Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A New Twist: Fig Tree Propagation Experiment

Since moving to SwitzerFrance 3.5 years ago, I've become obsessed with fig trees and fig tree propagation.I propagated my first fig tree back in September of 2010, and have been hooked ever since.
I've always propagated them in the same way, which some of you may remember from a post way back when, which you can find here. However, in the interest of science and botany, I've been wanting to try other methods of propagation as well, because, why not?

So on Saturday, after walking around the Ferney-Voltaire market, I had an idea - why not try my hand at propagating fig cuttings in water, and then transplanting them into soil after they've rooted. I'm curious to see 1) if I can make it work and 2) how long it will take to develop roots, especially compared to the 3-6 weeks it can take when propagating fig cuttings in soil. Being that we are a scientific household, I decided it was time to find the answers to these two questions. Or, to at least start to attempt to answer these questions. Pruning shears in hand (as always), I made sure to come home with 4 fig tree cuttings from a local tree to test this experiment out.
Of the 4 cuttings, I'm going to attempt to propagate three in jars of water at different windows of our house (all facing the same direction), and one in soil, just for an accurate comparison of my typical go-to method.
To prep the cuttings for propagating, I merely cut off all of the leaves and developing figs, so that the cuttings energies can focus on root growth. In an effort to keep as many variables equal as I can, I did the same for the fig cutting that I put in soil (something I don't typically do, I always let the leaves fall off on their own). Then I filled some jars with water and put them on the windowsill.
I'll be updating you guys on their progress once a week, on Mondays, as I literally have no idea what to expect from these little cuttings. I'm excited to see how and if this works, as it's never bad to add more skills to the ole' repertoire. This will serve as a written and visual record that I'm hoping I can learn from, and maybe a few of you out there will learn something as well, whether it's from my success or major failings. Fingers crossed!
Feel free to join in this experiment with me and share your results!
A la prochaine friends...

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