dried figs.

How to Grow Your Own Fig Tree from a Single Seed

Key Takeaways

What You Will LearnWhy It Matters
How to grow a fig tree from seed in simple and easy stepsGrowing a fig tree from seed can save you money, give you fresh figs, and beautify your garden
How to prepare, germinate, grow, transplant, and care for your fig treeEach stage of growing a fig tree from seed requires specific conditions and practices to ensure success
How to harvest and enjoy your figsFigs are delicious and nutritious fruits that can be eaten fresh or preserved in various ways

Have you ever wondered how to grow a fig tree from seed? Fig trees are amazing plants that produce sweet and fleshy fruits with many small seeds inside. They are native to the Mediterranean region, but they can grow in many climates and soils. Fig trees are also ornamental plants that can add beauty and shade to your garden.

Growing a fig tree from seed can be a rewarding and fun experience. You can save money by using seeds from fresh or dried figs that you buy or harvest. You can also enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own food and eating fresh figs from your own tree. Plus, you can learn a lot about plant biology and gardening along the way.

In this article, we will teach you how to grow a fig tree from seed in simple and easy steps. We will cover the following topics:

  • Preparing the seeds
  • Germinating the seeds
  • Growing the seedlings
  • Transplanting the seedlings
  • Caring for the fig tree

By following these steps, you will be able to grow a healthy and productive fig tree from a single seed. Let’s get started!

Preparing the Seeds

dried figs.

The first step to growing a fig tree from seed is to prepare the seeds. You will need to obtain, clean, dry, and stratify the seeds before you can plant them.

Obtaining the Seeds

You can get fig seeds from fresh or dried figs that you buy or harvest. Fresh figs are usually available in late summer or early fall, while dried figs are available year-round. You can use any variety of figs, such as Brown Turkey, Black Mission, Celeste, or Kadota.

To obtain the seeds, you will need to cut open the figs and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. The pulp contains many tiny seeds that are embedded in it. You will need to use tweezers or a knife to extract the seeds carefully. Try not to damage or crush the seeds as you do this.

You will need about 10 seeds for each pot that you want to plant. You can store the extra seeds in an airtight container in a cool and dry place for future use.

Cleaning and Drying the Seeds

After you have extracted the seeds, you will need to clean and dry them. This will remove any pulp residue and prevent mold growth.

To clean the seeds, you will need to rinse them under running water and rub them gently with your fingers. You can also use a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth to help you with this process.

To dry the seeds, you will need to spread them on a paper towel or a cloth and let them air-dry for a few hours. You can also use a hair dryer or an oven on low heat to speed up the drying process. Make sure that the seeds are completely dry before you move on to the next step.

Stratifying the Seeds

The final step of preparing the seeds is to stratify them. Stratification is a method of breaking the dormancy of seeds by exposing them to cold and moist conditions for a certain period of time. This mimics the natural cycle of winter and spring that triggers germination in some plants.

To stratify the seeds, you will need to place them in a damp paper towel or peat moss and fold it into a small packet. Then, you will need to put the packet in a plastic bag or container and seal it tightly. Label the bag or container with the date and place it in your refrigerator for about two months.

Stratification is necessary for fig seeds because they have a hard coat that prevents water and oxygen from entering them. By exposing them to cold and moist conditions, you will soften the coat and activate the embryo inside.

Germinating the Seeds

seedling pots on a windowsill

The next step to growing a fig tree from seed is to germinate the seeds. You will need to prepare a potting mix, sow the seeds, and provide optimal conditions for germination.

Preparing a Potting Mix

To germinate the seeds, you will need to prepare a potting mix that provides nutrients, drainage, and aeration for the seeds. You can use a commercial potting mix or make your own by mixing peat, perlite, and volcanic rock in equal parts.

You will also need to prepare some pots or containers that have drainage holes at the bottom. You can use plastic cups, yogurt cups, or nursery pots for this purpose. Fill the pots or containers with the potting mix and moisten it slightly with water.

