Fig trees are easily accessible from online and retail nurseries, and they are known for their hardiness and drought tolerance once they’ve established themselves.
Originally from the Mediterranean, fig trees thrive in many regions of Australia. Apart from providing delicious fruit, these hardy trees also contribute to the landscape with their attractive foliage.
Fig trees can be planted in the ground, grown in pots, or even used to create a fruiting hedge. When cultivating them in pots, it’s best to start with a smaller pot size and repot as needed. Fig trees tend to produce better fruit with a restricted root system In warmer climates they may yield two crops a year.
How to Grow Fig Trees
- Fig trees thrive in full sun, so choose a spot that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. They also benefit from some wind protection.
- During the summer, water fig trees to keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering.
- Use a liquid seaweed fertilizer once a month to promote healthy growth.
- Apply mulch yearly to maintain a cool root environment, and consider adding well-rotted compost and aged sheep or cow manure.
- Fig trees have relatively shallow roots, so avoid digging around the tree to prevent root disturbance.
- As the fruit ripens from summer to autumn, protect the trees with bird netting to keep birds from consuming the figs. Ensure the soil does not dry out during this time, as dry soil can lead to fruit drop.
Pruning Fig Trees
Fig trees need very little pruning, usually they can be left for 3 – 4 years before shaping if required. Newly planted trees can be trimmed back slightly to reduce transplant shock, but this is not generally needed unless you are transplanting an established fig. Some gardeners choose to espalier fig trees in a fan shape to save space.
While fig trees can reach heights of around 7 meters (20 feet) over time, most gardeners prefer to keep them smaller through regular pruning. Luckily, fig tree branches are relatively soft, making pruning an easy task.
The best time to prune a fig tree is after it has finished fruiting. This approach ensures a good fruit yield the next season because figs bear fruit on the previous year’s wood, so the only reason to prune is to make more fruiting spurs. The best time to prune a fig is after fruiting or during winter. However, keep in mind that aggressive pruning will reduce the crop for the next season.
When selecting a fig tree for your garden, consider factors like fruit type, tree size, and ripening time. Some popular fig varieties include the early-ripening Brown Turkey, which performs well in drier regions, and the prolific fruiting Black Genoa.
Fig tree varieties include
- BLACK GENOA
A fast-growing, heavy-cropping tree that produces large, sweet purple-skinned fruit.
- WHITE GENOA
Grows well in cooler areas with yellow/green skin and a softer taste than many figs.
- BROWN TURKEY
A useful tree as it crops over a long period commencing early. Has large fruit that are sweet. A very hardy tree that does well in inland areas.
- CAPE WHITE
Does well in warmer areas. Good fruit for jam.
- BLUE PROVINCE
A very old variety with a bluish fruit. Later to ripen than many with large attractive foliage.
- DWARF BROWN
Suited to smaller spaces and backyards.
- PRESTON PROLIFIC
A black-skinned fruit from a heavy-cropping, large-growing tree. Orange flesh.
- WHITE ADRIATIC
The fruit is green to yellow with very sweet flesh. A large fast-growing tree.
When it comes to choosing the best fig tree to grow, you have a few delicious options. ‘White Adriatic‘ and ‘Black Ischia‘ are known for their exceptional taste. However, it’s worth noting that ‘Black Ischia’ isn’t widely grown commercially because it doesn’t handle transportation as effectively.
If you’re looking for an all-around winner, ‘Brown Turkey‘ is an excellent choice. It’s an early-ripening fig that thrives in drier conditions, making it a great fit for regions like Perth.
For those with limited space or interested in container gardening, the ‘Dwarf Brown‘ fig is ideal. It stays compact, reaching a height of only about 2.5 meters.
Fig Trees are available for sale online from the following growers and nurseries
Mail order fruit tree nursery with over 200 temperate climate fruit trees.
Heritage varieties and dwarf fruit trees. Apple Trees, Stone Fruit, Nut Trees and Berry Fruit.
Carey Gully, Adelaide Hills.
Family business selling a large range of deciduous trees in pots 1-4m high. Crepe myrtle specialist. Includes Ornamental pears & plums, Red maples, Japanese maples, Gingko, Cercis, Ash, Birch, Crab apples, Weeping cherries, Gleditsia, Liquidambar and more. Hedging plants, evergreen trees & fruit trees.
470 Monbulk-Silvan Road Monbulk VIC 3793
"Guaranteed mail order flowering bulbs, perennials, roses, trees, landscaping plants, garden accessories and community fundraising Austra lia-wide."
In Brisbane and The Gold Coast Try
300 Oxley Drive Coombabah QLD 4216
Located on the north end of the Gold Coast at Runaway Bay. The 6 acre site is home to Queensland's biggest & best garden centre. Selling in volume direct to the public. Focus on top quality both in our plant & pot ranges.