How to pot a fig tree
Is it possible to grow an edible fig in a container?
Common fig (Ficus carica) is easy to grow and produces incredibly tasty fruits, yet few Granite State gardeners cultivate it because it can’t reliably survive New Hampshire winters. Native to western Asia and southeastern Europe, figs grow well in USDA Zones 7-10. In Zone 6, plants will usually experience significant dieback in cold winters, which means that figs can’t be grown outdoors reliably anywhere in New Hampshire. However, they can be successfully grown in containers, taking harsh weather out of the equation.
Common fig is a deciduous shrub/small tree that can grow 10-20 feet tall and wide under ideal growing conditions, although it is unlikely to reach this size in a container. Ornamental features include silver-gray bark and large tropical-looking leaves, each with three to five lobes. Figs can be attractive potted plants for decks and patios, fruit notwithstanding.
Fig flowers are inconspicuous and occur near branch tips in the spring, followed by ripe fruit in late summer or fall. Fruit production is easy on a small scale because figs do not require cross-pollination with another variety, unlike other popular fruit trees, such as apples.
If you want to start growing figs in containers, consider the following growing tips:
Choose the right container
Growing attractive and productive figs starts with choosing the right container. The material the container is made of is not as important as whether it provides good drainage and is the right size for your fig plant. Clay, ceramic, plastic and wood containers will all work as long as there is at least one hole in the bottom to allow excess water to escape.
Additionally, the container needs to be stable enough not to tip over on a windy day and hold enough potting mix so that you don’t need to water constantly. Ideally, there will be one-two inches of space between the fig plant’s roots and the surrounding walls of the container at the time of planting. Over time, the fig’s roots will fill the container, at which point you can transplant into a larger pot. By starting small and moving up to larger-sized containers, you are less likely to have issues with pests like root rot and fungus gnats.
Note that you will need to move the container to a protected location as winter approaches. Avoiding overly decorative and heavy containers can be helpful, as is placing figs on wheeled plant stands or dollies at the time of planting.
Use soilless potting mix
Figs prefer organically rich soil that is consistently moist and well-drained. The best option for container growing is a quality soilless potting mix. Potting mixes are specifically made for growing potted plants, are lightweight, retain moisture and supply plenty of air space around the roots. Air space is one of the most critical aspects of potting mix. If the roots don’t have enough air, a fig won’t survive. Although the ingredients tend to vary, good mixes always contain an organic component (peat moss, compost, bark), vermiculite or perlite (to help retain moisture), sand, nutrients and limestone.
Properly watering and fertilize
Proper watering is critical to the success of container grown figs. Figs require regular watering, especially during the heat of the growing season. Once the top one-two inches of potting mix are dry, apply water until it begins to drain from the bottom of the container. Aim to keep the potting mix consistently moist but not soaked.
Figs require a moderate amount of nutrients throughout the growing season to produce new growth and, ultimately, fruit. Abnormally small or yellowed leaves could indicate that fertilizer might be needed. Complete liquid fertilizers will provide all the necessary nutrients and should be applied at no more than the recommended rate and interval.
Synthetic fertilizers are preferred over organic for container-grown plants because organic fertilizers rely on soil microbes to make their nutrients available, and these microbes aren’t found in high numbers in soilless potting mixes.
Move figs indoors during the cool months
Figs need to go through a dormant period in the winter to stay healthy. As day length shortens and cooler temperatures arrive, it is natural for fig leaves to turn yellow and drop. Move plants to an unheated basement, garage or greenhouse when the leaves start to turn or before the first killing frost. Once figs are indoors, reduce watering significantly, making sure the upper two inches of potting mix are dry before watering.
Dormant plant roots won’t take up much water, but moisture is needed around them to keep roots from drying out. Pot size, potting mix and temperature will decide how often you need to water, which may only be once every week or two. Avoid overwatering dormant figs in order dodge root rot and the untimely death of plants.
Gradually reintroduce figs outside during the spring
As warm weather approaches in the spring, move your fig outside for a few hours each day to help it acclimate to outdoor conditions, gradually exposing it to longer periods of sun exposure over the course of a few weeks. Bring it back indoors in the evening until there is no longer a chance of frost. After the last frost date, the fig can be moved permanently outdoors to a full sun location for the duration of the summer.
