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Fig tree

Figs are often available in pots or tubs. In milder climates they can be grown directly in the garden or on a wall as espalier fruit. They are beautiful as ornamental plants as well with their big leaves and their fruit as they can quickly cover large wall areas, but they will have to be cut severely after hard winters with frost damage...

(lat.: Ficus carica)

Fig-tree with fruits

Requirements / Origin

Well drained limy soil with no stagnant water. For good yields the location should be sunny enough and protected from wind. Figs can aso be grown in colder climates, but frost may destroy all the fruits easily. Fig trees can be found in garden centers or online.

Caracteristics and Pruning

Growth habit on walls or facades: shaped tree. Fig trees may grow up to 3 to 5 meters. Pollination is complicated, self-fertile varieties will take care of that problem. There will be one or two harvests a year, the main one being in July / August. Diseases and pests aren't a problem, but constant watering is a must - without water, the figs will fall off. Fertilizing does more harm than good, especially right before harvest. Pruning is done after the harvest - follow the instructions available in specialized litterature.

Growing support for figs

Suitable wire rope trellises for espalier figs: table available at the bottom of the page. Choose a medium, heavy or even massive trellis. If the fig tree is kept small a simple trellis is enough. Fig trees may also simply planted as small bushes in front of the house. 

Fig trees have an upright and bushy grow, it's difficult to train them to symmetrical shapes - that's why they are grown in a free "fan shape" on an espalier. The are generally regarded as shaped trees when grown on an espalier, and the trellis should be chosen accordingly, with main axes every 25 to 40 cm. The meshes of the cable trellis should be rectangular rather than square, modifiy the shape of the trellis if necessary.



Suitable wire rope trellis

Click on the picture to see a list of suitable trellis designs.

Suitable wire trellises for figs

Please click on the graphics to see a detailed view of each design!

 = suitable              = sometimes suitable              = not suitable