How to Plant Green Fig Trees


Figs trees originate from a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. This subtropical tree tolerates cold down to 15 degrees F. Green fig trees reach 15 to 20 feet tall and have a shallow root system without a deep taproot. Green figs are eaten right off the tree. The outer skin of the fig stays green when ripe while the inside is bright strawberry red. Green figs are not normally damaged by birds, who cannot distinguish the green fruit from the green foliage.

Step 1

Clear a planting area of weeds and unwanted plants to eliminate competition for soil nutrients. Pick a site with full-sun exposure and good drainage. A site without good drainage will cause the green fig tree to die.

Step 2

Loosen the soil with a shovel. Break the soil up in an area twice as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Remove large rocks and break up large dirt clumps. Dig a hole a little deeper than the root ball and a little bit wider.

Step 3

Remove the packaging from the root ball of the green fig tree. Prune back the top of the fig tree by 1/3 with sharp shears unless already topped by the nursery. Trimming the top promotes branch growth and reduces water loss.

Step 4

Place the green fig tree upright in the hole. Adjust the planting level by adding or removing soil from the hole so the tree is planted 2 to 4 inches deeper than its previous container. Backfill the hole with soil in order to hold the tree in place. Pack the soil down to remove the air from around the roots and ensure that all the roots have contact with the soil.

Step 5

Fill the hole halfway with soil and pack it down again. Fill to the top with soil and firm the soil down. Flood the planting area with water and let it absorb for 15 to 30 minutes. Water the area thoroughly again.

Tips and Warnings

  • Young green fig trees are susceptible to cold damage. Larger, older trees are planted in the fall when they go dormant. This allows them to develop a root system before leafing out in the spring. Small, young trees are planted in the spring right before they leave the dormant stage. This helps them avoid damage from freezing temperatures.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Green fig tree
  • Sharp shears


  • Aggie Horticulture: Home Fruit Production---Figs
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Fig Production Guide
  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Fig
Keywords: green fig tree, planting fig tree, planting green figs

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.