To grow a fig tree from seed, you’ll need to:
- Gather the proper materials
- Sprout the seedlings
- Care for the saplings until they grow
This process requires patience, as a fig tree grown from seed will take at least four years to reach maturity.
In this article, we will examine how to grow your fig seeds and how to care for the seedlings and the adult tree.
A Few Words About Fig Trees
Although lots of people love figs, and having your own tree can be a great experience, there are a few things you should know before you plant your fig tree.
First of all, growing a fig tree from seeds can give you any fig species.
Thus, there is no guarantee that you’ll get the type you prefer.
You also won’t be able to tell if your fig sapling is male or female, and, sadly, only female fig trees sprout edible fruit.
But, if you want to grow your own fig tree, there is still quite a bit of satisfaction you can get out of any tree you produce.
3 Steps to Grow a Fig Tree From Seed
Step One: Gather Your Materials and Prepare Your Environment
To plant fig seeds, you’ll need the following items.
First of all, to get fig seeds, you can buy them from the store or collect them from a fig.
But, just remember that not all seeds you collect will be viable.
Thus, you should collect many seeds.
To gather the seeds from a fig, you’ll need to cut your fig in half and scoop out the pulp and seeds.
Proper Potting Soil and Container
Also, to sprout the seedlings, you’ll need a tray or pot, which you can go ahead and fill with a mixture of granular soil.
This soil could be a bonsai mix, small lava grit, or a mix of peat, perlite, and fine volcanic rock.
However, avoid potting soil or composting soil as mold could grow and suffocate the seedlings.
The Right Environment
Finally, do consider the environment where you’re growing your fig seedlings.
Figs need a warm, sheltered spot and thrive in hotter climates.
So, try planting your fig seeds in late winter (if your home is well-climatized) or early spring in a sunny spot by the window.
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Step Two: Sprout the Seedlings
To get your fig seeds to sprout, you need to follow the steps below.
1. Prepare Your Seeds
To begin sprouting your seedlings, you first need to prepare your seeds.
You can get them ready for planting by putting the pulp and seeds into a large glass of water and leaving it to soak for 24-48 hours.
Viable seeds will absorb enough water to sink to the bottom.
These are the seeds you will collect from the water to plant.
You should throw the rest of the seeds away.
2. Plant Your Seeds
The next step is to plant the seedlings.
You can use your tray or pot for this process.
To begin germination, you just need to sprinkle the viable seeds on the top of your soil.
Then, try to space them out at least 1 inch apart.
3. Germinate Your Seeds
Next, wet the soil well and place your pot or tray in a warm area that receives at least six hours of sun per day.
The sun for your seedling should be moderate but not blazing.
Therefore, if you live in a hotter climate, only expose your seedlings to indirect sunlight or early morning sun.
And, of course, remember that not all of your seeds will sprout viable fig saplings.
It’s normal for some seeds not to sprout, for others to sprout quickly, and for other differences in growth between your seedlings.
Yet, typically, seedlings should start germinating in about two weeks.
Step Three: Take Care of Your Growing Fig Tree
The First Six Months
The first set of leaves you see on your seedlings are cotyledons, and they are not true photosynthesizing leaves.
But, once your seedling has two pairs of “true” leaves (the leaves that grow after the cotyledons), it should be a few inches high.
It may take about six weeks or so for the true leaves to arrive.
Then, at this size, you should replant your fig seedlings into smaller individual pots.
And make sure you use the same soil as recommended above.
Also, don’t forget to maintain moisture in the soil mixture, especially during the first two weeks after transplanting.
After this time, you can water the plant every two days.
Then, after two weeks, water it only when the soil is dry.
Additionally, after those two weeks after transplant, you should keep your plant humid by placing the pot on a pebble-filled saucer with water or by misting the plant daily.
After Six Months
Once the sapling is about six months old, which should be during spring, you can feed it a diluted houseplant food mix.
Later on, you can move your potted fig tree outdoors during the summer if your climate permits.
But, if you live in a cold area, make sure to bring the plant back indoors before the winter months.
And finally, once your fig has outgrown its container, you can continue to grow it in a new pot or plant it outdoors.
However, remember to replant fig trees outside when they are dormant in early spring or late fall.
Yet, if you don’t want to put it outside, a contained fig tree can grow well in a 15- to 20-gallon pot.
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How to Plant a Fig Tree Outdoors
When planting your tree outside, there are a few things you should remember:
- Place your fig tree in an area that receives full sun in the summer.
- Keep your tree at least 20 feet away from other trees or buildings.
- Plant the tree 2-4 inches deeper than the depth of your pot.
- In dry climates, you may have to water your outdoor fig once a week.
- Mulching around the tree will help it retain moisture.
- If your fig tree is planted outdoors and grows less than 12 inches in one season, add some fertilizer to help it grow.
When Can I Expect Fruit From My Tree?
Of course, as stated above, there is no guarantee that your tree will produce figs.
But, if your tree is a female, it will begin cultivating fruit after 3-5 years of growth.
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Fig trees can be difficult plants to grow.
However, getting a fig tree to come to fruition is a huge and delicious accomplishment.
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