How to Care for Potted Fig Trees

Updated April 13, 2018

When planted in the ground, fig trees can grow to 50 feet tall and develop a large, shady canopy. Many people choose to grow fig trees in containers to control their growth and fruit production. If the container has casters, the fig tree can be rolled to a sheltered location or even indoors if frost threatens. Growing a fig tree in a container or pot allows those living in apartments or with small yards to enjoy the beauty of this eye-catching tree.

Place the fig tree in a location that receives full sunlight. Fig trees need plenty of sunlight to produce edible fruit.

Water young fig trees regularly until they are established. Water mature fig trees every week or two, depending on how dry the conditions are, until the soil is thoroughly wet.

Spread mulch over the top of the soil in the pot. Fig trees have shallow root systems that can dry out very easily, and a layer of mulch will help hold moisture in the soil.

Fertilise regularly with a low-nitrogen fertiliser. Follow the directions on the package for use with potted plants.

Prune the fig tree after the second fruit harvest of the season has been taken. The figs grow on the previous year's plant growth, so try to prune only the limbs that have produced fruit in the current year to save the new growth for producing next year's figs.

Move the tree to a warmer location if freezing temperatures are expected. If the fig tree is too large to move, protect it with blankets and a nurseryman's light during freezing weather.

Harvest figs after they are fully ripened on the tree. The fruit will not ripen if it's picked too early.

Replace as much of the potting soil in the container as possible every three years.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Fertiliser, low-nitrogen
  • Pruning shears
  • Blanket
  • Nurseryman's light
  • Potting soil
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About the Author

Drue Tibbits is a writer based in Central Florida, where she attended Florida Southern College. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur and Your Home magazines. She has also been profiled in the Florida Today newspaper and the Writer's Digest magazine. In addition to writing brochure copy for local businesses, she helps new start-up companies develop a local image presence.