Fig trees are easy to propagate, and a home planting can be started at very little expense. The simplest and easiest method of propagating figs is by stem cuttings from an older bush. Make cuttings in late February. The cutting should be 8 to 10 inches long from 1-year-old wood. The upper end should be cut just above a node. Tips and soft growth do not root satisfactorily. Set the cuttings directly in the nursery row in well-drained and well-prepared soil. The cutting length governs the planting depth. Cuttings should be planted so only one bud is exposed and spaced 10 inches apart in the row (see Figure 1). In case of dry weather, watering will aid the growth of the cuttings. These cuttings root early, grow rapidly and make good trees for permanent planting in the fall.
Figs may also be propagated by rooted side shoots. Shoots below the ground’s surface frequently root; they may be separated from the parent bush and transplanted.
Figs can also be propagated during the growing season by rooting leafy cuttings under mist, or by air layerage. The use of these procedures, however, is seldom warranted.
To make an air layer, a ring of bark ¾ inch wide should be removed from a large twig or small branch. Moist sphagnum moss should be placed over the wounded area and covered with polyethylene film, and the film should be tied at both ends.