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Fig Tree (Brown Turkey) Location and Feeding - Container Growning

Hi All, new here as need advice on my first Fig Tree and I'm not very green-fingered  :)

From what I've read you should grow a fig tree on a south facing wall and currently it is on the South East wall but I've noticed that by around three in the afternoon the sun has moved past and casting a shadow over the fig tree. The South West wall still gets sun until sunset and this wall holds all the heat from the sun, so much so at night you can warm up with your back to the wall. The downside is that in winter the wind blows down our road and even covered I would worry the fig tree would suffer.

I don't wish to be moving it around the garden or move it inside but I would think getting the most sun and in the hottest part of the day would be better for the fig tree and would make the figs ripen.

Also any advice on watering/feeding the fig tree in a container, again from what I've read it needs to be watered often this time of year and needs feeding weekly with something like a seaweed fertiliser.

*** Image © - do not use, copy, or distribute - David Grant ***

*** Image © - do not use, copy, or distribute - David Grant ***


  • B3B3 Posts: 27,022
    Mine faces east and needs to be watered twice a day if it's sunny and once if it's cloudy - even if it rains.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Fig trees are pretty tough individuals so I would not worry about wind affecting yours. I am guessing yours might need a larger container in a year or two or will need watering every day. They grow them in containers in Heligan but the boxes are much bigger than yours, around 3ft square. Giving yours an annual small dose of potash will encourage it to fruit but do not overdo the feeding as they are rapid growers anyway. You will probably need to prune it each year to keep its size down as they are naturally very large spreading trees.
  • Posts: 127
    There's a huge White Marseille fig at Lambeth Palace. Been there for 500 years they say. I'm assuming it faces south  :) 
  • Firstly thanks for the replies but I'm no wiser.... A huge fig tree doesn't help me.

    @B3 East isn't any clearer as are you saying SE wall for me the best option or SW as hottest.

    @Joyce Goldenlily The most comprehensive answer but I really need to clarify which wall to place the fig tree on. As for container size then is that only if you wish to have a large fig tree - I was going to grow up wall more like a vine.  I can make a bigger container if need be but maybe you could give me some pointers that are easy to comprehend. That planter in photo is my design and sold on Etsy  :):smiley:
  • Posts: 127 A huge fig tree doesn't help me.

    Just an observation that people might find interesting. Are we a helpline now? Suck it and see is the answer to most questions
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,089
    I have one, bought it in morrisons for £1.79 about three years ago, it’s in a pot facing the South sun, as soon as it start to get cold, around October I bring it inside in my conservatory for the winter, putting out again in May. I don’t think they are that fussy, as long as it gets some sun. 

    Heligan is very different in climate to me, my daughter lives near and everything is way more advanced that my windy exposed place! 

    I suggest you keep eye on it, if it shows signs  of dying later, bring it in for the winter, when it gets bigger it will probably stay outside, I haven’t got to that stage yet.
    I do get tiny figs on it, they don’t amount to anything, grow to about an inch then drop off. 
    It seems to need lots of water, but I don’t know how much as they come from very dry countries where they probably don’t get any. 

    Do the best you can,  as I said. They’re very cheap to buy, trial and error I suppose. 

    I would say to Stuart that we are a kind of helpline, if not it would be just for saying where we went last night, or I’ve just baked a cake or any other daily doings, helping folks is what we like to do on here.  
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Posts: 127
    No, we don't want tittle tattle but a fig that's been thriving on the south bank of the Thames for 500 years is kind of interesting, well, to me anyway. What sort of cake?  :)
  • No, we don't want tittle tattle but a fig that's been thriving on the south bank of the Thames for 500 years is kind of interesting, well, to me anyway. What sort of cake?  :)
    Oh Stuart it might be very interesting and a very nice mature fig tree thriving on the south bank of the Thames and I hope the “Trolls” and ”Fairies” are looking after it. It’s so fascinating that I think you should start your own thread on this and post some photos.
  • Figs growing in the UK ideally need to be on a South or as near South as possible, so SW would be OK, red brick wall, or similar. Whilst small enough to move, it helps to move them indoors or wrap in fleece if it is a hard winter. Fan training is also ideal because the sun can reach all fruit. They need plenty of water and once established and growing well will carry 3 seasons fruit on one stem. The largest will hopefully ripen in the current  year, the middle sized ones will be next years fruit and the very small ones should be removed in November as the skin hardens, they split and then drop off, weakening the plant. Figs grown in open ground can grow to 30ft with a similar spread. Trees in containers will need to be potted on every couple of years and fed weekly. They usually need to be several years old before they begin to fruit and will never produce the copious crops they form in their Southern hemisphere native habitat.

    However, a warm fig, freshly picked and devoured before anyone else finds it is sublime. (The voice of experience) Brown Turkey is the most commonly grown variety in the UK although there are a number of other varieties available, as above. Hopefully you will not have to wait until you are 500 years old to enjoy the fruits of your labours, maybe just a hundred!

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,089
    Thank you Joyce, something to look forward too. 
    The thing I find with mine is that when the weather is a bit colder, the bottom leaves (one at a time) start to die.  It will probably live inside for a few more years. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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