Do you want to grow fig tree? or maybe there is enough space available in your backyard or anywhere in your home that’s vacant?, why not grow fig tree or fig trees there?. Fig tree is a very beautiful tree that could be grown at home which do provide shelter, fresh and cool air, fruits etc.

To grow fig tree at home, get an 8-10 inches cutting from fig tree, plant the cutting 3 inches deep in a pot filled with loamy soil and dirt’s, water it from time to time and transplant it to where it will grow permanently at home.

Simple isn’t it? yes and no!. This is just an insight, but relax, we will give you a complete step by step guide on how to go about growing this tree and caring for it at home.

Fig tree is a tree in the family of Moraceae which provide shelter, beauty,food and even wood, this makes fig tree a very fine and exceptional tree to grow at home.

Fig tree is a very fast growing tree and can grow up to 20 to 30 feet tall when matured, with large well lobed leaves that are up to 8 to 10 inches which makes the tree a very good shelter.

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It thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10. Gardeners in northern zones, or in cold regions can grow this plant in container and take them indoors when the temperature drop below 10°F.

This tree is one of the oldest trees in the world, it was even mentioned in the Bible.

It is native to the middle East, but it came to America through the Spanish missionaries and since then is being grown in America, especially in the warmth regions of America. Now in USA, it is found in many households.

When fully grown, it does produce brown-purple colored fruits at least 2 times a year, depending on the variety, which we will explain later in this article.

Currently, there are 4 different types of fig trees, but 3 of it are very much uncommon because they are not self pollinating, and so gardeners normally do avoid them, they are: Smyrna, San Pedro and Caprifigs, but the most common type that’s found in many households is parthenocarpic. This type of fig is the commonest and self pollinating, that’s why it is the gardeners favorite and this it the type of fig tree we are going to discuss in this article.

VARIETIES OF FIG TREE TO GROW AT HOME

Like we stated above, this tree has 4 main types, but in this article, the focus is on the self pollinating type (Parthenocarpic).

It has many varieties or cultivars which every gardener should know before planning to grow fig at home.

It is very important to know the type of environment you are in, and then make a choice from the different varieties, on the one or ones that are very appropriate to you and your environment. Some of the Varieties are:

Black Mission: The Black mission yields two crops of large, rich-tasting, purple-black fruits that are very great when eaten either fresh or dried.

It is not cold tolerant unlike the Brown turkey variety, so not quite suitable for gardeners in the cooler regions. In the USA, southern gardeners can try this variety.

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This plant is very strong and active in nature too.

Brown Turkey: This variety is known to produce smaller fruits that’s not as flavored as the Celeste cultivars, but it does produce breba crop so often. It does exceptionally well in zone 7-9.

It is another largely grown fig tree by gardeners, mostly in the north due to the fact that it is more cold tolerant than many of the other varieties. So we can say that this is the most favorable variety for northern gardeners, or gardeners in the cold regions of the world.

Ischia: This variety of fig produce fruits which are small or smaller than the other mentioned varieties, and it’s fruit is light colored and does posse great flavor

This Variety is found in larger number in the coastal areas of California and it does well in the south also. It is a warm weather plant and so not very tolerant to frost.

Celeste: This is a variety of fig that is very large and also very beautiful. It’s fruit is medium-sized, brown-purple in color, very sweet and juicy. Its fruits normally do ripe in July.

One of the things that’s good about this particular variety is the fruit very great for eating raw (fresh) and also storing.

It does not produce breba crop and it is hardy to zone 6.

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Another name for this Variety of fig tree is “the sugar fig”.

It is one of the most grown fig trees by American gardeners.

GETTING THE FIG AND PREPARATION FOR IT’S PLANTING

Before thinking of growing fig tree or trees, maybe at home or anywhere, the first thing that should be considered is the location where the plant will take place and the way or how to get/buy the plant to grow.

In many places, getting fig to grow is somewhat easy because it can be found in many yards, just ask politely and they might allow you to get some cuttings (stems) from theirs. Although it solely depends on the variety you want to grow.

Anyway, to get your fig tree, Here is my recommended Store to buy any Variety you want.

Before the cutting arrive, get a pot, fill it with loam and dirt’s, mix them together and spray a little water in to in to hydrate it.

PLANTING

Fig tree in a container

Fig tree in a container

When the cutting arrive, take it and plant into the pot you prepared.

The bottom, where you will place inside the soil should be at least 3 inches into the soil.

The cutting should be about 8 to 10 inches tall.

After planting, then water a little bit to hydrate it, and keep doing the same every time the soil looks dehydrated.

