Grafting has been around for countless years. It is a technique where the scion of one plant is attached to the rootstock of another botanically related plant.
While this practice seems enticing, not all types of two plants can be grafted together. If you are thinking about grafting fig onto mulberry, keep reading to find out if it is feasible or not.
I’ll also examine the success rate of this method in this guide and more.
You can do it by taking a young shoot from the fig’s top portion and placing it onto the rootstock of the mulberry plant. Both parties will grow together, with increased productivity as a result of this union.
Is Grafting Fig Onto Mulberry Possible?
Yes. Grafting fig onto mulberry is possible. The idea behind this method is to maximize outcomes by fusing the traits of the two plants.
However, there is no guarantee you will be able to achieve the desired results because both plants have to be of the same genus. And it is not the case with mulberry and fig.
I’ll go into further detail in the next sections.
Why is Grafting Fig Onto Mulberry Possible?
Grafting fig onto mulberry is possible because both plants belong to the same Moraceae family. But make sure they are from the same genus if you want the union to be successful.
In theory, grafting fig onto mulberry is possible because both plants belong to the same family called Moraceae, AKA, fig/mulberry family.
The cases of grafting are successful when both plants involved are members of the same family. But here is the thing, both plants also must belong to the same genus for the graft union to form.
In our case, the fig is a tree of the genus Ficus, whereas the mulberry is from the genus Morus. Simply put, when grafting is attempted on members of the same family but distinct genera, the likelihood of success has slim possibilities.
Is Grafting Fig Onto Mulberry Usually Successful?
Grafting Fig onto Mulberry may or may not be successful. As it would depend on several factors. For one, they belong to different genera species.
There are several other reasons why grafting fig onto mulberry may fail. Let’s take a look at them below:
- Both fig and mulberry are deciduous plants, which means they are dormant in winter. So, even if the graft union remains throughout the summer, it may break off during the winter.
- Fig scions are way thicker than mulberry, which might make grafting difficult.
- Both species are from different genera, and grafting doesn’t work when plants are not closely related.
- Fig emits white sap, especially in spring. This overflowing milky fluid can block the other plant’s surface.
- In most cases, scions won’t survive because they are not hardy like the rootstocks. When one partner is not as tough as the other, their union is incompatible. Hence, it won’t be a success.
Considering all these factors, I believe grafting fig onto mulberry will not succeed.
The goal of grafting is to maximize disease resistance, sturdiness, damage repair, and hardiness by combining the characteristics of both plants. And if both or one part is not growing well, the graft union is pointless.
So, if you ask me, “is it possible to graft fig onto mulberry or not?” I would say, yes, it is possible. You can do it as an experiment. However, the chances of long-term success are pretty limited.
What’s the Point of Grafting Fig Onto Mulberry?
The main goal behind grafting fig onto mulberry is to produce a new cultivar that is stronger, sturdier, and nematode resistant.
Many gardeners aim to grow figs at home because they have a tremendous ability to grow from cloning. It is a method where identical copies of a plant are produced by taking cuttings of the original plant and growing them elsewhere on their own.
And nothing could make a gardener happier than free plant growth from stock they already have.
I have observed over the years that grafting figs onto mulberry or any other plant is rare because figs can be so easily propagated via cuttings. Grafting also requires additional tools and labor.
However, if you have any of the following reasons, you can attempt grafting fig onto mulberry:
- You want to observe the production of a new cultivar closely.
- You want to strengthen disease and pest resistance by uniting both plants.
- Combining and grafting the scion and rootstock can increase the sturdiness. It can also make the variety more tolerant of adverse weather conditions and plant diseases.
Although both species in our case are deciduous, you can attempt grafting if you provide them adequate winter protection.
There are specific methods for preventing freezing damage to your plants, like putting your plant up against a wall that faces south, putting several layers of dead leaves and burlap around them, building a cage around the tree, etc.
How to Make Sure Grafting Fig Onto Mulberry Will Be Successful?
Following these steps can help you succeed:
- The scion and rootstock of both plants must be appropriately aligned. Without proper alignment, the vascular cambium of both parts won’t be able to join each other.
- Vascular cambium is the primary growth tissue in scion and stock. When tissues of these plant parts are closely pressed together, they promote the movement of nutrients and water from the rootstock to the scion.
- Ensure to provide significant protection to the graft in frost since both are deciduous plants, and you don’t want them to die. As mentioned before, you can create a cage or shield around it in winter, wrap it in layers of fallen leaves and burlap, etc.
- Don’t forget to nourish the grafting plant. Keep watering and fertilizing it every once in a while.
- Sometimes, rootstock generates shoots that may hinder the scion’s growth. Therefore, it is necessary to do pruning on time and keep a regular check on it.
What Else Can You Graft with Fig or Mulberry?
Grafting is successful when both plants belong to the same family and genus. For instance, only an apple plant should be grafted onto an apple plant.
An apple grafted onto a pear may develop well for 1-2 years. However, it will end up deteriorating and eventually dying. If both species belong to different genera, their union is not meant to last.
Therefore, research and pick up a plant from the same genus. For instance, there are over 900 species of trees in the genus Ficus.
So, choose the rootstock of a plant closely related to your fig for optimal results.
Typically, it takes around 5-7 days for the scion and rootstock to develop the vascular connection. Then, it takes two weeks for the graft union to recover and fully heal.
Fig trees begin to blossom and develop in spring. So, it is the best time of the year to graft. You can also attempt grafting in late summer. However, it won’t start blossoming until next spring.
Yes, you can graft different species of the same genus together. However, the results are not assured to last in the long run.