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Fig Tree Care

Figs- (Ficus carica) has been cultivated since ancient times. The fig is a popular 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.
Our figs trees are self-fertile and produce crops twice a year, once in early summer and again late summer through the early fall.

We offer 3 varieties- Brown Turkey, Celeste, and LSU Purple.
Our Brown Turkey Fig is the classic all-purpose fig. A delicious fresh fig can be used for preserves or dried fruit.
Celeste Fig- known as the sugar fig with its honey sweet flavor.
LSU Purple-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 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 should be chosen that is sunny, in a well-draining area. Figs prefer sandy soils.
3. Place the potted tree in a chosen location for 2 weeks and allow the tree to acclimate to the area before you plant in the ground.
4. Dig a hole double the width of the root ball or double the size of the pot and fill with water and wait 24 hours.
5. Fill the hole with water again. If water has drained from the hole within an hour this area has good drainage and the tree can be planted.
6. If the area has bad 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.
Fig trees are deciduous, meaning they experience leaf drop in the winter indoors and can be kept in a garage or basement.

Watering
Do not over-water Fig trees!
Overwatering trees in the ground in certain soils are often 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 easily 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 basic requirements and the biggest mistake made is incorrect watering.
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 that reads 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, check it with a moisture meter again to make sure the meter reads high- like 9 or 10 and then do not water again until the meter reads 4.
7. In the winter you will water far less, like 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 in order to establish desired shape and size. In subsequent growing seasons prune only to stimulate new growth or to control size. Unpruned fig trees can spread 25’ or more. Figs do not require regular pruning once defined and established.
Figs can bear fruit in the fall on the previous year's growth, so heavy pruning will result in lighter crops the following season. It is best to prune immediately after the main crop is harvested in early fall. Heavily pruned fig trees can be susceptible to sunburn, so it is a good idea to whitewash trees after heavy summer pruning with interior white latex paint, diluted 50-50 with water. 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, far too much nitrogen will inhibit fruiting.

Mulching
Use mulch for ground planted trees only.
Maintain a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around the olive 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 against the trunk of the tree.
The tree trunk needs air circulation, without circulation, the truck could rot away from the root ball so avoid piling soil and mulch close to the root crown and tree truck.

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 normally through dormancy. It helps to have a moisture meter because in cooler climates the tree will not need to be watered as often (about twice a month).
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. On-the-tree spoilage or souring is caused by microorganisms in the fully ripe fruit. 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 greatly reduce spoilage problems.
Use gloves and long sleeves when harvesting figs to prevent skin irritation from the fig latex which is exposed where the fruit is removed from the tree.

Cold Weather Protection
Factors influencing a fig tree's susceptibility to cold injury are related to the tree's entrance into dormancy. A mature tree which has lost all of its leaves and becomes totally dormant can withstand much cooler temperatures than a rapidly growing tree at the time of the first frost. Reduce watering in the fall of the year to reduce growth and encourage the onset of dormancy. A fully dormant fig tree can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees F.
In areas where temperatures drop into the teens or twenties, additional cold protection is important for young trees. Placing mulch over the base of the tree in winter can protect the crown from killing frosts. Planting along the south side of a building can also help reduce freeze damage in cold areas. Utilizing old-fashioned Christmas lights that produce heat and polyester frost blankets can be used when the tree is young. When trees or limbs freeze, give the tree ample time to grow before removing the frozen limbs. Prune frost-damaged branches in the spring once the threat of heavy frost has passed.
Fig trees planted at the beginning of the dormant season often develop root systems before leafing out in the spring. This can be advantageous, but young trees are more susceptible to cold injury. In areas where cold damage may occur, it is often advisable to delay planting until just before dormancy is broken in late winter. 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)