The USDA has set up an essential guide for gardeners which helps them determine if their plants or fruit trees will grow in their climate. This helps a gardener choose whether they want to go through the trouble of planting a rare plant species in their region, whether outdoors, in a pot or a greenhouse. There are many fig tree varieties and some grow better in certain areas than others. The USDA zones range from 1a-13b and in the Northeast USA, you will find a range from 3b-7b.
When pruning the roots of your potted fig trees, you must perform this once every 2-3 years. Otherwise the tree might experience a stunted growth and cause stress to the tree. It’s a good idea to prune your tree in early spring, just before the tree begins to leaf out. If you wait later in the season to prune, the tree will feel shock and the leaves will wilt for several days.
Of course, you can plan to transfer the tree into a larger pot. Although this can make it difficult to move the tree around and it can grow to enormous proportions. So, pruning is the best option if you plan to return the tree to the pot that you love so much.
Below are photographic examples showing the stages of root pruning. Read more
Homemade grow medium in your pots doesn’t have to be a laborious activity, therefore this might be more enjoyable if the nutrients in the medium could last more than 2 years.
After doing some research, I came across a conifer bark-based medium mix that will last up to 3 years.
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Your figs have been growing for a couple of months now, it’s August or September with the sweet fig smell in the air and they’re beginning to change color, some being eaten by birds, ants or surrounded by fruit flies. You ask yourself, “Are they ripe?”. Sometimes they’re ready once they’ve reached their ideal color for your fig variety. The best time for harvesting your figs regardless of the color is when you begin to see tiny white cracks in the skin.
Training your fig tree, not training your dragons. Here are some basic examples on fig tree shapes. There are two common forms that a fig tree can be trained into: Single trunk [D], open vase type and the multi-trunk system [C]. Northeastern fig trees can be trained to grow from a single trunk when planted in a 200-hour chilling zone. You can control the trees through pruning. A winter frost that kills most of the branches, shows when a single trunk system should be used. To maintain the single trunk, be sure to cut away new growth that may appear at the base of the tree. Use a wooden stake, if necessary, to keep the trunk growing straight. Read more
There are fungi that can attack your fig tree leaves. If you find large brown areas, or with a mold growing – immediately cut off the affected leaves and discard them so that the fungus will not spread throughout. Take note that there is a very dangerous common leaf mold pathogen called Rust. It mainly affects potted plants and can spread to your house plants. It will begin with small brown spots and gradually spread through the leaf. When you discover this type of infection, cut the leaf off and burn it. Read more
Solutions are available for injured fig leaves. Fig trees in this area of the Northeast don’t have many pests. Once in a while, you’ll come across leaves being eaten or discolored. Sometimes you’ll find that nothing is eating the leaves or branches most probably because the sap (latex) is sticky and can be irritating (even to human skin). Other times, the problem might not be a pest, but a rust fungi infection. Read more
Yellow, wilting or curling leaves. This is a sign that your tree is dehydrated and needs water ASAP.
If the tree has been growing in the ground, place a garden hose directly at the base of the tree and let the water trickle over it for at least 1-2 hours. Watering a tree can be a daunting experience sometimes, so I bought this Drip Irrigation Water Rock. It might look ugly, but you can apply latex paint to it to change the color. In the meantime, it has a continuous water drip into the roots of the tree. If it’s a young freshly planted tree, continue to water it on a regular basis about once every 3 days (skipping on rainy days) until the growing season has ended.
Here’s a basic illustration on fig identities. It just shows how to identify figs through the leaf silhouette. However, the variety on this blog is not listed here. The fig tree shown in this blog is the Brown Turkey fig.