Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Figs

Fig Fruits


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Figs are a delicious treat that has tropical and subtropical origins. Here’s how to grow fig trees at home!

Figs thrive in areas with long and hot summers, though they can also be grown in containers. Figs can be eaten fresh from the tree, preserved, or used in cooking.


  • The common fig tree is the best choice to plant because its flowers are all female, meaning that they are self-pollinating and do not need to cross-pollinate with another tree to create fruit.
  • For container fig trees, grow them in soil-based potting mix and add fine bark chips. Keep the tree in full or filtered light. Be sure to add a high-nitrogen fertilizer every 4 weeks and water the tree moderately. It is important to keep the tree moist during the winter.
  • For outdoor fig trees, plant the tree in the spring in full or partial sun. Fig trees can grow in any type of soil as long as the soil is well-drained and contains plenty of organic material. (Learn more about organic soil amendments.)
  • For container-grown trees, remove the plant from its pot and remove any circling roots by laying the root ball on its side and using shears to cut through the roots.
  • Dig a hole that is a few inches deeper and wider than the spread of the roots. Set the tree on top of a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Be sure to spread the roots away from the trunk without excessively bending them.
  • Plant the tree 2 to 4 inches deeper than it was originally in the pot (check the color of the trunk to see the original soil line).
  • Space the tree about 20 feet away from any buildings or other trees.


  • Be sure to water the young fig trees regularly to help them become established. In areas with dry climates, water fig trees deeply at least once a week.
  • Unless grown in containers, most fig trees do not require regular fertilization. However, if your fig tree is not growing much (less than 12 inches in one growing season), you can add ½ to 1 pound of nitrogen. Divide up the nitrogen into 3 to 4 feedings. Start applying the nitrogen in late winter and end in midsummer.
  • You can also apply a layer of mulch around the tree to help prevent weeds and keep in moisture for the roots.
  • Fig trees require little pruning. During the dormant season, be sure to remove all dead, diseased, or weak branches to encourage growth.
  • If you have an abundant growth of figs, you can thin the fruit to encourage larger figs.



  • You should harvest figs when they are fully ripe. The figs should be fully colored and slightly soft to the touch.
  • When picking figs, wear gloves or long sleeves because the sap from the fig tree can irritate your skin.
  • Figs are very perishable. Store figs in the refrigerator; they will keep for 2 to 3 days.
  • For long-term storage, you can freeze figs whole for later use. Another storage method is to dry the figs. You can also can your own figs.

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

Figs are an excellent source of potassium, dietary fiber, and calcium.

You can’t grow figs from thistles.


Reader Comments

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When to transplant my tiny fig tree?

Hello, I received a small fig tree from my sister that is growing in a pot and is only about a foot tall. I live in Southeastern New York (Zone 7a) and would like to transplant the tree into my south facing garden. Can I do this now, or should I wait until fall? Many thanks!

when to plant

The best time to plant a fig is in the spring. Please scroll to the text above to see more tips on successful growing.

"Leggy" Fig Plants

Hi! Over the past several years I have acquired 4 fig plants (all about a foot or so tall when I got them). Two are 2 years old and two are 1 year old. I live in northeastern Kansas (about 30 minutes west of KC). I have kept them in pots and take them in to a sunny window in the winter where they have stayed alive and growing but I think not growing as a normal fig should. None of them have a central "trunk" just several branch-like pieces are growing more horizontally than vertically and each is several feet long. They have leaves at the ends but none between the dirt and the last 8 inches or so. They have produced about 2 figs each in the time I have owned them. SO, should I
A) plant them in the ground? (Is it too cold here in the winters?) If I can plant them in the ground, is July/August too late and should I prune them back to just one of these branch like pieces first? OR,
B) re-pot them in bigger pots (the pots are already pretty big) and prune them way back? Or
C) just leave them in their pots and prune them? and if I prune them, when and how far back?
From what I have read here, fertilizing is something I've learned I definitely need to do as I never have - eeeek! I'm just perplexed about what to do first and in what scenario and to what extent. "Fig"ure I have made a mess of this whole thing!
Obviously I have no idea what I am doing.I recall my Nana in VA having beautiful figs that bore lots of fruit, and I always thought they were beautiful and remember her teaching me to make strawberry/fig preserves. I definitely inherited her love of plants but not her gift of growing them :) Can you help? Thanks ever so much!

Leggy Figs

Hi Lauri,

Most of Kansas is located in Hardiness Zone 6, which is too cold for most figs, meaning you wouldn’t want to plant yours outside unless you know that they are a cold-hardy variety. The legginess issue is commonly caused by a lack of sufficient sunlight, so if you can, keep your figs outside in the summer in a spot that gets at least 8 hours of sunlight each day (while also making sure that they are watered regularly). In winter, keep them next to the sunniest window in your house. For the rest of this season, it’d be best to leave them in their current pots and to not prune or fertilize them. In late winter, while the trees are still dormant, prune them back by about ⅓ in length and fertilize with a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer. Assuming you can get enough light on them, they should grow back in a more regular pattern. Good luck!

Fig tree

My fig tree is now 4 years , 2 bd year I saw 2/3 fig , last year was 2 , this year still no fig . But the tree is big now , 5/6 feet long now , I don't know what I should do , bcs tree is going bigger with no fruit - pls help me , same my pear tree as well . I put water every day

fig tree fruiting problems

It’s true that a fig tree should start producing fruit once it reaches two years of age, but it can take some trees as long as six trees to mature. Are your figs getting 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight every day? That’s what they need to bear fruit. Also, do you live in a climate that doesn’t get colder than 15 degrees F? Figs do not do well in colder climates.

