A ripe fig tree beautifies your garden. Hardy cultivars are best to grow the figs outdoors successfully. However, protection is a must for figs in winter in the UK and, as such, grows well in containers that you can move indoors when required. They are self-fertile and produce a successful crop even from a single plant. 


  • Transfer the plants in pots in a sunny place once there is no frost. 
  • Apply two handfuls of high potassium fertiliser in each square metre/ yard. 
  • Apply well-rotted organic matter to help soil suppress weeds and retain moisture.
  • Feed the plants with liquid tomato fertiliser every 2-3 weeks on the appearance of figs.
  • Water the plants well in summer.
  • Dig the soil around the planting pits using a sharp spade. It will prevent the roots from escape.

Fruitlets usually appear on the plants in summer, spring or late summer. The fruitlets appear in late summer and develop into the flower in the following summer. On the other hand, fruitlets that grow in the spring develop in greenhouses and outdoors.

  • Remove the mature fruits at the season end.
  • Leave the younger embryo fruits to get the fruit the following year.

Winter protection outdoors:

Winter is the time to protect the fan-trained plants. First, cover the fan-trained plants with bracken, straw and bubble wrap and with horticulture fleece afterwards. However, you can remove this insulation from May onwards.

Winter protection in containers:

Transfer the pot-grown plants to the porch, shed or unheated greenhouse in autumn.

Training and pruning

While training the figs in the greenhouse or against walls, keep the following things in mind:

  • Ensure that the wires are 12 inches apart
  • Hang 6 inches of netting
  • Make sure the net is at a distance of 12 inches from the glass.

On the other hand, you must wear protective gloves for pruning because sap may irritate the skin. Moreover, it would be best if you started pruning the plants from the bottom up.

Fan-trained figs:

To stimulate lower, bushier growth, pinch out the growing tip of every other young shoot supported on the main framework in June. Tie the shoots into the wires as they grow.

Containerised figs:

  • Trim the weak or dead branches in the last days of March.
  • Thin out the shoot tips from the developing plants in mid-June. Ensure that there are only 4-5 leaves after you thin out.


Spring is the perfect time for planting the figs. However, you can plant the container-grown plants throughout the year.

 The figs grow well in the soil that can retain the moisture and is drain-free. Fan train the figs on enough space. The fan trained figs can reach up to a height of 6.5 feet and spread up to 3–3.5m. Restrict the growth of roots to encourage fruiting.

Here’s the process to plant the figs:

  • Plant the figs in the container or dig a pit.
  • Ensure a hole size of 2 x 2 x 2ft to prepare a planting pit.
  • Put vertical slabs along the sides. Make sure these slabs are 1 inch higher than the soil. These slabs don’t allow the outward spread of roots.
  • Add a 4-8 inches deep layer of crocks, broken bricks.
  • Ensure a distance of 8 inches between the sunny south base and southwest facing fence or wall.
  • Fill the pot with John Innes No 3 compost or well-rotted organic matter.

Conversely, if you want to plant the figs in the container, follow these tips.

  • Use a 1-inch pot at the start.
  • Repot the plants every two years in March.
  • Put the 2inches layer of John Innes No 3 in the pot when you repot the plants.  
  • Ensure that there is a distance of at least 1 inch between the pot rim and the soil. It will allow effective watering to the plants.


You can harvest the plants grown in the greenhouse twice in summer. On the other hand, you can pick the outdoors-raised crops once.  

The soft skin and secretion of sugary liquid from the fig base indicates that the figs are ready to pick. You can eat the figs immediately after you harvest them. You can also preserve them. For preserving, you dry the figs first in trays and airy cupboards. Moreover, will need to turn the figs once a week during the drying process.  


Common problems


Vegetables, leaves, buds, fruit and seedlings are the parts the birds eat the most. So, you should take preventive measures to save your plants.


  • Bird-scaring or scarecrows helps prevent the inevitable bird attacks.
  • Use net or fleece to cover the plants.  

Glasshouse red spider or two-spotted mite

Mites primarily affect the leaves. The symptoms of mites’ infection are:

  • Pale and mottled leaves;
  • Web covering on the leaves;
  • Premature leave falling.


  • Mist the plants regularly.
  • Control the mites biologically in the greenhouse.


Wasp can damage any tree fruit. The higher sugar content of the figs attracts the wasps to the plant, damaging the fruits and threatening gardeners.


  • Trap the wasps by using hanging wasp traps. You can hang these traps in the trees.
  • Make sure the overripe fruits don’t fall on the ground due to winds. If they do, gather them up so that wasps aren’t attracted to the tree and the fruit that is on there.

Take a look at the delicious website for 32 recipes for figs.

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08/06/2021 | Fruit | 0 Comments

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