Fig Growing Guide

Ficus carica


Crop Rotation Group



Any reasonable moisture-retentive but well-drained soil.


A sheltered site in full sun. In colder areas grow against a north-facing wall with a frame that makes it possible to install a plastic cover in winter. Figs grown as pillars or espaliered plants can be planted closer - 18in (45cm) apart, and gradually thinned to the best specimens.

Frost tolerant

Figs easily tolerate periodic frosts, but hard freezes (temperatures below 25°F/-4°C) can lead to death of branches and dormant buds. Cold also can kill plants back to their roots, from which new plants often re-grow.


Topdress the root zone with a balanced organic fertiliser each spring, and mulch with well-rotted organic matter year round. When growing figs in containers, apply liquid tomato feed every 2-3 weeks once fruits appear.


Single Plants: 3.00m (9' 10") each way (minimum)
Rows: 3.00m (9' 10") with 3.00m (9' 10") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Set out plants in winter when dormant. Where winters are cold, try growing figs in containers that are brought into an cool place in winter.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Figs produce fruitlets which flower the following year and produce fruit.


Fruits are ripe when the skin feels soft and starts to split when gently squeezed. Figs can be dried or made into fig preserves.


May suffer from red spider mites when grown under cover. Can be controlled using soft soap or by increasing humidity. Net figs to protect from birds. Even with netting, ants sometimes invade the open centers of figs. In Australia fruit fly are a pest of figs, make sure to take appropriate control measures in areas where they are present. It is important to dispose of any infected fruit and fruit has fallen to the ground by placing them in a sealed plastic bag in the sun for at least 7 days to kill the eggs and larvae. Do not compost fruit as this will lead to the fruit fly completing their life cycle and lead to the problem recurring.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Fig