While growing figs in containers can be fun and rewarding, it is important to have realistic expectations. Healthy fig trees will reliably produce fruit, but likely no more than you can enjoy in a few snacks or meals. However, if you’re willing to push the envelope and grow an interesting fruit tree in New Hampshire, give container-grown figs a try.
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- Growing Vegetables In Containers [fact sheet]
Planting Fig Trees In Pots
Home › Edible Gardens › Fruits › Fig Trees
By: Amy Grant
Image by monap
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, if your neighbor has a lovely fig to share, propagate from spring divisions or summer cuttings from mature trees. 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 (5 cm.) 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 (2.5 cm.) 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.
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Fig (fig, fig) is an exotic long-lived tree with delicious fleshy fruits. The plant grows well in a warm climate, very demanding on air and soil temperature. In order for it to regularly bring a bountiful harvest, you need to know how to grow figs correctly.
Is it possible to grow figs at home
Growing figs at home is a dream come true. In a pot, the plant grows no higher than one and a half meters. In order for a fig tree not only to grow, but also to bear fruit, you need to choose a low-growing variety that does not require pollination. From such fig trees it is easier to get a harvest, in addition, they have a more accurate crown, which is easy to form.
Planting and care
The fig tree is native to the subtropics, so it is important to provide figs with optimal growing conditions. Consider the basic rules for planting and caring for figs in the open field.
How to choose a place for figs in the garden
To find out where to plant figs in the garden, walk along its south side. Choose the brightest and most constantly lit place in the garden, protected from the wind. The tree grows well on flat terrain and uplands, but feels bad in the lowlands, as cold air accumulates there.
Dates for planting figs
Figs are planted in early spring so that they have time to take root before the cold weather. The optimal time for planting seedlings is immediately after the snow melts. Depending on the location, this is approximately the second half of March. If the fig does not have time to gain a foothold in the ground, then most likely it will not survive the winter. Therefore, do not delay with its landing.
Purchase of planting material
When purchasing fig tree seedlings, choose biennial plants with 2 side shoots that have already formed buds. Older plants are more difficult to take root when planting. Also, do not choose seedlings with damage to the bark, roots and shoots. Such plants are weakened and can get sick for a long time or even die.
Propagation by cuttings
Young green cuttings of figs are used to obtain seedlings. The lower branches of an adult plant are cut off and placed in a nutrient solution for 12 hours. The length of the cuttings should be from 10 to 15 cm. After that, they are dipped in ashes and placed in the soil for a month until they form roots. Another way is to cut fig cuttings in autumn and store them in damp sand in a warm place.
Growing figs from seeds is a longer process. Seeds are taken from overripe fruits, washed with water and dried. In the spring they are sown in the ground to a depth of 3 cm and covered with polyethylene until germination. It is possible to transplant fig sprouts into open ground after two years, when the seedlings get stronger and fully form the root system and side shoots.
Planting and caring for figs in open ground
Figs are planted in a deep hole, 80x80x100 cm in size, the walls of which are lined with bricks to prevent the growth of the root system. Drainage is laid at the bottom with a thickness of 20–30 cm from expanded clay or small stones. The soil mixture for seedlings is prepared from 2 parts of ordinary earth, 1 part of bone meal, 1 part of crushed stone and 500 g of complex top dressing for fruit trees.
How to plant figs so that the plant takes root well? When planting, tilt the trunk 40 degrees with the tip to the south. This will make it easier to bend the branches to the ground and cover for the winter. Water the seedling abundantly with warm water and mulch the soil with a thick layer of hay or sawdust.
The frequency and amount of watering depends on the age of the tree. Young plants in the first year after planting are watered once a week for 5-10 liters of water. In the second year, the fig tree should be watered 2 times a month, 10 liters of water. During the ripening of the crop, watering should be stopped.
