Fig trees are beautiful and come in many different forms. Some produce fruit while others are simply ornamental.
Whether you’re looking to grow figs to enjoy as a snack or are looking for a good houseplant, there is a variety for you!
Can you grow a fig tree indoors? Many varieties of figs grow well indoors; however, most fruit-producing figs, with the exception of Ficus carica ‘Petite Negra’, will not produce fruit indoors. Researching the variety is the best way to determine if it is suited for indoor growing.
While most people love to eat figs, they don’t have the outdoor space to grow them.
You may be familiar with the fiddle leaf fig or ficus tree as a house plant. These can be beautiful alternatives if you don’t have room for an edible outdoor fig tree.
This article will share all the info you need to grow a fig tree indoors. Continue reading for the best varieties to grow, how to care for the tree, and all of the specific requirements they need to thrive.
How To Grow a Fig Tree Indoors
Many people don’t realize that there are many types of fig trees. There are, of course, the types that produce fruit, but there are also fiddle leaf figs, weeping figs, and strangler figs to name a few.
Most edible varieties of figs (Ficus carica) will not grow well indoors because they require ample sunlight and will need a fig wasp to pollinate the fruit. One variety known as ‘Petite Negra’ is the exception to the rule.
Other varieties of ornamental figs grow well indoors with little light and few needs, unlike the fruiting varieties.
Best Fig Varieties for Growing Indoors
You’ll find that the best varieties of fig trees to grow indoors are the fiddle leaf fig, weeping fig, and strangler fig. These all grow well in filtered sunlight and require little to thrive!
What To Do as Soon as You Get Your Fig Tree
So, you just bought your fig tree and are excited to find a new spot for it! But what should you do to make sure it’s healthy and will stay healthy for years to come?
- Check the soil and roots. If you purchased it from a retail store or even a nursery, it could be root bound. You’ll want to get a large pot for it to grow and nutrient-rich potting soil to keep it happy without needing to fertilize it.
- Check the tree for any diseased, dead, or dying branches, and remove these from the plant. It is also a good time to look for poorly structured branches. Remove any that are rubbing or crisscrossing the other branches to provide an open canopy that lets light in.
- It may need to be watered! Sometimes the store you bought it from hasn’t watered it for several days, and drought stress can be tough for plants.
Fig Tree Indoor Care
Most fig trees that grow best indoors will only require filtered light and will thrive with little watering and nutrients.
Depending on the variety, the plant may require only a few hours of light during the day, but placement is key to making sure it receives the sunlight it needs.
Try not to place it near drafts or heating/cooling vents. Also, consider your home’s foot traffic. You don’t want people bumping into it, damaging leaves and possibly knocking it over.
Indoor Fig Light Requirements
Since a few of the fig varieties require different types of sun, you’ll need to ensure your is receiving the correct type of sun.
See the list below for more details on the common varieties of fig trees that grow indoors.
For plants that require full direct sun, place them close to a window, but be aware that the window may act like a lens and cause the sunlight to burn the leaves.
- Ficus carica ‘Petite Negra’: Direct sunlight 6 to 8 hours per day
- Fiddle Leaf Fig: Full sun to light shade 6 to 8 hours per day
- Strangler Fig: Full sun to light shade 4 to 6 hours per day
- Weeping Fig: Full sun to light shade 4 to 6 hours per day
Watering an Indoor Fig
Figs don’t require much water. Plan to water them every 1 to 2 weeks. It is always best to plant a tree in a pot with drainage and a dish underneath to allow the soil to fully dry out between waterings and prevent root rot.
Fertilizing an Indoor Fig Tree
While indoor potted fig trees won’t receive as many nutrients from organic materials as in the outdoor ecosystem, they don’t require much additional fertilizer.
Use a fertilizer designed specifically for indoor potted plants (I get outstanding results with Jack’s Classic), and follow the directions for dosage and frequency.
Pruning Indoor Fig Tree
Always begin pruning by following the rules of the 3Ds: dead, diseased, or dying. These branches can always be removed.
You’ll also want to keep the canopy balanced since growing the plant inside in a pot will make it susceptible to falling over, and over-extended branches will be prone to breaking.
Will an Indoor Fig Produce Fruit?
Fig trees require pollinating wasps to grow fruit, and they grow quite large, making them generally unsuitable for indoor growing.
The best indoor variety for growing figs is the ‘Petite Negra’. To ensure proper fruit development, simply move the fig outdoors each spring, and bring it back inside in early fall.
When To Repot Fig Tree
Fig trees have sprawling root systems that do require lots of space to grow.
If you notice that your fig tree’s roots are all at the surface of the pot or the tree seems to be struggling, it may be time to repot it.
The best time to repot a fig tree is when the tree is dormant in the winter.
Do Indoor Fig Trees Attract Bugs?
Indoor figs may accumulate pests like white mites and aphids, but they don’t attract regular insects like bees and other pollinators.
If you grow a variety that does require fig wasps to pollinate the fruit, you may see some of these stop by to pollinate the fruits, but they are quite small and easily missed.
How Long Do Potted Fig Trees Live?
If the fig tree is repotted regularly, every 2 years or sooner if needed, it should grow for a long time. Fig trees have been known to live about 200 years.
I would expect a shorter life span in a pot because there are limiting conditions, but with regular fertilization, ample sunlight, and adequate water, it should live to be at least 50 to 100 years old.