Although fig can be very tolerant to drought, but don’t allow the soil to get very dry, especially at this early stage.

After planting in a container, keep it inside the house and where the sun will get to it, at least a bit.

In about a month or few weeks, it will grow out roots and start growing, and when this happens, leave it indoor for at least a whole season before transplanting to the permanent place where it will be grown.

First prepare the place where it will be transplanted. To prepare it, clear the place off grass if there is any by uprooting them with hoe or shovel, then rake it.

Dig hole on the land. the hole should be at least about a foot or a little bit less deep.

The deepness and the width although depends on the size of the tree, so make the hole accordingly and also make sure the roots are well spaced in the ground when transplanted.

Now that the hole is dug and everything is ready, get the pit where the young fig tree is, use small shovel to uproot it from the pot or turn the pot upside down and get the plant out.

Put it in the hole and space the roots well enough, and cover with sand.

If you are planting bare root plant, cut back the tops to about one half of their original length before Planting.

When the tree has been successfully transplanted, water it.

The best season to plant this tree outdoors is during the spring and the best moment to do this is early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is not hot.

CARE OF HOME GROWN FIG TREE

Fig as a tree has no too much problems, so it does not require much care, unlike so many plants that could be grown at home.

But it should be given some care for maximum growth and also for best yields.

Some of the cares required by this tree are:

Fertilizing: Fertilizing is one of the ways to give this plant a maximum care.

Although fig tree is okay with or without the application of Fertilizer, but at least from my own experience, Fertilizer, especially organic manure should be applied to it at least once a year or once in 2 years when it have grown.

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At it’s infant stage, Fertilizer could be applied at least in the same year it was planted.

Another good opportunity to apply Fertilizer is when the soil’s organic content depreciate, the leaves of the plant might start under growing or showing signs of wilt, then apply Fertilizer.

A good Fertilizer for this plant is 10-10-10 N.P.K. Follow it’s direction to apply.
Or use compost or animal dungs.

Although fig plant is not picky when it comes to soil, but the best soil is loam, with enough organic matter, in this case, you don’t have to be worried about applying fertilizer.

Note- The application of Fertilizer to fig plant is optional and again depends on the level of soil nutrient, if the soil is okay in nutrient, and the tree is growing fine, there should be no need to apply Fertilizer.

Watering: Fig tree although is drought tolerant, that does not mean it doesn’t require water and all, it does.

Being drought tolerant normally makes this plant stress-free to grow in terms of watering, so it is easier for gardeners to grow it than many plants.

Watering of fig plants is very systematic as you can’t water it like you do to other plants. To water it, apply a little amount of water, just enough to keep the soil hydrated.

This is very feasible when the plant is still very tender and once it has grown up alot, there is no need to water again as it will take care of itself by getting it’s own water right from the soil.

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And also during the rainy season, it should not be watered, instead, the amount of water in the soil should be checked because this plant does not tolerate waterlogged land, so the soil should be drained in case of heavy rainfall. This is why it is very important to try and grow it In a soil that has the ability to drain very fast.

Pruning: Pruning is not very important when growing fig at home or anywhere, It is just to shape the tree or maintain the balance of growth in terms of some disease attack on the roots. ( we will discuss this below).

Another reason you should prune this plant is when getting some cuttings from it to plant another place or when the tree over – grow and maybe pose some threat to your house, then you can prune off some parts that you don’t want.

Exposing to Sunlight: This is by far the most important way to care for this plant.

Fig plant requires good amount of sunlight in order to thrive, although there are few varieties that does tolerate frost, but in general, all varieties and types of fig do require full and complete access to sunlight.

At least on an average and from my own experience, this tree, no matter the type or cultivars, requires about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine every day to grow to their full potential and give good yields, this made it a warm weather plant.

We all know that majority of this plant’s cultivars does not tolerate cold environment, and so do not try to grow those varieties if you live in cold climate condition and if you must grow it, first grow it indoors, in a container and when it is matured enough, and when the weather seems okay ( spring) then transplant it , may be when big enough, it could stand a chance against frost.

Note – When growing fig indoors in container, get it to the Corner where sun will get to it, window sill is a good location for this plant.

Weeding: Weeding is a necessary thing to do around the part of home where the tree is.

This is not to curtail them from competing with the plant, but to keep that part tidy and well clean to match with the beauty of the tree and also to make the place comfortable as a resting and relaxing place.

At the young stage of this plant, weeds should be controlled because they are likely to compete with the plant and cause malnutrition to the plant, but once this plant has grown-up and big enough, weed has zero negative effect on it.