If there is a pest problem, the most common reason for poor fruiting in fig trees is nematodes. Soils in orchards and old gardens generally are heavily infested with nematodes. This is especially a serious problem for southern growers who have light, sandy soils. Treat such soils with a nematicide or with soil solarization. Consult your local cooperative extension for more information about treatments that are locally-approved. Young trees must be protected from nematodes if they are to get a good start. Once planted, this type of infestation is easy to diagnose by uncovering some roots and inspecting them. If you see tiny galls or swellings on the roots, you have root-knot nematodes. The best control is to destroy infected plants and not use that site for figs again. Pears typically produce the first fruits three years after planting, although they won’t produce a full crop for five to seven years. 

Leaves falling off

My fig tree has been in my back yard for 4 years now it produces great figs more each year. It has been doing really well, but this year the leaves are turning yellow and falling off? Is it to much water or some dease? Thank You for your time.

Failing fig?

It may be that the tree is not getting enough water; leaves turning yellow and falling is symptomatic of that. It could also be a sign of worse things. We suggest you review this page: for possible conditions. This is a California cooperative extension/university page. TO find the coop ext service nearest you, click here and find your state:

We hope this helps!

Fig jam

Can you please give me instructions on how to make fig jam. I have tons of figs, well alot anyway. Any help would be appreciated. Margaret

fig recipes

Hi, Margaret. While we don’t have any fig jam recipes, we do have plenty of other recipes featuring the delicious fruit. Go to this page and type “fig” in the search bar:

Fig Jam and search on fig jam.

young fig tree

Hi ~ we just purchased a brown turkey fig tree in zone 9. It has several small figs (about 20), should I just leave it in the container until I pick the fruit or go ahead and transplant. I thought it was dangerous to transplant during fruiting season. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Transplanting Fig Trees

Hi Stephanie,

You can transplant now or later, whichever you decide. The only danger is that figs are sensitive to heat: Water the tree heavily a couple of days before transplanting to let it soak up plenty of moisture. Plant the tree on a mild, overcast day to limit the chance of shock. After planting, water around the fig tree’s base to settle the roots.  

Fig Tree

My friend has a fig tree and sprouts grow up around the tree. Can you remove a sprout and replant it to grow a new tree ?

Fig Tree Sprouts

Hi Wayne,

The sprouts coming up around your friend’s fig tree are called suckers. They can be dug up or removed in spring and transplanted to grow new trees. If there are too many suckers to plant, simply cut or break off the extras. If left alone, suckers can take energy away from the mother tree’s growth. 

We hope this helps!

Fig Tree with green figs but not riping

I have fig tree about 8 feet tall and 3 to 4 ' wide spread. Three sides open and back side is house wall. Every year I have lots of green fig but they do not ripe. Right now I have more small green fig (about 1/4" size) than leaves on branch. I live at silver spring, MD. How do I make these figs ripe. I only get about 10 ripe figs per year in September- Oct only.

Figs Not Ripening

Figs can be tricky and will sometimes drop or produce unripened fruit due to stress from heat, lack of water, or lack of sunlight. To make sure that your fig tree has enough energy to produce fully ripened fruit in the fall, make sure it is watered thoroughly throughout the summer and that it receives at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. You may also want to add a layer of mulch to the base of your tree if your climate is particularly dry. For information specific to your area, consult your state’s Cooperative Extension:

Fig trees

I live in NW Ireland. I covered my fig tree before the first frost. We have a mild marine climate. When should I uncover my tree?

Fig tree

I live in Seattle WA what is the best fig tree to grow in this area?

fig trees to grow in Seattle, Washington

We would suggest you try ‘Brown Turkey’ or ‘Desert King’ fig trees for your area.

Established fig

We moved to Central Texas the the house has a 10' tall fig tree that looks like it was never pruned or cut back. It appears to have at least two 3" thick fruit producing suckers and I would like to know if I should cut them off. The main leader is about the same thickness.

Good-bye, Sucker!

Hi, Olga: Yes, you can go ahead and cut these off so as to have the tree focus more of its energy elsewhere. It’s best to wait until the coldest part of the winter has passed, though. Thanks for asking and good luck!

fig trees

where do I buy fig trees from

Fig tree ( Peepal or Bodhi tree ) planted at 12000 ft in green h

Kindly give me your valuable advice over how I can
Grow Fig tree (Peepal or Bodhi tree) & Banyan tree
At the height of 12000 ft in Ladakh, India. The region remains covered in Snow for 2-3 months. Presently I have kept both the trees in a small green house.

Are Fig Leaves poisonus

I would like to use them as a Halloween decoration on a platter....Your advise??

My fig trees

I have three fig trees, all planted about the same time, three years ago. I live in a suburb about 25 miles north of New York City, close to the Hudson River. For the first two years, I wrapped the fig trees up and made overcoats for them. This year, one of them has grown tremendously, over ten feet high. It has been yielding fruit for some time. Will I need to wrap it up again this year?? The other two are still rather small, and I will be wrapping them. What do I do about my big guy??



Overwintering Fig Trees

Yes, you should plan to wrap your figs every winter, as they are only hardy Zones 7–11; they are cold sensitive and need protecting. Clearly you have been doing a good job of it!

Fig growth

My fig plants R about 10yrs in pots and the fruit is smaller than a golf ball and very hard. What's Up......

Small Figs

If your plants have been in the same pots for 10 years, it is very likely they are root bound and need repotting. Bound roots would explain poor fruit. Transplant them into larger pots with fresh soil. Be sure to loosen the roots (score them with a serrated knife if necessary).

My fig is in a container and

My fig is in a container and the figs are falling off before they harvest. The tree is 3 ft tall. Why is this happening?

Fig Dropping Fruit

If the tree has been in the container for a few years, it could be root bound. Figs grow quickly and need to be repotted regularly. If the roots are bound, they are not absorbing water, which can cause immature fruit to drop. Try transplanting it into a larger pot. If the roots are tightly bound, loosen them up and do a little root pruning before replanting. (Potted figs should be root pruned annually.)

Fig trees

It's late August in Alabama and my figs are still green and small. I have 2 trees planted just a few feet apart and a few feet from my house. Shouldn't they have ripened by now?

Figs are small

Hi, Jackie, Your figs may be facing a few difficulties.

• The fig trees may be too close together; they each need a 2- to 3-foot diameter clear space around them. If possible, move the trees (fall or early winter is a good time, or in the spring, and put a few feet between each diameter. If you do move them, consider the following, too:

• They like sweet (not acidic) soil, so have yours tested—a local coop extension, usually in a university can help you or get a kit at a nursery.

• The plants should get lots of sun—at least 8 hours per day, and lots of water throughout the summer. Soil should be moist but not soggy.

• Every season, the trees should get 8-8-8 fertilizer (about one-third of a pound if the trees are younger than 2 years; when they are older, give them about a pound of fertilizer for every foot in their height). Spread the fertilizer throughout the season, not all at once.

Those are the basics for just about any type of fig. We hope this helps!

same issue

I also have a young fig tree which has lots of small green fruit and it is 14 October. I am on-line trying to find out what month these trees usually ripen and bear ready for harvest fruit. Are they like avocados and harvest in December? Continuing to hold out hope since all looks normal except that it is October...

Bland fruit

I love figs but had not had them in 40 years because I moved out of Alabama and lived in places where they didn't have them growing. I am in S. Indiana and lucked up on some trees at Walmart.I planted two fig trees in 2014 They actually produced a lot of fruit last year and it was delicious. This year, I again have a lot of fruit but the sweetness is gone. They're virtually bland. They look beautiful but not something I want to eat. One tree is about 5 ft in height and the other is about 3 feet in height but they were only planted a week apart. What can I do to get that sweetness back?

Bland fruit


Many times bland figs are caused by too much water. If you've had a lot of rain as the figs ripen, this will cause them to lose their sugar content. Also, make sure to pick them when they are absolutely ripe. This usually means they are quite "ugly". Look for drooping of the neck, shriveling of the skin. Some figs will even produce a drop of sugary/honey at the eye of the fig.
Hope this helps for next year.


at what age does the fig tree start producing fruit

When Do Fig Trees Produce Fruit?

Hi Bernie, Fig trees tend to have a long juvenile period, so it might be 3 to 5 years before the fig tree produces quality fruit.

Figs are falling off tree before they are ripe?

I have a small fig tree (about 3-4 years old) that never did anything until I fertilized it with composted cow manure this year, topped with a layer of cypress mulch and it took off like crazy. It's almost as tall as I am now and for the first time is producing figs (lots of small ones). However, they are not getting very large, maybe no more than twice the size of a marble, and do not appear to ripen. After a bit of time, they simply fall off the tree. What's wrong?? Is this normal for the first crop of figs?

Figs Falling Before Ripe

Some fig varieties will drop fruit prematurely in hot weather, regardless of the quality of plant care. Or, there are certain fig plants that require cross-pollination by a special wasp or they don’t set a good crop. You may want to bring a sample to your local cooperative extension or local nursery specialist.

I have a fig tree that is now

I have a fig tree that is now about 8 years old. It grows and has leaves but It hasnt produced any fruit yet. What do I need to do? Thanks

Which tool is used to harvest figs from up high?

My fig bush is getting to be a fig TREE now -- about ten feet tall. I don't want to do any damage to the tree nor the unripe figs when I harvest the ripe ones. What sort of tool is used to reach the ripe figs too high to touch?

I'd prefer not to climb a ladder. Would you suggest the same kind of 'cup-on-a-stick' that is used to reach grapefruits -- or what? Thank you and best wishes!

Picking Figs

Try the “Practical Orchard Fruit Picker.” People rave about it!

Harvesting fruits BY HAND

Hi Nikki, My fig tree's are about 10 yrs. old and only 5 ft. tall, width about 12 ft.,People think I'm crazy but I prune my fruit tree's so they grow wide instead of tall, I'm old and fragile and don't want to climb a ladder. Figs are easy but my Orange tree's on the other hand want to go UP, so I prune tops hard and cut all suckers an water sprouts off at their base. I have had GREAT success this way. Maybe you can do the same thing. Hope this helps you.

spotted leaves

My fig tree leaves are spotted with a light green circles on them. Can you tell me what to do for that, I also found aphids on them this morning. thank you Holly

Hi Holly,

Hi Holly,

You could be looking at a symptom of Fig Mosaic Virus, which is transmitted by mites. Various horticultural oils like crop oil and citrus spray are recommended to control the mites. There are no effective controls for the virus itself.

early fruit

I planted a fig tree this spring it's been in the ground for around 2 1/2 months, it seems to be growing normal, but its already bearing figs, I use organic fertilizer every 14 days and started it in the ground with root stimulator. Someone told me to remove the figs to increase plant growth because the nutrients the plant needs are going to the fruit. It's about 28" tall with 2 branches growing from the main trunk there's about 20 or so figs on it that are 1/2 the size of a full grown fig any idea on what I need to do, pull the figs or let it stay like it is. After reading some information in the web site and talking to other people my tree shouldn't be producing figs yet. I figured I was just having good luck with all my plants, they all seem to produce early and quit abundantly.

Early Fruiting Fig

Hi Micheal,

One explanation for why your tree is so prolific so early is that it might be a cultivar that has been bred for those characteristics. You can do a bit of “editing”–removing some of the fruit, as it will allow the plant to put more energy into developing its root system and top growth (think of it like deadheading). Additionally, you will be creating improved air circulation and room for the remaining fruit to grow larger.


fig cuttings

When is a good time to start fig cutting? My others fig cutting are not doing well. Thank you Holly

I have a fig tree that's been

I have a fig tree that's been growing in Ct. for many years. I cut it back and wrap it in the winter. I've been away for 3 weeks and just noticed that there are long new branches shooting out from the bottom of the main trunk...a new thing. Should I cut them off/back so that the main tree will grow better and produce more fruit? The figs are amazing but because of the bad winter it wasn't "unwrapped" til later than usual so it's a little behind. Thanks for your help.

fig tree cuttings

I have fig tree cuttings that I have been growing in plastic tub for humidity, and they produced small leaves so I took them out, put them on south window, and they started wilting and the cutting seems to be shriveled.Can I save these cutting, this is my first time trying to grow a fig tree with cuttings

Fig Stuff

Hi, Holly: Congratulations on trying figs, and thanks for this great question. Figs are a very interesting plant: hard and durable on the “outside,” soft and tender on the “inside” (remind you of anyone you know?)–they need exacting care, but at the same time they can stand to be mistreated to some extent. In this case, you may have transplanted too soon. Figs can have leaves, but at the same time not have root systems that are developed enough for transplanting. For this reason, people often start figs in the cutoff bottoms of clear 2L soda bottles, so that they can see when a good little root system is developed. More to the point, though, it sounds as though you baked your cuttings by putting them in the south window. Can you save them? Might as well try. Carefully replant them in some potting soil and put them back in the location where they started. Water well and see if they recover. They might surprise you!

fig cutting

Thank you for your reply, I will put them back in the peat moss and see what happens. One more question, If I got more cutting now, is it to late to start another batch, or wait until the fall? Thank you again

Fruit trees?

I happen to stumble into your site. I love fruit trees, peaches, apples, plums, pears, cherries, but have not have much luck, but don't intend to give up either

Go for it!

That’s the spirit, Robert!

fig seeds

I was wondering how long can i store fig seeds before planting them

planting fig seeds

If you are worried about your fig seeds being viable, that answer to your question will become evident before you plant. You’ll want to soak the seeds in lukewarm water for 24 to 48 hours before planting. In doing so, the viable seeds will drop to the bottom of the water and the seeds that aren’t any good will float.

I just moved into a house in

I just moved into a house in AZ that has a fig tree that was cut down but there is a lot of new growth coming from the stump. Will it take as long as a new fig tree to bear fruit again?

Go Fig-ure

Hi, Amy: Great question! Figs are notorious and prodigious producers of new “starts.” The thing to do is to keep pruning back all of the new growth except for the strongest central one (or just pick one, if none is apparent), so that the roots’ energy can be focused into growing a tree with a main stem, not a bush. Once this has been established, it will take at least 2 to 4 years for the new tree to set figs. Thanks for asking!

Figs Planting

I'm staying in tropical climate in Malaysia. Normally how long will it take for the plant to bear fruits? And how long before it will bear fruits again? And normally one plant can bear how much fruits? Thanks

New fig plants

Have recently bought new Brown Turkey plants which have been sitting outside in the box they came in (Nth London, UK) & wondering for it'so too early to plant yet?
Was planning on digging trench & lining it with membrane & leaving plants in containers - is this right? Many thanks

figtree problems?

Dear Sirs: I have 2 big black fig trees and would like some information on how to prepare them for the spring season.
They yield plenty of fruit and the large one I think, has some kind of pest or disease because the outside seems harder and some it has stain. A few years ago we had a very cold winter and the trunk on both tyrees dried up but then limbs began to grow. Another thing is that this past summer it seemed to be infested with worms and a greenish
like beetle. Still, they yield plenty of fruit. Can you suggest any remedies or ideas?

fig tree leaves

Do you know where can I get fig tree leaves?

fig tree leaves

I forgot to say that I live in Miami

i could send you all the figs

i could send you all the figs leaves you would like

bitter fruit

I have a fig tree not sure what kind kind. Has fruit in spring sweet and juicy. Another crop in winter very bitter. Don't understand why winter fruit is not edible.

The fall/winter figs may

The fall/winter figs may change in taste due to colder temps. and may also not be fully ripe when you pick them. There is also a pest that can cause the figs to taste bitter. You can boil bitter figs in water to make them taste sweeter. Bitter figs are perfect for canning in a sweet syrup.

We have a blk mission fig

We have a blk mission fig tree 3 years old in ground in Sacramento Ca, full sun, giving great fruit. In reading your article and comments, I am confused about pruning. We have pruned it back each year based on a friends recomendation along with numerous web articles. The tree grows vigorously each year, but we feel we are getting less fruit than the year before, and there are constant comments as to where the figs actuallt grow.....old wood, new wood....we are confused, as when we prune, it is always old wood we get rid of, and new wood that grows back....
we also, will need/want to prune it back, as this was new construction landscape, and we did not realize the growth pattern, (huge) of fig trees...we can only let it get so big, or it will be out of control....any info on pruning, size etc would be appreciated....thank you

It is best to prune

To have good harvest of figs it is best to prune immediately after the main crop of figs is harvested in early fall. To shape the tree and keep it managable prune when the tree is dormant.

Dear sir, I have planted

Dear sir, I have planted almost 5000 figs plants, in a warm climate (Distt,Muzaffar Garh), doing well, soil is sandy, near bank of river Channab, can I get few tips regarding agronomy , harvesting and how to dried if could not be marketing?

I have 4 figs that are

I have 4 figs that are sprouting. Sprouts are about 1/4" long. How can/should
I plant these? I live in central Georgia. Thanks for ay help.

Fig trees are usually grown

Fig trees are usually grown from cuttings taken from small branches. You can also grow fig trees from seed.

I have a magnolia fig, given

I have a magnolia fig, given to me as a sapling two years ago . I have already transplanted it once and in the new spot my backyard has flooded twice this summer. I live in NE Florida. The baby fig is sitting in water for a couple of days. Should I transplant it again to higher ground?

Fig trees need full sun and

Fig trees need full sun and well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter to grow well. We suggest that you move your tree to a spot that doesn't flood and gets plenty of sun.

Hello, I have a mission fig

Hello, I have a mission fig tree that this is its second season, it is planted in full sun and has tripled in size since planting. It is over 6' tall and very healthy it is producing very little fruit this year or last what can I do to propel it to strong growth next season. Also we have some cold days in the Atlanta area any suggestions for preparing for winter. It suffered the first winter and thought it died but I came roaring back. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

I have Turkish brown figs

I have Turkish brown figs growing outside in containers, fairly large planters. They have not done well the last 2 seasons. They are in sun, watered, but the leaves are curling under. I do not see any pests. The fruit is starting to ripen, but are small in size, compared to what was produced 4 years ago. I live in CT, zone 5b near the water. What is the problem?

Hi, Carole Ann: This can be

Hi, Carole Ann: This can be difficult to "fig"ure out (sorry), but if you are certain that there are no pests and the leaves have remained green and not turned brown, then that narrows it down a little. First, try an organic fungicide in case you have a disease. At the same time, try adding a little nitrogen to the soil. Also, although the case would seem to be otherwise, your figs could indeed have become rootbound somewhat. We suspect disease or soil quality. Good luck!

How are the fig trees

I'm thinking of growing figs, after several years of not re-asking a farmer friend for some cuttings. I'm in Central CT. Did you solve the problem, and get some better fruit this year?

I live in South Florida (zone

I live in South Florida (zone 9b / 10a), and I'm thinking of buying either a black mission or a brown turkey. I've heard that the black mission is more delicious. Of course how good the fruit tastes and how much the tree produces are important to me. But I also care about how the tree looks because I plan to plant it in the front yard. Do these two trees themselves look the same? They wouldn't lose their leaves down here, would they? (The temperature rarely gets below freezing where I am). Also, do they both respond to pruning the same? I plan to keep it at about 10 feet high and 10 feet wide. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Many folks enjoy the taste of

Many folks enjoy the taste of Black Mission. however we didn't think it was cold-hardy enough for your region. Also, it's a big tree that's 10 to 40 feet and you don't prune until the tree reaches maturity. The Brown Fig is a smaller tree that's closer to the size you're seeking and probably the most common variety in your region. Pruning isn't really a big factor.

Hi, I have a 5 year old

Hi, I have a 5 year old Black Misson Fig tree here in Brooklyn,New York. It is planted in full sun. It has been producing beautifully for the last 3 years. This year there is no leaf or fruit growth. It appeared to bud early in the season, now they are hard and papery. I have never pruned or fed it. Have I killed it? Is it too late to feed and prune? Thanks for all your help.

Did you have a late freeze

Did you have a late freeze that may have killed the buds? Cut off a branch and see if it is still green and alive on the inside. Check our care information above and if you still think the tree is alive remove any dead branches and give it some nitrogen.

i bought fig tree lAST YR.


It may require another fig

It may require another fig tree for pollination. The Common Fig can pollinate itself so if your tree is not a Common Fig this is probably the problem.

Patience. The fruit comes out

Patience. The fruit comes out much later in the season

I have a brown turkey fig

I have a brown turkey fig which is about 9 years old and over twenty feet long and planted south facing! Im living in kilkenny in ireland! My tree has at least two hundred or more figs at the moment and im praying they will ripen as previous years they just drope off so ive been watering and feeding tomato feed every two weeks!

I live east of the metro

I live east of the metro Phoenix area in the valley. Temps range from 30-70 in winter and up to 116 in summer. About 2 1/2 years ago I planted a calamyra fig tree which was about 5 feet tall. It had only 2 skinny branches and the trunk was about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The leaves drop in winter and e come back healthy in the spring- each year there are figs but they never ripen and the tree has not grown at all. I water every third day at a slow/moderate trickle for 1 1/2 hours and feed every 2 weeks with organic fruit tree fertilizer. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong and why the tree won't grow or the fruit ripen. Thank you.

White there are many fig

White there are many fig trees that don't require pollination to produce fruit, the Calimyrna figs do require a specialized wasp to pollinate the flowers to get fruit.

The tree never gets flowers

The tree never gets flowers but it does have fruit right now- many figs but they don't ripen. It has produced fruit every year but they never ripen.

If the fig grows fruit but it

If the fig grows fruit but it doesn't ripen, this is usually due to stress.  The common reason for stress is lack of water (especially in high heat). Another common reason is that it's not getting enough nutrients (food). Ample water and fertilization should help.

The flowers grow inside the

The flowers grow inside the fig fruit itself. If there aren't any flowers, don't worry, there shouldn't be. :)

Hi, I transplanted some

Hi, I transplanted some suckers and they are doing well, but I can't seem to find any information on how big a fig tree can grow. The parent plant is just over my head, and I have no idea how old it is.

A common fig tree can grow 10

A common fig tree can grow 10 to 30 feet tall. You can prune the tops of the branches when the tree is dormant to keep it shorter and bushier.

I just planted a brown turkey

I just planted a brown turkey fig. It has a lot of leaves and is about 1 ft.
I live in North Alabama and I'd like to know when this tree will produce figs.

A fig tree take a while to

A fig tree take a while to start bearing fruit--at least 4 or 5 years. A Brown Turkey Fig is a great variety.

When should we expect our

When should we expect our four foot tall one year old fig tree to start showing green buds and leaves here in Asheville, NC?

Everything else in the yard is greening up, but no signs yet on the fig tree at all.

Thanks very much,

You're right. The fig trees

You're right. The fig trees often leaf out by April. Normally, fig trees should leaf out when your deciduous trees do the same. This assumes your fig tree has proper siting--in a very sunny location which receives 8 hours of sun a day. South-facing is preferable. Otherwise, it will leaf out later than everything else. If there was any leaf damage by frost, it may leaf out much later.

Kadota Fig leaves with large

Kadota Fig leaves with large dried up brown spots curling and falling off.
I just planted the tree about a six weeks ago (I'm in San Jose Ca, Zone 9). Initially leaves and even one fruit grew and the plant seemed to flourish. For about two weeks now I noticed dry brown spots on a few leaves, causing leaves curl up and eventually fall off. Lost about half a dozen. Any suggestions what could be causing this?
I'm watering weekly, and the tree does not seem to be overwatered. The exposure is to the west, and in April, the sun is not a likely culrprit of "overheating". I have not noticed any insects. What could it be? Help!

I've had a Brown Turkey fig

I've had a Brown Turkey fig for about 5 years in a half whiskey barrel container in zone 9, California. 2 years ago I had a crop of 40 figs, almost none last year and this year's spring crop just all dropped off (maybe I didn't water enough when it got warm). It also has never put on more than an inch or two of new growth per year. Would it do better in the ground? Do I need to prune it more? The branches all looked good, so I didn't feel the need to prune much this year. Fertilize more? I expected that in year 5 I'd have a much bigger tree and much more fruit.

Hi Karen, For container grown

Hi Karen,
For container grown figs we recommend to add nitrogen rich fertilizer in 3 to 4 feedings per year. First application should be in late winter and end with the 4th application in midsummer.
See our planting/care advice above for watering and other growing tips.

For fertilizing, use

For fertilizing, use commercial organic fertilizers or your own (or commercial) compost, especially if you're growing in pots. "Regular" fertilizers are chemical salts that build up in the soil (water evaporates and leaves behind the solutes) and that's no good for the soil and, therefore, your fig (or any other plant).

Hi Karin, I'm not an

Hi Karin, I'm not an authority on fig growing as I had the same problem a few years ago. Initially I read that you don't need to do much for potted fig trees. So I never fertilized. But then read if you don't have at least 12 inches of growth each season you should fertilize. The past 2 years I have been using a 5/10/5 fertilizer and growth has improved however not enough. I purchased "Growing Fruit" by Alan Buckingham a few months ago and plan to try his suggestion "Keep them well-watered during the spring and summer, and feed with high-potash tomato fertilizer when the fruits are ripening." I live in NY and plan to give this a try this growing season. Good luck with your fig tree.

What do fig trees eat and

What do fig trees eat and what eat them? What are their adaptions?

Hi, I live in southern

Hi, I live in southern California, have plenty of sunshine, and have a Fig tree in a small container that I would like to plant in my lawn on the west side of my house. I have 30 feet of lawn between my house and the street is that enough room for the roots to grow without it being destructive to my house or the curb?

Thanks for your help!!

Yes, that is enough room.

Yes, that is enough room. However, you should not plant the tree within 25ft of a septic tank or its drainage field.

Hi, i was given a fig

Hi, i was given a fig tree/bark. well it look like a stick, no roots, just a few plant leaves on it, so i know it still living, my question do i leave it in water so it coulds root, then plant in soil, or do i plant in soil right now so the stick/bark could start rooting.

thanks Tricia

hello, I brought my dwarf fig

I brought my dwarf fig indoors (garage/basement)this winter. This year Connecticut had the coldest winter in recorded history! when do I start placing it outside? there are already new leaf buds on the branches. until last frost i assume I am bringing it indoors overnight.

Hi, Kellie: It sounds like

Hi, Kellie: It sounds like it's so far, so good with your fig -- congratulations! One thing about figs is that in finicky ways they can be just as fragile as they are hardy, so it's always best to take things slowly in springtime when hardening them off. Use the Frost Dates calculator under Gardening above to find the likely date of your last frost. Start putting it outside on mild days, out of the wind, for 1 hour a day during the fourth week before frost. Two hours during the third week before. Three hours during the second week before. Four hours during the last week. You don't have to do it every day -- just when it's nice out. If you just sense that it's too cold, keep it inside -- don't "go by the book." Thanks for asking!

How long does it take for a

How long does it take for a fig tree to die if you destroy the roots?

Hard to say. A fig tree will

Hard to say. A fig tree will keep sending out new roots and suckers. They root easily. Too bad you can't give the tree to someone. I hate seeing good trees killed. If you need to get rid of a fig tree, cut it down. You'll need to cut it down to a stump about three feet tall and rock the stump loose. Or, you can drill holes in the stump, fill them up with the stump killer and then the tree will stop trying to grow back. But if you want to avoid chemicals, cut the tree to ground level and cover the stump with leaves and water and plastic and the stump will crumble within the year.

How long does it take for a fig tree to die?

Not wanting to destroy a fig tree, I love figs. It was discussed in Bible class when Jesus cursed the fig tree.

I have a 4-5 yr old,in the

I have a 4-5 yr old,in the ground 2-3 years Fig tree which was an air-root tree off the Mother tree in same community garden in SF, CA. It was in a bucket about 1 1/2 yrs before being given to me. The community garden wants me to remove the tree, as it shades the neighbor garden in morning. It is a spectacular Brown Fig/maybe Mission Fig producer which I started Espellier training 1 yr ago but it just wanted to grow up toward sun, no matter how I had pruned it, in years past. HOW CAN I PRUNE IT AND EVENTUALLY TRANSPLANT IT WITHIN NEXT 4 MONTHS? Especially how to prepare roots for the inevitable transplant? The garden is about 200' elevation on Potrero Hill in SF.

It's best to transplant the

It's best to transplant the tree when it is dormant in early spring. The root ball that you move needs to be able to support the tree. Measure the diameter of the trunk. For every inch you need a foot of root ball. If the trunk is 4 inches the root ball needs to be at least 4 feet wide. You can prune the tree before transplanting so that it's easier to move. Make sure to keep the root ball moist during the move and water the tree often after you have planted it in the new spot.

Additionally, to help reduce

Additionally, to help reduce shock, you can make cuts in the soil with your spade around the rootball, now, in order to prepare the tree for the more disruptive cutting later. Here's what you do: You determine the necessary size of the rootball. Then, you cut one spade width into the root zone; then skip a space. Repeat this all the way around the desired rootball. The tree, having just had some of its roots severed will begin to form new roots at the cuts, while still having the support from its existing, uncut, roots. When you move it, the new roots that it has formed at the cut locations will be ready to support the tree while the freshly-cut roots recover (Just make sure you don't re-cut the previously cut roots.) As with any transplant, water fully and deeply at transplanting and once a week thereafter until it becomes established. Cheers!

I live in New Mexico have a

I live in New Mexico have a beautiful fig tree full of fruit. The problem is the figs are not ripe and it is October. Is there anything I can do to shelter them until they get ripe?

Bought a house and kept

Bought a house and kept cutting back this "bush" for about five years until someone said it was a fig tree. Let it go this year and it is full of green fruit. How do we know what kind of fig, and what to look for for ripening. I read that some can be green and still ripe. This is all new to us.

You are lucky to have a fig

You are lucky to have a fig tree. Squeeze the fruit gently. Fully mature figs feel soft and may have small cracks in the skin. Ripe figs start dropping and are easy to separate from the tree.

I was gifted with a black

I was gifted with a black mission fig tree in norther New England. The tree, obviously, must stay in a pot indoors. What kind of care does it need, and how and when do I go about transplanting to a larger pot? When should I fertilize it? I have it in a southern exposure window. I tried to move it once and all of the leaves dropped!

I have a fig tree that is 8

I have a fig tree that is 8 years and full of fruit but the figs fall off before they ripen

Some fig varieties will drop

Some fig varieties will drop fruit prematurely in hot weather, regardless of the quality of plant care. Or, there are certain fig plants that requires cross-pollination by a special wasp or they don't set a good crop. You may want to bring a sample to your local cooperative extension or local nursery specialist.

what color should the figs be

what color should the figs be when they are ready for picking?

Figs are harvested when

Figs are harvested when they're almost fully ripe.  The ripeness really depends on the variety of fig that you are growing.  For example: ‘Black Mission’ figs should be light to dark purple rather than black and should yield to slight pressure. ‘Calimyrna’ figs should be yellowish-white to light yellow and firm.

There is a fig tree on my new

There is a fig tree on my new property, I'm not sure what kind. It is mid-July here in Vegas and they have turned from green to dark purple and are soft to the touch. Assuming it was ripe I cracked it open and the inside was seedy and light colored (greenish-yellow), I scraped my teeth along the insides but it was very bitter and drying, similar to an unripe nut. I have never had a fresh fig before but am pretty sure they taste better than this! Any ideas?

SaraAnt, We're not sure where

SaraAnt, We're not sure where you live or your zone, but here is a page with fig varieties which might help you identify your tree:

Reply: I believe your tree

Reply: I believe your tree needs deep watering to plump out the individual figs.

I live in Florida and have a

I live in Florida and have a fig tree in a pot. It's about 5 or 6 yrs. old. I get good fruit which ripen and get soft, however, when picked they don't have much flavor. Can you tell me what to do? Thanks

It could be the variety that

It could be the variety that you are growing: Some varieties have a richer flavor than others. Or, it might be that you are giving it too much water, which can sometimes affect the flavor. If you think that might be the case, cut back on the water a little.

We have a (4) year old brown

We have a (4) year old brown fig tree that put in a lot of growth with plenty of figs but they are seeming not to ripen. We added 13-13-13 and fruit tree stakes in early spring.what do you thing went wrong, we get rain often.

If the fruit are not reaching

If the fruit are not reaching maturity and ripening properly, the usual reasons are excess fertilizer or drought. It sounds as if you are watering. A fertilizer of 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 is ample. Also, you mentioned lots of fruiting. If plants are excessively vigorous, the usual solution is to stop fertilizing them. 

I have been given a root and

I have been given a root and branch and leaves of a 50 year old spring fed Callatli white fig
(prounced properly?)
As I am moving in two months I have put it into a trash container which has holes in it. Lots of sand an good fertile soil.

Question. It lived in the same area @2,000 feet we are at 4.000 -2,000 feet further up. As I am moving to another part but down to two thousand feet should this matter during the summer months? or shall I move it to a friends garden at ground level and hose feed it?
I can get stream water very easily.
It sit next to the Magnolia tree which is early monrning sun and until mid day ish then the sun goes over the house so it may get a little over head but no afternoon sun after 4pm.
I have a well five feet down where the roots can stay cool but no sun.
I really want to make this work out-

We are not familiar with this

We are not familiar with this perticular fig variety. Most fig trees prefer full sun. Plant the tree in a spot that has about the same climate as the parent tree has.

I live in Escondido, CA

I live in Escondido, CA (Inland from San Diego) My fig tree is beautiful and has small fruit BUT it is growing sooooo tall. Can I top the tree and shape it a bit without damaging the fruit???

All the old growth on my fig

All the old growth on my fig tree seems to die off each year and new growth starts from the root system. Is this normal? I can't remember the variety that I planted. I live in west central Missouri. The fig is planted in the ground. It has plenty of sun, water and drainage. It has been in the ground about five or six years. Is there something I can do to prevent the old growth from dying?

I have the same question as

I have the same question as this person but did not see any answer. I would like to know answer.

Hi, Dianna: Please see above

Hi, Dianna: Please see above ...

Hi, Keith: Great question!

Hi, Keith: Great question! Fig trees require pruning during (the end of) their dormant season (winter) in order to focus their upcoming growth energy on the production of new branches and new fruit. At this time, you should prune away any dead or diseased branches, plus any root suckers that you can find. You should plan on cutting back your tree by 1/3 each year, but in such a way that you are focusing the tree's energy on a half-dozen or so (symmetrically balanced) branches that you are going to choose to be your "fruit growers" (for lack of a better term). Trim off the old growth so that it is not draining energy that can go to new growth. And while it's true that all old growth starts as new growth, old growth does get tired, producing less and smaller fruit. After a few years, it pretty much gets expended in terms of quality. So, to answer your question: Cut back the old growth as it dies. Use pruning to focus on new growth in selected branches. As that new growth ages and becomes old, in the meantime be starting to focus on a couple of new growth "rookies" each year, to replace worn-out old-growth branches. Speaking of which, this answer has probably worn us all out! Good luck!

I live in zone 6 and plan to

I live in zone 6 and plan to grow my fig trees in containers that I will bring into my greenhouse during the winter until or unless they get too big. When container growing, how big of a container should I plan on and does the size of the container affect the size of the tree or fruit?

Grow fig plants in half

Grow fig plants in half whiskey barrels or other large, suitable containers of about 30-gallon size. Casters on the containers
are helpful for the time when you need to move the fig plants inside. Certain cultivar grow better in containers than others. Try the ‘Petite Negri' fig plant.
To grow figs in a container, make sure that the soil is loose and well-drained with lots of compost or well-rotted manure; You can lighten heavy soils by incorporating a soil-less growing mixture containing perlite and/or vermiculite. Also be sure to water more often; as the fruits form, the plants need 2 to 3 gallons of water each day.
After fig leaves drop in the fall, shape your plant by removing suckers and heading back long branches. You can move into a protected area such as a garage the tree should go dormant.

My kadota fig tree produced

My kadota fig tree produced figs the first year I planted it. It did not flower or produce figs last year, and there is no evidence of flowering this year. What could be wrong? We live in the high desert of Southern California, excellent soil, partial shade.

Fig trees do not usually

Fig trees do not usually produce a good crop of fruit until the third or fourth year after planting.

I've had 4 fig trees in

I've had 4 fig trees in containers for 4 years, never seen them fruiting...

Anybody can help me please?

What kind of figs are you

What kind of figs are you growing? Some varieties require male and female plants to produce fruits.

hi, i want to start farming

i want to start farming for figs and main for drying fruit and sealing so i am looking for full help on that



How are the figs harvested ?

How are the figs harvested ? , by hand or with clippers. The most common way.
Thank you ! jay

When figs are ripe they

When figs are ripe they separate easily from the tree by twisting and lifting them upwards. No clippers needed.

Good Info on picking, storing

Good Info on picking, storing and preserving. My tree has gone wild this year. Picking 4-5 per day. In Sacramento CA. Brown something variety. Giving bunches to friends and neighbors, but going to start freezing and making jam.

Make fig jam!! When I make

Make fig jam!! When I make it, I can't keep any "in stock!" Good with sweet -- butter, biscuits, bread, etc. and fabulous with savory -- meats, cheese, etc. Go to pickyourown and use their instructions -- the jam is easy to make, makes a great gift. I have a Black Mission Fig and in a good year can harvest 50 pounds. Lots of jam.....but I always run out.

Just moved into a home with a

Just moved into a home with a nice big Fig Tree, here in S.C.'s Piedmont! When will they ripen & how do you dry them? All tips for a large yield w/little damage from Birds appreciated! Txs, granny g

Most fig varieties have two

Most fig varieties have two harvests during the year. One in early summer and one in late fall. You can dry figs by cutting them in half and using your oven or a dehydrator or putting them outside in the sun. At a temp. around 120 degrees the figs will take about 10 to 12 hours to dry in the oven.

Hi, I appreciate the info.

Hi, I appreciate the info. about figs, however, you didn't state a specific time/month/season of the year to start looking for ripe fruit. I am in zone 9 (so. central calif.), so I am guessing 'ripe' would be in late June maybe (as it gets very hot out here starting in may!) Thanks

Wherever you live, you judge

Wherever you live, you judge the ripeness of a fig by skin color and flesh firmness. Fall crops do best in your area--generally September/early October. ‘Black Mission’ figs should be light to dark purple rather than black and should yield to slight pressure. ‘Calimyrna’ figs should be yellowish-white to light yellow and firm. It's best not to wait until the fig has softened if you wish to avoid bird and weevil damage. Get the fruit as soon as it is harvestable. Unfortunately, figs do not ripen further once harvested and will only keep a few days in the refrigerator.

Botanical Name: 


Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Hardiness Zone: 

Bloom Time: 

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