Direct Panting is a simple method where the top of the cutting is wrapped in Parafilm and the cutting is stuck in a pot. This method is also documented well by Threefold Farm. Although simpler than other methods, direct planting does require more attention to watering than fig pops since the cuttings are not in a sealed container.
Direct planting is simple because it combines all the stages from our Fig Rooting Overview in one step. Cuttings still need to re-hydrate and grow roots, but all this happens while in the pot. The Rooting Overview also covers cutting preparation.
Prepare Your Cutting
Cutting preparation is the same as pre-rooting. First prepare your cutting using the instructions on our Rooting Overview. Wrap the top of your cutting in Parafilm. Parafilm is used for grafting and other uses and allows air to pass through, but not moisture. Parafilm helps keep the top of your cutting moist once it is potted up and before it’s root system is well established. Wrapping in Parafilm also avoids the need for any sort of humidity dome. The Parafilm should cover the top of the cutting to a depth of about 1″ below the surface of the soil.
Leave at least one node above the soil and one below the soil. The depth that you plant at is important. The lower down the bottom of the cutting is in the pot the more wet it is. If the cutting is all the way at the bottom it will be wet all the time, which would cause rot. We have found that it is a bad idea to stick cuttings more than about half way down a tree pot. Conversely if the bottom of the cutting is very shallow it will dry out quickly. For short cuttings it is best to stick them deeper as a percentage of their length to avoid drying out. Tall pots like tree pots also help keep more of the soil column at the right moisture level.
Re-Hydrate, Roots, and Leaves
Place your cutting with the top wrapped in Parafilm in your pot. As with all the methods use a pot that does not allow water to pass through the sides (i.e. a plastic or glazed ceramic pot, not terracotta or fabric). This helps keep the cutting moisture up without watering during the re-hydration and rooting phases. Avoid watering your cutting until you either have three sets of leaves or the top 2-3 inches are completely dry. When you do water do so sparingly and try to wet only the roots (by watering away from the cutting itself). Excess moisture, especially at the base of the cutting will cause rot and cutting death.