Fig trees need a sunny spot, appropriate moisture levels and a warm, dry climate to grow successfully outdoors. They grow well in containers, though, so gardeners in colder regions can still maintain a healthy fig tree.
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Key features in caring for fig trees are sunlight and soil drainage. Figs need full-sun planting sites for maximum fruit yield and disease prevention. Morning sun to eliminate overnight dew is key to keep disease from developing in a moist environment. Soil cannot hold standing water for more than 24 hours. The fig's roots will die in waterlogged soil, eventually killing the tree.
Know what type of fig tree you have before pruning it. Fig trees do not need extensive pruning; older trees should be thinned slightly and all trees should have diseased or dead branches removed. Pruning Alma and Celeste trees results in a smaller yield, while Texas Everbearing will bear a large crop after a major pruning the previous winter.
Grow fig trees in containers to increase fruit yield. Containers curb root development so energy goes to fruit growth. The roots dry out quicker in pots, so the tree needs to be watered and fertilized more often.
Fig trees planted outdoors should be fertilized once a year in the spring. Overfertilization can lead to increased growth but immature fruit and a decreased yield.