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Fig Tree Care

Figs (Ficus Carica) have been cultivated since ancient times. The fig is a favorite Mediterranean fruit tree growing wild in dry sunny areas.
There is nothing like the unique delicious taste of fresh figs. To enjoy the sweetest and richest flavor, be sure to let them ripen fully on the tree before picking. The high sugar content of the edible fruit is an inverted flower. The fruiting figs don’t flower like Citrus or Pomegranates, their flowers bloom inside the pear-shaped pods. Mediterranean cuisines rely on the fig which is a traditional ingredient for salads, bread, roasted figs and mouth-watering dishes such as balsamic fig glaze poured over savory meat. Recipes include breakfast, pastries, appetizers, dessert, stuffed figs, jams, jellies preserves, and marmalades. The recipes are endless for this long enjoyed ancient fruit, and figs are loaded with healthy fiber.
Our figs trees are self-fertile and produce crops twice a year, once in early summer and again late summer to early fall.
We offer 3 varieties: Brown Turkey, Celeste, and LSU Purple.

Brown Turkey Fig Tree: the classic all-purpose fig. A delicious fresh fig can be used for preserves or dried fruit.

The Celeste Fig Tree
: known as the sugar fig with its honey sweet flavor. Celeste fruit has a tightly closed eye which inhibits the entry of the dried fruit beetle.

LSU Purple Fig Tree: This hardy tree rarely requires any pesticides or special care. Louisiana State University bred this fig for disease and heat resistance, this fig has three fruiting seasons.

Planting Zones
Our Figs can be planted in USDA growing zones 9-11 only.
Trees that are planted in the ground that experience freezing temperatures above zone 8 need protection in unusual inclement weather.
Planting in the wrong hardiness planting zone will void the warranty.
Planting zones:https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

Planting In The Ground
1. Do not plant a new fig tree in a space where an old tree has died. The soil may be contaminated and create problems for your new tree. Mature fig trees can grow to a height of 10-25 feet tall, depending on variety.
2. The location chosen should be sunny, in a well-draining area. Figs prefer sandy soils.
3. Place the potted tree in the chosen place for 2 weeks and allow the tree to acclimate to the area before you plant the tree in the ground.
4. Dig a hole double the width of the root ball or double the size of the pot and fill the hole with water and allow it to drain for 24 hours.
5. Fill the hole with water again, the next day. If the water has drained from the hole within an hour, then this area has good drainage, and the tree can be planted in the location.
6. If the area has terrible drainage choose another area.
7. Add a mixture of compost and well-draining soil into the hole and remove the tree from the pot. Try to keep the root ball intact to minimize root disturbance.
8. Place tree in the hole. DO NOT allow the tree to drop down into the hole. The soil line of the tree should be above the existing soil grade approximate 1-2 inches above the existing grade.
9. Do not bury the root-crown with soil or mulch. A photo of the root crown can be found here: https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/pest-disease
10. Keep other plants away from the tree by creating a 5-foot circumference around the trunk of the tree. Weeds allowed to grow around the tree's base compete for water and nutrients, so pull them up as they appear.
11. Figs can be easily trained as espaliers.

The Potted Fig
Fig trees are best grown in sandy soils in a well-draining pot.
Do not allow the tree to sit in standing water. We recommend using a moisture meter to avoid overwatering. 
The tree needs 6-8 hours of full sun daily, add additional lighting indoors.
Do not re-pot until you have had the tree at least 2 weeks, the tree needs time to adjust
Never plant a tree in a container more substantial than a 10-gallon pot. Always water according to pot size, with a moisture meter. Drilling additional holes in the pot is an easy way to improve drainage.
When repotting DO NOT transplant using stones in the bottom of the pot or use stones on top as a decoration. This can cause a drainage issue, and lock moisture into the pot which will cause root rot.
DO NOT USE SELF-WATERING POTS OR GLOBES.
DO NOT USE POTS WITH THE DRAINAGE TRAY ATTACHED.
Select the right sized pot with adequate drainage holes. If the pot has no holes on the side or bottom, it is not the correct pot for planting.
Self-watering is incorrect watering, self-watering is not infrequent deep watering.
Fig trees are deciduous, meaning they experience leaf drop in the winter. A fig in zones below 9 should be kept indoors in a garage or basement.

