Figs are a delicious and healthy fruit that are surprisingly easy to grow. Fig trees planted in the ground require no care once they are established. But not everyone has the luxury of being able to plant a fruit tree in the ground. Whether you are a renter or outside of the recommended growing zone you still have options. Growing figs in containers is actually quite easy especially if you choose a dwarf variety like the Little Miss Figgy or a small fig tree like the Celeste. But even the larger figs like Brown Turkey or Chicago Hardy can be grown in reasonably sized container with some extra pruning.
Fig Care and Growing Figs in Containers
The important thing for any climate growing zones 7 or lower is to choose a lightweight pot or a pot that fits on a tray with wheels. You will need to move your tree to a protected area in winter. So this is key. Choose a pot with good drainage that isn’t more than twice the size of the existing pot. Your tree will be happier being up-potted as needed rather than starting it out in a huge pot.
A good quality organic potting mix is optimal for figs.Location
Pick a nice sunny spot for your fig tree. Figs love the sun!Water
Yes, figs are drought tolerant, but plants in containers dry out much quicker than plants in the ground so you will need to water your potted fig tree especially in the heat of summer. Water when the medium feels dry about 2 inches down. Once you check with your finger a few times you get a good feel for when your tree needs water, but do keep in mind as the roots grow and fill in the pot you need to water more often. Water thoroughly with a hose until the water drains out the holes. If you allowed you tree to dry out completely and water runs out of the drainage holes right away keep watering until the potting mix is moist.Food
Fruit trees in containers need fertilizer. We recommend using a slow release fertilizer in early spring and again in mid summer.
Mulch helps hold in moisture which will cut back on your watering needs.Winter
Move your potted figs into a protected area when the leaves begin to fall. It is entering dormancy so it no longer needs a light source. Choose an unheated shed or garage. Figs don’t require many chill hours, but 100 chill hours are recommended for most varieties.Pruning
Prune your tree in late winter to control size. Fig trees can tolerate heavy pruning but avoid trimming more than ⅓ of your tree at a time.Harvesting
Do not harvest your figs until they are ripe indicated by a rich purple/brown hue and a fruit that has some give. Once picked, figs stop ripening
Growing Zones: 7 to 10
Mature Size: about 20 feet tall and wide
Description: This is a popular all around fig with a sweet and mild flavor. The Brown Turkey is fast growing and a heavy producer. This variety is heat tolerant.
Mature Size: 5 to 10 feet tall and wide
Description: The Celeste is ideal for small yards and containers. The fruit is ranked high for its sugary-sweet taste. This dwarf tree is pest and disease resistant and heat tolerant.
Mature Size: 15 to 30 feet tall and wide (smaller in cooler areas)
Description: Almost anyone can grow figs with the Chicago Hardy tree! This heavy producer is heat and cold tolerant as well as pest and disease resistant. The Chicago Hardy is a firm fig that is sweet and tasty.
Growing Zones: 7 to 10
Mature Size: 4 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide
Description: This Fig tree is the smallest variety you can find making it perfect for container growing with no pruning needed. It is a heavy fruit producer despite its size. Little Miss Figgy is a dwarf version of the Violette de Bordeaux Fig and has the same delicious fruit but in a compact plant. Little Miss Figgy is pest and disease resistant.
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