There is little that is more satisfying or joyful than picking a ripe and juicy fig from your own tree. They seem to taste all the sweeter knowing that you have poured love and kindness into helping them grow.
It’s a long-observed fact that fig trees and shrubs need plenty of sunshine in order to yield the biggest harvests and if grown in nutrient-rich soil, can even tolerate periods of time without water. Possibly the reason that they are a staple on the landscape of many Mediterranean settings.
If grown in the right conditions, fig trees and shrubs are not particularly heavy feeders. However, they do benefit from being fertilized at specific times of the year and that can alter depending on climate and the soil in which they are grown.
Keep reading to find out more on how to feed your fig tree and when, plus insider knowledge and first-hand experience of testing the best fertilizer for fig trees.
- Choose Fertilizer For Fig Trees
- 5 Best Fig Tree Fertilizer Reviews
- 1. Miracle-Gro Performance Organics 7-6-9
- 2. Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Granular 3-5-5
- 3. Jobe’s Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spike 9-12-12
- 4. Down to Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer 6-2-4
- 5. Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Fertilizer 5-5-2
- Fertilizing Fig Trees
- Verdict: Best Fertilizer For Fig Trees
Choose Fertilizer For Fig Trees
When choosing your fig tree fertilizer, you want to make sure that it includes the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium and every plant needs a different blend of these nutrients.
You can find the ratio of these nutrients on fertilizer labels by looking out for a sequence of 3 numbers. For example, a fertilizer containing 3% nitrogen, 5% phosphorous, and 6% potassium would be stated as 3-5-6 on the label.
Fig Tree Fertilizer N-P-K
N-P-K are vital nutrients and are what plants and trees need the primary ingredients Nitrogen is required to establish healthy growth. It is also the nutrient that is responsible for that beautiful fig leaf shape and color. Phosphorus aids the development of normal growth and is also needed to help your fig tree use and store energy efficiently.
Potassium is particularly important during the growing season of a fig tree. Potash – as it is also known – is what helps to produce that all-important fruit as well as protecting the tree and its fruit against diseases and infection.
Granules Vs. Liquid Fertilizer
Fertilizers come in a variety of different forms. Two popular options are fertilizer granules and liquid fertilizers. The option you choose very much depends on how your garden and what you are using your fertilizer for.
Some gardeners prefer to see how much fertilizer they are using and so granules are a good choice here. You simply need to measure out the number of granules you need in relation to the area or size of the tree you want to fertilize and then scatter over the ground around the trunk or stem. Granules usually need to be dug in and then watered. This enables the active ingredients to start working.
Liquid fertilizer can either be purchased as a concentrated liquid that needs to be diluted with water or as a ready-to-use formula. Liquid offers a quick release of nutrients and will get to work straight away. When your fig trees need fertilizing regularly – especially once fruit starts developing – liquid fertilizer is a great option.
Fertilizer spikes are pre-measured solid spikes, where you insert the spike directly into the dirt. Some gardeners prefer spikes because the nutrients are pre-measured, so you never accidentally overdo it with too much fertilizer or nutrients. They offer a slow-release and mess-free solution to fertilizing.
Liquid fertilizer is one of the most preferred ways to apply fertilizer to your plants, mostly because it is one of the fastest ways to deliver nutrition to your plants.
This can be a more expensive option compared to a granular feed but it does have its drawbacks because regular fertilizing can result in overfertilizing potentially.
When purchased in bulk, granular fertilizer is a cheaper option. It also is easier to store as it doesn’t expire in extreme temperatures. It releases slower than liquid and is a good way to introduce nutrients at the start or end of the growing season if an adjustment of nutrients is what is needed.
However, it isn’t as easy to handle as liquid fertilizer, and sometimes it can be challenging to achieve a uniform application as you can with liquid fertilizer.
Organic Vs. Synthetic
Synthetic fertilizers are made from chemicals. They typically do not contain any natural ingredients and whilst they are usually more effective and potent than their organic counterparts, they can have a damaging effect on the environment especially if not used correctly. Organic fertilizers are produced using naturally occurring ingredients such as microbes and organic matter.
Both types have their benefits and drawbacks. With synthetic, you often get a highly targeted product. However, if you overdo it, you risk burning and killing your plants.