Sowing the Seeds

To sow the seeds, you will need to make small holes in the potting mix with your finger or a pencil. The holes should be about half an inch deep and spaced about an inch apart. You can sow one or two seeds per hole, depending on how many seedlings you want to grow.

Cover the seeds lightly with some potting mix and press it gently to firm it. Label the pots or containers with the date and the variety of figs that you used.

Providing Optimal Conditions for Germination

To provide optimal conditions for germination, you will need to place the pots or containers in a warm and bright location. You can use a sunny windowsill, a greenhouse, or a grow light for this purpose. The ideal temperature for germination is between 70°F and 85°F.

You will also need to water the pots or containers regularly to keep the potting mix moist but not soggy. You can use a spray bottle or a watering can for this purpose. Avoid overwatering or underwatering the seeds as this can affect their germination rate.

You will need to monitor the germination process and look for signs of sprouts, roots, and shoots. This can take anywhere from two weeks to two months, depending on the variety of figs and the conditions that you provide.

Growing the Seedlings

fertilizer bottle

The third step to growing a fig tree from seed is to grow the seedlings. You will need to thin out, fertilize, prune, prevent pests and diseases, and harden off the seedlings before you can transplant them.

Thinning Out the Seedlings

Once the seedlings have emerged, you will need to thin them out to give them more space and resources to grow. You can use scissors or a knife to cut off the weaker or crowded seedlings at the soil level. Leave only one healthy seedling per pot or container.

Thinning out the seedlings is important because it reduces competition and improves air circulation among them. It also prevents diseases and pests from spreading easily.

Fertilizing the Seedlings

After thinning out the seedlings, you will need to fertilize them to provide them with additional nutrients for growth. You can use a balanced or organic fertilizer that is suitable for seedlings and follow the instructions on the label. You can apply the fertilizer once a month at half-strength during the growing season.

Fertilizing the seedlings is important because it enhances their growth and yield. It also helps them develop strong roots and stems that can support their weight.

Pruning the Seedlings

As the seedlings grow, you will need to prune them to remove any dead or diseased branches and leaves. You can use pruning shears or scissors for this purpose. You can also pinch off any flowers or fruits that may appear on the seedlings as they are not ready to produce them yet.

Pruning the seedlings is important because it improves their health and appearance. It also encourages branching and bushiness that will make them more suitable for transplanting.

Preventing Pests and Diseases

As you grow the seedlings, you will need to prevent pests and diseases that can harm or kill them. You can use natural or chemical methods for this purpose, depending on your preference and availability.

Some of the common pests that can attack fig seedlings are aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, whiteflies, thrips, and caterpillars. You can use neem oil, insecticidal soap, or horticultural oil to spray on the affected parts of the seedlings and kill these pests.

Some of the common diseases that can affect fig seedlings are anthracnose, rust, leaf spot, stem rot, root rot, and mosaic virus. You can use fungicide, copper spray, or baking soda solution to treat these diseases.

Preventing pests and diseases is important because they can reduce the quality and quantity of your figs. They can also weaken or kill your seedlings if left untreated.

Hardening Off the Seedlings

The final step of growing the seedlings is to harden them off before transplanting them. Hardening off is a process of gradually exposing the seedlings to outdoor conditions such as wind, rain, and temperature changes. This prepares them for their new environment and reduces transplant shock.

To harden off the seedlings, you will need to move them outside

Transplanting the Seedlings

seedling being transplanted in pot

The fourth step to growing a fig tree from seed is to transplant the seedlings. You will need to choose a suitable location, prepare a planting hole, transplant the seedlings, and water and mulch them.

Choosing a Suitable Location

To transplant the seedlings, you will need to choose a suitable location for them. You can plant them in the ground or in large containers, depending on your space and preference.

Fig trees prefer a sunny and sheltered spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. They also like well-drained and slightly acidic soil that has a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. You can use a soil test kit to check the pH of your soil and amend it with lime or sulfur if needed.

If you live in a cold climate, you may want to plant your fig tree in a container that you can move indoors during winter. You can use a pot that is at least 15 inches in diameter and has drainage holes at the bottom. You can also use a potting mix that is similar to the one you used for germinating the seeds.

