Effect of different planting substrates and dates on rooting potential of Ficus infectoria cuttings.
For 2 successive seasons (1991/92 and 1992/93) in Hada Al-Sham, Saudi Arabia, hardwood cuttings of the popular landscaping/street tree F. infectoria were planted in sand, perlite or peatmoss or in mixtures of equal proportions (v/v) of 2 or all 3 of those (all possible combinations). Five planting dates (1 Nov., 1 Dec., 1 Jan., 1 Feb. or 1 Mar.) were also compared. The best rooting (rooting percentage, number of roots, root length and DW per cutting) was obtained using perlite + peatmoss medium (on average >40% rooting, reaching 70% for cuttings planted in Jan. of the first season), followed by sand + perlite + peatmoss and peatmoss alone. Sand, alone or in combination with peatmoss or perlite, gave poor results. Of the planting dates, Jan. resulted in the best rooting, followed by Dec., and Mar. gave the poorest results. Total phenol and reducing sugars contents in the basal parts of cuttings increased from Nov. to Mar. planting dates. Cross sections of cuttings showed that the root primordia originated from pericycle cells and no sclerenchymatous cells were apparent.