Plant now, or wait until Fall?

opossums5(8WA/ Sunset6)June 8, 2013

This is the 2nd year the fig cutting has been growing in a small pot. It put on new growth this year and has one fig! My intent is to put it in the ground here in SW WA.
Can I do it now, or do I wait until the fall? It has been in bright shade on my deck and I left it there all (mild) winter, and I think the best place I have for it is only going to have partial sun. No idea of the variety, something oldfashioned.
Thanks for your help. Great forum!
BTW, for anyone wondering if their cutting is going to grow...I brought a piece home in my suitcase from SC in Nov 2010, and "heeled it in" in a shallow basket of dirt. My cousin's husband whacked a chunk off the tree he had grown from his grandmother's tree. In spring of 2012 I decided it wasn't going to do anything, dug it out to check for any little roots, threw it back in when I got distracted from putting it in the compost, and a week later it had leaves! After a year and a half! Sweet!

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wisner_gw wisner

I would wait until it goes dormant before putting it in the ground if you are not sure. You could put it in a larger pot if it has outgrown its pot.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 8:40PM
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you can wait until fall if it makes you feel safer but it's good to go in the ground now. just don't disturb the roots while planting it and keep it moist the first 3 weeks or so. I'm still planting potted fig trees in SC zone 8a but I wait until evening before planting or you can plant all day long on a rainy or overcast day.We both live in a much milder climate than wisner and with him living in Louisiana it probably is too late to the season to plant fig trees. Be sure to mulch your plant and amend your planting hole with plenty of organic matter and compost, a little lime never hurts either. also be sure to pick a site with no standing water ever. living in WA you should tons of rain and water can easily be the death of a fig tree so drainage is very very important. good luck and please be sure to post pictures of your fig as it ripens up.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 2:06AM
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opossums5(8WA/ Sunset6)

Thanks for your advice.
Shane, your comment on standing water...ever...has me wondering if I should grow it in a pot. We can usually count on at least one storm system per winter that will leave the whole yard ankle deep for a couple of days. I checked out the container fig section and saw one poster said they got hundreds of figs from a container grown tree. Maybe I should give it a bigger pot this year and take a cutting to try in the yard.
Since my fig tree was "born" in SC, do you have an opinion on what variety it is, coming from an old homeplace? Brown turkey?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:15PM
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SC mainly grows Celeste and BT as it's top commerical figs like many other southeastern states. along the coast they can grow many types of figs but these 2 are staples in the south and are grown there as well. Do you have a picture of the fig or can you describe it. how large was the tree and where in SC is the tree. I can help narrow it down but there are over 600 varieties of fig trees in the US alone and If the owner was a fig enthusiastic or acquired a cutting from another country it maybe impossible to identify it. If I was to die and my plants lost their labels lord help the person who has to go through the trouble of classifying them. but the average home in SC don't collect fig trees like I do so you might have a chance on properly classifying it if you have a picture.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 1:44AM
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a permanent raised bed may be less maintenance in the long run vs container grown. to get 100 figs from a potted tree you'd need a 40 gallon or better pot. after a while the tree will become root bound even in such a large pot. then you are left with the task of pulling the tree out with all it heavy dirt encased around the roots and root pruning the tree. WA is warm enough you won't have to bring your trees inside for winter and the only time it's best to grow figs in containers is when it's too cold for plants to stay out during winter. a 3ft x 3ft raised bed 12 inches high is perfect for fig trees. you can make them out of wood, stone, or anything just laying around the house. For cosmetic purposes many go with cedar or stone. but if you're on a budget, corky, or eco friendly you can try things like sheet metal, rip rap, or logs from around the house. whatever you use make sure it has no bottom so the roots can run freely . Ultimately it's up to you how you grow your fig tree but they often live to be 80-100 years old and do you want to be root pruning your fig trees when you're 80? good luck and I hope you can aquire a picture of the ripe fig. you can always go to figs4fun and search the fig trees they have to obtain a match but again it's hit or miss.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 2:08PM
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Centurion_(Verde Valley AZ Z8)

If you are concerned about standing water, you can plant your tree in a low mound. If you can keep it's rootball above the standing water it oughta be ok. Just dump several wheel barrows full of soil on you proposed site, mix in some compost, and plant in that.

I would think that planting in SW Washington this time of year would be ok. I planted two new little trees here in North Central Arizona three weeks ago. Both are under 50% shade cloth for half the day because of our daily 100 degree teimps and hot dry winds...but both are doing quite well so far. In of them is already putting out a couple of figs.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 2:10PM
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Centurion_(Verde Valley AZ Z8)

My messege popped up two minutes after the one before it. To funny, eh Danniel?

I totally agree with's posts. A raised bed or just a mound of soil is the way to go if planting in an area subject to standing water. You can even use rocks as a border if purchasing materials is an issue. That's what I did.

You really want to get it into the ground if you can. Pots are too hard to manage over long periods of time due to soil compaction and watering and fertilizing requirements.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 2:24PM
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Dave you know great minds think alike :)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:03AM
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opossums5(8WA/ Sunset6)

You guys are smart. No I surely don't want to be root pruning at 80! So that's what I'll do, make a moundish type of raised bed. Posting this pic makes me see its really awkward form. That's trouble, isn't it? It can't grow up with a little stick for a trunk. ack! What should I do about that?
Thank you for all the wonderful advice.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Centurion_(Verde Valley AZ Z8)

The tree will be fine. It's a little leggy looking, but if you plant it where it will get more sun it should fill out. Plant it low in the mound, mulch it real well and feed it some miricle grow or fish emulsion.. You don't need to worry about planting it too deep. Fig trees will just put out more roots from the stem...a little like tomatoes do. You might want to put a berm around it at the top of your mound to allow the water to soak down into the mound without running off.

This time next year, the roots should be out 3-4 feet feet and this shouldn't be an issue.

If your temps are high right now, if you can shade it from the afternoon sun for it's first week, that will help it adjust. Shade cloth is good, or just put an object big enough to cast a shadow over it in late afternoon.

Best of luck with your tree. In a couple of months, after it get's over the transplant shock, it should really take off.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 12:58PM
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