Growing figs in pots

Fig Tree Container Planting: Tips For Growing Figs In Pots

There’s nothing quite as ambrosial as a ripe fig, plucked fresh from a tree. Make no mistake, these beauties bear no relation to Fig Newton cookies; the flavor is more intense and redolent with natural sugars. If you live in USDA growing zones 8-10, there’s a fig for you. What if you live north of Zone 7? No worries, consider planting fig trees in pots. Let’s consider how to care for potted fig trees and other info on container grown figs.

Growing Figs in Pots

When growing figs in pots, the first consideration is to ascertain the appropriate varieties suitable for container grown figs. The following cultivars are suitable for fig tree container planting:

  • Blanche, also known as Italian honey fig, Lattarula and White Marseille, is a slow grower with a dense canopy that bear medium to large lemon scented fruits.
  • Brown Turkey is a popular cultivar for fig tree container planting and is also known as Aubique Noire or Negro Largo. This variety is a small cultivar that produces abundant medium sized fruit. It is especially suited to containers due to its tolerance for heavy pruning, which in turn results in larger fruit crops.
  • Celeste, also known as Honey, Malta, Sugar or Violette fig, is another small fig tree with plentiful fruit production most commonly grown and eaten as a dried fig.
  • Verte, or Green Ischia, fig has the benefit of producing fruit over a short growing season.
  • Ventura is a compact fig that produces large figs which ripen late in the season and are suited to the cooler climates. Chicago is another cool weather cultivar.

You can purchase plants from reputable nurseries or propagate from spring divisions or summer cuttings from mature trees — say if your neighbor has a lovely fig to share. Root suckers can also be pulled and propagated in the spring or branches can be fastened to the ground and layered or tip rooted. Once rooted, remove the new plant from the mother and transplant into the container.

How to Care for Potted Fig Trees

A container suitable for planting fig trees in pots should be large. Half whiskey barrels are ideal, but any container large enough to accommodate the root ball plus some growing space is fine. You can always transplant the tree in later years as it outgrows the container. Placing the pot on casters makes for ease of movement if the tree needs to be moved during cool months to a protected area.

Figs crave sun, so choose a site with as much exposure as possible, preferably next to a south-facing wall. The soil pH should be between 6.0 to 6.5. Plant new fig trees in the spring after all danger of frost for your area has passed.

You can use regular organic potting soil or make your own mix as long as it is loamy, well-drained and contains plenty of compost or well-rotted manure. Mix in soilless media to lighten heavy soil and facilitate aeration and drainage. As you plant the tree, backfill it to 2 inches below the top of the container; take care to ensure the point where the trunk meets the root ball is level with the soil.

Water the container fig when the soil is dry to an inch below the surface. Keep in mind that container grown trees dry out more quickly than those in the garden. If you let the tree dry out too much, the stress may cause it to lose its leaves or lessen fruit production.

Use a foliar spray or diluted liquid seaweed mix, compost or manure tea each month to promote health and encourage prolific fruit set. When fruit begins to form, be sure to provide the tree with adequate water to promote juicy, plump fruit.

Figs can be pruned back to restrict size. Suckers can also be removed throughout the growing season and then pass them on to friends or relatives to propagate.

As temperatures begin to drop, it is a good idea to protect the tree. Some people wrap the tree, but the easiest thing to do is roll it into an unheated, generally unlit area such as a garage. This will be enough to protect the fig from freezes, but allow it to go into a necessary dormant period.

Planting fig tree in pots has the added benefit of improving yields and reducing the harvest date due to root restriction. They are also gorgeous trees that enliven the deck or patio with the promise of sweet figs to come.

How to Grow and Fruit Figs in your Garden or Container

By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin

Fig ‘Texas Everbearing’
(Ficus carica)

Fig ‘Chicago Hardy’
(Ficus carica)

Fig ‘Petite Negra’
(Ficus carica)

Fig ‘Ischia’
(Ficus carica)

Byron Martin- Owner Logee’s

Figs (Ficus carica) are some of the best fruiting plants for both the garden and containers. They are almost fool proof in their culture and yield a surprising amount of fresh fruit in one season.

Outdoor Planting
Figs can be grown in most areas of the country as a landscape shrub or tree in the south up to zone 8 or higher and with protection as far north as zone 5 or even zone 4 depending on the planting site. Under most growing conditions, they are deciduous, shedding their leaves to bare stems in late fall and winter. This gives the gardener an advantage as the dormant plants can be easily protected for wintering over in colder zones.

