Native to the Mediterranean and southeast Asia, fig trees thrive outdoors in temperate climates. Landscapers in the southern United States, most notably in Florida, have used these trees as hedges. When full grown fig trees can reach heights of 30 feet. Due to leaf and fig drop these trees are considered messy landscape features. The root systems also invade drainage systems. Their pleasant appearance and ability improve air quality makes fig trees perfect indoor saplings. Some owners have had fig trees in their living rooms for decades.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Fig saplings
- Soil mix
- Indiirect sunlight source
- Nylon cord
- Pruning shears
- Heat source
Identify the species of sapling. Common varieties are Ficus lyrata (Bold Fiddle Leaf), Ficus elastica (Rubber Tree) and Ficus benjamina (Benjamin Fig).
Determine the best location for your sapling. All types should be near a sunlit, south facing window. Ficus lyrata and Ficus elastica prefer bright, indirect light. Ficus benjamina prefers direct light but can also grow in shaded areas.
Check the potential location for drafts. Fig trees thrive in consistent environments and drafts are harmful to the plant.
Adjust your thermostat. Fig trees grow best in environments of 17.8 degrees C (-7.78 degrees C Celsius).
Choose a planting container. The smaller the pot, the more likely you will have to trim back the roots as the plant grows.
Prepare your sapling's planting container. Use a soil based potting mix. These mixes retain moisture more effectively than peat moss varieties.
Insert a stake into the soil mix.
Plant your sapling in the pot.
Attach the sapling to the stake with loose lengths of nylon cord.
Thoroughly water your fig tree. Water should run through to the bottom of the container. The plant should not be allowed to dry out between waterings. Keep the soil moist, but not damp.
Periodically check the bottom of the container. If root fibres are present, repot your fig tree or cut it back the roots.
Prune your sapling in the late spring or early summer.
Tips and warnings
- If you plan to take your containerised fig tree out to your deck or patio in summer then be certain the outdoor environment mimics the indoor one, in terms of light and heat. You will have to water an outdoor containerised tree more frequently in summer and inspect for pests.
- If you plan on planting your fig tree outdoors at a later time then follow the steps above but do not cut back the root system or place the tree in a small container.
- Keep up with watering. Do not drastically and periodically change the temperature of the environment. This plant grows successfully when its environment is consistent.
- Fig trees drop their leaves when they are acclimating to new environments. If your plant continually drops leaves then gently mist the plant. If the problem persists and the sapling begins to emits a sticky discharge then you may have a problem with spider mites, scales or mealy bugs. Apply a foliage cleanser according to the manufacturers' instructions.
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