Outdoor fig care includes feeding the tree twice a month. Fertilizers rich in nitrogen are applied in spring and summer before flowering. When the tree blooms, you need to add phosphates for better fruit set. During the ripening period of figs, the tree is fed with potassium for a good harvest. Also, complex microelements are introduced every month, which allow the plant to develop. Top dressing is carried out only after watering, at sunset, so as not to burn the roots.
Flowering and fruiting
A unique feature of the fig tree is hidden flowering in formations that are outwardly indistinguishable from the fruit. There are three types of fig tree - male, female and self-fertile. The advantage of the latter type is that the fruits can be tied on the tree without pollination, which greatly facilitates the work. If an adult plant does not produce a crop, then most likely, pollination is required in order for the variety of your choice to bear fruit. This problem is solved by grafting a branch of another tree to the fig.
Pruning and crown shaping
Formative pruning is carried out in the first year after planting a fig tree. At the bush-shaped fig tree, the main main branch is left, and the rest is cut to the base. A year later, the main branch is cut to a kidney. As a result, after two years, the fig tree forms skeletal main branches. In the third year, all branches growing outward should be shortened. After that, during pruning, only weakened shoots are removed and growths are pinched to prevent the tree from growing upwards.
Protection against pests and diseases
Outdoor cultivation of figs involves measures to protect against pests and diseases. If we talk about insects that cause damage to a plant, then most often it is aphids, moths, and psyllids. And among the common diseases are fruit fusarium and gray rot.
To prevent insect infestation and protect the tree from disease, it needs special care during the winter:
- Cut and burn affected branches.
- Collect and dispose of fallen leaves.
- Treat the plant in autumn and spring with insecticides.
Storage and processing of crops
The ripening period of a fig tree is extended in time, so the fruits are harvested gradually, and not all at once. How to determine ripeness? When drops of nectar appear on the fruits and they become soft, then it's time to remove them.
Fresh figs must be processed within 3 weeks of being removed from the tree, otherwise the fruit will spoil. From ripe fruits, jams and jams are cooked, and stuffing for pies is prepared. They are also often dried for the winter.
Popular varieties of figs
Experienced gardeners recommend choosing self-fertile varieties that do not need pollination. The most popular of them:
- "July early" - bears fruit twice in a season, defenseless against the cold;
- "Dalmatsky" - the most resistant to frost. Fruits with a gray-green skin and a pleasant sweet and sour taste;
- "Kadota" produces oval-shaped fruits with a sweet taste.
Where figs grow in Russia
In the open field in Russia, figs are grown in the Krasnodar Territory (in the Kuban), in the Crimea and on the Black Sea coast. In other regions, it is recommended to plant the fig tree only at home, as this delicate plant will not be able to survive the cold winters.
Caring for figs, although it has its own nuances, is not so complicated. Subject to all conditions, the fig tree will surely bring you a bountiful harvest of large fruits and decorate the site with thick sprawling greenery.
How to grow figs at home from seeds and cuttings: care and propagation
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Sophisticated flower growers are constantly on the lookout for new unusual plants that can be grown at home, creating unusual collections. For a long time, one could observe lemons and tangerines growing in pots on the windowsills of residential buildings. Now, at the peak of popularity, growing figs in apartment conditions. A green space not only becomes an ornament to any interior, but can also please its owners with a heavy harvest of useful fruits. In the article you can find detailed information on how to grow figs.
Is it possible to grow figs in your home
Before you start growing an exotic plant, you should choose the right variety and take care of creating favorable conditions. When choosing a seedling, it should be taken into account that this tree can be:
In the climatic conditions of Russia, it is almost impossible to find a pollinator plant, so flower growers recommend giving preference to self-fertile varieties of an exotic culture.
Also, when choosing varieties, you should pay attention to their height. Indeed, in nature, this tree reaches a height of 11-12 m. And for growing at home, only undersized varieties of figs are suitable.
For reference! The fig is also called the fig, fig tree, common fig tree or fig tree.
If the seedlings were purchased in the spring, they can be dug in the garden or in the vegetable garden along with a container. With the onset of autumn, the figs are dug up and transferred to the room in which they are grown as a houseplant.
Excellent varieties when grown in an apartment by type:
- Sarah of Apsheron;
- White Adriatic.