Watering
Overwatering trees in the ground in certain soils are is the number one factor in causing root rot. 
Fig trees prefer deep root watering. 
Regular watering helps the tree to establish a deep root system.
Give special attention to soil moisture management in fig culture. Most fig tree roots are close to the soil surface and can quickly dry out. For these reasons, apply water to the trees as drying develops. Slight leaf wilting in the afternoon is an indication of water stress. If stress is observed, water more frequently during hot weather. Mulching helps maintain uniform soil moisture and reduces weed competition for figs planted in the ground.

 Deep Watering Method For Potted Trees
Trees will die if they don't have the essential requirements, and incorrect watering is the most common cause of issues and tree death. 
1. Check the tree with a moisture meter before watering. 
2. The prong should be deep into the pot.
3. Only water when the meter reads 4 (for a meter with a range from 1-10).
4. All trees require deep watering. Deep watering is drenching the soil until water pours from the holes at the bottom of the pot. 
5. Watering with a few cups is not acceptable, this will cause deep roots to die. Never be stingy with the water when the tree needs to be watered.
6. Once the tree has been watered properly, recheck the soil and make sure the meter reads (9 or 10).
7. In the winter you will water far less, about twice a month (But always check the tree with a meter weekly because this can vary).
8. The meter should never be left in the pot when not in use.
9. Never water with cold water in the winter.
10. Never water the tree with water from a water softener.
NEVER ALLOW TREES TO SIT IN STANDING WATER.
A space between the bottom of the pot and the tray that catches the water is required.

Pruning
Prune figs trees annually during the first three growing seasons to establish desired shape and size. Figs do not require regular pruning once defined and established.
Heavily pruned fig trees can be susceptible to sunburn, it’s an excellent idea to whitewash trees after massive pruning. Interior white latex paint diluted 50-50 with water works well. Remove all weak, diseased or dead limbs each dormant season.

Fertilizing
Fig trees benefit from spring fertilization with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer. In early spring, before new leaves appear, apply a granular, general-purpose 5-5-5 fertilizer
DO NOT over fertilize the Fig, too much nitrogen will inhibit fruiting.

Mulch
Use mulch for ground planted trees only. Never use mulch for a potted tree, mulch can impede drying and cause root rot.
Maintain a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around the fig tree to retain soil moisture and improve soil quality.
Apply the mulch in the spring and fall under the canopy of the tree.
Avoid piling mulch and soil against the trunk of the tree and root crown. Covering the truck and root crown will eventually cause the tree to rot away from the root-ball.

Note on Dormancy
Dormant trees still need to be protected (winterized) to remain healthy and free from diseases and insects. Prune dead branches in the later part of fall. Foliage and branches that are in contact with soil invite undesirable pests. Therefore it is best to keep the winterized potted dormant tree clean of debris. Set it in an unheated garage or basement and allow it to go dormant for the winter months. Water the tree as you would typically through dormancy. 
Water the dormant tree when the meter reads 40%. Fertilize dormant trees in February with a 5-5-5 fertilizer.

 Harvesting
In areas without heavy spring frosts, figs can bear two crops per year. The first crop is produced in the spring on the previous year's growth. The second, main crop is produced in the fall on that year's growth. Thinning heavy crops will increase fruit size.
For best quality, allow figs to ripen on the tree, and pick as they ripen. Ripe fruit left on the tree will be vulnerable to dried fruit beetle predation and spoilage. Microorganisms in the fully ripe fruit cause On-the-tree spoilage or souring. These organisms are usually carried into the open eye of the fig by insects, particularly the dried fruit beetle. Frequent harvest and the removal of overripe, spoiled figs can significantly reduce spoilage problems.
Use gloves and long sleeves when harvesting figs to prevent skin irritation from the fig latex.

Cold Weather Protection
In areas where temperatures drop, additional cold protection is essential for young trees. Young trees are more susceptible to cold injury. Fig trees grow great in containers, so planting is not necessary for the plant to thrive.

 

Please contact us at support@lemoncitrustree.com or call if you need assistance with your Fig tree.

Lemon Citrus Tree
866-216-TREE (8733)