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Need help with fig tree

Posted by treeapron 9 (My Page) on
Sat, May 1, 10 at 19:04

I have always had fig tree in my yard. In NY I used to cover them in the winter, One in particular had big green figs, very sweet. When I moved to Florida, I figured it should do good here, being warm all year round.
I took a little one with me and plant it in my new yard. North tampa (zone 9). I was happy when I saw new leaves and even figs growing, but they only last a few weeks, then the leaves and new shoots die out. After a year I relocated the tree,, a few branch are still alive but the same thing happens twice a year when they are suppose to grow and fruit. The tree is still alive but no new growth last more than a month. Any advise and help is appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need help with fig tree

Hi Jeff, have you checked for root knot nematode damage? Gently dig down an expose a few roots. If it looks like a string of pearls, then that's the problem. What kind of soil do you have there. I know Florida has areas of pure sand and my thought is that the soil may need to be amended with some organic matter. Regular water, fertilization and mulch may help the little tree overcome some of these problems. This of course, just a guess on my part and only a suggestion. If you use the search function here and at figs4fun forum, you'll learn a lot about each subject I've mentioned. I'm sure others will chime in also. Good luck to you. Tim

RE: Need help with fig tree

Tim made a good point about the sandy soil. If it is mostly sand then what I would suggest for inground is to get some top soil and mulch ( aged pine bark, nut shell etc. )and mix them together. Dig a hole about 1.5ft deep and about two or three ft wide or wider. Replant and water everyday for the first few months. Give it a couple of light doses of fertilizer with the first after a couple of days.

It would also be a good idea to add some Peat Moss to the mix and before you place the plant in the hole you might want to add a few scoops of Peat Moss in the bottom.

You can try this method or buy a large bag of potting mix/soil and get it overwith the easy way.

Hope I was of help.

Good luck,

RE: Need help with fig tree

Thank you guys,

The soil is gray sand. I did put some compost with the tree, about two 5 gallon bucket full. But no improvement. I planted some vegetable from the seed in the same area, they grew up to 4-5 inches, very healthy at the beginning and then they all died. Now I am using a raised area filled with compost and top soil for my veggies and they are doing good.
I will check for nematode today. I searched it on the net and that might be my problem. Is there any easy treatment for it? Does adding lime help?
Also, the back of my property is wooded and wet most of the time. Would it help if I move it to a sunny spot in the back?

RE: Need help with fig tree


I've only read the horror stories about the Nematode. I pray I never have to face them. Others in your area will be better help on that issue. Moving the tree in a sunny spot will greatly improve your chance for success.

You might want to have your soil checked and I don't recommend Home Depot or Lowes garden centers. Take it to a real nursery where the owners been in the business for a lone time.

Good luck,

RE: Need help with fig tree

Hi Jeff, yes, definitely move it to a sunny spot, but make sure it is well drained(you said the back stayed wet). It's also a little late to be moving anything now in Zn 9. If it were mine, I'd wait till it was dormant next winter. There is nothing easy to do for the nematodes, but I've read here that regular fertilizer and a thick mulch help. Someone said his still bear fruit in spite of the nematodes, however may never reach it's full potential. LSU Purple is touted as a nematode resistant variety, if you decide to replace it. Hope this helps. Tim

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