TheWilldog
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:13 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Should I be doing something to help this fig tree?

Hi, I've had this little tree planted in my backyard (Jacksonville, FL) for about 3 years now and it hasn't been doing much. It doesn't seem to be filling out at all. Only the four main spouts seem to get a little longer each season. There very few leaves on it at any given time and I've yet to see a piece of fruit. Is this normal for a young plant, or am I missing something?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gc95fpo0aznao ... 2.JPG?dl=0

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Should I be doing something to help this fig tree?

I was going to say figs are shallow rooted so it's best to keep the surrounding area clear -- grass would compete with a young fig tree for water and nutrients and figs are heavy feeders as well as need lots of water, too.

I would cover the surrounding area with cardboard and pile with mulch.

So that's one thing.

But I went to verify that figs ARE shallow rooted, just in case I was remembering wrong, and came across this comment:
"In sandy soils however, fig trees can suffer extensive damage from root knot nematodes"
https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/frui ... 0/figs.pdf

Very often gardeners from Florida mention sandy soil and root knot nematodes causing problems for their garden. So you might have that going on as well. You may need to dig up some of the roots to see if there are signs.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

CharlieBear
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Location: Pacific NW

Re: Should I be doing something to help this fig tree?

figs are Mediterranean so used to rain in the late fall and early spring. I water some when it is really hot in the summer, but not otherwise, or they don't bear for me. I am concerned about the lack of leaves, the plant sounds very stressed, so it wondering if it gets enough water in the winter. Does it get enough sunlight, or is it in shade? As for fertilizing that depends on your soil etc.

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ElizabethB
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Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Should I be doing something to help this fig tree?

Hi Willdog,

I live in Lafayette, la. We have similar climates but different soil types. I highly recommend having a soil test done both for nutrients and pathogens.

The most popular varieties in Louisiana are Celeste and Southeastern Brown Turkey. Both have a high sugar content and are great for canning. Love fig preserves!


The information in this link should be applicable to you.

https://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres ... LOWRES.pdf

I do not have a fig in the yard at this time. I have grown figs before and my Mother has several trees in her yard. Our common practice is to fertilize with 8-8-8 mid February and early May.

I use a plastic peanut butter jar with holes punched in the lid. Put your left shoulder against the foliage and walk around the tree fertilizing as you go. 1 round. Water in. If you do not have sufficient rain then water heavily every week. Both varieties ripen around July 4th. Stop watering mid June. Let the sugar concentrate in the fruit.

I really think you have a soil issue. Have it checked out.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Should I be doing something to help this fig tree?

I think the fig may not be getting enough fertilizer or water especially if you have sandy soil. Sandy soils would not be able to hold on to nutrients well and would dry out faster. Figs do not need a lot of water, a good soaking every 10 days if it does not rain. It also is intolerant of wet feet and will rot if the ground does not drain well.

Figs are slow growing trees. If your tree is from a cutting from a mature tree, it can fruit in a pot. It looks like you have other trees nearby and the fig may not be getting the 6-7 hours of sun it needs to fruit well.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Should I be doing something to help this fig tree?

Oops, sorry if it seemed like I was giving wrong advice. It seems to me like mine wants a fair amount of water though. Maybe because one is a young tree in the ground with still relatively small/limited root system and the other is in a container.

I noticed my one-year-old in-ground fig had grown a lot of surface roots just under the mulch that were reaching in the direction with most water/moisture in the ground....

Perhaps, like most drought tolerant plants, the fig will not need as much water once they establish a deep and wide ranging root system. I still think grass/lawn/weeds would occupy the same root zone and hinder and compete with the fig's root system.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Should I be doing something to help this fig tree?

You were right Applestar, young figs and figs in containers can be watered every day if the soil drains well. Figs do put out a lot of surface roots and that makes them more drought tolerant when they get older.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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