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How to Take Care of Fig Trees

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

The fig tree is generally one of the easier fruit trees to grow. If you live in a Mediterranean-type climate you should have no trouble growing a fig tree and enjoying bountiful harvests. Fig trees need all-day sun and lots of moisture when they are young. Be aware that the roots of the fig tree will spread quite far and may become invasive, and, without pruning, the tree can become very large.

Check the soil pH around the fig tree. It should be between 6.0 and 6.5. You can adjust pH by adding amendments to the soil around the base of the tree. Check with your county extension agent for the best amendments to use in your area.

Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the fig tree. This will help to keep the roots cool and moist and will also cut down on weeds.

Water your fig tree frequently during hot weather. If the leaves begin to wilt during hot, dry weather, water more often. The roots of the fig tree are very shallow so more frequent watering, rather than deeper watering is most important.

Prune the fig tree once a year, in the early fall, during the tree's first three growing seasons. After that, pruning is only necessary to control the size of the tree and to remove any old, dead limbs. Be careful not to remove too much, as the fig will bloom on last season's growth.

Prepare the tree for winter by applying a new layer of mulch around the base of the tree. In the fall, cut back on watering the tree. This is done to allow the tree to stop growing, lose some leaves and go dormant. If you live in an area where temperatures are exceptionally cold, a string of Christmas tree lights can help to keep the young tree warm.



  • Fig trees do not require fertilization. In fact, excess nitrogen can harm the tree.

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.