Winter Fig Tree Care

Edible Fig Plant Care

Fig tree care is a happy process for any fruit grower. This is because taking care of fig trees is simpler than caring for many other fruits. Fig plant cultivation is easy in pots or in the ground. Disease and pest info.

Picture of a fig tree growing, indoors, at Longwood Gardens.

Fig Tree Care in Winter

Figs like a dry Mediterranean climate best, but there are figs that will grow and fruit anyplace that winter temps stay above 12 degrees F.  If it gets colder than that where you live, keep the trees in pots and move them into a frost-free garage before the first hard freeze.

How to Care for Fig Trees
in Rainy Climates

I keep my trees in pots here in Florida, not because of the cold, but to keep them from getting too wet during our rainy summers. If figs take on too much water while the fruit is ripening, it leads to problems.

  • The fruit will grow too quickly and split which can let bacteria in.
  • The fruit will fail to sweeten and have a watered-down taste.
  • The fruit will mold.

 I also favor close-eyed varieties like Celeste because I sometimes find ants crawling into the fruit of open eyed types through the eye. Here's a list of closed eye types in addition to Celeste:

  1. Alma--moderately closed, small eye--honeydew closes eye
  2. Adriatic
  3. Giant Celeste (Tiger) partially closed
  4. Golden Celeste (Champagne) partially closed
  5. Panache
  6. LSU Improved Celeste (O'Rourke) partially closed
  7. LSU Gold
  8. LSU Purple
  9. Conadria--small, tight eye
  10. Excel--medium, tight eye
  11. Vista
  12. Green Ischia--closed
  13. Hunt--closed
  14. Tena--medium, tight eye
  15. Texas Everbearing--moderately closed, small eye
  16. Black Mission

Fig Tree Diseases

Fig Growing Tips:

Fig trees will grow in almost any type of soil that is fertile and provides them with ample moisture.

The roots of fig trees are trenchant, so it is better not to plant them near septic tanks or sewer lines.

Fig tree care involves taking steps to protect your trees from disease. Fig mosaic and rust are common fungal diseases. They leave yellow spots on fig leaves and eventually result in a bald tree. Spraying with a fungicide is the only solution to control the fungus.

Fig fruits are also vulnerable to insects and smuts. Severely infected fruit bearing trees should be removed if there are other trees nearby. Bacteria that feed on the fruit can also damage the trunks. Whitewashing the trunk will help to ward this off.

Ground squirrels can also destroy young fig trees. There are 2 remedies for this: either eradicate the rodents or make a small cage to protect the young fig plants.

Avoid Root Knot Nematodes

Root knot nematodes are tiny worms which permeate plant roots, causing them to swell.

This interferes with the tree's ability to take up water and nutrients and results in the fruits aborting before they mature.

The Solution

Keeping the soil moist and placing a layer of mulch around the tree can help to protect it from nematodes.

While choosing a young fig tree to plant, be cautious to choose a tree free of root knot. Do this by carefully slipping the tree out of the pot (you might not want to let the nursery owner see you doing this) and looking at the root ball.

If there are little "knots" or balls along the roots, the tree is infected. Leave it there. That way you reduce tree maintenance and save time.

Trees that you buy from an online or mail order nursery will, in all likelihood, be clean.

Click here for easy care instructions for figs growing in any climate and to learn the secret to causing figs to bear regularly and abundantly.

You can prune your fig tree into a bush shape to keep it short and easy to harvest. Pruning should be done during dormancy so that it does not affect the fruit count.

Fig tree care is easy, as long as you are watchful. A fig doesn’t need nearly as much care as most fruit bearing trees. A well-tended tree will reward you with a delicious harvest. Enjoy!

Other Types of Figs:

The Richly-Flavored Brown Turkey Fig

Why Black Mission May Be the Best Fig for U.S. Growers

The Green Kadota Fig Will Fool Birds. For a While.

Ways to Dry Figs and Preserve Your Harvest

Go from Fig Tree Care to Plant Guides' Home Page

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