Best Times to Plant a Fig Tree

It can be tricky to decide when the best times to plant a fig tree are, especially when you’re living in an area with a rough climate. A poor decision could lead to a failed harvest. Below is some advice regarding this issue.

Decide Based on The Fig’s Variety

Most figs available produce two crops per season. The first batch ripens in early summer and the second in late summer or fall. If you live in a cool coastal area, plant “Osborn Prolific” or “Kodota” types because they’re more likely to survive where summers are hot. The best time to plant both types is in early spring. "Black Mission” is good for all climates, and its trees produce figs even in the desert. You can plant this fig type at almost any time.

Decide Based on The Local Climate

Cold or rainy seasons can delay the tree’s growth, so be careful when choosing a time to plant. If your state has arctic winters, it’s better to plant between early spring and early summer. Before the winter season comes, plant the fig tree in a pot and keep it in a warm area like a greenhouse. Freezing can kill the upper part of the tree. If this happens, take advantage of the opportunity to remove broken or dried roots; however, be careful to not damage them during the process; otherwise, water uptake will temporarily be reduced.

If winter isn’t so harsh where you live, it would be better to plant your fig tree at the beginning of the dormant season. Doing so allows the roots to develop before leafing out in the spring. Be careful with young trees. Since the cold can easily harm them, plant them as soon as they’re safe from the cold. If you don’t want to be potting your tree each time the ground freezes then planting it again when winter ends, you could have the tree in the pot all year round. If you live in an area with a warm climate, early spring is the best time to plant a fig tree or you can plant your tree anytime if most days of the year are sunny. 

Other Issues to Take Into Account 

  • Choosing the best time to plant a fig tree is not enough to guarantee its survival. Consider your drainage system before planting. Don’t plant in soil where water remains more than 24 hours after it rains. The roots won’t receive enough oxygen to survive.
  • Plant in an area that receives sunlight most of the day.
  • Don’t apply fertilizer at planting time. 
  • Set your fig tree at the proper depth according to its root system. Dig a hole deeper and wider than its roots.
  • Keep the roots in contact with moist soil. Right after planting, water the tree so that the soil settles firmly around the roots. If conditions are extremely dry, water the tree before the hole is filled.