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A fig tree brings variety to your orchard. Sweet, healthy fruit will develop in late summer in a warm, sheltered spot. With instructions on how to multiply the fig tree, we explain how you can breed and raise your own offshoots.

In a nutshell

  • Figs come from the Mediterranean region
  • new breeds thrive in the Central European climate
  • Propagation by cuttings, sticks and seeds possible

The Fig Tree

The true fig (Ficus carica) is one of the oldest useful plants.


  • Origin: Mediterranean region
  • grows as a shrub or small tree
  • numerous varieties available
  • deeply dissected leaves
  • medium-sized, cone-shaped fruits
  • inconspicuous flowers
  • Foliage coloring in autumn
  • robust against disease

Site conditions:

  • bright, warm, sheltered locations with loose, nutrient-rich soil preferred
  • suitable for tub culture
  • Overwinter with winter protection outdoors or in a sheltered, frost-free place in a bucket

propagate fig tree

There are 3 ways to propagate a fig tree:

  • cuttings
  • sticks
  • seed

Propagation by seed is complicated and often results in no fruiting.

If you want to harvest delicious figs, you should use cuttings or sticks. Choose a healthy, mature fig tree. The propagation of cuttings or cuttings is a suitable method for obtaining new ornamental and useful trees.


Cuttings are obtained from young shoots that are not yet woody. Depending on the area of the shoot from which they are obtained, a distinction is made between head cuttings, partial cuttings and basal cuttings.


The propagation of trees by cuttings is a special form of propagation by cuttings. The difference is that cuttings are obtained from slightly woody leafless shoots that have grown in the last season.

Propagation by sticks

Best time: late autumn to spring


  1. On the fig tree, choose a slightly woody shoot that grew in the previous season.
  2. Use a sharp, clean knife to cut this off the tree below one eye.
  3. Divide the shoot into two or three pencil-length pieces with a bud showing at the top and bottom.
  4. Make a wounding cut on the lower end of the shoots by cutting off a small piece of bark next to the bud.
  5. Let the cut surfaces dry overnight so that no more milky juice escapes.
  6. Tie the sticks together with string. Pay attention to the direction of growth. Coat the upper cut surfaces with wound healing agent to prevent rapid drying out and to support root formation.
  7. Put the joined woods in a flower pot so that they stick out about three to four centimeters.
  8. A mixture of potting soil and sand is suitable as a substrate.
  9. Water the sticks.
  10. Put a clear plastic bag over the pot. In this way, a greenhouse climate develops, which stimulates root formation.

Attention: After the shoots are cut, milky juice comes out. Put on gloves, because the milky juice can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people.

Notice: The connection of several sticks with a piece of string is a method that is still widespread in tree nurseries today. to pull offshoots. The advantage is that at least one stick forms roots and the available space is optimally used.

Propagation by cuttings

If you want to get offshoots of a fig tree, you can also use young shoots as cuttings.

When: summer


  1. Choose a young shoot on the fig tree that is not yet woody.
  2. Cut this off below one eye with a clean, sharp knife.
  3. Remove the leaves in the lower part.
  4. Make a wound cut at the bottom of the cutting by removing a small piece of bark.
  5. Put the cutting in a pot filled with potting soil. Put a clear plastic bag over it.
  6. The young plant requires a warm location in winter. In spring, when no more night frosts are to be expected, you can slowly get them used to the outside temperatures.

Notice: Alternatively, you can put the cuttings in a flower vase filled with water and when stable roots have formed, plant them in a pot with soil.

Frequently asked Questions:

How long does it take for fig tree cuttings to root?

Roots form after about three weeks. The more lignified the shoot is, the longer it takes for root formation.

What should be considered when protecting young figs over the winter?

Commercially available fig varieties are suitable for the Central European climate. Some are hardy. However, young figs always need winter protection. We recommend cultivating the offshoots in tubs for the first three years so that they can hibernate in a sheltered place in the garage or basement.

Can seeds from purchased figs be used for propagation?

Obtaining seeds of purchased figs for propagation is possible. However, we advise against it. The commercially available figs come from warm Mediterranean regions and are not suitable for Central European climates. Many of these varieties only have female flowers. They need bisexual plants for pollination and the fig wasp as a pollinator. The special wasp species is not native to Germany, so that no fruiting is to be expected on plants from seeds of purchased figs.

What is the advantage of the wound cut?

A wound pruning is a common method of speeding rooting of cuttings. So-called wound callus forms on the cut surface to close the wound. The wound callus is a dividing tissue from which new roots quickly sprout. The incision may only be one centimeter long and a few millimeters wide.

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