The Potted Fig
Figs can also be grown as container plants year-round. The pot size will restrict growth, which helps contain the size. Some varieties, such as ‘Petite Negra,’ grow well and produce an abundance of fruit in a pot as small as 6″. They can be moved outside in the summertime and back inside during the winter months. Do not be alarmed when your fig drops its leaves while inside. It is simply going into its winter dormancy. Reduce the amount of water given to the plant during dormancy but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Ripening The Crop of Figs
One of the greatest challenges in growing figs in the north is being able to ripen the crop. Planting on the south side of a building is ideal for this purpose. In many areas of the north, we don’t have the high temperature days needed to properly ripen our figs, so the gardener must utilize microclimates for this purpose. Once the weather has warmed, figs put out new growth and it is on that new growth that the young fruit will develop at the leaf nodes along the soft green stems. The fruit first appears as small buds but as the season progresses they form into green fruit that with enough heat will ripen into delicious figs. Fruit formation will happen either on growth from the terminal bud or auxiliary buds so previous pruning does not disrupt this process.

The Breba Crop
Another way that figs produce fruit is through a breba crop, which happens as the plant begins to grow in the spring. On the previous season’s growth, figs will form at the leafless nodes. This is usually the first crop and, for northern growers, it is one that will ripen reliably.

Watering Figs
Figs originally came from areas with a Mediterranean climate that were somewhat arid and had poor soils. This gives fig plants the ability to handle drought and have lower fertilizer requirements and still be productive. However, for the best growth and fruit production, uniform watering is best. In containers, the soil should dry out somewhat between waterings although don’t allow plants to wilt severely.

Pruning
Plants can be pruned any time they are in a dormant state and it is usually a matter of heading back excessive top growth or thinning out old woody growth. Left un-pruned, your figs will become small trees, which is okay if you have the room. As is the case with most plants, those planted in the ground will grow faster and fruit more than those in containers since the container restricts the root system and keeps the plant smaller.

Feeding Fig Plants
When feeding plants in pots or in the ground, a moderate level of fertilizer is best. We recommend a balanced fertilizer, either a liquid, a slow release or organic fertilizer can be used. As a general rule, an elevated middle number encourages flowering and fruiting (i.e. 7-9-5). A word of caution: do not over feed your fig plant. This will result in excessive leafy growth and fewer fruits as well as stimulating undesirable late season growth that’s prone to winter damage. The easiest way to fertilize your fig tree is to top dress with an organic granular fertilizer once in the spring and then once more in early summer. Once the figs have formed, do not fertilize any more; simply allow the fruits to ripen. Figs are tolerant to a wide range of garden soils. Most garden soil will grow a fig easily. In containers, we grow them in a peat light mix that has a ph of 5.8 to 6.5 and is well drained.

Disease/Insects
In general, figs are relatively disease and insect free. They can have problems with spider mites under dry atmospheric conditions and mealy bugs will feed on the plants but if other plants are around, the mealy bugs will go there first. Fig plants can get a rust disease on the leaves. This is usually under high humidity and although unsightly doesn’t seem to kill the plant, although it will reduce the vigor. Root diseases are generally a minor problem but on occasion they will affect plants especially in containers. And in some southern growing areas, nematodes can weaken plants.

Wintering Over the Garden Fig
The outdoor garden fig is tolerant to sub freezing temperatures into the low 20’s or even teens for short periods. In areas that have cold winters where temperatures dip into the single numbers or below zero and the winters are long, we have found that wrapping your fig is a great alternative to digging up the plant and moving it.

Winter Wrapping Technique
Prune or head back your fig to 4-5′ in height. We generally choose this height for ease of management of the branches. Gather all the branches together to form a column of stems. Wrap the stems with a rope. A great deal of binding and pulling can be done without harming the branches as they are amazingly flexible. This tied up column of branches is then wrapped in paper-backed fiberglass insulation. Originally, gardeners would use old rags but fiberglass insulation gives better results for the effort. Once the column is completely covered, wrap the fiberglass in plastic sheeting. Make sure the sides and top are secure and covered in a way that sheds water. The outer plastic sheeting is held in place with a rope and a pot or can is placed on top like a hat to help deflect water. We usually mulch the base with straw or old hay for extra insulation. Some rodent control needs to be placed near the trunk as mice can girdle the tree’s bark near the soil. Once the danger of frost passes, the wrapped fig plant can be uncovered to awaken it for the spring season. Often there is new growth that’s already initiated while the plant was covered. This new growth is white or pale in color but the sun will green it up and the new growing and fruiting season has started all over again. When growing figs outside of their cold tolerant range, it’s best to plant them in a protected sunny spot where the late and early freezes will miss them and the summer heat will get intense.

