How to Plant a Potted Fig Tree in the Ground

Planting a potted fig tree in the ground is a fairly straightforward process and anyone should be able to do it successfully.

Before I inherited this piece of land I never planted any trees ever. However, by doing it numerous times since, in the meantime I found out that the best way to plant the potted fig tree is exactly the way I will now describe – keep reading, see photos and video:

fig tree planted in the ground with a support stick/stake and appropriate, flexible plant tie
Another young fig tree planted in the ground with a support stick/stake and appropriate, flexible plant tie
  • Step 1: Get a potted fig tree – I usually buy potted trees in my local nursery. The best age to buy is about a year old tree. (Update: Now I also propagate new fig trees from cuttings)
    If you get older trees there is a chance its rooting system is already formed and it will be difficult for roots to spread and form a strong structure.
  • Step 2: Find a good location – where is the best place to plant a fig tree? Figs like a warm and sunny location. Find such a location in your garden and your fig tree will successfully grow and fruit for years to come.
  • Step 3: Prepare the ground – It is important that the ground is well prepared before any planting. Young fig trees like soft ground. It helps roots to develop freely and spread wide
  • Step 4: Dig a hole – Make sure the hole is deep enough. I usually dig a hole that is as twice as deep as a plant container. It gives me plenty of space to add fertilizer and a layer of soil (dirt) on top of it to prevent fertilizer to damage young roots.
  • Step 5: Add organic fertilizer – I usually add organic farm manure for my all new plants. In case you can’t get it, a good alternative is to buy some dried manure pallet organic fertilizer from your local gardening store.
  • Step 6: Add a full bucket of water – plenty of water is needed. Fill a large bucket of water in the hole and let the water settle.
  • Step 7: Soak the container with a fig tree for a few minutes – prior to planting it is a good idea to soak the whole container in the water before planting it in the ground to moisture the roots of the tree well.
  • Step 8: Remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole at the proper depth – the right depth should be the same depth as the tree was planted in its original container.
  • Step 9: Add one more full bucket of water – before I fill up the remaining parts of the hole I always add another bucket of water to give the tree a good start in its new location.
  • Step 10: Fill the hole – carefully fill the hole with the soil (dirt) around the planted tree making sure there is no air pocket left inside.
    Step several times around the tree slowly (see the video) to make sure all the air from the hole is removed and roots are completely buried with no air left inside around them.
  • Step 11: Add supporting stick/stake – add supporting stick about 30 cm away from the tree. Take a piece of elastic rope to tie the tree to stick to prevent any strong wind to damage the tree. The rope should be firm but flexible. If you are not sure which rope to use, you can get some plant ties in your local gardening shop.
    Staking a tree is optional; it depends on whether or not you expect strong winds to blow in the spot where your fig tree is planted.
    As my land is fairly exposed to north winds (facing north-east) I keep supporting sticks for up to one year. By that time the fig tree is already grown big enough and its roots are well spread and stable so it no longer needs any support.
  • Step 12: Water it regularly – depending on the climate, young fig trees need regular watering. In my case, as I live in the northern Mediterranean region I water my young fig trees twice a week during the summer for the first year and once a week only for the second year. After that period the tree should be well established to be able to source enough moisture by its roots deep down in the ground. During very hot summers I also give some water to struggling fig trees for another year or two. The well mature fig trees ( 5 + years of age) in the region where I live don’t need any further watering at all.

What is the best time to plant your fig tree?

From my experience, the ideal time to plant a young fig tree is just before the rain. If you can’t make it than any time should be fine as long as you keep watering the tree at least twice a week in warm periods.

Video of the planting

This is the video of me planting a fig tree in the land that I own.


Preparing the ground where I'll plant my fig tree
Photo: Preparing the ground where I’ll plant my fig tree
Digging a hole
Photo: Me digging a hole
Fertilizer in the prepared hole
Photo: Fertilizer in the prepared hole
A young fig tree planted in the ground without any support nor stake
A young fig tree planted in the ground without any support or stake