How to Grow Fig Trees in the Pacific Northwest

Overview

Figs like heat, being native to the warmer areas of western Asia, but can be grown in the cool summer climate of the Pacific Northwest with some extra thought and effort in selecting and siting the trees.

Getting Off to a Good Start

Step 1

Figs need warmth, sun and not much else. The best way satisfy them is to plant against a south-facing wall or fence where the reflected heat will ripen the fruit. These are large trees, up to 30 feet high, so be sure to give them plenty of room. If you're growing them for the large, attractive leaves rather than the fruit, you can get away with an east- or west-facing location or one that is partially shaded.

Step 2

Choose your variety carefully, looking for those that are adapted to cool areas. "Desert King" is one possibility, but there are others available from local nurseries.

Step 3

Plant in ordinary garden soil--whatever you have in your yard. Figs aren't fussy about soil conditions and it's best not to add extra organic matter before you plant.

Step 4

Water well after planting and throughout the first year. Figs need only moderate amounts of water, but you need to give them a chance to form a good root system before letting them dry out.

Step 5

Fertilize with low nitrogen fertilizer such as a 0-10-10 mix once a year. Nitrogen promotes leafy growth at the expense of fruit.

Tips and Warnings

  • Fruit is borne on the previous year's wood, so prune sparingly, just to thin the canopy and remove crossing branches.

Things You'll Need

  • Fig tree
  • Low nitrogen fertilizer

References

  • Figs: CA Rare Fruit Growers
Keywords: fig tree, Pacific Northwest, fruit trees

About this Author

Over the past 30 years, Mara Grey has sold plants in nurseries, designed gardens and volunteered as a Master Gardener. She is the author of "The Lazy Gardener" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Flower Gardening" and has a Bachelor of Science in botany.