DIY Network

How to Grow Fig Trees

Figs are a delicious and healthful fruit, and the trees are easy to grow. Just make sure to select a variety that’s right for your landscape and climate.

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california fig is pollinated by a wasp
  • Time

    Several Months

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Step 1: Purchase the Fig Trees

Figs are a delicious and healthful fruit, and the trees are nearly maintenance free. The trees come in different sizes, from dwarf figs that reach only 6' tall to ones that top out at 30'. Popular varieties include Hardy Chicago, Celeste and Brown Turkey. Select a variety that is appropriate for your climate. Most gardeners plant them from bare-root trees.

Step 2: Prepare the Site

Pick a well-drained spot that gets at least eight hours of sun a day for good fruit production. If the soil is very clay-like, work in organic amendments to make it looser. When planting one of the larger varieties, make sure to give the tree plenty of room to grow.

Step 3: Plant the Fig Trees

Hose off any material clinging to the roots (Image 1). Soak the roots in a bucket of water for an hour or two before planting. Dig a hole a few inches deeper than the roots and at least as wide as the roots when fanned out. Place the tree in the hole and spread out the roots. Position the point of the trunk where the roots begin to spread out just below the soil line (Image 2) . Backfill with soil until the hole is three-quarters full. Water well to settle the soil. Finish filling the hole and water again.

Step 4: Cultivate the Fig Trees

Add a layer of mulch around the base of the trees. Maintain a consistent level of moisture during the tree’s first year. If the soil becomes dry, water the tree well. Light applications of 10-10-10 fertilizer can be applied in the late winter, spring and early summer. Figs don't need much pruning, just enough so as to control the size.

mulch around base of fig but not close to stem

Step 5: Harvest the Figs

Figs should be allowed to fully ripen on the tree. Once ripe, the fruit should be picked as soon as possible to prevent spoilage. Pick when the fruit softens, droops down and pulls easily from the tree.

sap from fig can irritate skin

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