Promoting Growth on Brown Turkey Fig Tree

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

My fig tree in Orlando FL is only two years old and around 3 feet tall. It's planted midway between a mature, producing loquat tree and a very tall and full southern magnolia. The fig tree has already produced delicious fruit & seems very healthy.It has lots of leaves, but little new growth I would appreciate knowing if there is something I can do to promote its growth to fill in the foliage between the mature trees. I'm 82 years old so you might guess why I'm a bit impatient. I did know better than to plant a pecan tree for the nut production! The fig has been well watered this past draught & never has shown any distress. Is there a special fertilizer I can use?

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

I'm surprised your fig is growing so slowly. Around here they grow rapidly. Maybe add a bit of compost mulch to the surface of the soil. Could the plant be a spot that is too hot during the day?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm not in FL but my Brown Turkey hasn't grown tremendously in two years either. Maybe year three it will explode.

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks to all. Every place in Florida has been "too hot" this summer - I'm really a little surprised that it has even survived at all. However, I'll add some mulch & a bit of 10-10-10 then try to be a little more patient. Stay tuned.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I have two living fig trees - one in a 32" pot and one in the ground. Neither has grown much in 4 years. I get a few figs each year, but not enough to do anything with. My neighbor, however, has a lovely tree in her front yard and it's loaded every year - who knows why the difference.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

There's a bit more info on growing them here: http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/fig.html
There was one customer at work who swore by kelp fertilizer for his fig. I haven't tried it though. There is even a huge fig tree within visual range from the nursery I work at so when selling them, I just point at the 15' large tree. Brown Turkey, Desert King & Italian Honey work in this area. Considering they like Mediterranean climates and they do well in a less-than-perfect soil, with added fertilizer, maybe the soil needs to be good drainage???

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

growin: Thanks for the link. It has a lot more information than I had previously. Guess we'll have to order some kelp from the West Coast as we don't have any here on the Atlantic side. It has good drainage & we did have a super hot summer in Florida. Not much new growth to report after just one year. We did harvest several tasty figs this summer & now have 5 more small green figs at the lowest part of the plant. Bud tips look healthy & all but one leaf has dropped already. Looking forward to next Spring!

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

All is now at a standstill. Now the last leaf has fallen, and so did the 5 little fruits that reached only a thumbnail size. I'm sure its in a dormant stage and will stay there until next February or March when we get some warm weather on a regular basis and I feel comfortable feeding it..

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

I'd say now is a good time to add compost to the surface of the soil around the plant to enrich the soil and promote root growth. Don't add more than an inch but you could build a "moat" at the perimeter of the root zone so that when you do water, the water stays in the area of the root zone. Make sure it is well composted/decayed and relatively fine. Take some pics of the plant and look close at leaves and growing point to ensure there are no pest problems.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

one thing i've found, quite by accident, is that fire ants seem to love building nests in the root systems of figs. i planted one six years ago and it never did a thing...totally at a stand still all the time...didn't die but certainly didn't thrive. i finally dug it up two years ago to dump it and when i unearthed it, you should have seen the fire ants! i put the entire plant (pitiful root system) into a 5 gallon bucket full of castile soap and water and let it sit overnight. then i replanted in a huge, bottomless pot in the garden where i could water more faithfully and keep an eye on it. viola! success! it's still growing rather slow but i got a summer and a fall crop this year. the fall crop was cut short due to an unexpected cold snap earlier than usual.

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