Wintering over the Potted Fig
As a potted plant in the north, figs can be left outside until the first freeze has dropped the leaves. The plant is then moved into a garage or shed or even into a greenhouse, cold frame or an area in a home where temperatures are kept above the mid 20’s but don’t get excessively warm. In an attached garage, the pot and plant should be set next to the house side where it can get some additional protection. It’s important to keep the root ball from freezing and thawing. In northern areas, insulation material can be placed around the pot. In the spring, once the days have warmed up and the danger of frost is past, the potted fig plant can be brought outside. Keep the plant out of direct sun and strong winds for a few days while it is hardening off.

Download PDF care sheet

Fig trees grown in containers may be ideal for your limited space or limited opportunity situation. Here’s what you need to know about planting figs, fig tree care and growing a fig tree indoors or outdoors in a pot. Growing fig trees in containers is a great opportunity for urban gardeners to grow some of their own fruit!

Successful crop? Make a batch of this easy slow cooker fig jam!

Tight on garden space?

Maybe you live in an apartment with only a balcony for growing food. Maybe you have a rental place and you can’t dig up the back yard.Or just maybe you have a postage stamp yard with no room for a garden.

Growing fig trees in containers

Figs are the perfect fruit to grow in containers. You can grow an indoor fig tree or grow a fig in a container outdoors. Figs make a beautiful patio plant. While European figs require pollination by a tiny wasp, the female figs we have in North America don’t require pollination to produce fruit. This makes them easy to grow anywhere with sufficient light and protection.

Figs planted in the ground focus their energy on developing roots. It can take 8 to 10 years for them to get around to fruit production. Growing fig trees in a container means the plant will occupy the root zone of their pots quickly and then spend their energy producing fruit. Container grown figs fruit precociously, usually within five years of planting.

Fig tree care

Even though figs are grown in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, they can withstand frost. Fig tree care in the winter means assessing your low temps. Figs lose their leaves and go dormant in winter.

Most fig trees can survive cold down to -4F ( -20C). Many varieties are hardy to zone 6 with winter protection. A few varieties can survive in even colder winters with protection. If it gets colder than that at your place, make it an indoor fig tree for the winter – growing fig trees in containers means you can easily move them inside where it’s protected.

Many figs produce two crops each year. The breba crop fruits on last year’s wood and is harvested in May or June. These are the fruit buds that emerge in the fall just before the leaves drop. The main fig crop fruits on new spring growth, and is harvested in August. New fruiting buds in this main fig crop emerge at the same time as the spring leaves, and look like hard knobs rather than fragrant flowers.

At the end of the season, when the tree drops its leaves, any unripe fruit that is bigger than the size of a pea should be removed from the plant. The pea size fruit will grow the following spring and form the breba crop.

Related: How to Grow a Pineapple

Fig varieties

There are over 1000 varieties of figs in North America, both for long season and short season areas. However, plant nurseries limit their selection to just a few varieties. If you want to grow some of the lesser known varieties you’ll need to find a hobby fig grower who might trade you some fig scion wood for propagation. See the end of this article for more sources if you’d like to try rooting some fig trees yourself.

If your neighbors have a productive fig tree, see if they will give you a few cuttings. A tree that is already thriving in your climate is a better choice than a tree growing in a nursery far away. But if you want adventure, try one of these hardy figs.

Related: Small Garden Ideas: Get the Most Bang for your Buck!

