Fig tree losing leaves

roseebeeJuly 23, 2008


I have a fig tree that was planted 2 months ago. It's my first fig tree. Unfortunately the leaves are falling. Almost all of them have fallen.

What could be the cause? Some pests, i.e. mites? Too much water or not enough water? Some rodent that eats the roots (my husband noticed small holes in the ground not far from the tree)?

As far as watering is concerned, I water thorougly every other day. I live in California, zone 24 according to Sunset. So it's pretty hot and dry here.

Thanks in advance for your help.


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was the fig tree an well established tree or very young tree that was put out in direct sun. Do you know the type of fig tree. Are you able to post any pictures,theres some people here that may be of help.If very young tree planting and ptting in direct sun will cause a lot of stree to it, over water can make the leaves turn yellow as well and drop,or under water can curl them up and dry yellow brown and drop. Was the fig tree purchased at a nursery. A sfor the holes i could guess on that 1 i'm just not from that area,maybe someone here from your area might have a clue.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 8:11AM
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gardenerme(z9/21 inland socal)

It seems that you are in or near my zone and I would guess, without more info, that it is under stress and in shock from the dry heat and the roots are not established enough to provide the moisture needed so the leaves are dropping. I rarely plant after early may due to these problems in our area. I would suggest that you continue watering deeply as you are doing (unless you have heavy clay, in which case I would back off to twice a week) until the weather cools and then back off further on the watering and hope for the best. I have also saved trees by using superthrive (it is vitamins and root growth hormones only). Use a cap (a very high dose for superthrive) in 5 gallons of water once a week for 4-6 weeks. Keep in mind that this is a deciduous tree and will lose its leaves in the fall anyway, so do no expect any new leaf growth until spring. Do not be tempted to feed this plant until you see new growth in the spring. I feed mine with citrus food and keep it in a 26" clay pot.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 10:40AM
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Don't worry, this happened to me also when I first planted my tree this year. Just water it on a normal schedule, and you should be fine. My tree looked dead, but now it has explosive new growth and lots of figs. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 9:18PM
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All of the aforementioned advice is good and valid.
Number 1 concern; watering is a big concern with young fig trees.
Their root system must be mature enough to withstand a lot of water. You never want them to stand in water. The soil must drain well or the roots will rot.
Assuming that is not your problem, another very common problem is soil that is too acidic. I recommend you mix 1 tablespoon of horticultural dolomitic lime in a gallon of water. Mix it very well because it tends to settle. Use this solution in your normal watering schedule for the next week or so. If excess water were not the problem I would bet you would see a big improvement.

I hope this helps. It worked miracles for me.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 10:35PM
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I have a Fig Bush planted in a 15 gallon pot. I used 50 pounds of the best potting soil I could find. I have a bigger Fig bush planted in the ground outside. I split a root and started a Fig indoors last November. I read that I should water every day or every other day. My pot drains very well. The bush stands 36 inches tall. I get some sunlight through the window and have a 75 watt sun lamp on from 4pm to 12am. I lose a leaf or two a day it seems like.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 11:58AM
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