Fig treesFigs are a unique and luscious fruit, not easy to grow in the UK climate - but well worthwhile.
How to choose Fig trees
Figs are fascinating trees, quite unlike most of the orchard fruits grown in temperate climates. In fact they are essentially a sub-tropical fruit, but can be grown by the keen gardener in most of the drier and warmer parts of the UK.
Growing fig trees is not hard in the UK, but getting them to fruit is an interesting challenge. The key is to pick the sunniest and most sheltered spot you can find,.
In most cases it helps considerably to encourage fruiting if you restrict the root growth - e.g. with a container or a planting hole lined with patio slabs. Fig trees don't start fruiting until they are 3-5 years old.
Small fruitlets form in the autumn, and should go on to develop into full-sized fruits the following summer. Remove larger fruits, and leave the smallest ones to grow on the following spring.
Figs fruit mainly on younger growth so regular pruning is useful. This should be done in January in the UK. Remove older branches and cut younger ones back - occasional hard-pruning usually works well with figs.
Figs are usually untroubled by diseases. Their main requirements are sun, shelter, regular watering in the spring ... but avoid too much water in late summer as this may make the ripening fruits split.