So you’re lookin to grow a fig tree from seed? Figs are among the oldest cultivated plants that have been bred since ancient times and cultivated in large plantations in the Mediterranean region.
The breeding of figs is also successful in our latitudes. You can propagate the fig tree yourself either by seeds or by cuttings.
That said, here’s how to grow a fig tree from seed:
Prepare peats, perlite, and fine volcanic rock and ensure they’re of equal parts. Carefully place them in a flat surface then mix the moistened medium with the seed plus horticultural sand. Spread the sand-seed mix on the flat surface, and expose the surface to full sun up to 6 hours per day — before planting them.
Fresh figs not only taste great, they also score with a wealth of vitamins and valuable ingredients. One more reason to cultivate the fig on the balcony or in the garden in order to be able to nibble on the delicious fruits more often.
Figs can be planted in our homes in a garden, or pots, and even on the balcony. In order to get suitable seeds for planting, you would have to take them out from a fig fruit.
Remove the seeds with a knife and let them dry on kitchen paper for a day. The grains are now scatterable and can be sown well in slightly moist potting soil. Cover the seed container with a plastic bag, this will help the seeds germinate faster. In this article, we would learn how to grow fig trees in our homes.
Offspring by seed
Ripe figs contain a large number of small stone fruits that germinate well. Choose tasty and self-pollinated varieties for breeding.
Some fig species that are cultivated in southern countries require the help of a wasp species for fertilization. Since the fig wasp does not survive in the regions north of the Alps, these figs do not bear fruit in Germany.
Obtain seeds from fig fruits
Remove the seeds with a knife and let them dry on kitchen paper for a day. The grains are now capable of being scattered and can be sown in slightly moist potting soil. Cover the seed container with a plastic bag, this will help the seeds germinate faster.
Provide daily ventilation to prevent mold from building up. Depending on the temperature, the seeds will open after 1 – 4 weeks.
Isolation of the figs
Always keep the soil moist; When watering, however, make sure that the small seeds are not washed away. It is recommended to carefully moisten the potting soil with a spray device.
When the small figs have reached a size of around five centimeters, you can separate them into pots.
Propagation by saplings
Maybe friends or relatives have a frost-hardy fig tree in their garden that bears numerous fruits and thrives splendidly. Since the breeding of figs via cuttings is problem-free and completely uncomplicated, you can generate many offspring from this fig tree:
● Both saplings from mature and young wood are suitable for propagation.
● The length of the sprouts should be about 25 centimeters.
● Breeding with head cuttings is also possible.
● The cultivation succeeds both in the water glass and directly in the ground.
● Always close the cultivation vessel with a transparent plastic bag (greenhouse climate).
● Place the container in a bright but not full sun.
If a head cutting loses leaves at first, this is completely normal and does not indicate a failed attempt at breeding. Only if the stem of the sapling feels slippery on the inside and the bark looks wrinkled, the reproduction has unfortunately failed.
Tips for correct pruning
Fig trees also thrive without periodic topiary. A fig tree can never be cut back to a height of three to ten meters and shade the entire garden thanks to its spreading crown .
So that the fruits get a lot of sunlight and ripen, it is advisable to prune the trees with the large leaves regularly. If the fig is too big for the home garden, it can tolerate a strong pruning and then willingly sprout again.
Cut the figs back carefully
In the first few years the fig grows bushy with numerous branches close to the ground. The aim of the pruning is to build a loose and wide tree structure with a beautiful crown.
However, do not prune the young tree too much, because pruning promotes the formation of shoots and at the same time suppresses the formation of fruit .
When should the fig be cut?
The best times for pruning are February and March, when the fig has not yet sprouted again. Avoid pruning in autumn, as the cold temperatures of the winter months could further freeze the branches back and cause serious damage to the fig.
How to cut a fig tree
Thoroughly plan the pruning and do the following:
● Always work from the bottom up.
● Always use clean and sharp tools.
● First, remove thick shoots close to the ground, which would hinder their growth,
with pruning shears or a saw.
● Spread larger wounds with a suitable agent.
● Then prune thinner branches and twigs.
● If possible, spare biennial shoots as they will bear fruit in the following year.
The spring cut
First remove all branches damaged by the frost. Usually only the one to two-year-old branches are affected by cold damage, while the old and mature branches do little harm in freezing temperatures. Always leave a bud or branch when pruning, because a new shoot will form from these in the coming summer.
The pruning of an older fig tree
Five to six year old figs tend to bald inside. These trees put away a strong pruning that stimulates new growth. In the year after the rejuvenation pruning, however, in many cases you have to forego the fig harvest, as the fig only bears on two-year-old wood.
Cut bucket figs
Container plants are fully compatible with pruning and you can prune them back without any problems in order to achieve a beautiful structure of the plant.
Be careful not to cut out too many biennial branches. You can count on a good fruit yield from figs cultivated in the house, winter garden or on the balcony.
The cut of espalier fruit
Figs do well when planted on a trellis in front of a sunny house wall . The wires should start at a height of about 45 centimeters and run at a distance of 25 centimeters.
Pruning in the first year after planting:
Trim the main shoot of the fig and two side shoots to a length of about 50 centimeters. You cut off all other shoots completely. While the main shoot grows vertically up the trellis, attach the two side shoots to the wires of the trellis at an acute angle to the main shoot.
Follow-up cut in the second year
Next spring, select four strong shoots from each of the two side shoots. One shoot should be on the end of the branch, another on the bottom, and two shoots on the top.
Prune or break out any other eyes and direct the remaining shoots in the desired direction along the trellis. Bear in mind that fig leaves can get very large and leave enough space between the main branches so that a lot of sunlight can get to the fruits.
The cut in the third year
Cut back the leading branches a little. The cut is made over a bud pointing in the direction of growth. When pruning, leave at least sixty centimeters of last year’s wood standing so that enough new shoots and fruits form in summer. Break out unwanted eyes regularly during the summer months.
Care of the trellis
After four years, the basic trellis is built up evenly and you only have to prune the fig back in early spring. As with free-standing fig trees, first remove branches that have been damaged by frost.
All shoots that grow towards or away from the wall are completely removed. Prune new shoots in the desired direction of growth on one eye . Tie new shoots to the trellis.
Make sure that the espalier fig does not become too dense so that the sunlight reaches all fruits equally. During the summer, we therefore recommend additional maintenance pruning for very vigorously growing fig trees, in which you cut back new shoots to five leaves.
Before pruning, look at the fig and plan carefully. Mark all the branches that you want to prune. In this way you avoid incorrect cuts and do not inadvertently shorten fruit-bearing, two-year-old branches.
Eating figs fresh or preserving them?
The harvest is always different, so that the question often arises: when are figs ripe. Warm or hot summers produce far more ripe fruit than when it is cool and rainy. If the summer is very hot and dry, rot problems often arise, so that the harvest pressure increases.
So it makes sense that with a good harvest, not all fruits are consumed immediately. In contrast to fresh figs, dried figs keep for a very long time and do not lose their tasty aroma.
As soon as the fruits detach from the stem without difficulty, they are ripe enough to be harvested to dry. The normal oven is just as suitable for this as a special dehydrator.
If you are lucky enough to have a winter garden, you do not have to rely on the outside temperature being right. He will be able to harvest many figs each year.
Hobby gardeners can also achieve the same effect with a large south-facing window. But it is always important that the plant is watered regularly and sufficiently.
The size of the planter also plays an important role for the fig to thrive. He must always give the roots enough space to develop.
Planting a fig seed and growing a fig tree is an amazing experience that could be achieved by any patient gardener. In this article, we have discussed the full process of fig planting.