Ficus carica is very vigorous and requires pruning every year. They are fast growing and need a nice warm sunny spot. It will give more fruit when grown in poor stony soil. Being too kind to them will result in wonderful large green leaves and no fruit. In a cold winter figs might need to be protected although wet weather is worse than the cold. In spring remove frost protection, weed and spray seaweed solution monthly. Thin out any fruit. In summer one need to protect the fruit from greedy little predators. Autumn remove all fruit before frost arrives and prune and take cuttings and protect from the coming frosts.
Planting: To restrict their growth and nutrients prepare a hole (dependent on the size of the roots) and line the hole with rubble or other material that the roots cannot penetrate and then plant and fill in with ordinary soil. A fig can also be kept quite happily in a pot, although do remember to increase the pot size as the fig grows. Figs can be grown freestanding as a low bush or larger standard tree but they are more generally grown trained in a fan shape against a wall or fence.
Prune: Figs crop on last year’s wood, so any wood that has fruited is cut out and older structural branches can be removed without fear of hurting the plant. In spring it is a good idea to cut out crossing branches and suckers. Depending on growth, sometime in the summer cut back new growths to 5-6 leaves to encourage fruit formation the following year. Before winter sets in remove any large fruits that have not ripened. However leave the little marble sized figlets for the following year. Always leave 5cm (2in) long stubs when removing any branches.
Symbolism: Excellence & steadfastness Good luck gift to a man