What to plant under a fig tree?

What to plant under a fig tree?

Table of Contents

If you’re looking for a hardy and versatile tree to add to your garden, the fig tree is an excellent choice. Not only are they easy to care for and drought tolerant, but they also provide delicious fruits as well! But did you know that there are other plants that can benefit from being planted under a fig tree? Read on to find out more about which companion plants will thrive under the shade of your beloved fig tree.

Here are seven types of plants that you should plant under your fig tree:

Suitable Plants

Shade-Tolerant Plants:

  1. Ferns: Varieties like the Boston fern thrive in shaded, moist environments.
  2. Hostas: These are hardy and can handle the shade provided by the fig tree.
  3. Heuchera (Coral Bells): These add color with their vibrant foliage and tolerate shade well.

Ground Covers:

  1. Ajuga (Bugleweed): A low-growing plant that can handle shade and has attractive foliage and flowers.
  2. Vinca minor (Periwinkle): Tolerates shade and spreads easily, providing good ground cover.

Companion Plants:

  1. Herbs: Some herbs like mint and chives can tolerate partial shade and may grow well under a fig tree.
  2. Legumes: Plants like clover can help fix nitrogen in the soil, benefiting the fig tree and other plants.

Hostas under fig tree

Planting Tips

    1. Soil Preparation: Amend the soil with organic matter to improve nutrient availability and drainage.
    2. Watering: Ensure adequate watering, as the fig tree’s roots will compete for moisture.
    3. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the fig tree to retain soil moisture and reduce weed growth.
    4. Spacing: Provide enough space between plants to reduce root competition and ensure healthy growth.

Should plant plants under the fig tree?

Planting under a fig tree can be challenging due to its dense canopy and extensive root system. However, it can be done with careful consideration. Here are some tips and factors to consider:

Pros and Cons


  1. Shade-Loving Plants: The fig tree provides ample shade, which can benefit shade-loving plants.
  2. Soil Improvement: Certain plants can improve soil quality and provide ground cover to reduce soil erosion.


  1. Root Competition: Fig trees have extensive, shallow root systems that compete with other plants for water and nutrients.
  2. Light Availability: The dense canopy may limit the amount of sunlight reaching the understory plants.

Should you mulch around a fig tree?

Yes, mulching around a fig tree is beneficial. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, suppresses weed growth, regulates soil temperature, and adds organic matter as it decomposes, improving soil health. Apply a 2-4 inch layer of organic mulch, like wood chips or straw, ensuring to keep it 2-3 inches away from the trunk to prevent rot and pests. Extend the mulch to cover the entire root zone, typically as wide as the tree’s canopy. Refresh the mulch annually to maintain its benefits. Proper mulching supports the fig tree’s overall health and growth.

Mulch for fig tree

How much room does a fig tree need to grow?

A fig tree needs ample space to grow, ideally 15-20 feet apart from other trees or structures for optimal growth and airflow. In smaller gardens, compact or dwarf varieties can be planted 6-10 feet apart. Fig trees have extensive root systems and wide-spreading canopies, so providing sufficient space helps ensure healthy growth and fruit production. If growing in a container, choose a large pot and be prepared to prune regularly to manage size. Ensuring enough room prevents competition for nutrients and water, supporting the tree’s overall health.

Are fig trees low maintenance?

Yes, fig trees are generally considered low-maintenance compared to other fruit trees. They are relatively hardy and can thrive in a variety of soil types, as long as the soil is well-draining. Fig trees are drought-tolerant once established and typically require less frequent watering. They do well with minimal fertilization, often needing only occasional feeding with a balanced fertilizer.

Pruning is straightforward and usually involves removing dead or weak branches to maintain shape and health. Fig trees are also less susceptible to pests and diseases, reducing the need for constant monitoring and intervention. Their robust nature means they can often thrive with basic care, making them suitable for novice gardeners.

However, they do benefit from some attention, such as mulching to retain moisture and protect roots, and occasional protection from extreme cold in cooler climates. Overall, fig trees offer a rewarding yield of delicious fruit with relatively low effort.

fig system

Are fig tree roots deep or shallow?

Fig tree roots can grow both deep and shallow, depending on the environment. In general, they prefer well-draining soil with plenty of moisture. The roots will typically spread out laterally rather than downward in search of nutrients, making them ideal plants for container gardens or small spaces.

Does a fig tree need to be against a wall?

No, fig trees do not need to be planted against a wall. However, south-facing walls will provide extra warmth and sunlight throughout the day, which can help your tree thrive if it’s exposed to colder temperatures during winter months.

