The fig tree is a decorative wood for the tub and the garden and also produces delicious fruits. In order for the Mediterranean fig tree to thrive properly in cooler climates, it needs the right location and the right care. Only then can there be a rich harvest in addition to a healthy tree.

Choose the right fig tree

As with so many plants, there has long been more than one type of fig tree. Finding the right one among the multitude of different cultivated forms can be difficult. In any case, care should be taken to ensure that it is a real fig. In addition to these, there are also ornamental fig trees that look beautiful but do not produce any edible fruit.

When choosing, attention should be paid to the following:

  • Real fig tree with edible fruits
  • Profitable
  • Self-fruiting
  • Hardy
  • Resilient
  • Easy-care

These requirements are met by the following types, among others:

  • Brown Turkey
  • Garden
  • Violetta


The fig tree or Ficus carica, as it is also called, comes from the Mediterranean region. He likes to stand there moist and warm. In addition, it needs quite high amounts of nutrients and a sheltered location.
Apart from these needs, however, the fig tree is easy to care for. It can largely do without cuts and can also be used as a houseplant, in a tub or free-standing in the garden.

Location in the garden

Fig trees need a sunny spot where they can be exposed to the rays for at least three hours a day. Partially shaded locations can also be suitable, but only if there is enough light there.

In addition, the place should have sufficient protection against wind and precipitation. A planting location that is close to the wall in an inner courtyard or a corner of a house is ideal. The day’s warmth is stored there, but rain and storms are kept away.

In addition, the fig tree needs enough space to spread out when it is healthy.

Tip: Young plants can stand outdoors during the warm season, but are very sensitive to frost and wind. Instead of expensive protective measures in winter or repeated digging, these should be grown in buckets.

Fig tree as a container plant
When keeping the fig tree as a container plant, a protected location is also required. This should be sunny and warm, but light penumbra is also tolerated. Very airy or cold spots, for example on the balconies of higher floors, can, however, severely affect the fig trees.As a container plant, the fig tree can also stand freely in the garden. Then of course the same requirements apply.

Ficus carica as a houseplant
In addition to being planted outdoors or in a tub, fig trees are also suitable as houseplants. They do best here directly or near a sunny window.
A location in the winter garden is also recommended. In any case, care should be taken to ensure that the fig receives sufficient direct sunlight.

The ideal time to plant in the garden

Fig trees need some time to develop sufficient roots after they have been transplanted or planted. If plants are planted in the garden or moved to a new location, the timing should be chosen correctly. Spring is ideal after the last ground frost.
In no case should fig trees be planted in summer or autumn, the cold and frost in winter would damage them considerably. Even if the trees don’t die, they become more susceptible to disease and pests. High-yield harvests are also not to be expected.


For the fig trees in the room, ordinary, commercially available potting soil of good quality is sufficient. Cheap goods should be avoided here, as these often damage the roots and can quickly lead to waterlogging.

Fig trees in pots thrive with potted or balcony potting soil. Here, too, as with the keeping in the room, high-quality soil should be preferred.

In the garden, especially if the location is not to be changed, a permeable, nutrient-rich mixture should be used. Compost soil and commercial potting soil in equal parts, mixed with sand and fine gravel, forms the ideal breeding ground for fig trees. Because this is permeable and breathable, but at the same time nutrient-rich and water-retaining.

Tip: Fig trees can also benefit from water-permeable soil in the room or in the tub. So it doesn’t hurt to mix in some sand or gravel here as well.


Whether outside or inside – the fig tree likes it damp but not wet. It is therefore important to find the right balance when pouring.

It is ideal to flood the plant, so soak the root ball and the earth once properly. Just like it would happen in a heavy downpour, for example. The soil should then be allowed to dry out slightly, but never completely, before it is watered again.

The right pouring at a glance:

  • Keep soil moistured
  • Avoid waterlogging as a matter of urgency
  • Use low-calcium, soft water, for example rainwater, stale or filtered tap water or pond water

Caution: If pond water or river water is used for watering, or used for fertilization as described below, it must be free of pesticides, fungicides and medicines. If agents for cleaning the water or for treating fish diseases are added to the water, they must be safe for consumption. This is because the substances contained will later be found in the fruits and can make them inedible or even harmful.

Watering after planting
If fig trees are newly planted or relocated , they should be watered abundantly, but at longer intervals. In this way, the water mainly collects on the ground and under the plant. This stimulates the roots to spread mainly in depth, instead of creating extensive braids in width. In the long term, the fig trees will remain healthier and also survive dry phases without any problems.


