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How to Water a Fig Tree

fig image by hazel proudlove from

Although fig trees are native to Asia, they have grown readily in the Mediterranean for more than 5,000 years, according to Purdue University. They are related to tropical and subtropical ficus trees. Edible figs can be grown in home gardens, either in the ground or in containers. Figs can handle temperatures down to 10 degrees F for short periods of time, but they prefer warm, temperate regions for the best fruit development. No matter where you grow your fig tree, it needs plenty of water to develop good fruit.

Dig a 2- to 3-inch deep moat around the base of the fig tree, about 5 to 6 feet in diameter. Pile the soil into a trench around the edges of the moat to keep the water in. This will help get the water to the fig tree's roots.

Water 1-year-old fig trees with 10 gallons of water three times a week until the trees are established, according to the University of Florida.

Water established fig trees with 20 to 50 gallons of water several times a week only during drought conditions.

Place the hose at the rim of the trench and fill it with water. Allow the water to soak into the ground before you add more water.

Water fig trees in containers when the top 3 to 4 inches of soil is dry. Place the hose or watering can on the side of the container and fill it with water until it runs out of the bottom.

Water A Fig Tree

The wide-spreading roots of the common fig tree (Ficus carica) grow close to the soil surface. Watch for yellowing and falling leaves, which are signs that the tree is not getting enough water. ** Water your common fig tree as soon as you see its signs of stress. Although the watering needs of a fig tree depend largely on the soil and the weather, a general rule is that a fig tree needs 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water each week, either from irrigation or rain. Overwatering forces oxygen from soil that doesn’t drain well and can injure or kill a fig tree. In hot, dry summer weather, sprinkle the ground around a mature fig tree for 45 minutes once each week. A mature fig that is totally dormant can withstand cooler temperatures than a fig growing rapidly when the first frost hits. Crumble the soil you use to fill the remainder of the planting hole, and pack it downward several times to remove its air pockets. Nematodes feeding on small fig roots reduce the amount of water that the roots are able to take in.


If you don't water figs during drought conditions, they may not fruit well.


Fig leaf drop may be a sign of drought, meaning the tree needs more water.

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