I am delighted to finally share with you how to grow figs from seeds. When my experiment on growing avocado plants from seeds was a success two years back, I started dreaming of planting many fruit trees. One of them is fig.
One of my many fig plants.
Come now… I share with you how to grow figs from seeds and how I take care of them.
My mom introduced me to the world of figs a few years ago. Initially, we only eat dried figs. Later on, we are able to find fresh figs at higher-end supermarkets. I love eating figs as they are sweet and delicious. And I prefer fresh figs over the dried ones. In Malaysia, fresh figs are quite expensive. So what can I do about it? Plant my own lo. That was before I found out there are local fresh figs for sale but then their price range is similar to imported ones. Even more reason to plant my own now. No?
So one day, I decided to experiment with planting figs from seeds in Malaysia. I used two kinds of seeds; from fresh figs and from dried figs.
This is the sneak peak photo of my baby figs plants that I shared here. I promised to write a post about them if they survived. Well, some didn’t make it but those that did are growing up great.
There are 2 pots in the above photo. One of the pots were germinated from seeds of fresh fig and another from dried fig. Although I’ve forgotten which is which, at least I know (and you know) figs can be grown from fresh and dried figs.
Fresh fig and dried fig. Taken recently.
How to harvest seeds from fig and germinate ’em?
For both fresh and dried figs: Carefully remove the seeds (they are so tiny!) from fig. Rinse seeds with water in a sieve (has small holes) to remove the slimy bits. Let the seeds dry for a couple of days. They are ready for germinating.
Index finger: fresh fig seeds
Middle finger: dried fig seeds
Make several small indents in the soil. Place one seed in each hole and cover with soil. Give love and be patient in waiting. Once the fig seedlings are about 5-6 cm tall, you can transplant them to their permanent location be it on the ground or pot.
Taking care of fig plants:
Figs are easy to grow and take care of. Here are some of my tips:
Soil: A mixture of black+red soils. I use organic 6 in 1 soil + red soil.
Water: Water daily unless the soil is wet or it’s raining. Water on the soil and not at the leaves.
Sun: Full sun from what I read. However, my figs do better in partial sun. When I started, I had them under full sun, but they developed rust on the leaves. So, I placed them all in the shade with morning sun and they are thriving albeit very rarely little rusty leaves here and there.
Fertilizer: I don’t use fertilizer anymore. While fertilizer is not the same as compost, I apply homemade ‘compost’ every few days to 1-2 weeks. My homemade ‘compost’: dried leaves, branches, kitchen scraps like egg shells, tea leaves, ground coffee, rice water, citrus rinds, banana peels, etc. More on my compost making here + plants’ vitamins.
Pruning: Every once in a while, when the branches are growing taller or bushier, give them a few trims. This is especially true if you want to keep the fig short in height and especially if they are grown in pots.
Diseases and pests: I’ve encountered only one fig disease which is fig rust. It’s fungal and can be quite a problem in Malaysia’s wet and humid weather. The rust on the leaves looks like real rust. Due to this problem, my potted figs were re-homed from outdoor to our car porch which is shaded and yet still receives morning sun and rain if the wind is strong. Make sure to pick out the affected leaves as the rust can spread to other leaves. To prevent rust, also make sure to water on the soil surrounding the fig plant. Try not to wet the leaves. One pest problem I have is ants. They climb the fig branches and make housing there. So what I do is use water to wash the houses away. If that doesn’t work, I will prune the affected branches. Don’t worry, fig produces new leaves very quickly.
Love: Positive affirmation and thoughts. The universe (everything) listens!
Can figs that are grown from seeds bear fruits? If yes, how long does it takes?
I bet this is the most important question of all. The reason why we do what we do; plant figs to reap the rewards.
From what I’ve read, some figs need pollination (wasp: blastophaga psenes) to bear fruits while some don’t. Fig cultivars that don’t need pollination can still bear fruits. This is because they are self-fertile. However, they don’t produce seeds unless there are wasps nearby. Meaning, you will have the flesh (syconium) but without the seeds, if I’m not mistaken. Then there’s also the case of male trees with female flowers and female trees with female flowers. Caprifigs (male figs) are inedible and yet useful for pollinating other figs, again if I’m not mistaken. So yeah, it’s a long confusing story. Please search the internet for more info.
In short, figs grown from seeds may or may not bear fruits and if it does bear fruits, they may or may not be edible. They are difficult to judge unless you know the sex of the tree (male/female) and types. That’s why like avocado, many prefer to get grafted or cuttings of figs. You know the tree it was grated/cut from and therefore less chance of failure. For me, I planted lots of figs to up my chances (like avocado). Haha
Figs can take anywhere between 2 to 6 years to bear fruits. I’m very hopeful!
Fig plant grown on ground. Just a small space.
As of writing, I have 7 fig plants. Of the 7 only one is grown on the ground at a small narrow area (also in car porch). The rest are in pots. They are 2 years old. As for their species/cultivars, I’ve no idea. But I’m very sure they will bear fruits. 🙂 Even if they are not able to bear fruits (touchwood), I would still like to keep some as fig leaves have interesting shapes and very pretty. I sometimes decorate my home with figs branches that I pruned, but usually, I dried them and make compost. Haha
I’ll update this post if there’s any good news.
Please share with me if you know more about figs ya.