Organic fertilizer offers a more gentle solution and is unlikely to damage the environment or your plants provided you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
5 Best Fig Tree Fertilizer Reviews
The two key characteristics of a healthy-looking fig tree are a plentiful crop of fruit and lush green leaves. To achieve this you need a fertilizer that provides an even balance of nutrients for the majority of the growing season and a heavy dose of potassium to boost the size, number, and quality of fruit at harvest time as well as make them more resilient to disease and temperature fluctuations.
Through careful research, meticulous testing, and first-hand user experience, I’ve selected my best fig tree fertilizer top picks to share with you with the intention of removing the legwork so that you can get right on with fertilizing.
Miracle-Gro Performance Organics delivers an exceptional solution when it comes to fertilizing fig trees. Suitable for newly planted figs as well as container plants and mature trees, this granular feed is packed with essential nutrients to see you through the season.
The 7% nitrogen got my fig trees off to a flying start at the beginning of the growing season where I used this to give shoot and bud production a helping hand. Initially, I used this every 6 weeks but ramped that up to every 4 weeks once fruit began to grow. The results were lots of disease-free fruit and a strong and healthy tree with plenty of new growth as the season progressed.
This is an excellent fertilizer to use if you are growing multiple edible plants. I used it on my tomato plants as well as a strawberry plant fertilizer and the results were similar to the success I enjoyed with my figs. Click here for Miracle-Gro Performance Organics from Amazom.com
How To Use: Sprinkle the required amount of granules over the soil around the trunk, lightly dig in, and then water thoroughly. Increase dosage when the fruit appears
- Versitile enough to use on an asortment of edible plants
- High dose of pottassium for optimum growth and size of fruit
- Some users were put off by the odor
Anywhere you look online, you’ll find Jobe’s will keep popping up as a top-rated fertilizer product. And it’s easy to see why: a lot of people praise the fertilizer for effectively nourishing plants and trees while causing little to no harm to the environment.
Over 4 to 6 weeks, with one application of Jobe’s fertilizer granules your fig trees will benefit from a slow release of nutrients as well as Jobes’ unique Biozome formula that releases beneficial microorganisms into the soil for the roots to absorb.
This is my preferred option for fig trees that are already planted in soil that is already rich in organic matter and simply need a helping hand with producing well-sized and disease-free fruit. Click here for Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Granular Fertilizer
How To Use: Apply every 4-6 weeks, spread granules evenly over the ground around the trunk, lightly dig in, and water thoroughly. Continue to use throughout the growing season.
- Balanced enough to use throughout the growing season
- Ideal for fig trees planted in nutrient-rich soil
- Strong ‘natural-smelling’ odor
Making our list again is Jobe’s, this time with their fruit and citrus fertilizer spike. I’m all for making gardening easy and these spikes do just that with their no-fuss, mess-free and pre-measured solution to fertilizing.
These offer a nicely balanced slow-release fertilizer and one application will see you good for up to 8 weeks. They are a great way to minimize the risk of root burn that some other, harsher fertilizers may bring.
As you might expect with Jobe’s, these spikes contain their signature Biozome formula, a potent combination of healthy bacteria, Mycorrhizal fungi, and Archaea that breaks down nutrients into the soil that are then absorbed by the roots of your fig tree. See prices for Jobe’s Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer from Amazon.com
How To Use: Simply insert the spike into the soil around the tree drip line. If your tree trunk diameter is 3 inches, you will need 4-5 spikes to feed it. The instructions on the packaging are simple and clear. In our sample, there were 8 spikes in one pack, or you can buy 15 spikes packs.
Down To Earth is an up-and-coming business with the environment at the top of its agenda. This is their Fruit Tree fertilizer containing an all-natural mix of alfalfa meal, feather Meal, Fish Bone Meal, and Calcium Carbonate. This heady mix offers a slow-release option that not only feeds your fig trees but also enriches the soil in which they are planted.
I tried this on an ailing fig tree and within just 3 weeks I began to notice new shoots and healthier-looking foliage. I continued to use it throughout the summer months and was pleased to see an increased crop of figs compared to the previous year. Plus, it has a much more bearable odor than a lot of other organic brands (looking at you, Jobe), so it’s certainly a more enjoyable experience. Click for Down To Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer Prices from Amazon.com
This fertilizer is specific to fruit trees so it’s not as versatile as some of the other fertilizers I’ve featured here and it can work out a little expensive pound for pound since the application rate is more than with others. But it’s definitely worth the investment if you have a fig tree that’s looking a little sad.
