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How To Grow Fig Tree, Fig Propagation From Cuttings

Read below the details on how to grow a fig tree in ground and pot, and how to propagate a fig tree from cuttings in soil and water. I am growing fig in a pot in Australia following the fig growing details given below.

The common fig (Ficus carica) tree, belongs to the mulberry family, is a fast growing tree which can grow up to 30 feet height. Figs grow best in areas wit hot summers (USDA zone 7- 8) [1]. The tree will be killed in temperatures less than -20 degree C. The fig tree root system is shallow and spreads to more than 6 m (20 ft )wide, sometimes as wide as 15 m (50 ft ). The fig tree has four to eight inch wide and up to 10 inch long.

Growing A Fig Tree From Seed, Cutting and Layering

Fig tree with fruits
Fig tree with fruits

Sun

Plant the fig in a place where it can receive 7 to 8 hours of full sun to partial sun.

Soil

Fig tree grows best in free-draining nutrition rich slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5-6.5). Add plenty of compost in the soil for vigorous growth when planting the tree.

Watering Fig Tree

Figs need very little water, allow your fig tree to dry between watering, water deeply and do not overwater. Every 10 days watering is sufficient. 
Yellow leaves can be the result of either too much or too little water.
In winter the tree becomes dormant, overwatering during dormancy may kill the tree.

Pruning Fig Tree

You may prune your fig tree when the tyree is young, first year or two to train its shape. After the fig tree is established, not much pruning is needed, remove any dead or diseased wood and the branches that are not growing. The best time to prune a fig tree will be in the dormant season.

Fertilizer For Fig Tree

Feed a balanced (6-6-6 or 8-8-8) fertilizer 2-3 times a year. During spring and summer feed every week with a citrus or tomato fertilizer. Mix some cow manure in the soil in late winter. If growing in a pot, add a slow-release fertilizer and compost. In place of chemical fertilizer, you can use compost and a high-nitrogen fertilizer like cottonseed, soybean or alfalfa meal.

Mulch

Put a thick layer of organic mulch such as sugarcane mulch, grass clippings or pine needles to prevent weeds. This is important in winter to insulate warm soil temperatures and prevent tree damage.

Fig Tree Fruiting

  1. The size of a fig fruit is small teardrop or pear shaped, filled with hundreds of tiny seeds, and have an edible purple or green peel with a pink flesh.
  2. The fig can be eaten fresh or in dried form.
  3. Fig has a number of health benefits as it contains lots of fiber.
  4. A fig tree will fruit when the tree is 2 to 5 years old.
  5. Figs are produced on old wood of the branch of the previous years. So, to produce more fruit the tree should have more branches.
  6. Fruit trees will produce more fruits if it receives 7 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. 
  7. The edible fig variety, Caprifig produces separate male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers.
People often ask whether there a wasp inside every fig. 
The answer is yes, there is at least one dead wasp inside the fig, but the tree produces an   enzyme ficin, which breaks down the wasp into proteins that get absorbed by the plant. 

Disease and Pest Problems in Fig Trees


Figs are relatively pest and disease free. Sometimes the fig trees are  attacked by mealybugs and scale insects. 

How To Grow Fig in Container

  1. The fig tree can be grown in containers of size 15-20 gallon having many drainage holes.
  2. Repot and prune the roots of the plant every third year. 
  3. The plant will need to be watered more often
  4. Move the pot in shade during hot summers to reduce root damage and water loss.
  5. Move the plant under cover during frost and temperatures less than -20 degree C. .
  6. In containers, figs will have less vegetative growth to direct its energy to produce fruits. 

Fig Tree Propagation


Fig cutting propagated
Fig Cutting Propagated

  1. Fig tree can be propagated from seeds, cuttings and air-layering. However, the fig propagation is easiest from cuttings, it does not need any rooting hormone.
  2. Propagate fig tree in late winter to early summer for success, although you can try in any season. 
  3. Both hardwood and softwood cuttings will root. The cuttings can be short or long, thin or thick.
  4. Take a small pot with drainage holes. Fill it with a free-draining soil and water well. Keep aside to allow drainage of extra water.
  5. Plant the cuttings in soil and cover them with a clear plastic bottle or bag and place in shade. The cuttings will develop roots and new leaves in a couple of weeks.
  6. Fig cuttings can also develop roots if put them in a cup of water.

Watch YouTube Videos on Growing Fig Tree From Cutting

How to grow fig tree from cutting Youtube video 

References

1. Common Fig, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_fig