How to Water Fig Trees


Fig trees, a member of the ficus species, are subtropical trees that thrive in warm, dry climates and high-desert regions. Fig trees thrive in well-drained soils, as their roots do not tolerate being waterlogged. These hardy trees do not handle frequent cold temperatures, but they are well-suited to dry areas that do not receive a lot of natural rainfall. Figs have a series of shallow roots, but proper irrigation encourages them to put down deeper roots, ensuring they grow into healthy, drought-tolerant trees.

Step 1

Water newly planted trees once weekly. Water at the base of the tree, wetting the soil to a 15-inch depth at each irrigation. In desert conditions or sandy soils moisture drains away from the roots more quickly, so water young these trees twice weekly.

Step 2

Water mature trees every two weeks, wetting the soil to a 15-inch depth. During periods of frequent rainfall, irrigation is unnecessary if the soil remains moist.

Step 3

Apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch on the ground around the tree, as mulch helps preserve moisture in the soil. Spread the mulch under the entire canopy of the tree. Leave a 2-inch space between the mulch and the fig tree's trunk, otherwise pests may nest in the mulch and chew on the bark, damaging the tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Fig trees that do not receive enough water will drop their fruit while it is still immature. Avoid planting figs in clay soils. The heavy soil becomes easily waterlogged and can drown the roots. Work in compost, peat or other organic matter prior to planting to counteract this problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch


  • Texas A&M Extension: Home Fruit Production--Figs
  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Fig
Keywords: watering fig trees, fig tree care, fig irrigation methods

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.