How to Grow Fig Trees from Cuttings

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Did you know that you can grow a new fig tree very quickly from a branch cut from an older tree?

This ease with which a fig tree grows is one of the reasons that we recommend that if you are planting a tree this year, you start by growing figs. Ficus carica is the easiest and most rewarding beginner tree to grow. It takes to pots very well and yields delicious fruit.

Here are five steps that will help show you how to grow fig trees from cuttings:

    1. Purchase or find a fig cutting at the appropriate time.

    2. Prepare the materials for rooting your fig.

    3. Maintain your fig cutting in its pot

    4. Transplant your fig only when the roots are well-developed.

    5. Prune your fig.

“Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. Suppose you tell me that you desire a fig. I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”

– Epictetus

Cut or purchase a fig cutting at the appropriate time.


how to grow figs from cuttings

In the northern temperate climates, you can take a cutting from fig trees from late fall to as late as June in our experience.  

If you are looking for a particular variety of figs to grow, you can scour places like Our Seed Shop, Etsy, or Kremp Florist for a fig that strikes your fancy. Or you can head on over to a friend with a fig and ask for a cutting to root. We prefer the latter method as it is free, local, and personal.

To take a cutting, use pruning shears or loppers to cut smaller fig branches that are the length of 3-4 nodes in the fig plant.

Choose branches that are at least pencil width thick in diameter. The initial energy for the plants’ growth will come from within the stem, so it’s essential to start with a healthy and thick young branch.

Once you acquire your cutting, place it in a Ziploc or Biobag to keep it from drying out. If you are not rooting it right away, we recommend placing your fig inside the refrigerator to stay cool and dormant.

Prepare the materials for rooting your fig.


  • Prepare Your Fig Cutting

When you are ready to root your fig, identify the top and bottom of the cutting (buds will point up). Trim off a small part of the bottom of the cutting with a sharp knife to stimulate rooting. Next, wrap the top of the cutting with parafilm by stretching it and covering it around the stem to prevent drying out.

  • Root Your Fig Cutting

how to grow fig trees from cuttings

Fill a tree pot (a pot deep and around 4 inches wide) up to the top with soil. Stick the cutting into the soil with only the parafilm-covered part above the ground. Water this cutting as you would seedlings, once per day for the first week, once every other day after the first week. After a few weeks, you will start to get leaves. They will poke through the parafilm.

Maintain your fig cutting.


how to grow figs trees from cuttings


Keep your rooted fig by a sunny window sill.

Seeing your fig’s leaf bud out for the first time is exhilarating! Celebrate this, but don’t get too eager to transplant it outside yet. It is essential for your fig cutting to develop a sound root system before transplanting it to a bigger pot or in-ground. 

Transplant your fig only when the roots are well-developed.


how to grow fig trees from cuttings

Your fig’s roots should form about 1-2 months after planting your cutting. Once you are sure of root development, you can transplant it to a container or outside. PLEASE NOTE: Roots are fragile at this stage, so take your time to loosen the roots, so they don’t break off gradually.

Prune your fig when it goes dormant.


how to grow fig trees from cuttings

There are several schools of thought as to how to prune figs. But the significant rules are below:

  • Prune after fruiting from late fall through late winter long after it has fruited and when the tree is dormant.
  • Prune according to your desired outcome. For example, if you want more fruit, do not prune so heavily as to encourage fruiting on the “old wood” or last season’s growth. If you’re going to achieve a topiary effect and don’t care about yield, prune your fig to look like a tree with a single trunk. Otherwise, it will grow more like a bush with several branches coming from the ground.
  • Prune very high branches so that you can reach the fruit when harvest time comes around again.  
  • Prune any crossing branches to avoid bruising or constraining the airflow within the tree.
  • Prune any dead or diseased branches.
  • Prune for safety. Remove any branches that may injure people or animals.
  • Prune water sprouts or any suckers that come from the main root branches so that the flow of the tree’s energy will go through the main tree trunks instead of dissipating into smaller inferior branches. You can use the trimmed stems to start even more fig trees!

Print out a handy PDF on how to grow fig trees from cuttings below!

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Comments 2

  1. This is so helpful and very informative instruction. Thank you 🙏 so much. I am not sure why my fig sticks did not grow roots. May be I cut the end wrong. May be I wrapped them too much?

    1. Post

      Lek, I’ll try to send you another one in a few months when the weather goes dormant again. If you finish the Core Course in the GIY Program, we will send you one together with your blueberry!

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