Tips & Techniques

City Dirt Extras: Fig Propagation

June 20, 2012

You asked and we answered! After our City Dirt column on plant propagation, a few of you wanted to know more about propagating figs. Here's more from our garden specialist Amy Pennington:

I think you'll be surprised at how simple this is, but for anyone interested, here are the instructions if you want to DIY it:

  1. Find a fig tree! Maybe your neighbor has one or maybe you're in a local park.
  2. Using pruning shears, cut a 4- to 10-inch long piece of soft wood new growth, just above a plant node.
  3. Fill a large pot with potting soil (a simple plastic pot that shrubs come in is perfect) and stick the fig cutting in, cut side down. Don't worry about stripping the bark, spacing or anything. You just need to place the cutting in a well-drained medium with space to grow.
  4. Water, water, water! Moisture is key. Eventually, your cutting will grow smaller little leaves and develop a root system. You know it is ready for replanting or repotting when you give the plant a slight tug and it resists.

For more on propagation of other plants, read the full City Dirt post!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Amy Pennington
    Amy Pennington
  • mrslarkin
  • BoulderGalinTokyo
  • aargersi
I am a cook and food writer, author & gardener who is passionate about the environment, using sustainable resources, reducing my impact on the earth and making conscious food choices that are both smart for the planet and taste fantastic. When I'm not knee deep in dirt growing food, you can find me in the kitchen where I'm likely standing over a canning pot or staring up in to my pantry deciding what to make. In the gardens, I have a business gogo green garden, wherein I build, plant & tend edible gardens for folks in their urban backyards. I also launched a garden-sharing website in 2009 that connects urban gardeners to unused garden space across the country - Check it out!


Amy P. June 20, 2012
Awesome idea, truly! You'll have to nurse them from now until December, but I love, love, love this idea! If you're in Seattle - make one for me! Enjoy.
mrslarkin June 20, 2012
GREAT tips! Now if I could only cut my neighbors' trees down and get some sunshine in my yard.......
BoulderGalinTokyo June 20, 2012
Very easy to prop the figs-and rewarding. As to the line 'water, water, water'-- the number one surprise I had on the drive from Rome to the airport was how dry the countryside of Italy was--it looked a lot more like Colorado than Japan. Watering once a day should be enough.
Amy P. June 20, 2012
I should have clarified and thanks for pointing it out. Mature trees don't need a ton of water, as you noted, but when you FIRST have a cutting, it is imperative that the soil stay just-moist until the cutting puts on growth and roots. Once they're repotted, you're in better shape. Thanks for your thoughts!
aargersi June 20, 2012
I am doing this STAT! My mother in law has a strawberry fig tree that I absolutely love and need for my own. In fact I may grow several - that would be a great Christmas gift for all of her children (there are SIX) right?