Fig Tree Spacing & Key Planting Tips for Home Gardeners

Proper spacing is crucial when it comes to the growth and maintenance of fig trees. It should not be overlooked.

However, a well-spaced tree not only produces more fruits but also is less prone to many fungal infections and bacterial diseases that come with poor ventilation and insufficient sunlight.

When planting a fig tree, make sure it has between 15 and 20 feet from the next tree in the row. The rows should be spaced at least 20 feet apart to allow the fig trees to grow to maturity without crowding each other or keeping airflow and sunlight from neighboring trees.

Fig tree spacing also varies depending on the fig tree variety and its mature size.

Read more to find out how to space fig trees and how to get a higher yield from the tree every year.

Ensure your fig tree’s success with proper care and maintenance techniques. Discover the basics and expert insights in my comprehensive article Fig Tree Care and Maintenance.

Planting Fig Trees – Quick Guide

Planting fig trees is not rocket science, but if you don’t follow the basic guidelines regarding the soil, location, and spacing, the tree might not thrive and produce as many fruits as you’d hoped. 

Best Fig Tree Varieties

Fig trees come in a wide range of varieties. Choosing the right variety for your location can save you a lot of trouble later in fighting off diseases and getting the tree to adjust to the microclimate.

Here are some fig tree varieties to consider:

  • Common Fig Tree: The most popular fig variety
  • Celeste Fig Tree: A self-fertile variety with a high tolerance for cold weather
  • Brown Turkey Fig Tree: Typically produces twice per year
  • Kadota Fig Tree: The fruits have yellow skin and purple flesh
  • Chicago Hardy Tree: Produces fruits twice a year

How Big Do Fig Trees Get?

Fig trees are not giant fruit trees, but they can still reach anywhere from 12 to 15 feet tall and up to 20 feet in width. You can manage that size and spread by pruning them regularly.

Do Fig Trees Need a Pollinator?

Fig trees are pollinated by small wasps in the Agaonidae family. You do not need to plant more than one fig tree in order to get fruits.

Where To Plant Fig Trees

Fig trees grow in Zones 6 through 9. The tree needs moist, well-draining, organically rich soil to thrive.

Make sure the soil pH is neutral. The tree needs full sun exposure and plenty of ventilation.

Fig Tree Spacing

When planting a fig tree, always take into account the tree’s mature size. Since the tree can reach 20 feet across, you should space it about 20 feet from the next tree.

If you’re planting the trees in rows, space the rows 20 feet apart, and keep about 15 feet distance between each tree. 

Several figs in various stages of growth on a healthy tree.

How To Plant a Fig Tree in the Ground

To plant your fig tree in the ground, you’ll need to get the timing right, prepare the soil beforehand, and ensure that you have picked the right location. Here’s how to do it.

  1. You can plant the fig tree in the early spring or fall.
  2. Select a sunny spot in the garden that gets at least 6 hours of full sun a day.
  3. Turn up the top 10 inches of soil, mix it with organic compost and aged manure, and let it sit under the sun for a week before planting.
  4. Dig a hole a few inches deeper than the tree’s root ball and twice as wide.
  5. Unpack the tree from the burlap or container, and gently spread out the roots. Trim off any damaged roots.
  6. Place the tree in the middle of the hole, and spread the roots to fill up the bottom of the hole.
  7. Backfill with soil, and firm it to keep the tree standing upright.
  8. Water the tree immediately to get the soil moist.

Growing Fig Trees in Containers

If you live in a cold region, growing your fig tree in a container might be the best option.

This is especially true if you want to plant a fig variety with a low tolerance for cold weather — you can move it indoors when the temperatures drop to protect it from frost.

Fig trees can thrive and produce fruits even when growing in containers. The key to success is to make sure that the tree gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight during the spring and summer.

Watering is also crucial since the soil dries out faster in a container. 

How To Make Fig Tree Grow Faster

  • Make sure the tree gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day during the spring and summer.
  • Remove any plants, shrubs, or weeds growing around the fig tree at a radius of 25 feet to reduce competition over resources.
  • Don’t allow grass to grow near the young fig tree.
  • The tree needs 1 inch of water a week. Factor in rainfall.
  • The fig tree needs a complete, balanced fertilizer (this organic option is perfect). Provide three applications between the early spring and mid-summer.

Related Questions:

How Many Fig Trees Should I Plant?

The number of fig trees you should plant depends on the space you have and the amount of work you’re willing to put into caring for them.

The average fig tree needs about 20 square feet of space, so planting two fig trees would require 40 square feet, and so on. Build rows 20 feet apart, and plant the fig trees in rows.

Do Fig Trees Need To Be Pruned?

Pruning is not essential for the success of the fig tree. You can usually get by with just light pruning when the tree is dormant.

Remove any dead branches, and favor strong branches over weak ones to encourage new growth and better fruit production.

Closing Thoughts

When planting fig trees, spacing can make or break the tree. Each fig tree needs about 20 feet of space between rows and at least 15 feet between trees in each row.

Choose the right variety for your microclimate, and make sure the tree gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight during the growing season.

With so much to learn about fig tree care, it can be hard to know where to start. I suggest reading these two articles next: