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lakelady July 16, 2012 03:30 PM

Does anyone here grow figs? I have a dwarf black fig I purchased this year that isn't doing too much of anything. Its in a clay pot with compost and is just barely setting out new leaves. It still looks mostly like a stick!

Is there something I'm missing that I should be doing for it?

Worth1 July 16, 2012 03:45 PM

Let me guess you purchased the Petite Negra.

Growing figs in a container can be a trick in its self.

You will need a really big container and it needs to be a balanced potting soil not straight compost.

You need to plant the root ball about an inch below the surface of the soil.
And most importantly it needs to be watered but not over watered.
And it shouldn't dry out completely.


lakelady February 9, 2013 08:19 PM

Hey Worth, by the way, it did eventually grow and produced exactly 2 figs LOL. The potted plant is now indoors and all the leaves fell off except 1.

I wish my grandfather was alive, he was the fig king. Here in NJ every year, he'd cover that thing with aluminum foil, and newspaper, and plastic, it was such an eyesore in the winter ! But every summer, it would produce lots of beautiful figs. He even took a cutting with him when he moved to florida, and lots of figs grew for many years until he died. We were not allowed to touch the fig tree, EVER. lol That was his baby.

Now my mom wants a fig tree (no idea why, she lives in an apartment). And my sister. I thought about taking cuttings, but the branches are quite woody and dry. Any suggestions?

livinonfaith February 9, 2013 09:25 PM

My mother took cuttings from her father's tree many years ago, here in NC. She put one by the side of the house and one in the back, right beside the gutter.

The one beside the gutter has been viciously pruned, cut back almost to a stump twice, (my Dad gets a little crazy with the pruning sometimes) and is HUGE, full of figs every year. The one on the side of the house doesn't get the same amount of water, has never been pruned, and it is roughly a fifth of the volume.

The three in my yard are getting pretty big and usually start out full of figs, but loose a lot of the fruit (and sometimes leaves) if we have a dry spell. The problem isn't with the heat. It's pretty obvious that they need a consistent supply of water.

Tracydr February 9, 2013 10:28 PM

There are lots of figs in our neighborhood that seem to grow like weeds. Alkaline soil, flood irrigation every two weeks during hot weather, heavy clay soil, in ground. They are mostly planted in full sun or part shade. They are really, really bug trees, probably Black Turkey or Mission.
Can't help you with pot figs, though.
I love, love fresh figs and if I were going to stay here longer I would plant some for myself. Figs and pomegranates seem to do quite well here in the desert, although figs seem to do well in a lot of places.

MuddyBuckets November 25, 2015 05:34 PM

No Figs for 3 Years
I planted what was labeled a Brown Turkey Fig three years ago, have pruned it back some each winter and it grows into an enormous bush by late summer...but no figs, not a single bud that even looks like a fig! Any ideas on why it is not producing fruit? The plant appears healthy, green large leaves and grows like crazy. There are no other fig trees around it so it is isolated.

Crepe Myrtles (large) in the same bed are growing well but not blooming like they did several years ago. Could this be a soil/nutrient issue of some sort? I am in zone 7b.

Salsacharley November 25, 2015 06:35 PM

I understand that some figs need pollination from another variety. I got a tree that's supposed to not need a cross pollinator but we'll see. My puppies chewed it to a nub the year I bought it (2 yrs ago) and it is only just now coming back. I have it in a 30 gal Smart Pot.

luigiwu November 25, 2015 07:30 PM

Figs do wonderful in a self-watering subirrgiated container! There is a guy in NJ - Bill's Figs - that's how he grows all of his and then during the winter, they are wheeled into a bar. It has been night and day for mine after I converted it's pot to a self-watering container.

Worth1 November 25, 2015 08:56 PM

Brown Turkey figs dont need a pollinator.
Why are you pruning it?
And my guess it just isn't old enough give it time and dont use to much nitrogen I dont feed mine anything.

Mine does fine in some really horrible red clay soil.
Also a fig is one of the few trees that does better if you plant the top of the root ball deeper that the surrounding soil.