Fig varieties to try

  • Hardy Chicago has a brown-purple skin and strawberry colored flesh. It has good, sweet flavor. It’s hardy to zone 4, with winter protection. It is a heritage variety that was brought to Chicago by Sicilians from Mount Etna It’s been grown ever since in the Chicago area by dedicated fig fans. This is the fig tree I’m growing in zone 3.
  • Black Spanish has dark purple skin and strawberry red flesh and is widely available from plant nurseries. It is a good choice for warmer areas.
  • Desert King was developed in California in the 1920s. The large figs have green skin flecked with white spots and deep strawberry colored flesh. Desert King is a vigorous grower. The main crop ripens in the summer and it will produce a second smaller crop later in the fall.
  • Italian Honey or Lattarulla Fig is a large green fig with sweet, light amber flesh. It will produce a crop in midsummer and then a smaller crop in the fall.
  • Negronne Figs are named for the town in the Bordeaux region of France where this variety originated. The purple-black fruits have a red flesh with intense honey flavor. This variety is one of the very best. It’s hardy from zone 7 to 11.
  • Peter’s Honey fig is a lemon yellow fig with a deep amber flesh. It needs a little extra warmth, so grow it in a protected area and protect it from cold winds. This one is a double cropper that’s hardy in zones 7 to 11.
  • Stella Fig is a large, green yellow fig with deep red sweet flesh brought to North America by a sailor who named it after his wife. Stella is also a double cropper.
  • Vern’s Brown Turkey is an improved selection of the older (and mostly unreliable) brown turkey fig. It has brown skin and pale amber flesh and will reliably produce fruit in both summer and fall.

Figs and flavor

It’s no surprise that different varieties of figs also have different flavor profiles. Fig connoisseurs can be particular about the figs they grow, just like wine and coffee connoisseurs. Don’t judge the figs on an immature fig tree based on flavor in the first few years. As the tree matures, the fruit also matures, becoming richer and more flavorful.

Planting figs: How to propagate new fig trees

Figs are self-rooted. In summer, the easiest way to make a new fig tree is to layer a stem of a thriving fig by bending a branch down to the ground, stripping the bark from a small section and burying the branch in the soil, while it is still attached to the mother plant. Anchor the branch in place using a u-pin or bent wire, then bury the branch with soil. The branch will sprout roots within 4 to 6 weeks.

Once the roots are two inches long, separate the new plant from the mother plant with a sharp knife, and re-pot in its own container. Young figs are more susceptible to cold than established plants so give it a little TLC through its first two seasons.

Urban Fruit Trees: Creating an Edible Landscape for a Small Scale Harvest

Figs can also be propagated with cuttings. In late winter or early spring, take a cutting of a branch from the previous season’s wood. Choose a branch that is three to ten inches long. Press it into sterile potting medium. Water with willow water to encourage rooting. Cover the pot with a plastic bag or cloche, to prevent the scion from drying out before it roots.

Keep the temperature around 70°F using a heat mat under the pot. Allow the surface of the potting medium to dry out between watering. Figs root quickly. Cuttings that are started in early spring will be ready to pot up in the fall.

How long before the new fig tree produces fruit

Container-grown figs started by cutting produce fruit four to six years from the time the cutting is made. The first year after propagation, the cutting establishes a strong root system. Once the tree begins to fruit, you can expect two crops each year – the breba crop and the main season crop. In zones 6 and colder, don’t try to over-winter figs out of doors. Instead, place the dormant plants in an unheated garage, or basement, where you can protect them from cold temperatures. You should continue watering them even in winter, allowing the soil surface to dry between watering.

Related: How to: Growing Blueberries in Containers

Fig tree care: Pests and diseases

Growing fig trees in containers in in North America results in a fairly trouble-free crop. Place netting over the trees to prevent birds from stealing your fruit. Spread wood ashes around the base of the stems to stop ants from climbing the trees. Container grown figs can be troubled with spider mites, white flies, or aphids when grown in a greenhouse or other protected environments. You can spray the tree with a strong stream of water to knock off pests.

Neem oil or another oil-soap spray are safe to use on figs. Don’t apply an oil spray if the temperatures will be above 85°F though. The leaves can be damaged by excessive heat after spraying. Here’s my recipe for DIY insecticidal soap spray that is safe to use on figs.

Growing season for figs (in containers and out of doors)

If your winters are cold, you’ll probably grow your fig tree indoors during the coldest months. You can move figs to a sunny location in the garden once all danger of hard frost has passed. (Growing fig trees in containers means you can easily move them, too.) Fig trees should have eight hours of sunlight a day during the growing season. Shading the pots from direct sunlight keeps the trees from drying out in severe heat. Apply mulch to the soil surface in the pot to retain moisture and prevent the plants from drying out, which can cause premature leaf drop.

Fig trees are not heavy feeders. Too much nitrogen can cause an excess of lush growth that is damaged by winter cold. They do need a single application of potassium and phosphorous-rich fertilizer at the beginning of the season. If you find your trees are slowing their growth rate, foliar feeding container figs with seaweed extract every two weeks during the growing season can help. Water potted fig trees well during the growing season, but allow the soil surface to dry out between watering. This prevents the roots from standing in water.

