustynail54us/figs.html

    katy
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Okay. I have a question.

    I have an ancient ficus which just HATES attention. It's so bad that, whenever someone tries to pay attention to the ficus with a polite "oh what a pretty ... ", I have to stop them immediately.

    This ficus appears to thrive on neglect.

    :confused:

    Is this common for ficus? Do they all absolutely hate attention of any sort? Or so i simply have a particularly anti-social ficus?
     

  3. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    By jove, you've mastered fignorance! :) Figs really seem to hate attention; they're the shrinking violets of fruit producers. (Actually, the fruit is a flower so...???) Pruning out dead wood is necessary; trained to tree form they generally last 10 to 15 years before dying back to the roots. Can't kill these puppies!

    I get a giggle out of people who fuss over and baby them...the worse I treat them, the better they grow. Keep up the good work!

    katy

    Edited to add: I have 60 growing in pots in a 3' x 25' bed; they're making figs! (No, I didn't plan to do that; I just couldn't find another place to plant them.)
     
  4. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    It really is something! If I dare look at this plant with anything even resembling the slightest admiration, it will drop half its leaves. I've learned that *forgetting* to water it is best (I once went three-four months without watering it and it thrived!).

    Quite honestly, anyone who dares even look at it, I tell them to stop it! Now!

    I finally put it in a bathroom no one ever uses with some boxes and a television antenna that maybe someday I'll get up, and it's lovin' it.

    Fignorance is right! :haha: :haha:
     
  5. owhn

    owhn Well-Known Member

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    error, wrong site posting

    owhn