Figs are a semi-hardy plant that produces beautiful, succulent fruits. A semi-tropical tree or bush, the fig does best in well-drained soil in a sunny location. Largely grown in the Mediterranean, the plant is also popular in Asian and Middle Eastern regions. The fig was brought to the Americas by Spaniards in 1520 and has been increasing in popularity ever since. The fruit is incredibly sweet and is high in potassium, iron and fiber. Fig trees can live for 100 years and grow to just under 100 feet high, although they are generally kept pruned to about 16 feet.
Type of Fertilizer
Figs require a fertilizer high in nitrogen with a ratio of 3-1-2. A slow-release fertilizer works best, because it only needs to be applied once. Chose one that slow releases over three months and mix it into the top 2 inches of soil. When applied during repotting, the fertilizer can be mixed into the potting medium. Tree Help Complete is an excellent fertilizer high in nitrogen and micro and macro nutritive compounds.
Newly planted fig trees should not be fertilized immediately, because the root system needs time to spread and adjust to the new area. Nursery figs need to be planted 2 to 4 inches deeper and should have branches cut back to increase lateral growth. Once established, the fig needs annual fertilizing in spring. If it is planted in heavy soil, the fertilizer should be halved and administered first in early spring and then the remainder at the end of May. Nice, loamy soil only requires one-time fertilizing.
High-nitrogen fertilizer will enhance the vascular structure of the plant. This increases the circulation of plant sugars that have been photosynthesized and produces healthier fruit. Nitrogen is a recycled compound in that it gets taken up in live matter and then released as that matter decays. Many areas of soil lose this compound when they are extensively planted or plant debris is removed, so it is important to replace it. Nitrogen increases the protein in plants and the size and nutritive value of its fruits.
Like all fruit trees, figs usually need the extra nutritional compounds a good fertilizer will impart. Proper application will build healthy and prolific leaves that will help reduce water loss. The fig fruit is unique because it is made up of stem tissue with male and female flower parts inside. The fertilizer will increase the fruiting bud production and ensure large, delicious fruit.
Very good fertilizers can be purchased at nurseries or online. When growing an edible, it is always a good idea to make certain the products introduced to the plant are safe and nontoxic. The best way to ensure this is to make your own. A good homemade fertilizer intended for fig trees: 1 part super phosphate 0-20-0; 1 part bone meal; 1 part garden lime. Mix 1 cup in around the base soil of the plant in spring. After 20 days use a liquid fertilizer 20-20-20 and repeat every 20 days until August.