It has been an enjoyable time of learning and success and failure with my fig cuttings. Looking back at the propagation progress, I can report that almost all of them took off and put out leaves while in the humidity cups, except for one variety. And I think the cuttings of that one variety were too dry to start with.
The LSU Gold cuttings fizzled out and dropped leaves too. I didn’t get any of them to take root. I believe my error was too quickly bringing the plants into ambient humidity. I did well with Ronde de Bordeaux and all five of my cuttings are still with me. Smith and Hunt did well too, I have multiples of those varieties. Flanders died off due to over-watering and root rot when they got drenched by an unexpected rain storm after being potted up, as did several other plants. Part of the error was not enough root to support the green growth above. This is often the most common reason for failure. My humidity domes promote leaf growth, and unless the bottom of the cup is warmed, there is a chance the roots will not grow quickly enough to maintain the plant.
I am left with several plants though, and am delighted with the fact that I succeeded in rooting cuttings for the first time. I am disappointed that I did not get the Flanders, LSU Gold or Black Italian to success. Ronde de Bordeaux has been the most successful.
I now have multiple rooted cuttings potted in containers of various sizes and growing vigorously, hardened off to full exposure. Many are planted in what I hope will be their permanent home, at least for the next few years. I have decided that I will not likely put any of these varieties in the ground until I determine which fruit I like the best. I have, in addition to the plants I started from cuttings, a number of other varieties at similar stages of growth that I purchased as young plants from various nurseries. I am loving the fig jungle!
My front yard Celeste, which has been growing like crazy for a few years, has finally put out a good crop in response to last year’s pruning. I harvested about ten ripe fruits today, more will be ripening in the coming days. The Celeste is rather bland and the fruits are small, I hope that the sweetness increases later in the summer. Here’s a ripening Celeste:
I also harvested a large fig from my small Olympia fig bush. It has a dozen figs on it, and finally plumped one up. It fell off naturally, but wasn’t completely ripe, so it wasn’t tasty. I am looking forward to the others.
Next year looks like a good fig harvest year, and in a couple of years I ought to know which are my favorites. A little Beer’s Black has taken off like wildfire and I look forward to its fruit. I’m happy with the mid-summer fig-progress.
Updated, February 2018: After a year now of study, I will use this cup-propagation method once again but will make a minor change. My cups will be kept indoors, above the refrigerator where it is warm. There they will be out of the ambient sunlight and the hour or two of filtered sunlight my cuttings received before. I will keep them indoors until I see roots.