Believed to have been indigenous to Western Asia, the common fig (Ficus carica) is a large, picturesque deciduous shrub or small tree that grows to a height of 6 – 10m, with smooth grey bark and large, deeply lobed leaves.

The fig fruit is quite fascinating as it comprises of a hollow structure known as a synconium, containing numerous tiny flowers throughout the inner surface. These little flowers inside the synconium in many species of Ficus, require the pollination from an insect. This is performed by a wasp that enters through the basal end of the fruit. The flowers with long styles will develop seeds if pollinated and it is within this fleshy pulp which holds the ‘true fruits’ (drupelets) inside. In the case of the common fig, the flowers are all female and do not require pollination. The fruit is bulbous in shape and is 3-6cm in diameter; the skin is green, thin and tender and sometimes turns brown, coppery or purple when ripening.

  • Plant & Growing Tips:

    Grows best in subtropical and dryer warm temperate climates. Figs will grow successfully in wetter, cooler areas where winters are relatively milder.

    Tolerates most soil types but prefers soils that are reasonably fertile with good drainage.

    Creates an ideal shade tree in the summer.

    Figs require a lot of space and have a large root system that may be invasive on nearby garden beds. If left to grow natural in the home landscape, allow for a 10-12m distance from any other structure.

    Water young trees regularly until fully established.

    Provide deep soaking at least once a week or every two weeks.Increase irrigation in dryer regions.

    Apply mulch around the fig to conserve moisture in the warmer months.

    Figs are sensitive to heat and sun exposure in the warmer months. Protect your tree by whitewashing trunks and branches.

    Young figs are susceptible to frost damage.

    Fruit quality may be affected when grown along coastal regions where hot temperatures, dry winds followed by wet weather will lead to fruit splitting.

    Plant your fig when it is dormant (ideally June – August).

    Trees can be planted rather closely together at 5m intervals within the row and 7m between rows.

  • Fertiliser Applications:

    Stage: Young Trees

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: 1½-2 cups (300-500g)

    Commercial Use: 400-600g

    Comments: Evenly spread in a circle beneath the canopy.  Do not spread fertiliser against the trunk of the tree. For optimal absorption, immediately soak the area where the fertiliser has been applied.  Apply in early spring and then again mid to late summer.


    Stage: Fruit Bearing

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: 4-7½cups (0.8-1.5kg)

    Commercial Use: 1-2kg

    Comments: In poor soils the rates may need to be doubled and you may also need to apply potassium sulphate. Do not use high nitrogen fertilisers for figs as this will create exceptional foliage growth at the expense of fruit crops. Fertilise in early spring and then again mid to late summer.


Please note that the above information and recommendations are provided in good faith and are given without liability for loss or damage suffered as a result of their application. Optimum response to fertilisers will only be achieved when weeds, insect pests and diseases are controlled and adequate soil water is available.

Fertiliser use recommendations are presented as a practical guide to good agronomic practice under most situations. Local soil, climatic and other conditions should also be taken into account as these could affect plant response to fertiliser rates and applications.

For further information we recommend you seek advice from your local agronomist.