When purchasing seedlings, it is important to familiarize yourself with the main features of growing a fig tree. You should also study information on how to care for figs.
- In the first 12 months after planting, the exotic crop blooms, but fruit is not yet expected at this time. The first harvest can be expected only in the second year.
- Flower growers recommend propagating an exotic culture by cuttings. Root cuttings should be in a container filled with light soil. Seedlings are transplanted as needed, at the moment of germination of the root system through the earthen clod.
- Low-growing varieties like Doree and Dalmatie are transplanted only once every 3-4 years.
Growing an exotic tree indoors
Figs: growing at home
Proper planting and care of figs will allow the grower to grow a healthy tree that will delight in abundant fruiting.
How to grow a fig tree from a stone
Figs - care and cultivation in the open field, pruning
How to grow figs at home from a stone? Below is a step-by-step guide to growing a fig tree.
- For planting, seeds are used that have been thoroughly washed and dried.
- The container is filled with light soil mixed with sand, loose earth and peat.
- Indentations should be made in the soil in which bones can be placed.
- A layer of peat is covered over the buried stones.
- The container is covered with a piece of glass or polyethylene material and placed on the windowsill.
- As soon as shoots begin to appear, you can remove the glass from the container.
- The appearance of a 4-leaf plate on seedlings indicates the need to transplant young plants into separate pots.
Please note! Most often they are engaged in breeding figs in the middle lane.
How to grow a fig tree from cuttings
How to propagate figs from cuttings? To apply this method, it is recommended to prepare the mature branches of the fruit-bearing fig tree. The rooting process is best done at the end of winter, until the moment when the exotic culture sheds its foliage and acquires young branches.
Cuttings with 4 buds are selected for propagation. Their length should reach 15 cm. Cutting is carried out with a sharp knife.
Step-by-step process for growing a fig tree from cuttings:
- Cut edges of harvested cuttings are dried in the attic during the day.
- 2-3 cuts should be made in the lower area of the prunings, which will help accelerate the formation of the root system.
- Pre-prepared containers are filled with a layer of soil and peat. It is also advisable to add some sand.
- The cuttings are deepened into the soil mixture to a depth of 2-3 cm.
- The soil is moistened and the cut branches are covered with a jar.
- As soon as the root system appears on the cuttings, the seedlings can be transplanted into separate pots.
Prepare your own soil for planting. It includes turf land, peat, humus, sand and black soil. In spacious containers, you can plant indoor figs during the period when the roots begin to grow strongly and fill the entire space in the container.
Growing figs from cuttings is a fairly simple process that even a novice grower can do.
Please note! Fig trees need systematic soil moisture. Against the background of a lack of moisture, the leaf plates curl up and fall off.
How to take care of an indoor tree
Is a fig a fruit or a berry? What is a fig or fig
Figs should be cared for throughout the year. In the summer months, it is advisable to spray the trunk and leaf plates. Water for irrigation is used separated. Frequent spraying helps prevent the appearance of spider mites.
Important! During fruit formation, the frequency of watering is reduced to prevent the fruit from becoming watery.
An exotic culture also needs a dormant period. To this end, experts in the field of floriculture recommend moving trees from November to January to an insulated balcony or to another cool room, the temperature in which is in the range of 0-10 ° C. It should be borne in mind that it is impossible to take the fig tree out into the cold.
During dormancy, the plant does not need additional lighting. At this time, the leaf plates fall off. Watering the fig tree is recommended as the top layer of soil dries out. To prevent early awakening of the kidneys, moisten the soil in pots with cool water.
When the tree begins to awaken, its buds will swell. At this point, the exotic culture is taken out into a well-lit room. Fertilizers are applied to the soil.
In order for the fig tree to bear abundant fruit and develop quickly, nitrogenous fertilizers should be applied to the soil. Also, at the moment of awakening, the grower must apply top dressing, which includes phosphorus.
Important! The root system of figs grows rapidly, so it is recommended to replant the tree systematically.