Preparing a Planting Hole

To prepare a planting hole for your seedling, you will need to dig a hole that is twice as wide and deep as the root ball of your seedling. You can use a spade or shovel for this purpose.

You will also need to loosen the soil at the bottom and sides of the hole and mix in some compost or organic matter to improve its fertility and drainage. You can also add some slow-release fertilizer or bone meal to provide extra nutrients for your seedling.

Transplanting the Seedling

To transplant the seedling into the hole, you will need to carefully remove it from its pot or container and gently loosen its roots. You can use your hands or a fork for this purpose.

Then, you will need to place the seedling in the center of the hole and spread its roots evenly. You will also need to make sure that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface and not too deep or shallow.

Next, you will need to fill the hole with soil and press it firmly around the seedling. You will also need to create a small basin around the stem to catch water.

Watering and Mulching the Seedling

After transplanting the seedling, you will need to water it thoroughly to moisten the soil and settle it in. You can use a hose or sprinkler for this purpose.

You will also need to mulch the seedling with some organic material such as straw or wood chips. This will help retain moisture, prevent weeds, and protect the roots from temperature extremes.

Caring for the Fig Tree

fig tree with fruit

The final step to growing a fig tree from seed is to care for it. You will need to water, fertilize, prune, train, harvest, and enjoy your fig tree regularly.

Watering the Fig Tree

To water your fig tree, you will need to provide it with deep watering once a week during the growing season. You can use a hose or sprinkler for this purpose.

You will also need to check the soil moisture by inserting your finger into it. If it feels dry an inch below the surface, it is time to water. If it feels moist or wet, wait until it dries out a bit.

You will need to water your fig tree less frequently during winter when it is dormant. You can reduce watering to once every two weeks or even less if your climate is cold and rainy.

Fertilizing the Fig Tree

To fertilize your fig tree, you will need to apply a balanced or organic fertilizer once every two months during the growing season. You can use granular, liquid, or spikes fertilizer and follow the instructions on the label.

You will also need to avoid over-fertilizing your fig tree as this can cause excessive growth and reduce fruit quality. You can stop fertilizing your fig tree after mid-summer when it starts setting fruits.

You will not need to fertilize your fig tree during winter when it is dormant. You can resume fertilizing in spring when new growth appears.

Pruning and Training the Fig Tree

To prune and train your fig tree, you will need to shape it into an open-center or espalier form. This will improve air circulation, sunlight penetration, fruit production, and appearance.

You will also need to remove any dead or diseased branches and leaves from your fig tree. You can use pruning shears or loppers for this purpose.

You will need to prune your fig tree once a year in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. You can also do some light pruning in summer after harvesting to remove any unwanted shoots or suckers.

Harvesting and Enjoying Your Figs

To harvest your figs, you will need to pick them when they are ripe. You can tell if a fig is ripe by its color, size, and softness. A ripe fig will have a dark and rich color, a plump and swollen shape, and a soft and tender texture.

You will also need to pluck your figs gently by hand or with scissors. You can twist or pull them off the stem or cut them with a small stem attached. You can harvest your figs as they ripen from late summer to early fall.

To enjoy your figs, you can eat them fresh or preserve them in various ways. You can make fig jam, fig cake, fig salad, or fig pizza. You can also dry, freeze, or can your figs for later use.

Conclusion

In this article, we have taught you how to grow a fig tree from seed in simple and easy steps. We have covered the following topics:

  • Preparing the seeds
  • Germinating the seeds
  • Growing the seedlings
  • Transplanting the seedlings
  • Caring for the fig tree

By following these steps, you will be able to grow a healthy and productive fig tree from a single seed. You will also be able to enjoy the benefits of growing your own food and eating fresh figs from your own tree.

We hope that you have found this article helpful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. We would love to hear from you.

Happy gardening! 

About The Author

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Samantha
Samantha

I'm Samantha, a plant enthusiast who has been growing plants for years. I believe that plants can make our lives better, both physically and mentally. I started growit.wiki to share my knowledge about how to grow plants. I want to help others enjoy the beauty and benefits of plants.

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