MuddyBuckets November 27, 2015 12:26 PM

Hi Worth

No fertilizer at all on the fig and I prune it only to control size. It grows to about 8' x 8' in a single season. Pruning is cutting it back by 2/3 on the longest pranches and shorter branches by about 1/4. It seems very healthy and makes giant leaves but never produces even one fig bud at a leaf node. This season I tried pruning to 6 nodes to stimulate branching and production to no success. Any other suggestions?


Worth1 November 27, 2015 12:57 PM

[QUOTE=MuddyBuckets;515602]Hi Worth

No fertilizer at all on the fig and I prune it only to control size. It grows to about 8' x 8' in a single season. Pruning is cutting it back by 2/3 on the longest pranches and shorter branches by about 1/4. It seems very healthy and makes giant leaves but never produces even one fig bud at a leaf node. This season I tried pruning to 6 nodes to stimulate branching and production to no success. Any other suggestions?


I dont have a clue, my guess is it may not be a brown turkey fig.
You will have to look up all of the types of figs to see what yours may be.
You might also try not pruning it at all to see what happens.
Some figs produce on last years growth and the new growth at the end of the season.
They also need plenty of water.


JoParrott February 28, 2016 01:36 PM

my weird fig
2 Attachment(s)
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=4]I purchased this fig 2 years ago from Logee's Nursery. It is Petite Negra, and for a year the leaves were typical shaped, but this fall I brought it inside where it kept 1 leaf at the top, then put out the figs which have grown all winter- still like rocks! Now it has put out these huge leaves that look like no fig I have ever seen! The plant is quite healthy looking- I will pot it up when I move it outside. Any opinions or suggestions? :D[/SIZE][/FONT]

Father'sDaughter August 6, 2016 11:22 AM

I took the plunge and bought a fig tree this week. I wasn't planning to, but they had a bunch of them on the sidewalk outside the local Whole Foods grocery store. They all looked quite healthy and at $15.99 I just couldn't resist!

Apparently this is an annual item for them and you have to hit them at the right time because they sell out fast.

My choices were Brown Turkey, Italian Honey and Hardy Chicago. After doing some quick research on my iPhone, I went with the safest bet for my zone and took the best looking Hardy Chicago home with me.

It'll be carefully up-potted (I read disturbing the roots too much when the tree is not dormant is a death sentence), and probably wrapped and over-wintered in one of our sheds. My basement will be too warm and I don't want to risk it breaking dormancy.

I consider this my practice tree. Someone will need to inherit dad's trees and if it's me, I'll hopefully know how to keep them alive when the time comes!

GrowingCoastal August 6, 2016 03:34 PM

There are two figs here. One in the ground for 11 years and the other in a pot for at least 9 yrs. Whenever I prune either tree the pruned branches do not produce fruit until one more year goes by, sort of like a biennial. I would never prune more than half the branches of the in-ground tree in one year.

The potted one was getting too tall so I cut it right back and waited two years to get 12 figs from it this year. The pot could be bigger and it could be fed more but it still produced tasty, though smaller, figs.
I am going to feed it and give it some Morbloom soon. The one in-ground seems to do well on the compost I pile on top of the ground underneath the tree.

My fig is a green one I bought on sale at season's end one year for $3 , a Desert King. The watchful eye of the Warbler costs a little water in a fountain in the yard. Birds come to bathe then hang out preening in the branches and pick off any insects they see.

Nothing much bothers the figs around here except the rats this year, I think because I dropped one and forgot to go back and pick it up. A rat found it delicious, looked up and thought oohhhhh!
Poor rat went for the fig bait in a snap trap last night. Better than the meal of death in a box. RIP

Father'sDaughter August 6, 2016 04:09 PM

I was reading the information posted on the website of a local fig tree seller ( It advises slowly working your way up in pot size every year. And then once you reach your largest size, it says the tree should be root pruned every 3-5 years.

While it's dormant, he advises pulling the tree out of its pot, trimming back the roots, then placing it back in the same pot and filling in with new soil. I read this same information on another fig growing site as well, and it advised pruning off 1/4 of the root ball.

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