Propagating figs with cuttings

Growing figs at home is a real luxury if you live as far north as I do. I can't get enough of figs now. Propagating figs with the help of cuttings is easy. This is how I do it.

Kruka med flera sticklingar nedstuckna längs krukans kant. Propagating figs, a pot with cuttings

Propagating figs with cuttings is really easy. These summer cuttings have just started to root in this pot.


Propagating figs is really easy if you use cuttings. A brand new fig plant is a really great going away gift too. Any friends interested in gardening would be happy to get a nice little fig plant! There's something exotic about figs and having your own plant at home makes you dream about harvesting these sweet unusual fruits at home. Just imagine!


Take cuttings in winter

Winter is the perfect time to start propagating figs. The plants are resting this time of the year. If you cut your plants in late winter or spring, the figs are said to "bleed". It's supposed to be easier to cut them in summer. I have honestly not had any issues cutting them throughout the year though. Try it and see what works for you.

Take cuttings (not too thick) and cut them into around 8 inch (20 centimeter) long pieces. Cut them right above a little bud where a leaf was growing. A new little stem will start to grow from this point.

Put the cutting in a pot filled with moist soil and leave it there. New shoots will start to grow from this cutting.

Put the cutting somewhere cool in winter and let it "wake up" to warmer temperatures in its own time. So, don't put the cutting in room temperature during winter. If you want the plant to get going sooner though, you could always leave it under a grow light. This will help stimulate growth and root development. Don't forget to keep the soil moist!


En genomskinlig låda med fyra krukor med kala pinnar i jord. Propagating figs, a see-through box with four pots.

Little buds are developing on my winter cuttings. I put them in a cool space under a grow light .


Take cuttings in summer

Cut off the parts that you want to remove anyway and then cut them into smaller pieces. Put them along the edges of a pot filled with soil. Keep the soil moist all the time, the cuttings will dry out if you don't. It's easier if you keep the cuttings in a spot with shade.


Read more about cuttings here: Basil cuttings


Närbild på en kruka med små sticklingar. Propagating figs, close-up of a pot with cuttings.

The figs start to root quickly when the soil is warm. Every stem will turn into an individual little plant in notime. Propagating figs is easy!


Put the fig cuttings in water

Fig cuttings can develop roots if you put them in a regular glass of water too. But this method is a bit more difficult in winter since the plants are resting and shouldn't have full access to water. You can do this in summer though.


Prune the fig plant

The fig plant might grow really tall and leggy after the roots develop. Make sure to cut the shoot off a few buds above the ground so that the plant can branch off. You can use these cuttings to get yet another plant if you want to. You might want to take care of the plant by almost "sculpting" it the way you want. Prune it or let it grow like a little bush.

If you are completely new to figs, there are a few things you need to know. The first is that fig leaves can smell a bit like cat urine! So if you don't have cats and feel confused about what that smell is all about, it's probably the figs.

I'm going to write a bit more about figs here on the blog, specifically how I'm growing them in my polytunnel. Good luck propagating figs!
/Sara Bäckmo


28. September 2021

18 responses to “Propagating figs with cuttings”

  1. Stephen Wilson says:

    Thanks for the article. I've never tried rooting fig cuttings in water in the summer. Only cuttings in winter when the tree is dormant. A good trick is to place a heat mat under the cuttings in winter, to trigger root growth before the plant starts to leaf out when warmer temps arrive. Then when the plant leafs out the roots can handle the growth.

  2. Alita says:

    With regard to the smell of the plants, I have discovered that some people think that they smell like cat wee and others think that they smell of coconuts. I am one of the latter, I love going into my polytunnel on a warm day and experiencing all the different plant smells. . 🙂

  3. Jules says:

    My fig tree needs to be cut back and after seeing this I want to try propagating everything I cut. My question is how late in summer can I take cuttings and root them in water? I usually get two to three good harvests by August. Is that to late to cut and root in water?

    • Sara Bäckmo says:

      Why not give it a try! I have taken cuttings in winter, early spring and in summer so give it a go I would say! Good luck!

  4. Christine says:

    You say cut the fig branch right "above" the little bud where a leaf was growing.. but what does "above" mean...?? On the side closest to the plant, or the side closest to the edge of the branch? Thanks!

    • Sara Bäckmo says:

      Hi there!
      Thank you for your question. I mean just above where the new little branch (or bud) is showing. If you cut just above then the branch can continue to grow. I hope that you understand what I mean. 🙂

  5. Tivo Romero Sr says:

    I’ve got two cuttings that have rooted in water. When do I transfer them to a pot with dirt? Should thy live inside this first year? It’s May now.

    • Sara Bäckmo says:

      Hi Tivo! When the weather is warmer you can put them outside and leave them outside during the summer. Good luck!

  6. Robert says:

    Why is it, after a few days of placing in soil mixture of black soil, cocopeat & burnt rice husks, that one cutting has budded into some green leafy. But on the 10 days, the green started falling off & seemed to wither & dry off. Now, the cuttings are in the 25 days since they were first placed into the soil..

  7. jennifer young says:

    Hi... I have been trying to root fig cuttings, and on my 5th try, all 4 cuttings have roots, only 1 started to have a tiny leaf developing. By the way, I used cococoir as my medium, then placed in a plastic shoe box for about 4 weeks, in a dark place (July 4, last month). When can I place them outside? And what kind of soil you would suggest?

    • Sara Bäckmo says:

      Hi there! Figs can grow in well-nutirized garden soil. You can place them outside if the the weather is warm (above +13 degrees Celcius. Best of luck!

  8. Adib dudum says:

    I have rooted a fig cutting which I started in July 2021 by mid august had one green leaf three
    two eewks later leaf fell off lots roots under a grow light no leaves what do I do.

  9. Adib dudum says:

    the summer fig cutting roots are heathy but I forgot to ask should I keep it under grow light
    or put it outdoor
    thank you. adib

  10. Hello , is there any way one could dig up snall , well not so small fig shoots from the ground? Ive got about 100 that are about 5 ft tall with
    skinny trunks( 1/2inch or so)

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