By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin
Figs (Ficus carica) are some of the best fruiting plants for both the garden and containers. They are almost fool proof in their culture and yield a surprising amount of fresh fruit in one season.
Figs can be grown in most areas of the country as a landscape shrub or tree in the south up to zone 8 or higher and with protection as far north as zone 5 or even zone 4 depending on the planting site. Under most growing conditions, they are deciduous, shedding their leaves to bare stems in late fall and winter. This gives the gardener an advantage as the dormant plants can be easily protected for wintering over in colder zones.
The Potted Fig
Figs can also be grown as container plants year-round. The pot size will restrict growth, which helps contain the size. Some varieties, such as ‘Petite Negra,’ grow well and produce an abundance of fruit in a pot as small as 6″. They can be moved outside in the summertime and back inside during the winter months. Do not be alarmed when your fig drops its leaves while inside. It is simply going into its winter dormancy. Reduce the amount of water given to the plant during dormancy but never allow the soil to dry out completely.