Fig trees need numerous nutrients in the growth phase, i.e. from spring to autumn. Therefore, they should be fertilized regularly. Even immediately after planting, it is advisable to use additional fertilizer.

Fertilization is essential, especially during the time when the fig trees are developing and bearing fruit. If this is not adhered to sufficiently, the tree will lose the fruit prematurely.

As soon as all the figs have been harvested and the temperatures drop, fertilizing can be tapered off. During the winter dormancy it is even necessary to do without it completely. However, this does not apply if the fig tree is kept warm and bright all year round as a houseplant or in the winter garden. Reduced fertilization is allowed here.

Suitable fertilizers are:

  • Citrus fertilizer
  • Compost
  • Pond water
  • Organic vegetable fertilizer
  • Liquid complete fertilizer
Tips: No matter which fertilizer is used, it should always be food-safe. Some fertilizers, for example for flowering plants, do not meet this requirement and are therefore not suitable for figs either.

Blend properly

Fig trees usually get along well without waste. It is only advisable to carefully cut the shape and remove the dead branches. This should definitely be done in spring. If it happens too late, it damages the wood.

It should also be remembered that the figs start directly on the wood. A radical blending therefore reduces the harvest.

Tip: Only cut the fig tree to a small extent and use a clean, germ-free knife.


The fig tree can be propagated through seeds and cuttings.

When propagating by seeds, the small grains are removed from ripe fruits, washed and placed directly on a substrate. Potting soil or potting soil, both are possible. At temperatures between 20 ° C and 25 ° C in a light location and covered with foil, the first shoots will appear after about two weeks. Once the shoots have reached a height of 10 cm, they can be pricked out and slowly accustomed to the room climate.

Either green or woody shoots can be used for propagation by cuttings. Placed in a glass of water or in a substrate, they need about 25 ° C to form roots. The best time for this is in spring, between April and May. The success of this variant is shown when the cutting shoots visible roots or new leaves.

Moving or repotting

Moving or repotting is only necessary if the fig is too big or does not thrive in the chosen location. There are no special features to consider. Only the time should fall in spring.

Pests and diseases

The fig tree is relatively insensitive to diseases and pests. Attention should be paid to the development of rot, which can be avoided through optimal housing conditions and care. The fig leaf moth is also a possible damaging factor. Caterpillars, pupae and feeding marks indicate this and require treatment with insecticides.

Winter safely

Some fig tree species survive frost, but persistent temperatures below -10 ° C can damage even these robust varieties. Winter protection for free-standing trees is therefore recommended in any case. The crown and trunk should be wrapped with garden fleece and covered with mats, straw and brushwood.

The fig tree needs protection from cold wind, snow, wintry sun and frost. At the same time, however, it also needs some air, otherwise putrefaction forms very quickly.

Overview of information on winter protection

  • Attach winter protection in autumn
  • Remove leaves from the branches, this reduces the risk of rot
  • Protect roots by piling up clippings, straw and brushwood
  • Wrap the trunk and crown
Tips: The secure wrapping of the fig trees is quite cumbersome with larger trees. Instead, it is better and easier to build a winter tent out of stakes and large bamboo mats to keep out winter sun, wind and frost.

Airtight films protect against the ingress of cold, but they also increase the risk of decay. Therefore, they should only be used if adequate ventilation is ensured.Winter protection for potted plants and young figs
As already mentioned, very young fig trees are not suitable for outdoor planting in the garden. The better and safer choice is to put it in a bucket until the tree is about 5 years old. These plants should be moved to a cool and somewhat dark room before the onset of the first frost. Heated cellars or garages are suitable for this. The temperature should be between 10 ° C and 15 ° C.

Wintering the fig trees indoors

  • Bring the plants in before the first frost
  • Choose a dark, cool room
  • Pour only when necessary
  • Refrain from fertilizer
  • Remove leaves before setting
  • Pay attention to the formation of rot

Are fig trees poisonous?

The well-known real fig trees produce edible fruits, but ornamental figs are different. Here the fruits are inedible and in some cases even poisonous. When choosing plants, you should therefore pay close attention to the species. The same applies to plants that are adopted alone or in a garden.

Tip: If you are unsure, consult a plant identification book or a gardener.

If properly cared for, fig trees grow quickly and thank the effort with a rich yield – up to three times a year. All they need is the right location, plenty of moisture and lots of nutrients. A really green thumb or a lot of effort is not necessary for this.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *