How to Take Care of a Fig Plant
The fig plant is actually a deciduous tree that is native to Southeast Asia. It produces an edible fruit that has a green leathery skin on the outside with a dark red, seeded inside. The fruit is an excellent source of calcium and fiber and contain many antioxidants. Fig trees grow best in warmer southern climates and can grow to heights of twenty feet tall. They are very easy to grow and can grow well indoors in containers.
Plant your fig trees into moist soil that is at least two to four inches deeper than the pot that you purchased the trees in from the nursery. Pack the soil down as you place the trees into the soil so that you eliminate any air pockets. This will keep the fig trees from bending over as they grow. Planting is usually done most successfully when the tree is dormant or during the early spring before the tree has began to bud.
Water your fig trees with enough water to keep the soil moist. Water with at least one to two inches of water each week. If the leaves of the fig tree begin to wilt or hang limp you should water the tree again. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Fig trees have a very shallow root system, which can cause them to dry out. Keep the ground moist, especially during the very hot months.
Prune the fig trees to remove all diseased, dead and weak limbs at the end of the growing period. Pruning will be done in early winter when the trees become dormant. You may also prune the tree to a shape that you wish the tree to grow in.
Apply an 8-8-8 fertilizer to the base of the fig trees three times per year. This is done best in early spring, late summer and late fall. Use two to three cups of fertilizer at the base of each tree.
Apply a two or three inch layer of mulch at the base of each tree as a protection in the winter. The mulch will help keep the soil warm, hold the moisture and will fight off weeds at the base of the trees.
Harvest the figs once they have been allowed to ripen on the trees. The bottoms of the figs will begin to turn brown when they are ready to pick. Figs must be used fresh. The fruit does not store for very long; you can place the fruit in bags for two to three days, but they must be used shortly thereafter.