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How to Grow Fig Trees in Pots

The article shows how to grow fig trees in pots. Figs do well in pots, if you take care for them correctly. Fig is the easiest fruit you can grow in a container, and they produce fruit in just 1-2 years after planting, as I have grown in Sydney, Australia. The benefit of growing a fig tree in a pot is that you can move the pot inside during winter. The potted figs make very attractive additions to patios and balconies.

Continue reading below to get the complete details on growing fig trees in containers.
Fig Tree Growing in  Pot
Fig Tree Growing in a Pot

Growing a Fig Tree in a Pot

Fig Varieties to Grow in Pots

Figs can grow between up to 30 feet tall, too big for containers so you should choose dwarf fig varieties to grow in pots.

Following are some of the best dwarf edible fig varieties to grow in containers:

Little Miss Figgy

The fig variety, Little Miss Figgy grows up to 6 feet high, so it is the best fig tree for growing in containers.

It produces a large harvest of medium-sized figs.

Celeste

The fig variety, Celeste grows up to 10 feet high, so it needs regular pruning for growing in pots. Celeste is more cold hardy than other fig varieties. and grows super sweet fruit.

Brown Turkey

The fig variety, Brown Turkey grows up to 20 feet high but can be kept small by pruning. It is also a popular fig varieties to grow in pots because of its fruit. dark, purplish-red skin fruit.

Pot Size for Fig Trees

  1. The pot size will restrict growth of your fig tree, so what should be the ideal pot size for growing figs in a container.
  2. If you have grown your fig tree from a seed, transplant it in a small pot (how to grow fig tree from seed). Young fig plants do not need very large pots, but they will need to be repotted in larger pot as they grow. Planting in too large pot can cause root rot in soil due to excessive moisture in surrounding soil.
  3. Repot in a pot about 6 inches wider than the current pot. Eventually you will need a pot that is at least 20 or better 30 US gallons (110 L) in size to give your fig tree plenty of growing space.
  4. Transplanting: Spring is the best time to repot your plants and you should only plant figs in a pot size that is 2 size bigger.
  5. The potted fig tree will become quite heavy, so consider a pot with wheels so you can easily move it indoors in winter.
  6. You can use a container made of any material like plastic,wood, clay, ceramic, etc., but ensure there are plenty of drainage holes for excess water to escape.

Soil

Use a potting mix with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, which should be free-draining in having nutrients. If the pH is too low, add some dolomite, or if it is too high, add some garden sulfur to it. Add lots of compost or manure in the soil.

Planting

  1. The best time to plant fig trees in pots is in spring, but you can plant figs in pots at any time as long as you take its proper care. Plant your fig tree in the pot at the same depth as it was growing in its nursery pot. You can also transplant your fig tree in a new pot if you have propagated it from a cutting (how to grow a fig tree from a cutting).
  2. Add mulch: Add a thin layer of organic mulch to preserve moisture in the soil.
  3. After planting your fig, give a deep drink of water.

How to Care for Fig Trees in Pots

Despite their tropical nature, fig trees are not difficult to grow and you can even grow some types of figs indoors all year round if you want to. However, as figs rely on insects for pollination, plants should be placed outside in spring and summer while they're blooming if you want to produce fruit.

Light

Figs require full sun to fruit, so locate your plant in an area that receives at least 6 hours of bright light daily.

Watering

  1. Container grown plants dry out faster than plants in garden beds, so you should check your fig tree regularly to make sure it isn’t too dry. 
  2. Water your tree when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Water until it drains out the bottom of the pot. Depending on the weather, you may need to water your fig tree once or twice a week.
  3. Do not saturate the soil to prevent root rot.
  4. When fruit starts to form, you may need to water up to about 10 litres a day.

Fertilizer For Potted For Tree

Container grown figs will do best when fertilized with a high-nitrogen fertilizer, every 4 weeks in the spring and summer. Atomato fertilizer is the best for fig trees. You can also feed fish meal.

Do not fertilize close to the trunk, mix fertilizer in soil and water well.

Pruning

  1. Pruning is generally not needed, but you can prune your fig tree to keep it about 6 to 8 feet tall.
  2. Pruning should be done during winter when figs are dormant.
  3. Prune any diseased branches.

Pests and Diseases

Fig trees do not have too much pests or disease problems, but rust and leaf blight can all attack your fig tree. Cut off any pests affected branches to keep your tree healthy.

Harvesting Figs

  1. Fig trees have one of the shortest wait times before you should expect fruit. They usually produce fruits in 1-2 years after planting.
  2. Some fig varieties produce fruits twice in a year, the first small crop on last years wood and then a heavier crop on the new growth in late summer.
  3. Figs do not ripen off the tree, so pick them when they are ripe. Unripe figs taste sour or bitter, so wait until they are ripe. Figs are ready to pick once they become slightly soft and sweet smelling. Wait until the figs change from a green color to a dark brownish color. Figs with hard necks are not yet ripe and should not be picked.
  4. Note that birds and other animals love figs so you will need to securely net your trees to protect them. You may set up a frame structure with a net over it enclosing the tree inside.
  5. You can store the fresh figs in your fridge for 2-3 days. Dry figs last longer. You can dry figs in a dehydrator or dry them in sunlight.

How to Get Larger Fig Fruits

Sometimes, the fig tree produce a lot of fruit, but they may be small and not as sweet.

You should thin the number of figs growing on the tree to encourage larger figs. Pluck off some of the young fruit on the tree so it focuses on growing larger figs.



How to Care for Potted Fig Trees in Winter

  1. If you live in a cold climate region, you will need to bring your fig tree indoors in winter.
  2. Move your tree indoors into a sheltered area, like an unheated garage or basement in winter. Water sparingly when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil feel dry. Avoid overwatering your dormant fig tree to avoid root rot and other water-related issues.
  3. When spring arrives, acclimate your fig tree to the outdoors by moving it outdoors during the day and back inside at night for several weeks.