How to Care for a Fig Tree Indoors [7 Essential Tips]

Growing fig-bearing trees indoors can be tricky. To make the job easier:

  1. Grow a very small dwarf variety of fig.
  2. Pot your fig in organic soil mixed with perlite.
  3. Plant your fig in a container with drainage holes.
  4. Place your potted fig near a south-facing window and supplement sun with a grow light.
  5. Once per week, water your fig until water begins to drain from the holes in the bottom of the pot.
  6. Fertilize indoor figs with a balanced fertilizer, such as 5-5-5.
  7. Provide ½-cup of 5-5-5 fertilizer per month from March through June.

These simple care tips will make growing a fig indoors much easier and far more successful.

How to care for a fig tree indoors

Are Fig Trees Good Indoor Plants?

Fruiting fig trees are usually not good indoor plants. Figs need full sun, which is very hard to provide indoors. Even if you place a potted fig near a sunny window, it may not get enough sun. So, it’s best to place potted fig trees outdoors during the growing season. Then, bring your fig indoors during cold weather to keep it from being killed during the dormant months.

  • It is a challenge to grow a fruit-bearing fig tree indoors.
  • If possible, move your potted fig tree outside during the warm months.
  • You will have to follow special care steps to grow a fig tree indoors year-round.

If you do not have the space to grow your fig tree outdoors, you can grow a dwarf fig tree indoors. However, you will need to provide the ideal conditions, with the appropriate light, soil, and water requirements. Caring for an indoor fig is very different from growing figs outdoors. Even experienced fig growers should review the special steps required to keep a fig tree alive indoors.

What Do Fig Trees Need to Grow Indoors?

Because growing fig trees indoors is so challenging, it’s essential to follow the proper process to cultivate your tree. Here are the most essential things to know when caring for a container-grown fig tree.

What is the Best Type of Fig to Grow Indoors?

When growing figs indoors, choose a very small dwarf variety of fig tree. Full-sized figs are much too large to grow comfortably indoors. Even some dwarf varieties can grow fairly tall. Stick to extremely short varieties, such as Little Miss Figgy, Negro Largo, and Petit Negra.

What is the Best Soil for an Indoor Fig Tree?

Fig trees should be potted in organic potting soil, mixed with perlite. Choose a nutrient-rich potting soil so your fig will have healthy growth. When creating the soil mixture in your pot, add 1 part of this perlite for every 4 parts soil. The perlite will prevent waterlogged soil, so your fig will maintain healthy roots.

What is the Best Container for a Fig Tree?

When you purchase your dwarf fig tree, transplant it from its original container into a pot 1 to 2 inches (2.5–5 cm) larger in diameter than the old container. Choose a container with 2 to 3 drainage holes in the bottom, to prevent water from becoming trapped. A pot without drainage holes will cause root rot. Each year, repot your fig tree in a slightly larger container to allow for continued growth.

Do Indoor Fig Trees Need Direct Sunlight?

Fig trees thrive on sunlight and often struggle indoors due to lack of sun. Put your fig tree near a south-facing window, so it can get as much direct sunlight as possible. 6 hours of direct sunlight is the bare minimum. Since you are unlikely to get enough natural sun for an indoor fig, it’s best to supplement natural sunlight with this tall grow light. Aim for providing 8 hours of direct sunlight by combining natural sunlight with your grow light.

How Often Should You Water Your Indoor Fig Tree?

Indoor figs grow best when watered once per week. Water the fig at soil level. Do not allow the water or dirt to splash the leaves. Water steadily with a watering can until the water just begins to drain from the holes in the bottom of the container. Then, stop watering.

How Do You Know if Your Fig Tree Needs Water?

If your fig tree’s leaves are yellowing, feel dry to the touch, and begin to droop, the tree probably needs water. Stick your finger into the soil. If it feels dry down past 1 inch (2.5 cm), then it’s time to water your fig. In very hot conditions, fig trees may require more frequent watering, up to twice weekly. However, figs are fairly drought-tolerant, so it’s essential not to create a new problem by overwatering. For more details, check out our complete guide to watering figs.

What Fertilizer Should You Use for a Potted Fig Tree?

Use a balanced fertilizer for indoor figs. Balanced fertilizers are ones where all 3 numbers on the packaging are the same. 5-5-5 fertilizer and 10-10-10 fertilizer are good examples. They have a good blend of nutrients that helps figs develop leaves, fruit, and roots together. Fertilizers with a high nitrogen content may force your fig to grow leaves but produce very little fruit.

How Do You Fertilize an Indoor Fig Tree?

Fertilize your indoor fig once per month starting in March and continuing through June. Provide ½-cup of this balanced, organic fertilizer each month. Fertilizing monthly during this period encourages your tree to produce vigorous new growth and plenty of fruit. Once the fruit has set in June, stop fertilizing. Your fruit will then ripen and develop a sweet flavor.

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Do Indoor Fig Trees Lose their Leaves?

Fig trees may lose their leaves during fall and winter if temperatures drop low enough or if the fig doesn’t receive enough light. However, a fig tree that is kept in a warm room and gets a lot of light may keep its leaves year-round. Indoor-grown figs may even produce extra crops of fruit if they never go dormant.

  • Indoor figs will lose their leaves if exposed to cold and shorter periods of sunlight.
  • Proper care can prevent your fig from losing leaves in winter.
  • Use your grow light for longer periods in winter to prevent your fig from losing its leaves.

The best way to prevent your indoor fig from losing its leaves in winter is to increase the number of hours you use the grow light. Short winter days and weak sunlight will trigger figs to drop their leaves and go dormant. As the daylight hours decrease, use your grow light for longer periods. Make sure your fig is getting 8 hours of combined direct sunlight and grow light exposure.

How Long Do Indoor Fig Trees Live?

Indoor fig trees can easily live for over 25 years when cared for properly. You may be surprised to find out how long fig trees live. They are among the longest-lived fruit trees. A fig tree can continue producing fruit for decades, even if it is grown indoors.

  • Indoor figs can live for 25–50 years.
  • Fig trees have naturally long lifespans.
  • Proper care and attention will increase your fig tree’s longevity.
  • A dying indoor fig is usually caused by improper sun, incorrect watering, or a plant disease.

The lifespan of your fig tree depends on the variety of fig, as well as the quality of care it receives. With proper potting soil, sunlight, water, and fertilizer your fig will thrive for many years. So, if your young fig tree is dying indoors, it is probably suffering from improper care or a tenacious plant disease.

How to Care for a Fig Tree in a Pot

If you are planning to grow a fig tree indoors, first select one of the smallest varieties of dwarf fig trees. Make a potting mix of nutrient-rich soil and perlite. Then, repot your fig in a container with drainage holes. Place the fig tree near the sunniest window in your home. Supplement natural sunlight with a grow light so your fig gets 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Water your fig once each week. If your fig leaves are dry and yellowing, it most likely needs more frequent watering. Finally, use a balanced fruit and vegetable fertilizer once monthly from spring through early summer to ensure the healthiest growth for your fig.

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