Monday, September 23, 2013

A New Twist: Fig Tree Propagation Update Dix (and final)

Here we are, after 10 weeks, at the conclusion of our figs in water experiment. Here you will find the final update on all five original fig cuttings, regardless of whether they have departed to fig cutting heaven, or are happily living in a pot of soil.

Le sigh, Cutting #1, in the left living room window. I think it's safe that we can officially declare you dead. 

Some cuttings just don't root my friends.

Ok, so I know that last week I said that I was going to pot rock star Cutting #2. I changed my mind. I've since had a better idea. Why not spin off of this experiment, shall we? I've already got 2 cuttings that have been transplanted from water into soil, so why not try something different with this third one. Awhile back while perusing Pinterest, I came across this picture:
{Pic via here.}
Looks pretty amazeballs, doesn't it? I'm not entirely sure how the person has set this up so that the tree not only survives, but looks incredibly awesome, but I'd like to try my hand at it. (That or maybe they just set it up for the photo shoot? The sense of wonder in me hopes this is not the case...) This weekend we have to pick up some things for Homekid at IKEA, so I'm going to pick up one of these vases, albeit smaller in size since the cutting isn't nearly as big as the one in the picture, and give this DIY a go. I'm pretty sure that is a little bit of soil and rocks at the bottom, with a layer of water on top, but to me it seems like if that were the set up that it would just rot. We'll see I guess. I'm not going to update every week on this new project, but will do so as it becomes appropriate. So keep an eye out (and your fingers crossed).

As for the roots, it looks like the slightly warmer weather we've had the last few days may have helped increase the root growth a bit from last week...

...but I don't notice any difference in the leaves, good or bad. I can't wait to see what happens with this little guy in my new project!

And, as promised, Cuttings #3 and #4, potted in soil several weeks ago.

Cutting #3 is looking the strongest of the two, which is consistent with how it looked while in water. He loves his little spot on the windowsill, (still in the right living room window), as well as the espresso grounds that I've been feeding him.

I think it's also safe to say that this new branch coming out of the side of the main branch has doubled in size since potting him in soil.
Cutting #4 - He may not look as big and strong as Cutting #3, but this guy is nothing to shake a stick at either.
I love this picture. Looks like such a happy little fig. I've kept the two of them together in that same right window that they were in as little cuttings in water, and also have given this guy a healthy serving of espresso grounds. Also, if you're wondering how much I'm watering them now that they are in pots, it's been about once a week. As it gets colder I will start watering them less, probably somewhere between every 10-14 days. I give them just enough water to moisten the entire top layer of soil, without over saturating them. I'm also going to start misting them with warm soapy water every week or so, just to help keep away any indoor bugs that might decide to make them their winter home.
And last but certainly not least, Mr. Consistency. Still no changes from the cutting in our bedroom window. For WEEKS now.
Something has to happen at some point, right? I mean, either it has to fully root or those leaves are going to have to die off like Cutting #1? Even though this experiment is ending I'm not going to give up on this little guy, but I'm also not going to update weekly on him. I will however, let you all know what happens with him, whenever that is (I have a feeling that will be once our room goes from being the hottest and most humid in the house to the coldest and dampest). Until then I'll let him keep on, keeping on, or whatever it is that he is currently doing.
Final Rooting Tally:
2 Rooted
1 Died
1 Undecided
1. I'm happy I did this experiment, though I think that for future cuttings, 9 out of 10 times I'll use my old method of propagating straight into soil. I've never had a cutting not root in soil, where with this method my current outcome rating is not 100%. I am happy however to have an alternative way to root cuttings, and it's fun to switch it up sometimes.
2. From what I've seen with this experiment, and with a few other cuttings that I was trying in water not associated with this experiment, it is more difficult to acclimate a newly rooted cutting from water to being an outdoors tree, than it is when the cutting is in soil and outside to begin with. (In the warmer weather I typically put the cuttings directly outside, though against the house to protect it from the elements.) To go from being in the somewhat constant temperature and conditions of the house, to outside with drastic changes in temperature, rain and wind was too much for some. Of those, one died, and one is struggling along. A lot of attention needs to be paid to the new cuttings once you put them outside, as too strong of rain can kill the new little baby leaves that are starting. They also shouldn't be allowed to dry out too much in the beginning weeks. I think that the propagating fig cuttings in water method is fine if you're trying to make a strictly indoor fig tree however.
Phew. What a ten weeks! Thanks for sticking with me!
Confused with what I was trying to accomplish here? Want to review past week updates? Here's some links for you then!
A la prochaine friends...

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