Care for Fig Trees


Fig trees can be 50 feet tall with a spread wider than their height. They are more commonly only 10 to 30 feet high and easily can be pruned into a tall shrub. During its dormant state, the fig is hardy to 12 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, however, a cold snap after dormancy can damage the tree at 30 degrees. There are different types of fig trees, and some need pollinating by a tiny wasp and others, such as the common fig, do not need pollinating at all. Fig trees require minimal care.

Step 1

Water the fig tree every day for the first week after planting. For the next two months, water every other day to establish the root system. Then keep the ground moist throughout the summer as the tree has shallow roots and can dry out easily. Stop watering in the fall as you don't want to promote new growth that can be damaged by frost.

Step 2

Apply a balanced fertilizer with micro-nutrients, such as an 8-8-8, in the early spring, once all danger of frost has passed, late spring and mid-summer. Do not fertilize late summer or early fall as it will promote new growth into the winter.

Step 3

Spread a 1-inch layer of compost in a 3-foot diameter on top of the soil over the root ball in mid-spring. Water well to leach the compost into the soil. Then repeat the process, using well-rotted manure in early summer. This will enrich the soil, give the tree nutrients and keep the soil loose and draining well.

Step 4

Cover the soil in a 6-foot diameter around the tree with 3 inches of clean straw. This is especially important the first two or three years after planting. The straw will keep the weeds from growing and competing with the tree for water and nutrients. It also will help to retain moisture. Add an extra 3 inches in the late fall before the first frost.

Step 5

Prune in late winter, cutting off all dead, damaged or diseased branches. Cut branches that are crossing or interfering with the growth of the main trunk. Older trees may be thinned to stimulate new growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Well-rotted manure
  • Balanced fertilizer with micro-nutrients
  • Clean straw mulch
  • Pruning shears


  • LSU AgCenter: LSU AgCenter Horticulturist Details How To Take Care Of Fig Tree
  • ACES: Caring for your Fig Trees
  • Texas A&M University: HOME FRUIT PRODUCTION - FIGS
Keywords: growing fig trees, fig tree care, growing fruit trees

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.