How to use: For established trees, use up to 4 times a year. For new trees, more applications are needed. The product must be mixed with soil as per the instructions.
- Great for ailling trees espeically those planted in poor soil
- All-natural and 100% organic – great product for the environment
- Higher price point overall when compared to fruit tree fertilizers
This organic, powder-based feed works wonders on fig trees, and I can see why. Dr. Earth has provided proven results for over 30 years.
The 5-5-2 NPK combination together with their trademark TruBiotic formula releases organic microbes and mycorrhizae into the soil. In turn, this is absorbed via the roots in order to stimulate robust overall tree development and as well as deliciously nutritious fruit.
Dr. Earth Natural is a slow-release option however, the granules quickly create a nutrient-rich environment to promote lush foliage and plenty of fruit. See Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Fertilizer prices here.
Their specific blend formula provides optimum results even in drought-tolerant areas or those with shorter growing seasons making it the perfect fertilizer whether you are growing figs in containers or in soil. Plus, it’s people and pets safe.
How To Use: For established fruit trees, work 1 cup of fertilizer into the soil within the drip line every three months throughout the growing season. For new trees, add 2 cups to the planting hole and water thoroughly.
- Contains no chicken manure or extra fillers
- Safe around people, pets and wildlife
- May exhibit a slight, natural odor
Fertilizing Fig Trees
Fig trees are pretty much low maintenance when it comes to feeding especially when they are planted in nutrient-rich soil, have their roots restricted, and receive plenty of sunshine. Not every fig tree gets to luxuriate in those conditions however and so will need a boost of nutrients to help it thrive.
How To Fertilize Fig Trees
Whether you choose a liquid fertilizer, granules or spikes always take some time to read the label of the product you are using before you begin. As with all fertilizers, avoid getting fertilizer on the trunk of the fig tree as this can cause fertilizer burn and risk of disease.
Instead, apply the correct quantity of fertilizer to the soil near the dripline. Granules will need to be dug into the soil gently. Then, soak the area with water to enable the fertilizer to become activated. I like to rake some dirt around the area where you applied the fertilizer to prevent water from flowing away from the application zone.
When To Fertilize Fig Trees
If the soil your fig tree is planted in is somewhat lacking in nutrients then you will need to fertilize in early spring at the start of the growing season. Regardless of soil type, you’ll need to feed your fig tree regularly with a high-dose potassium fertilizer once fruit begins to develop.
I don’t recommend fertilizing in the fall as this can encourage new fruit to form that could then become susceptible to frost during the winter months. I like to spread a thick layer of mulch around fig trees in the fall. This will help to replenish those nutrients that have become depleted during the growing season.
How Often to Fertilize Fig Trees
If fertilizing in spring to improve soil nutrients, use a good quality slow-release fertilizer that will improve the condition of the soil that will then be absorbed by the roots of your fig tree. Fertilizer spikes are useful here as they offer a continuous supply of nutrients for up to 8 weeks.
When fruit begins to appear on my fig tree as the growing season progresses I like to switch to a high-potassium fertilizer in granular form. I use granules over liquid feed so that I can monitor how much I’m using and to ensure that I’m also not overwatering. Fig trees are fairly drought tolerant and too much water can cause fruit to split or to drop off.
Verdict: Best Fertilizer For Fig Trees
Without a doubt, the best fertilizer for fig trees is Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules. It’s effective and organic, will provide a balance of nutrients throughout the growing season, and is versatile enough to use on other edible plants in your garden.
For those of you with soil that is already nutrient-rich, my top pick is Jobe’s Organic Fruit & Citrus Granular Fertilizer. This one is for helping your fig tree to grow the biggest, juiciest fruit crop with its higher potassium contents.
Or, if you prefer the effortless convenience of a fertilizer spike, then you should buy Jobe’s Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes. These have the same patented Biozome formula and offer even more potassium than their organic granular counterpart. Plus, it has far fewer odors and no runoff compared to other brands, making this easy-to-use as well as effective.