What type of soil is best for a fig tree?

Fig trees prefer well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter, as this will help to retain moisture and provide necessary nutrients. You should also consider adding a layer of mulch around the tree each spring for extra protection against extreme temperatures and to discourage weeds. Additionally, avoid overfertilizing your fig tree, as this can cause it to suffer from nitrogen burn.

Can fig trees tolerate drought conditions?

Fig trees are resilient plants that are able to tolerate drought conditions for short periods of time. However, they will still need a steady supply of water for optimal growth and production of fruit. During extended hot weather in particular, you should make sure to keep the soil moist by regularly watering your fig tree as needed. Additionally, mulching around the base of your tree will help to reduce water loss from evaporation and provide extra protection against extreme temperatures.

What is the best way to care for a fig tree?

There are several key components of caring for your fig tree that you should pay close attention to. First, water your tree regularly during dry seasons and make sure not to let it become too wet or dry. You can also fertilize your fig tree at least once a year with an organic fertilizer such as compost or manure. Finally, make sure to keep an eye out for any pests or diseases that may be afflicting your tree and take the appropriate steps to manage them. With these simple steps, you can ensure that your fig tree stays healthy and continues to produce delicious fruits!

Is it possible to grow a fig tree indoors?

Yes, it is possible to grow a fig tree indoors. However, you should keep in mind that indoor fig trees need plenty of light and humidity. If your home does not get enough natural light, then you may want to consider investing in some artificial lighting for your tree. Additionally, make sure to mist the leaves of your tree with water regularly or invest in a humidifier for optimal results. With the right care and attention, you can successfully grow a thriving fig tree indoors.

Is manure good for fig trees?

Manure can be a great source of organic matter that helps to improve the soil quality and fertility for fig trees. However, it’s important to avoid using fresh manure as this can actually damage plants due to its high nitrogen content. If you do opt to use manure, make sure it is well-aged and composted before applying it around your fig tree. Additionally, you can always mix in some aged compost for extra nutrients.

Is it possible to prune a fig tree?

Yes, not only “possible” but even “must” to prune a fig tree. Pruning should be done on an annual basis in order to maintain the desired shape and size of the plant. It’s important to trim away dead or diseased branches, as well as any twigs that are growing inwards or crossing one another. Additionally, you can also cut back branches that are overly long or crowded in order to promote better airflow and encourage new growth. Be sure to use sharp, clean tools to properly cut each branch without damaging the tree. With proper pruning, your fig tree will remain healthy and productive for many years!  Thanks for reading, and happy gardening!

What is the best time of year to plant a fig tree?

When it comes to planting a fig tree, the best time of year is typically in spring or early summer. This will give your tree enough time to establish its root system and become well-established before winter arrives. However, if you live in a climate where winter doesn’t get too cold, you can also plant your fig tree as late as autumn.

Are there any pests or diseases that affect fig trees?

Unfortunately, fig trees can be prone to a variety of pests and diseases. Some of the most common are scale insects, which feed on the leaves and stems of the tree; aphids, which suck sap from young foliage; and nematodes, which create tunnels in the roots. As for diseases, common ones include leaf spots, powdery mildew, and fig rust. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods to manage these pests and diseases, including the use of natural predators (such as lacewings or ladybugs), appropriate pruning techniques, and proper irrigation methods

Fig trees are an excellent addition to any garden, adding both beauty and productivity. With proper planting techniques and the right selection of companion plants, you can create a stunning oasis beneath your fig tree that will provide years of enjoyment! Make sure your fig tree has plenty of space to spread its roots and mulch around it each spring for extra moisture retention, and keep in mind that south-facing walls will provide extra warmth during winter months. With minimal care required, these hardy trees will surely be a welcome addition to your backyard paradise!

arthur alexander

arthur alexander

My name is Arthur Alexander, and I am a fig farmer. I'm proud to say that the fruits of my labor (figs) have been enjoyed by many over the years! Fig farming might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it has certainly been mine for quite some time now.

Arthur Alexander
Arthur Alexander

My name is Arthur Alexander, and I am a fig farmer. I'm proud to say that the fruits of my labor (figs) have been enjoyed by many over the years! Fig farming might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it has certainly been mine for quite some time now.

about me

My name is Arthur Alexander, and I am a fig farmer. I’m proud to say that the fruits of my labor (figs) have been enjoyed by many over the years! Fig farming might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it has certainly been mine for quite some time now.

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