Fig tree care: Repotting an outdoor or indoor fig tree

Repot container grown figs at the beginning of the season, just before the new leaves emerge. When planting figs in containers, choose lighter colored pots rather than black plastic pots if you live in an area with high summer heat. Conversely, if you live in a short season area, black pots can offer your container figs a little extra heat. Add broken pottery or rocks to the bottom of the pot before adding your planting medium.

Fig plants don’t like to sit in water.

Plant your container figs in a mixture of 60% sterile potting mix and 40% finished compost, with the addition of one cup of kelp meal for trace minerals. In the first 1 to 4 years, increase the pot size with each repotting to give the tree room to grow. By the time the tree is 4 years old you should have it in a 36″ pot. After this, replace the soil in the pot annually and prune the roots to keep the tree a manageable size.

When to harvest the figs

Know the color of the ripe fruit of your particular varieties of figs. Since the color of the skin can vary from green to yellow through to purple and brown, this will help you harvest them when they are perfect. Ripe figs are soft to the touch. As they over-ripen the skin can split. Ants and wasps are attracted to the sweet scent of ripe figs, so you’ll want to harvest them quickly once they become ripe.

Preserving Figs

Fresh figs are highly perishable. Keep them refrigerated and eat within a week of picking. (Or try these easy roasted figs with goat cheese and honey!) For longer preservation, figs can be dried, frozen, canned, or fermented. Or you could make these bourbon figs!

Where to find unusual figs for home propagation

With over 1000 varieties of figs grown in North America you may want to explore a few more figgy flavors than your local nursery provides. Try these sources when you’re ready to try growing fig trees in containers or in your urban orchard:

  • Figs 4 Fun
  • USDA collection at UC Davis
  • Ecanto Farms Nursery
  • California Rare Fruit Growers
  • Richter’s Herbs (In Canada)

Watch: Grow a Fig Tree in a Pot for Maximum Figs with Shirley Bovshow on Youtube

The summer heat is ripening luscious, sweet figs that are hanging from trees all over the country!

There are at least 200 different varieties of fig trees commonly grown from coast to coast and many of them are planted in pots.

If there’s a fruit tree that thrives in the cloistered environment of a container, it’s the fig tree!

Fig trees (Ficus carica) grow rampantly in the ground and spread their roots far and wide, often becoming invasive and destructive.

Not only does planting a fig tree in a container help to confine its roots, it also encourages greater fruit production!

This is reason enough to grow fig trees in a container, even more so if you have a small yard.

I presented on “Figs 101” recently on the Home & Family Show on the Hallmark Channel where I answered the following questions.

“What makes it possible to grow fig trees in different climates around the country?”

Fig trees become dormant in the fall so they are able to survive very cold winters (to about 20 degrees) without dying.
Fig trees can be pruned and trained to stay at a manageable size in containers, making them easy to move indoors during freezing temperatures.
There are over 200 varieties of fig trees suitable for short and long growing seasons.

COLD CLIMATE VARIETIES

Some popular, self-fertile fig tree varieties for colder climates include:

Chicago

Celeste

Brown Turkey

Read more excellent information about “overwintering” fig trees here.

“What do fig trees need to grow successfully in a container?”

  • A site that receives full sun for at least 7 hours per day.
  • Light, well-draining potting soil or equal parts peat moss, vermiculite and perlite.
  • Slow release tomato fertilizer applied during the beginning of growing season (it has an ideal ratio of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus).
  • Consistent watering. Check the top 1-inch for moisture and water when slightly dry.

To ensure fruit production, you must fertilize your container grown fig trees. The trees depend on you for their vital nutrients!

“How do you plant a fig tree in a container?”

Use a large container, at least 18-inches in diameter to plant a 5-gallon size nursery tree.
Make sure the container is not too much larger than the root ball as fig trees like to have their roots “bound.”
Remove the fig tree from the nursery pot and open up the roots gently.

You want to just release the roots without going overboard.

Keep the roots intact.

Plant the fig tree at same height as it was in its nursery container.

Remove any “sucker” growth. Suckers can then be used to create new plants!

Water your tree.

Always select fig tree varieties that are “self-fertile” for successful fruiting.

Plant fig trees in spring, after the last frost, if you have short growing season.

“When do fig trees flower and produce fruit?”

Depending on the variety, fig trees will produce one or two crops during growing season.

The first crop is called the “breva” crop and is produced May-June.

The second crop comes in late summer and is considered the main crop.

Black Mission figs

“What fig varieties did you bring to Home & Family today?”

