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Old 03-17-2011, 10:19 PM
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Default Creeping fig cuttings....how do I grow them??

Ok so I got a creeping fig from my local nursery for $6. It has a TON of vines. The guy there told me to just cut a thick branch and plant it roughly 1-2" in soil and it should grow. I have tried this...it is ok in my tank viv but in my open air viv the cuttings die overnight every night (3 nights in a row now).

I have also tried using sphagnum moss and pushing the cutting into my background. I have a clay background in my viv and a gs/silicone background on my open air terrarium....in both cases the fig is still dieing.


I am VERY new to gardening and have never grown anything else from cuttings so I dont know where I'm going wrong....any help would be appreciated! (Perhaps I am MAKING my cuttings wrong? I just cut the branch off where its mildly thick and "woodlike")
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Creeping fig cuttings....how do I grow them??

your cuttings are probably drying out. They need 80+ humidity over a few weeks to root well. Ive just cut a piece and laid it on the wall in my viv (70-80 degrees, 70+ humidity) and it roots. Try taking a piece, laying it on moist spag, and putting it in the bottom of an inflated zip lock. Put that under low light. I use a 13w cfl to root cuttings that i dont put right into my vivIn a few days, youll see white roots growing out from all over. Keeping the humidity high is the important part.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: Creeping fig cuttings....how do I grow them??

What I would try to do is root the cutting first, before putting it in the viv. If you want to give it the best possible chance of rooting, cut at a woody point. Next you can either remove some of the bark including the green layer underneath, then add rooting hormone; or just dip the end of the cutting into rooting hormone. Then, follow these steps:

Quote:
Regular potting soil isn't the best medium for cuttings ... go with perlite, or sand (or a mix of the two) if still possible. Odd as it may sound, the developing roots need air. A medium like perlite retains moisture and allows for very quick drainage. Potting soil can retain moisture for too long and not drain quickly enough.

To compensate for the quick drainage, the cuttings are best kept in a container that creates a humid micro-climate (I like to use large, almost-clear rubbermaid containers (the size for storing clothes, articles, etc). The majority of the leaves can also be removed or cut in half to minimize moisture loss (leave the tips alone). Don't expose the cuttings to direct sunlight as they will dry out within hours. I position my containers where they barely get even morning sun, but a lot of bright, indirect sunlight. Ditto what bwaynef has mentioned regarding use of a rooting hormone. Do a visual check every day, but don't be quick to pull the cuttings out to check for roots.

Don't be mislead by the first flush of growth. That may simply be the existing reserve in the cutting getting used up. I prefer to wait until I see roots poking thru the bottom of the pot (yes, that can take *all* summer with some types of trees).
Taken from a member of another forum I am also a member of. Because this isn't a tree we're talking about, it certainly won't take all summer to see roots, and you can try this now. Turface will also work as a medium for growth, or fine gravel/chicken grit, ect. As for a pot, just use the smallest pot you have access to.

The key is to keep the topside very moist, and have it in a humid environment, and to have a fast draining soil. That's likely why the cuttings are doing so well in the tank viv. I assume it's very humid in there.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Creeping fig cuttings....how do I grow them??

SMALL PIECES... maybe three nodes max in length are, in my opinion, the easiest to root. Just toss them into your viv and keep the humidity up. I find that these small pieces root much more readily than longer pieces



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Old 03-17-2011, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Creeping fig cuttings....how do I grow them??

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SMALL PIECES... maybe three nodes max in length are, in my opinion, the easiest to root. ...
Yes, this is a good point. You can take a small, non-woody piece and use that. It will likely root much more easily. Since you are not concerned with trunk diameter taking a woody section is not necessary. Sorry, I was in Bonsai mode with my post.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Creeping fig cuttings....how do I grow them??

Woody sections are NOT the best for cuttings. Get a piece with an apical meristem (growth tip) and you will be much better off. You only really need 2 nodes per cutting to get them to take off. No rooting hormone necessary



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Old 03-18-2011, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Creeping fig cuttings....how do I grow them??

You can just toss the pieces around in your viv, if it's got decent humidity. If you have a clay background, shove some pieces in there, too. My creeping fig roots quickly in the damp clay.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Creeping fig cuttings....how do I grow them??

I'm not the best at cutting and rooting plants. I've had the best luck with small cuttings. Big huge clumps growing all crazy are hard to use in your tank as they've already grown wild and it's hard to lead them in the right direction of where you want them to go.

I have a 10 gal vert that has creeping figs that started at the bottom and have all made it to the top and are covering the back. But, I don't feel like this is the best plant to do this. Creeping fig just seems to grow nuts after a while.

Anyone ever try Oak leaf fig? Ficus pumila var. quercifolia

I've never been big into plants but this plant is really cool and I've seen crazy growth over backgrounds at black jungle. It just seems to hug the walls a little better in a vivarium and not just clump up.

I've always wanted a plant that grows on the background to create a lush green wall. Richard at black jungle always told me that creeping fig has to be directed where to grow and doesn't do this on it's own...I only have one tank where it's growing where I directed it to move. Other tanks I have it in is a tad more random lol
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Creeping fig cuttings....how do I grow them??

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Originally Posted by frogface View Post
You can just toss the pieces around in your viv, if it's got decent humidity. If you have a clay background, shove some pieces in there, too. My creeping fig roots quickly in the damp clay.
My vittatus tank has a clay background. I think it looks better than glass, but I don't like how it turned out as much as others I've seen. The color of clay might just be too light. Mixed in a lot of peat moss and also pressed it on so it's not so soft in the front. It's not a brand often used but it said 100% clay and no dyes or perfumes, so I figured it would be fine. Worked ok but I'd love to add some dimension to it. I wonder, would creeping fig attach to it and grow over a clay background? Never thought of it and I have more creeping fig cuttings I can take than I'll ever need.

I might try sticking a few pieces to the bottom in an upward direction and seeing what will happen. Didn't think to do that before.

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