Can Figs Be Grown in Pots?

Figs can be grown in pots, but they are best suited to large container gardens or sunny patios where root growth can be restricted. Figs need full sun to produce ripe fruits.

Unlike other fruit trees, figs are not particularly fussy about soil, but they do benefit from well-rotted compost or a rich organic mulch around the base of the plant. Figs can also be pruned, so trimming away old woody growth or excessive top growth will help to retain their compact shape and encourage fruit production.

When planting a new fig tree, choose a sunny spot and dig a deep pit, filling it with soil from around the garden and improving it with well-rotted organic matter if necessary. Then cover the base of the hole with a layer of rubble or broken bricks and crocks, which is 10-20cm (4-8in) higher than the surrounding soil to prevent the roots from growing outwards. Once the roots have established themselves, add a layer of John Innes No 3 compost over the top.

You can also grow figs in containers, but you will need to repot them frequently. In the first year, pot your plant in a medium-sized pot and increase the size every few years. During the summer, make sure to keep the potting mix consistently moist but not soaked. In autumn, move the fig into a cold frame or greenhouse until the risk of frost is over and it can be brought outside for full sunlight exposure.

For optimum growth and a plentiful harvest, figs should be allowed to grow to a height of 4.5 feet. Prune or head back your fig to this height in early spring to make it easier for you to manage the branches and to reduce their overall size and weight.

To acclimatize the fig to its new home, gradually expose it to longer periods of sun exposure over several weeks until it becomes comfortable outdoors. In northern areas, you can even leave the plant outside until it is exposed to freezing temperatures and then bring it inside to protect it from thawing and to conserve its moisture.

If you are unable to plant your figs out into the ground, you can also take cuttings from the dormant trees in late October or November. You will need a sharp pair of secateurs for these and a few small pots or large modular cell trays for holding the cuttings.

Taking cuttings is an excellent way to propagate figs, although it can be difficult to get all of the plants you want from them. You will need a number of hardwood cuttings, about half an inch in diameter and taken from stems that are two or three years old.

Once your cuttings have sprouted, they can be planted out into a small garden or container with a mixture of 60% sterile potting mix and 40% finished compost, with one cup of kelp meal added for trace minerals. You should repot your figs in larger pots at intervals, increasing the size of each pot by a couple of inches over the length of its lifetime.