Fig trees are semi-tropical and grow well where the winter temperatures do not drop below twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Growing potted fig trees makes sense in cold climates. The trees can be brought in for the winter and stored until the weather warms again. Potted fig trees are easy to care for and have no special requirements for growing in a container vs. growing in the ground.
Planting Fig Trees in Pots
Mix potting soil, vermiculite, worm castings and builder's sand together in a ratio of 2-1-1-2. Fill the five-gallon flower pot halfway with potting soil mixture.
Gently spread the roots of the fig tree over the the potting soil mixture. Add more potting soil mixture and mix into and around the roots, filling to 1 inch below the edge of the pot.
Add a slow release, low nitrogen fertilizer stake to the flower pot. Cover the potting soil mixture with a one inch layer of pea gravel.
Water thoroughly, making sure that the soil remains moist. Place in a sunny location.
Winter Care of Potted Fig Trees
Choose a storage location such as a basement or garage. Fig trees are dormant during cool months and need to be stored in a cool, dark and dry environment. There should be no leaves on the tree when it is brought inside.
Wrap the tree in a carpet blanket that extends from the top of the tree to the bottom of the pot. Wrap a plastic drop cloth around the top of the plant.
Check periodically for leaf growth. If leaves have begun to sprout on the tree, move it into the house into a sunny location.
Acclimate the potted fig tree to the outdoors by taking the tree outside for short periods of time each day once the danger of frost has past. Extend the length of time outdoors weekly. This should take approximately three to four weeks.
Repotting Fig Trees
Select a pot that is larger than the original. If you started with a five gallon pot then the next size should be ten gallons.
Remove the tree from its original pot. Remove excess dirt by gently shaking the tree.
Prune the outer most roots to promote new root growth. Loosen the smaller central roots.
Fill the new pot half way with fresh potting mixture of potting soil, vermiculite, worm castings and builder's sand. Place the tree in the pot, spreading the roots over the potting mixture. Fill the pot with potting mixture leaving one inch space from the rim of the new pot.
Add a fertilizer stake and pea gravel. Water the tree thoroughly.