How to Treat a Fig Tree With Brown Leaves

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Fig trees can be a valuable addition to any home property. Their wide, spreading branches thrive under the right conditions, and can provide shade and bright green foliage. The added benefit of fruit is a further positive for fig lovers. But fig trees require some very specific conditions. Without the right care, they might suffer, and present dying wood and browning leaves. Take a couple of steps to bring a suffering fig back to health.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Loam
  • Compost
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

Keep your fig in a spot that receives full sunlight. Lack of sun and warmth can cause a fig to die or go dormant. If the fig is in a pot, move it to a sunny location that is also protected from cold winds. If the fig is planted, prune the surrounding vegetation to open the area up for light.

Make sure your fig is planted in appropriate soil. Fig trees require quick-draining soil, and will suffer from sitting water. Mix half loam and half compost, and turn the mixture into the top 12 inches of the soil around the base of the fig tree, to give it the foundation it needs.

Water the fig tree. Lack of water is the most likely cause for yellow or brown leaves. Water the tree heavily once a week to keep the soil moist but not wet. Never allow the soil to dry completely.

Give your fig tree a boost by adding some fertilizer. Give the tree 1 lb. of 8-8-8 fertilizer for every year of age. Fig trees generally require one fertilization ever year. Increase to biannual fertilizations if you're trying to bring a fig back to health.

Tips & Warnings

  • Figs ripen in spring.
  • Fig trees can regenerate from intact roots.
  • The spreading branches and roots of a fig tree can be invasive to sewer systems and driveways.
  • Temperatures of less than 30 degrees can damage fig trees.

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