The fig tree (Ficus carica) looks great with its glossy foliage when it is not fruiting, and when it does, you can enjoy a tasty harvest. Want to have a fresh supply of figs in a compact space, here’s all about growing a potted fig tree and caring for it.
multiplication of figs
The best way to propagate a potted fig tree is by cuttings (stems). In the fall or winter, take 6-inch-long cuttings from a healthy tree and plant them in a container of quality potting soil.
You should keep them in a shaded, warm place until new leaves sprout, and water often to keep the soil moist. After a few weeks, when you see new leaves growing, you can transplant them into a larger pot.
In this read, we will focus on how to grow a potted fig tree. But if you want to know more about propagation by cuttings, read the following article: How to grow a fig tree from cuttings (stems).
If you don’t want to wait, you also have the option of getting a well-developed plant from a nursery or garden center.
Ideal pot for growing a fig tree
When growing a fig tree in a pot, you must choose a large one, it is not recommended to start with a small one and then transplant it the following year, the fig tree, once it has developed a good root system, does not tolerate transplants.
For this reason, it is advisable to choose a pot between 30 and 40 cm wide and the same depth, in any material, such as clay, ceramics or even wood.
Make sure the container has enough drainage holes for excess water to drain out.
If you don’t have one of the recommended size, you can grow your fig tree in a smaller pot, but consider transplanting it before it’s big enough, remember the time to do this is in fall or winter.
Advice: Consider planting your fig tree in a pot on wheels for easy mobility. You can use a rolling plant stand that you can buy at any hardware store, garden center, or even a nursery.
Grow a fig tree in a pot
when to transplant
Whether you grew it from a cutting or bought it, the ideal time to transplant a fig tree is from fall to late winter.
The ideal is to do it in a place where the temperatures are not very low, an average of 10 C is good. Then, when spring arrives, you can move it outside to continue its normal growth.
To ensure the good health of your fig tree, find the right balance between shade and light. Avoid exposing it to strong sunlight and make sure it gets enough sunlight in the morning. For abundant fruiting, the tree must receive at least 4-6 hours of light per day.
Try to protect it from strong winds, as its fragile branches tend to break easily.
The fig tree is not fussy about the growing medium and can do well in normal garden soil.
However, it does best in well-aerated, fast-draining soil. A sandy loam growing medium with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0 will do wonders for this tree.
For growing fig trees in containers, use a high nitrogen fertilizer every 4-5 weeks in spring and early summer.
You can also put compost and mulch on the soil from time to time, as this will help the tree retain moisture better, or use banana peels and liquid compost tea.
Important: avoid feeding the fig tree during the winter, start doing it in the spring and during the summer.
The tree likes moist soil. During fruiting, make sure the soil does not become too dry. Water when the top layer is a bit dry.
Once fruiting begins, make sure there is enough water to keep the fruit juicy.
When the fig tree stops bearing fruit, reduce watering to once every 10 days or so, then gradually increase it in early spring, depending on the heat of the day.
Unlike most fruit trees, fig trees do not require regular pruning. Prune the plant to maintain its shape and size. Also cut off damaged leaves and stems from time to time.
The ideal temperature for growing fig trees is 60 to 75 F (15 to 24 C). Make sure the plant is not exposed to temperatures below 32 F (0 C) for a long time. On the other hand, in the summer, it can easily survive temperatures up to 100 F (38 C).
Potted Fig Tree Care
If you live in a very cold climate, with prolonged temperatures below the freezing point, you must protect the fig tree during the winter, it would be better to move it indoors after the first fall frosts. Choose a location such as inside the garage, basement or shed, or where there is no heat.
A place with a window that gets plenty of sunlight will be a good spot. Make sure the plant is not exposed to cold drafts.
Once the danger of frost has passed, you can move the pot outdoors for the rest of the growing season.
Avoid overwatering your dormant fig tree to prevent rot and other problems. As we mentioned above, the ideal is to water the fig tree during the winter approximately every 10 days.
Plagues and diseases
Watch out for mites and whiteflies. The best way to get rid of it is to use a strong stream of water and a Neem oil solution. Or a solution of water and a little dishwashing detergent, wet the infested part daily until they are gone.
Avoid overhead watering to eliminate the risk of brown spots appearing on the leaves. Always water the plant from the base.
If you live in a warm climate, the tree may bear fruit twice: once in late spring or early summer until fall.
However, fruiting also depends a lot on the variety you have grown. Ripe fruits are slightly soft to the touch and have a split skin.
Some interesting facts about the fig tree
- Fig trees do not produce flowers. There are small flowers that develop inside the fruits of the fig tree.
- Figs are fruits that are very rich in calcium and dietary fibre. They are also known as the food of the gods.
- Figs can be a great addition to baked goods as they retain moisture well.
- Fig puree can replace oil and butter in baking recipes.
- It’s a known fact that dried figs taste good, but fresh figs taste even better!
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