I get a lot of questions here at Learn How To Garden from subscribers and viewers. I had an interesting one recently from Chin. Here’s Chin’s question:
“I just watched your video about container-grown figs. Is it alright to keep a fig tree permanently in, say, an 18-inch container rather than repot it into ever larger ones every couple of years? Thank you.”
The answer is yes it is possible to grow a fig tree in an 18 inch container and keep the tree in that container permanently.
However, to keep your fig tree healthy and cropping well there is some simple maintenance involved.
To maintain the fig tree, every couple of years you will have remove the tree from the pot by simply inverting the pot and taking the rootball out whole.
Then you will have to root prune. For root pruning we take a sharp knife and remove about 20% of the soil and roots by gently cutting these away from the outside and bottom of the rootball.
The Fig Tree can then be repotted using a soil-based compost like John Innes number 3 or its equivalent. The fig tree should be set about 2 cm lower in the pot.
Then you need to top dress and fill around the edges of the rootball. The fig tree needs watering well, and when the fig tree is growing strongly in the summer it needs to be fed every couple of weeks with a weak Seaweed based feed.
This technique is used on most Bonsai trees and the new feeding roots that grow into the new soil will keep your fig tree healthy.
Also it’s important that between December and March that you make sure that the pot doesn’t become frozen. This would damage the roots and could lead to the death of the fig tree.
This film shows how to grow a Fig tree in a pot
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