The Q&A Archives: Care for Fig Trees in Tampa

Question: We have two fig trees near Tampa. They both produce light-colored fruit. This is their second year, and each yielded about 6-8 figs last year. Any advice on care? Do figs normally do well here? Any particular types do better than others?

Answer: Most fig varieties should do quite well for you. In a very cold winter you can have some damage, but this should not be a problem as it is rare in your area and the plants will regrow fine even when the top growth is damaged.

Your plant may just need a season or two more to establish well and begin to produce better. Make sure and mulch around the plants and keep evenly moist through your long, hot summers.

A primary threat to figs in the south is nematodes. Occurring most often on sandy soils, nematodes continue to plague the plant over time, resulting in a slow decline. Affected plants are stressed and appear to be suffering from drought even though the soil is adequately moist. There is no cure for nematodes although adding copious amounts of organic matter to the soil prior to planting and mulching heavily thereafter seem to help. You can check for nematode damage by digging up a few roots near the surface. Infested roots have numerous swollen knots along the root.

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