So I’ve had this fig tree for about 2 years now, the first year it didn’t do much of course, just 1 fig, the second, 5 or 6; so going into the 3rd spring here in New England (it’s still inside) and it’s healthy enough but doesn’t have a lot of branches either. Just a long main trunk about 3 feet tall and a few branches coming off of that. Should I do something to encourage more growth? Or maybe this is normal?
Feed it and it will grow like a weed.
You could also head it back to encourage more lateral branching. And heading back laterals will encourage the growth of secondary laterals. Also, I don’t know what size that pot is, but up-potting it (and perhaps giving it a light root pruning) might encourage more vigor.
I’m not sure what “heading back” means exactly, can you elaborate or point me to a link for more info?
I’ve been using a liquid fertilizer, Neptune Harvest since I brought it out of hibernation. Any other recommendations? I really want some figs!
Heading back means to cut off much of the top to encourage lower growth. Figs bear on new growth. To maximize yield, you need lots of new growth.
I’d cut it off below the lowest branch. That may seem extreme. But I regularly cut them back even lower to maximize the number of cuttings to root or sell. When you do that, the tree responds with lots of new growth.
“Heading back” just means to cut away the growing tip–just above a nice, outward pointing bud.
EDIT: @fruitnut is (as usual ) giving good advice here. A hard heading back is what this fig needs.
Figs grow best in full sun, can’t expect much from indoors where sun is too restricted. Find an all day sunny spot outdoors and keep it potted, head back a bit and observe response
I can’t wait to get it outside for sure! I’m hoping to buy some pruning shears this weekend and will start the trimming. Thanks for your advice everybody!
My in ground Chicago Hardy… in year 4 here in Tennessee. Those shoots grow 11 ft tall or so each year. Produces 400 or so figs mid August into November.
It gets all day sun on a southern slope just off a tall brick wall. Compost and organic fertilizer and mulch. Southern heat works wonders on figs.
I assume you must be in a northern climate which may explain you having it indoors. If that is the case you may want to prune to maximize the Breba crop as the main crop would probably not ripen for you.
This video by Bob Duncan is what I follow for pruning to maximize growth of one year old wood each year.
Pruning video for Breba crop in cool climates: How to prune figs in a cool climate for first (breba) crop fig production - YouTube
Another trick many others in Seattle area use is to plant the tree in a root pruning pot and once the roots begin to grow thru the bottom of the pot, you cut the bottom out of the pot and allow the tree roots to continue into the ground. But you keep the upper roots in the black pot whic absorbs heat and tricks the tree into thinking it’s time to fruit earlier than if all roots are buried in the ground. (As the sun warms the pot and the roots inside, the tree begins its fruiting much earlier than normal in a cool climate).