giving trees figs banner

Introduction

giving trees painting image
No space or garden to plant figs? No problem... plant them in pots!

» Figs will grow very well in pots and will tolerate a lot of neglect and suffering but at the expense of the fruit.

» Figs will happily give a good crop of figs in pots with the right care.

» Figs also make great bonsai specimens. The variety "Round of Bordeaux" particularly makes a good subject.

» I always remind people that any plant for that matter in a pot is like a "pet". It is totally dependant on you for its food and water and the caged in roots can't go and look for this on their own.

» I am amazed that figs are not more commonly planted in pots, especially those on the premises of Tuscan styled houses. They are perfect to give that "Mediterranean feel" and the leaves also give off that typical fig scent. Although they are deciduous, they will still look decent during winter. For me, the bare grey-white branches are quite attractive


Varieties for Pots


» Some varieties will do better in pots than others. There are a few varieties that grow more compact than others and a good crop of figs can still be achieved.

Here follows a list of varieties that we found to grow particularly well in containers. We will add more to the list as we keep on experimenting:

Ornamental varieties

» If you are more interested in nice foliage and not a lot of fruit, I strongly suggest "Parisian"(Bourjosotte Noir). This is a tough, strong growing variety with beautiful, fresh-looking leaves. It can easily be trained into a standard or round ball. This variety looks amazing in pots when fed regularly and kept moist.

» Another excellent ornamental variety is called "Tiger" (Panachee). It has attractive striped yellow and green fruit. The fruit are edible and taste sweet if it ripens during hot conditions. It tends to grow slow in pots.


Varieties for eating

» If you want varieties more for fruit we suggest the following:

"Ronde de Bordeux"
· Excellent for pots.
· Compact and slow growing.
· Small round purple black figs with sweet red flesh.
· Good bearer.

"Cape Brown" (Osborn's Prolific)
· Excellent for pots. Slow growing.
· Very tasty and sweet brownish figs with pink flesh.
· Heavy bearer.

"Dalmatie"
· Excellent for pots.
· Compact and slow growing.
· Very large green figs with strawberry flesh.
· Heavy bearer.

"Cape White" (Blanche)
· Good in pots.
· Compact growing.
· Sweet flesh with crunchy seeds.
· Good bearer.

"Kadota"
· Good in pots.
· Heavy bearer of small green figs with very sweet, straw coloured flesh.
· Needs hot, sunny summers.

"White Genoa"
· Fair in pots.
· Bears large green figs with pink flesh.
· Useful for its early breba crop.

"Black Mission"
· Fair in pots.
· Although a very strong grower in the ground, it adapts well in containers.
· The figs are medium to large with purple-black skin and sweet, pink flesh.

"Noire de Caromb"
· Fair in pots.
· Tends to be slow growing.
· Produces good quality black skinned figs with sweet pink-red flesh.

"Violette de Bordeaux"
· Slow and compact growing.
· Small dark purple figs with excellent taste.
· Excellent in pots.

You don't have to limit yourself to these varieties as all figs will do well in pots if the correct care is given.
(For more information look up these varieties in the Database section)

Choosing the Right Pot


» Concerning the pot size, the bigger the better but figs will survive many years in a small container. I would say a pot with a dimension of roughly 50cm x 50cm x 50cm or bigger is advisable. There is a vast choice of different styles, colours and shapes available - all depending on your choice.

» Pots that are slightly tapering and wide at the top are a preferred choice as this makes transplanting figs or removal of figs for root pruning much easier.

» For ornamental use I would suggest pots that will go nicely with the "Tuscan look". Clay pots will of course be a classical choice for figs but if you are only interested in fruit production, cheap plastic pots or even large plastic bags will do.

» It is very important to ensure that the pots have enough large drainage holes before you fill them up with soil.

» As figs have very strong and surface spreading roots, pots should preferably be wider than they are tall. The pots should also be of a high quality in order to withstand the strong roots of figs.

Soil


» When it comes to growing figs in pots, I strongly recommend using bark-based potting soil like Culterra's potting soil. Using topsoil / garden soil is not recommended as this type of soil drains badly in pots and tends to become hard as brick. Furthermore, many pots can be damaged by the weight of the pot as it is very heavy to move around.

» Many people complain that Potting soil drains too quickly but this is exactly what we want! As the potting soil starts to settle and break down, it will drain less quickly.

» Always put a layer of coarse sand, gravel, etc. at the bottom of the pot to ensure good drainage.

» Mix some Bonemeal (or superphosphate) and Bioganic fertilizer with the potting soil before filling the pot.

Watering & Feeding


» Watering and feeding figs in pots are a different story to figs planted in the ground. Figs in pots will need much more watering and feeding. Pots should never be allowed to dry out, especially in the first part of the growing season. Remember during hot and windy weather, daily watering will be required. Another important thing is that, as the plant gets bigger, it will need more watering as the pot will be filled with roots.

» A good soaking until the water comes out of the bottom of the pot is recommended. It is vital to check that water drains out properly as you can drown your fig. Drowning figs will typical start to wilt but this is also the case in drought conditions.

» Pot-grown figs will need regular feeding. Bioganic fertilizer should monthly be sprinkled around the pots and away from the main stem. Furthermore, 2.3.4 should also be given monthly and also away from the stem.

Maintenance


» Figs will grow slower in pots and will thus need less pruning. It is advisable to do root pruning every 3 years. This is done by gently taking out the fig and it's rootball during winter and cutting back the bottom third of the rootball and replanting it. You don't have to do this, however, it will rejuvenate the plant and give better crops.

» It is better to keep figs in pots lower and more compact by regularly pruning back strong growing shoot. Figs can also be trained into standards(lollipops) or round topiary bushes.

» Once a year, just before spring, the top 10cm of soil should be removed and replaced with a mixture of compost,bonemeal and Bioganic Fertilizer as this will rejuvenate the soil.

» The good news about growing figs in pots is that the plants are very forgiving and tough if they are neglected or ill-treated. They recover quickly when they receive the proper care!