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How to Fertilize a Fig Tree

The fig tree is a flowering and fruiting shrub in the mulberry family. They thrive in bright direct sunlight or some partial afternoon shade and develop large root systems in easy draining soil. Figs are very light feeders and require fertilizing only when container grown, grown in sandy soil or when growth seems impaired, such as growing less than 1 foot in a year. Low nitrogen, high potassium fertilizer formulations are recommended.

Select a low nitrogen/high potassium granular plant fertilizer such as a 4-8-12 or a 10-20-25 formulation. Low nitrogen formulas will prevent excessive vegetative foliage growth and will not inhibit bloom and fruit development.

Apply the fertilizer in a dose according to the package directions but do not exceed applying 1 pound of fertilizer in one year, split among three to four feedings from winter through mid-summer.

Distribute the fertilizer in an even layer over the soil keeping away from the immediate area of the trunk. Begin scattering fertilizer at least 1 to 2 feet out from the trunk and continue to 1 foot past the drip line of the fig tree to ensure root feeding. Place fertilizer out near the edge of the pot in container grown fig trees. Water in deeply after application.

Refrain from fertilizing your fig trees at planting or transplanting time. Holding off on fertilizer application for at least two months or more will help to limit stress on the tree and and drive nutrients to establishing strong roots instead of vegetative top growth.

Fertilize A Dwarf Fig Tree In Spring?

In fertile soil, a dwarf fig tree does not need fertilizer. Container-grown dwarf figs and established trees grown in poor soils benefit from regular fertilizing, beginning in late winter. Fertilizing immediately after planting may cause the tree to put out new growth before the roots are established, so do not do this. A mature dwarf fig tree in poor soil will benefit from approximately 4 ounces of fertilizer per 1 foot of tree height, applied beginning in the late winter, when buds first appear. Additional feedings in early June and mid-July supply all the nutrients the tree needs for the year.

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