Transplantation is carried out in the spring months until the moment when leaf plates form on the tree. The capacity for planting should exceed the volume of the previous pot. A drainage layer is poured on the surface of the bottom of the container, which is ideal for expanded clay.
When transplanting a fig tree, it is important to place its root system in a pot so that the root collar remains on the surface of the soil. After transplanting, the pot is transferred to a well-lit area.
Experienced growers say that when growing figs, it is important to systematically pruning in order to form a crown.
Pruning should be done before the plant wakes up. A young fig tree should have only 4 well-developed branches. The rest can be deleted without regret.
Once the tree reaches a height of 30 cm, side shoots can be stimulated by pinching the top. If there are already side branches, their length is shortened by 1/3. This shortening allows the lower shoots to become more powerful in size and strengthen even more. When performing the crown formation procedure, it is important to ensure that the upper buds are towards the sides, and not in the central part of the crown.
Please note! Properly and regularly pruned, you can achieve a gorgeous crown, which will consist of 4 vertically directed and a large number of side branches.
If you follow all the rules for caring for an exotic plant, you can achieve an increase in fruiting. Every year, figs bring 1 or 2 crops. The first phase of the harvest is different in that the fruits are formed on last year's branches, and in the second phase the fruits are concentrated on young shoots. The first phase of the harvest begins in the middle of summer, the second phase of the harvest comes closer to September 10-15.
The fruits become more juicy as they mature. Gradually, juice begins to stand out from the eye, which has a sweetish aftertaste.
Propagation of figs
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As mentioned above, figs can be propagated by seed, with the help of seeds and cuttings. However, most owners clearly prefer the latter option.
When choosing a method of propagation by cuttings, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the features of this event, presented below:
- When taking cuttings, the grower should give preference to lignified shoots. It is better to transfer the harvesting process to autumn.
- The cuttings prepared in this way are dried and sent for storage in the basement until spring.
- Blanks are dug into the ground or stored in boxes filled with wet sand. To prevent excess moisture from getting to the cuttings, it is recommended that you first wrap them with a layer of cloth.
- Planting of cuttings is carried out, as a rule, in April. At the same time, it is important to deepen the workpiece into the soil in such a way that only 1 kidney remains on the surface of the soil.
If there is a need to propagate figs in the summer, the method of propagation by layering should be preferred. To do this, a healthy tree is selected, the selected shoots of which are bent to the container located in the neighborhood and sprinkled with a layer of soil. The soil is systematically plentifully moistened.
As soon as the root system is formed on the layer, you can cut off the shoot from the tree and transplant the seedling into a new pot. After that, it is important to read the information on how to grow figs further. You can plant a fig tree in open ground only for the summer period.
Growing a fig tree from the stone
Flowering and fruiting
Figs belong to the category of dioecious plants. On a female plant, the formation of inflorescences (syconia) is observed, the flowers of which are distinguished by the presence of long or short columns. Small inflorescences are formed on the male tree.
This is interesting! In nature, culture is pollinated due to the fact that the female blastophage visits male flowers, and then enters female inflorescences, trying to lay eggs. Pollen from the paws of females falls on flowers and pollinates them. Insects living in the plant and feeding on it make it possible to achieve fruiting.
Growing figs at home in a pot allows you to enjoy the unique taste of fruits that you can pick from your plant. But for this it is necessary to choose a self-pollinating variety.
Harvest is formed in 2 stages - in the middle of summer and in the middle of September. To achieve maximum yield, it is important to properly care for indoor plants, timely fertilizing and moistening the soil. You should also regularly transplant figs into a pot that is larger than the previous one.
Growing figs from cuttings
Growing problems at home
Pests such as fig psyllid and fig beetle can harm an exotic plant. The tree affected by the psyllid begins to dry out. Soon the fruits fall and curl. To cope with insects, the fig tree should be treated with preparations of the following type:
Fig beetles feast on the nectar of an exotic culture. Against this background, the living woody tissue of the fig tree dies off. It is important to systematically inspect indoor plants. If a wound is found, it is recommended to cover the affected area with a layer of oil paint.
Also, green space can suffer from diseases such as:
- stem and shoot cancer;
- viral fruit spot;
- gray mold.