To curtail the activities of weed on the part of the home where fig tree is grown, there are so many tools that could be used, depending if you want to be doing it manually or automatically because this is a continuous process as weeds will keep growing.

And by the way, i don’t recommend uprooting the weeds,unless the fig plant is still tender, but when it is matured, don’t uproot the weeds around it, but cut and shape them. Cut and shape them to look very beautiful and it will help make the place very comfortable to stay and relax.

To weed manually, use tools such as cutlass or herbicide or hoe if you want to uproot or kill them.

But if you want to design them to look beautiful, I solely recommend the use of machines such as Lawn Mower.

PESTS AND DISEASE CONTROL

Fig tree is not usually affected by some of the things that do affect other plants, but this does not mean it doesn’t have it’s own version of problems.

Fig tree although very strong, but is prone to some diseases and Pests, such as:

Root Knot Nematodes: This is a very serious treat to fig tree, more especially in the southern part if USA.

It is a very destructive pest because when it infects a fig tree, it’s larva do destroy the roots, thereby making is impossible or hard for the plant to absorb nutrients and water from the soil. As we all know this will definitely lead to the death of the fig plant involved.

According to a research by some professors in the University of Georgia, trees infected by root-knot nematodes cannot be cured with chemical treatment.

Rather, they suggested pruning tops to balance the weakened roots. This act may prolong the life of the fig tree, but in overtime, the plant will die.

Rust: Rust is one of the diseases/Fungus that do affect fig plants, it is found under the leaves of this tree when raised and you will notice reddish-brown spots on the infected tree.

Although this fungus is not usually fatal, and unless it’s an annual problem, so applying or spraying with a fungicide is not necessary.

Leaf and pink blight: This do affect fig trees too. and to control these fungal attack, you should apply a good gardening hygiene, such as cleaning and disinfecting gardening tools before using them on the trees, applying mulch and also removing dead plant materials from the fig trees.

Squirrels and Birds: Squirrel is one of the disturbing factor this tree have because once the fruits have grown and start riping, it will attract some bunch of squirrels which if not harvested or taken adequate care of will destroy the whole fruits.

To control the squirrel and some birds from destroying the fruits, it is advisable to harvest the fruits earlier before they ripe.

Some gardeners do use net to cover the whole tree, in order to prevent pests and protect the tree from them, but one disadvantage is, this method can only work when the tree is very short or when it has not fully grown up to it’s full potential, and cannot work on taller varieties, as there is no how you can cover the whole tree.

HARVEST AND STORAGE

Fig trees do grow very fast, depending on the variety and type you grow, some varieties do grow more faster than some.

Within a few years of growing this tree, at home or anywhere, it will start yielding /Growing fruits. Not all types of fig do grow fruits, so make sure to plant the type that do grow fruits and is self pollinating.

When the fruits begin to get soft and some will start swelling and darken to a brownish-purple color, then know that they are ripe and you can harvest them.

Also you can harvest them before they could ripe to curtail the activities of squirrels and birds.

To harvest, uis garden ladder to climb up with a bag and reach them, pluck them up there and put in the bag.

Another method to harvest fig tree is to pluck them with long stick. or shake the tree if you can. This method is tiresome and slow anyway.

After harvesting the fruits, the next step is to store them.

Harvested fig fruits have a fairly short shelf life.

There are 2 methods to store this fruits, they are:

The use of Refrigerator- This method of Storing fig fruits is very effective, although it is not long lasting as it could only last for few days.

With this freezing method of fig fruit Storage, it can only last for 2 to 4 days.

The dry method – To use the dry method to store this fruits, wash them thoroughly and then dry them with a towel. Place them whole or halved on a wire rack. Place the wire rack on a baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in a 140°F oven for about eight to 24 hours.

Do could also be used by following the same guide.

To know when they are dry, the outsides become leathery and you will not see any juice on the inside. They should still be slightly pliable.

When they are dried enough, store them in the refrigerator and freezer in air tight containers and they could last up to 18 to 24 months.

IMPORTANCE OF GROWING FIG TREE AT HOME

One of the importance of growing this tree at home is due to the fact that it provides shelter and shade thereby making under it a very nice relaxing and resting place.

As we all know, it produce a very sweet fruits. which is edible for both human and animals such as squirrel etc.

It is also serves as a source of beautification to the entire yard, as it is enticing to look, especially when pruned and arranged and the grasses around it shaped.

It is a source of wood which is used for fire and also for planks and furnitures etc.

Conclusion

If you follow these steps and instructions here, I guarantee you that you will successfully grow your own fig tree or trees at home.

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References

Gardenerspath

Goodhousekeeping

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