How to Care for an Indoor Fig Tree
Indoor fig trees are a nice change from diminutive houseplants. They are tall enough to make a statement and provide a real outdoor feeling in any indoor room. They work well in corners, by doorways, or in dead space at the end of a hallway or stairway landing. You can grow a healthy indoor fig tree.
Keep slow-release fertilizer spikes in the soil. Follow package directions for placing new spikes in periodically. Slow-release fertilizer keeps the tree supplied with a continual amount of nutrients, but you don't have to remember to fertilize every week or so.
Water the fig tree weekly. Use enough water to soak the soil; keep a tray underneath to catch excess water.
Provide adequate light for the fig tree. Six hours per day is a recommended amount; if you have a southern-facing window, that's an ideal spot. If not, use whatever natural light you have coming in and supplement with a grow light to provide the full amount of light.
Provide adequate space for the tree. Make sure the container is large enough for the size of the tree. If your fig tree has grown well and is still sitting in a 5-gallon container, you'll need to transplant it. Be sure, too, that it has horizontal space to spread those branches without crowding. Don't stuff it in behind furniture or smother it next to curtains.
Deal with disease quickly. If you notice any signs of disease, remove the diseased branch quickly and treat the rest of the tree if needed. Fig trees are often very healthy and chances are you won't have any disease to deal with. If you do, however, the sooner you take care of it, the better for your fig tree.
Care For An Indoor Fig Tree
Fig trees (Ficus carica) can be challenging to grow as houseplants year-round, since they usually lose their leaves and drop into dormancy in autumn. In The Unexpected Houseplant, Tovah Martin writes that “The exception to this rule is 'Petite Negra. '" Although the self-pollinating plant is small, it produces medium to large dark purple fruits with red flesh, usually in early summer and early autumn. If your plant isn’t full-grown yet, start it off in a smaller pot and work your way up, as it fruits best when slightly root bound. To eliminate either pest, mix 2 tablespoons of pure neem oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons of mild dish detergent with 1 gallon of water. Repeat the oil treatment one week later for spider mites, once every two weeks for two months for scale.
- Slow-release fertilizer spikes
- Watering can
- Grow light
- Large container (10 gallon)
- The Unexpected Houseplant: 220 Extraordinary Choices for Every Spot in Your Home; Tovah Martin
- Growing Tasty Tropical Plants; Laurelynn G. Martin and Byron E. Martin
- Gardeners' World: 101 Ideas for Small Gardens; Martyn Cox
- Royal Horticultural Society: Figs
- 75 Remarkable Fruits for Your Garden; Jack Staub
- The National Gardening Association: Fabulous Figs
- Port Washington Garden Club: Tender Perennial Suggestions
- The Houseplant Encyclopedia; Ingrid Jantra and Ursula Kruger
- Logee's Greenhouses Spectacular Container Plants