How Fig Sets Fruits?

It still puzzles me how fig sets fruits during the growing cycle. For common fig, does it set fruits on current year’s growth, or on previous year’s growth? Does it set fruits on 2nd year or older growth?

Also, some says heading can stimulate fruiting. What is behind this?

I have a fig tree in pot for the 3rd year, still no fruit. Just try to understand it.

It does the main crop on current seasons growth and the breba crop on last year’s growth. No figs on older wood.

Some varieties only make good figs from one or the other, or it can depend on climate and other factors as well.


My in ground figs died to the ground each Winter. In the Spring, I pinched the tip at every 4 leaf to stimulate the main crop figs. You will be amazed how fast those main crop figs form after pinching the tip.




Which fig varieties have you fruited in-ground? Do you cover them in winter?

My neighbor has a fig tree in ground for the past several years. They did wrap the tree during the winters, but failed each time. The tree just died to the ground and came up each year. Last year, it grew to about 7’ tall, but no fruits. I do not know what variety, but the tree just does not have time to set the fruits with the new growth. Maybe I can tell them to try to pinch the top growth.

They did not bother to wrap the tree this past winter :wink:


I got my fig cuttings from F4F about six years ago from trading scions. I lost most of the tags from the figs died to the ground level each Winter so I am not sure which fig bushes is which. I tried to cover them with tarps and leaves in the past but when the temperature dropped to -16F at times and they still died to the ground, so I only covered the base with a foot of wood mulch to protect the root systems and removed the mulch around March 15th to let them grow again in the Spring. These were the cuttings in the ground: Celeste, Brown Turkey, Black Mission, LSU gold, Brunswick, Hardy Chicago, and Ronde de Bordeaux, and Violette de Bordeaux . I will try to root more cuttings this Spring and do some in ground trial like: Sal’s, Panevino Dark, Strawberry Verte, Florea, Adriatic, and Nero 600. BTW, I used to use the bag method to root the figs but now I am getting old, lazy and I just put the fig cuttings in the flower glass vase and fill the water to around 4 inches up and place the vase on my South West windows and refill the evaporated water to the 4" level every week. The fig cuttings formed roots in about 2-3 weeks then I potted them up with Miracle-Gro moisture control potting mix from Walmart ( the big blue bag). I let them grow for one season in the pots and the following Spring I then buried them 1 foot deeper than the soil level so the extra foot of dirt and the wood mulch on top will protect the root systems in sub zero temp. I Pinched the tip every 4 leaf every 4 days or so to stimulate the main crops formation. BTW, the white running saps will stop flowing in a while after you pinched them.


I’ve had Chicago Hardy, Celeste, and Brown Turkey outside the last 4 years. I put forth extreme efforts to save them for 2 years and they still died to the ground (but did come back). One year they were unprotected and did not die back (milder winter, obviously) and the figs were not only much more plentiful, but they tasted much much better. I can’t explain why, but it was absolutely true. Barring a late winter surprise, none of my figs have been killed this winter, so hopefully I’ll get to find out if last time was a fluke or not.
Tony (and others), I’m a little confused about the concept of pinching to produce fruit. If you are saying that by pinching the tips it causes figs to form, I don’t think I’ve had that on mine. However, pinching my tips is absolutely important, because it causes the tip to grow back from the two nodules (where leaf leaves the stem) right below where I pinched. So what this does is to create two new places where figs can form instead of the one that existed before the pinch. Is that what you mean by saying pinching creates fruit, or in your experience does pinching literally make figs appear where they otherwise wouldn’t have (or at least faster)? thanks

By pinching the tip will push the fig tree to form the main crops formation faster than not pinching. My zone 5 season is shorter than Zone 7 or 8. I wanted to get the main crops to have a head start so they can ripen before Winter knocking at the door.


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This is the pinch theory explained:

i agree.
I also feel that when growing them in cold regions, some water and nitrogen deprivation(relative to other fruits) may help. Being mediterranean/desert denizens, nitrogen and water are not as intrinsic to figs, and in fact, seem to benefit with drying out in-between waterings. Phos and potash supplements may also encourage fruiting, but this is from my experience with other tough-to-get-to-fruit species.
figs already get what they want naturally in my locale(if NOT for the more than oft sub-freezing temps)

We all know fig trees like hot climate. Is hot temperature more important or the bright light?

Houses can have red brick wall, or white siding wall. Not sure which one is more important.

I would say light as some mountain types do poorly in high heat. I guess it depends where the fig is from?