I brought some common fig trees and some fresh and dried figs provided by Melissa’s World Produce.

Italian Ever-Bearing Fig Tree produces fruit similar to Brown Turkey but larger.

Brown Turkey figs

The White Genoa Fig Tree bears green fruit with pink flesh similar to the Green Kadota fig.

Fresh Green Kadota fig

Panache Fig Tree- green and white striped fruit with sweet pink flesh

DRIED FIGS

Dried Calimyrna and Black Mission figs

I want to thank Green Thumb Nurseries for providing the fig trees for the show.

Thank you to Melissa’s for the fresh and dried figs.

Do you have any questions about growing fig trees?

Ask the Foodie Gardener!

News

Can you grow a fig tree indoors? The short answer is no.

Here’s why you wouldn’t want to: The edible fig (Ficus carica) needs full sun in the summer, which is almost impossible to get indoors. In autumn, the deciduous fig tree loses its leaves and goes into dormancy for the winter, when it doesn’t need any sun at all. Most common fig trees get too big and gangly and too messy to be good houseplants. But you can grow fig trees in containers for a few reasons which we will explain below.

How to Grow Figs

Most fig tree varieties can be grown outside in USDA zones 7-10 (check your zone). When fully dormant (and with mulched roots) a fig tree can tolerate temperatures as low as 10º to 15ºF (-12º to -9ºC).

If you live where harsh winter temperatures get colder than that (hardiness zones 6 and below), you can grow fig trees in containers outside in the a sunny spot all summer. Then move the container to a warmer area like inside or in a garage before the really cold weather arrives. Once it gets warm enough outside it is safe to move your fig tree back outdoors.

The Petit Negra is the best choice for growing fig trees indoors

The exception to the “no indoor figs” rule is the dwarf fig variety ‘Petite Negra’, which gets only 3-8 feet tall when grown in a container and usually keeps its leaves through the winter. Ficus carica Petite Negra produces normal sized figs, beginning when the tree is only a foot or two tall. It needs a south-facing window and at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Check out this videos of a tasting of the Petite Negra which is the best variety for growing figs in containers! The breba crop will bear fruit on the previous years growth.

Here are few tips for how to grow fig trees in containers:

Large, moveable containers like these are an excellent choice for growing in locations with colder winters where they can be moved somewhere warm during the cold months

  • Plant your fig tree in a lightweight container that’s as large as you can manage. One on wheels will make it easier to move around. (You can start out with a smaller container, then pot-up as the tree gets bigger.)
  • Use a soil-based potting mix and add bark chips or light-weight perlite to improve drainage. Maintain a nice layer of mulch to retain moisture and reduce the amount of watering you will have to do. Perfect Plants specially formulated Fruit Tree Planting Mix will work wonders as your potting soil!

  • Don’t let the potting medium get too dry. We recommend watering a containerized tree for 15 minutes every morning with a drip irrigation tube controlled by an inexpensive battery powered timer, available at garden supply stores. A treegator is a great option!

Figs grown in containers are a great option for those without a yard or land to put them in the ground. They will still produce loads of yummy figs!

  • Keep your potted fig tree in full sun during the summer.
  • Prune as necessary to maintain a size and shape you can work with.
  • Fig trees grown in containers need to be fertilized with a high nitrogen fertilizer every four weeks in the spring and early summer. An organic fertilizer such as compost and mulch will help retain moisture as well.

Figs are deciduous, meaning they lose their green leaves over the winter

  • When the leaves begin to drop in autumn, bring the container inside to an unheated room, such as a basement, garage, shed, or storage building. Throughout the winter, water only when the potting medium becomes dry. A dormant tree doesn’t take in water, but can die if the roots dry out. Don’t fertilize in winter.
  • In early spring (if practical), allow your containerized fig to acclimate gradually to the warming weather by bringing it outside for a few hours each day, then move the tree indoors at night. When all danger of frost has passed, position the tree in full sun and get ready to harvest some fresh figs! Ripe fruit will appear in the summer growing season.
  • Perfect Plants has several other varieties of figs for sale like the Celeste Fig, Black Mission Fig, Brown Turkey Fig, and Chicago Hardy Fig that can be container grown however they will have the best fruit production outdoors in the ground depending on the variety.

See Perfect plants’ Grow Guide for Edible Fig Trees (coming soon) for much more about growing figs. These trees are easy to grow and fairly cold hardy… they can be grown in many places across the United States. They are pests and disease resistant. Happy planting!

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