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How to Grow Fig Trees in Florida

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How to Grow Fig Trees in Florida

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Overview

The fig tree (Ficus carica), a deciduous fruit tree and a member in the family Moraceae, is an Asian and Mediterranean native. Figs prefer dry climates, which can lead to problems with growth and fruit production in Florida's humid conditions. Of the four varieties of figs, cultivars such as Brown Turkey, Celeste and Black Spanish grow best in Florida, according to the University of Florida. Common fig cultivars do not require pollination to set fruit. Their growth in Florida tends toward bushes instead of trees because of frost.

Step 1

Plant Florida bare-rooted fig trees into the ground December through February while they are dormant. Plant Florida container-grown fig trees year-round.

Step 2

Place the tree in an area situated in full sun and large enough for the fig tree to reach maturity. Fig trees grow up to 50 feet in height and spread, with 25 feet being average in Florida, and their root systems grow larger than the tree's mature canopy.

Step 3

Clear an area approximately three feet in diameter free of grasses or weeds that can impede the growth of young fig trees, using a rake and shovel. Keep the area weed-free while the tree is growing.

Step 4

Amend the planting site with organic matter such as compost, manure or peat, based on the soil's needs. Florida's soil is sandy and prone to nematodes and amending the soil will cut down on nematode infestation in fig trees.

Step 5

Dig a hole two to three times wider than the container and as deep as the tree is presently growing, using a shovel. Place the tree into the hole and pack the soil firmly around the root ball to release the remaining air pockets.

Step 6

Water the fig tree its first year with approximately 10 gallons applied three times per week. Mature fig trees have some drought tolerance but perform best given 20 to 50 gallons of water every week.

Step 7

Apply an application of mulch around the planting site to help the soil retain moisture and cut down on nematode infestation. The mulch will also impede the growth of weeds and unwanted grasses.

Step 8

Fertilize young fig trees grown in Florida that are up to three years old every other month starting in March and ending in August. Apply 1/2 lb. of a 10-10-10 blend spread underneath the tree's canopy. Fertilize older trees with two to four lbs. in every application.

Step 9

Treat fig trees affected with fig rust, which turns the leaves brown, with an application of a 5-5-50 Bordeaux spray. Spray the tree's foliage every other week. Fig rust is the most common ailment for trees planted in Florida.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Peat
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Bordeaux spray
  • Spray bottle

References

  • University of Florida: The Fig
  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Fig
Keywords: growing Florida figs, Florida fig trees, planting fig trees

About this Author

Joyce Starr is a freelance writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawncare, gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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