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What are the Best Tips for Planting Fig Trees?

K.C. Bruning
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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When planting fig trees in the ground, it is most advantageous to place them where they can receive full exposure to the sun, but also receive protection from late frosts and wind. Brick and stone walls provide a good barrier, while giving the extra benefit of heat radiation. Fig trees thrive best when planted in a simple mixture of regular soil and compost. Manure should be avoided, as excessive fertilization can cause an overgrowth of leaves, which will slow the growth of the figs. When planting fig trees in a pot, they should also have a light soil mixture and plenty of sun.

The best location for a fig tree is in a place with northern exposure. Then the tree will remain dormant in the proper season, thus allowing for a better fig harvest. Late fall and early spring are the ideal seasons for planting fig trees.

When planting fig trees in the ground, digging a hole approximately 3 feet (91.44 cm) deep is ideal. Drainage is important to keep in mind when planting fig trees. Placing pot shards or brick in the bottom of the hole can help to prevent tap roots. When planting multiple fig trees, they should be placed 15 to 20 feet (4.6 to 6.1 meters) apart. If the trees are going to be managed like bushes, they can be placed 10 feet (3.1 meters) apart.

For planting fig trees in a container, it is best to begin with a less expensive small plant, as they grow and bear fruit quickly. The tree should be put in a light-colored pot with good drainage. Wooden or plastic containers are both good options for planting fig trees.

A light potting soil is best for potted fig trees. Adding builder’s sand, sifted compost, or perlite can both help to keep the mixture light and aid proper drainage. The tree will do best in a warm area that receives a lot of sun. Good ventilation is also important for encouraging young fig tree plants to grow and thrive.

Fig trees need to be kept warm if they are to survive. In order to prepare an outdoor fig tree for winter, straw or leaves should be spread around the base of the tree. Next the branches need to be wrapped in heavy fabric such as carpet padding, canvas or blankets. Then the entire tree should be covered with a plastic bag or wrap.

Potted fig trees can be brought inside during cold weather. They are usually able to survive in an unheated basement, storage shed, or garage. For this reason, it is often a good idea to pot fig trees in cooler climates.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
K.C. Bruning
By K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and platforms, including WiseGeek. With a degree in English, she crafts compelling blog posts, web copy, resumes, and articles that resonate with readers. Bruning also showcases her passion for writing and learning through her own review site and podcast, offering unique perspectives on various topics.
Discussion Comments
By sunshined — On May 23, 2012

When I was at a garden center at the end of the season one year, they had some fig trees for sale. I had never planted one of these before, and since I heard they were fast growing, thought I would buy one.

I didn't realize they really didn't need much fertilizer. Any other time I have planted something new, I always made sure it had plenty of fertilizer.

Once I figured out they did better without fertilizer, it started producing fewer leaves and I actually got a few figs from it.

I also learned the best time to plant a fig tree is when they are dormant. I don't know if I did much right when I planted my tree, but it came out of it and I have been able to pick some figs off the tree for a few seasons now.

By julies — On May 23, 2012

@Mykol - I like the idea of planting a dwarf fig tree, and think a couple of these would look great on my back deck.

I have one fig tree planted outside and I didn't realize it would get as tall as it has. This can be kind of a pain when you need to wrap it for the winter to keep it warm.

Pruning it can be a challenge as well. I do enjoy picking fruit from my own tree though. I will say I have found more ways to eat figs since I have a fig tree in my yard that actually produces fruit.

By Mykol — On May 22, 2012

I don't have much of a green thumb, but have had success growing a dwarf fig tree. I have this in a container and make sure to bring it inside during the winter.

I was surprised at how fast this tree grew, and was even able to get some fruit from it by the second season.

This was encouraging to me since I haven't had much luck with other plants. This was also the first time I tried planting any kind of fruit tree.

I do make sure and put it in a bigger pot every so often as the tree continues to grow. One thing I like about a dwarf tree is they are much easier to take care of.

They also don't produce as much fruit, but my tree produces more than what one person needs since my husband doesn't like figs.

K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and...
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