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Anyone who already owns a fig tree may want to grow other small trees themselves in order to later have a larger yield of the tasty figs. But a fig with its large leaves and sprawling growth is also very suitable as a natural shade in a meadow. So there are many reasons to propagate the fig tree, this succeeds in three ways, with seeds or with offshoots and cuttings, usually always.


There are three ways to propagate a fig tree, all of which are easy and usually successful. Depending on whether there is already a fig tree in your own garden or in the neighbour's, cuttings, offshoots and seeds can be used. In addition, the fresh fruits from the trade can also provide a good basis for growing with seeds.

Extra dried seeds from the trade are therefore not necessary to grow a fig tree. In addition, all branches, twigs and shoots that occur when cutting a fig tree in the garden can be used. Young shoots and old branches that have become too big and too long are chosen for propagation. Ficus carica can also be easily propagated all year round.


Whether you use your own fruit from your own fig trees or fresh ones bought in stores, both are ideal for growing figs from seeds. Sowing can be done all year round, the seeds do not need to be prepared. They are simply removed from the cut fruit with a knife and sown.

This should be done as follows:

  • choose small pots or bowls
  • commercial potting soil is sufficient for the seeds
  • Figs germinate in the light, just place the seeds on them and press them down lightly
  • Put a transparent foil over the pot
  • should be aired daily to prevent mold growth
  • Always keep the substrate slightly moist
  • place in a warm, bright place out of direct sunlight
  • a temperature between 20° and 25° Celsius is ideal
  • after about ten days the first seedlings appear
  • if these are 5 cm high, remove the cover

When the small plants have reached a height of about ten centimetres, they can be pricked out and moved to larger pots. However, care must be taken that they are not placed in full sun, as the young shoots burn very easily and could then be damaged in such a case. The fig should be cultivated in a bucket for the first ten years, as it is only partially hardy and does not tolerate frost when young and should move to winter quarters. Depending on the variety and climate zone, it can then also move outdoors

Propagate vegetatively

Propagating Vegetatively - Definition

Whether cuttings or head cuttings, there are many names for the young shoots or the older wood that is taken from the fig tree and used for propagation. The top cuttings of the fig are usually taken from the tree between May and June, but can also be used at any other time of the year. The offshoots from the older wood can also be removed all year round.

The branches with flowers should only be left standing during the flowering period. Propagating vegetatively has the main advantage that the figs grown from it have the same genetic material as the mother fig. This allows you to grow many of the same trees with the same traits from a single fig. For example, an old tree that is slowly dying can be propagated and live on in the young trees.

head cuttings

Head cuttings from young shoots

You can grow many head cuttings from a fig. The young, still green shoots and the tips of the shoots are usually selected for the propagation of cuttings.

The procedure is then as follows:

  • remove all leaves
  • immediately place in a glass of water
  • if the sprout takes root in the water, put it in the ground immediately
  • the top cuttings can also be inserted directly into the ground
  • use normal potting soil
  • attach to small stick for straight growth
  • if the first leaves appear, the rooting was successful
  • Top cuttings can be grown all year round
  • in winter they must be brought inside
  • once roots have formed, transplant into containers

The head cuttings should be bright and warm at around 20° Celsius, but not exposed to direct sunlight. Even if they have already rooted and are developing new leaves, do not place them in direct sunlight for the first few months. The risk of burning the new leaves and cuttings as a whole is too great. In addition, the soil should always be kept moist, but waterlogging should be avoided. In order to promote rooting and new growth even faster, a transparent film can be pulled over the seed pot and the plant. However, daily airing is a must.


Cuttings from semi-lignified shoots

Also semi-lignified shoots can be used for cuttings propagation. For this purpose, the one-year shoots are used, which have become too long and should therefore be cut. In any case, care should be taken to ensure that the shoots are not flowering and fruiting if several of them are to be taken. The procedure for propagating the semi-lignified shoots is as follows.

  • remove any existing leaves
  • put in a pot with potting soil and sand
  • make sure that at least one eye is stuck into the ground
  • keep soil moistured
  • cover with transparent foil for constant humidity
  • air daily
  • keep warm and bright
  • if the new leaves appear, peel off the foil

Like all young figs, these must not remain outdoors for the first few winters, but must move to an appropriate winter quarters.


Offshoots from older woods

A new fig tree can also be grown relatively easily from the older branches and wood. To do this, the branches are simply cut below one eye to a length of about 25 cm. A mixture of sand and earth is required for the cultivation of offshoots, into which the sticks are inserted about 10 cm with the eye downwards.

The ideal time for this is above all the time when the fig is cut back altogether, because in such a case there can already be a lot of wood that can be used for propagation. The propagation with the offshoots from the older wood can take a little more time and unfortunately is not successful every time.

Otherwise, the procedure is as follows:

  • Insert wood into prepared pot
  • cover transparent film
  • air daily
  • Keep soil moist, avoid waterlogging
  • put in a bright and warm place
  • avoid direct sunlight
  • rooting is complete when new leaves appear
  • then remove foil
  • can go outside in summer
  • avoid blazing sun in the first year
  • spend the first few years in winter quarters

Fig from vacation

If you travel to the south, for example to Turkey or Greece, you will find large fig trees on every corner. They don't mind if individual shoots or woody branches are cut. You can also bring an offshoot for your own small fig tree with you from your vacation. Ideally, the branches or shoots are cut on the last evening of vacation, transported in a suitcase and, when they arrive at home, plugged in directly.

So the propagation should also succeed in this way. Since there is no species protection here, there will be no difficulties at customs either. The figs that grow wild in southern countries are usually more robust than those that are commercially available here. The cuttings from vacation for propagation in your own garden at home are prepared as follows at the vacation spot.

  • usually use half-ripe shoots
  • cut them off with a sharp knife or sharp scissors
  • remove all leaves
  • wrap the interface with damp paper towel
  • put in a plastic water bottle
  • A 1.5 liter bottle is ideal for this
  • Screw the cover back on to take it with you in the case

In the humid climate in the bottle, the fig cutting keeps for a good two days, but then it should be aired again. Sometimes you can experience a little surprise when you get back home, because it often happens that shoots have already sprouted new leaves and roots. The procedure here is exactly the same as for propagation with offshoots from older trees or top cuttings.

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