Dwarf Fig Tree

5 Easy Tips on Dwarf Fig Tree Care

The dwarf fig tree is a naturally compact fruit tree that has the potential to yield a tasty crop twice a year. If you like the idea of growing your own fruits, but feel a little daunted by the idea of growing a fruit tree, the dwarf fig tree is offers an interesting option as something that is relatively easy to maintain. Educating yourself about the tree and following a few easy tips will help you get the most out of your dwarf fig.

Dwarf fig trees grow to be about 8 to 10 feet tall outdoors and 4 to 5 feet tall as container plants and these small trees offer delicious full-sized figs. They work well in containers and as outdoor plants where there is no danger of very low temperatures. They do not handle frost well and if you live in a place where the temperature reaches the teens in the winter it would be best to pot them in a container and move them indoors in late autumn. You can take the trees outside again after the last frost in spring.

If you live in a place with warm climate, you can make this a fully outdoor plant. Plant it is a hole that is 4 to 6 inches deep. When transferring it from the nursery pot, handle it carefully to minimize the stress on the root ball. Pack the soil in tightly avoiding air pockets and water to make sure the soil settles around the roots quickly. If the natural soil of your garden is very dense, it may be a good idea to add in some potting mix. Once in the ground, water the plant regularly and stay alert to signs of dryness. If the leaves look like they are wilting in the afternoon, it is a sure sign that the plant needs more water. Mulching the base of the tree is a good way to help retain moisture in the area. In-ground dwarf figs do not need much fertilization and over exposure to nitrogen can even have bad side effects.

If you are going to grow your dwarf fig in a container, make sure yours is at least the same size if not a little bigger than the pot you bring it home in. You will have to repot the plant every 2 to 3 years. You should also remember to fertilize your potted fig tree 2 or 3 times a year. There are specific plant food available for fruit trees and you can use the granules that are mixed into the potting mix or the stakes that slowly release the nutrients over time.

Place the plant, whether indoor or outdoor, in a location where it can get plenty of sunlight. Bright light without harsh heat is the best combination for this Mediterranean tree.

These basics of light, water and nutrients are all that are necessary for this tree to become your own private fig orchard. The plant is self- fertile meaning it does not need a pollinator. If you take out your indoor plant for the summer, the bees will help it bear fruit. The tree takes the first few seasons to establish itself and so you can start expecting fruits after 3 or 4 years. Late July and late September are usually the time these plants bear fruit. Whether you enjoy your fruits raw or in preserves and jellies, you will have the joy of home-grown fruits for years to come.

In terms of on going care, it is recommended that you prune your fig trees annually in the first 2 or 3 growing cycles. This will allow you to train the tree to the shape you desire. In later years, you have to prune to stimulate new growth and to maintain the shape of the tree. Heavy pruning may lead to light crops because figs do develop fruits on previous year's growth. Also, prune only after collecting fruits after both the July and September crops and by pruning in fall you can avoid the tree getting sun burnt.

Winter is the dormant season of this tree and you should use this time to remove dead and weak branches. You can also significantly reduce the watering during this period.

Figs should ideally be ripened on the tree but if they are outdoors their sweet smell can attract birds. While it will be fun watching varied bird species feed in your garden, if you want some of the figs for yourself, you may need to have a light netting to protect the fruits of your labor.



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