Ask a Question forum: An indoor fig tree

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Name: William Gerdts
1120 Park Avene, New York, NY (Zone 9a)
Aug 26, 2016 10:48 AM CST
I have a fig tree that defies all logic. Sixty years ago a landscape gardener friend gave me a small fig tree. I put it's ceramic pot into an old iron cooking pot--with NO drainage It grew large, and has moved with me from New York to Washington and back. At one point the tree had a whole wide room-length window to spread out; for the last 35 years it's been living in a corner of my bathroom, with fairly minimal light (though South light). It still thrives. It gets no fertilizer; I water it once a day--every day. I presume it must feed living on it own roots About a month or so go it produced a fig after all these years. Now it has produced another fig.

I'll go on watering it once a day and it seems to give no sign of dying or decaying--every once in a while it drops a leaf, but then grows another leaf or two. It is still in this drainless cooking pot.

I don't think it needs me to do anything else, but I suspect it's a kind of wonder among fig trees. Meanwhile, is there anything I can/should do with this new fig? (I don't mean eat it. Can I bury it in soil and produce another fig tree?

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Aug 26, 2016 4:07 PM CST
Hi William, Welcome! to NGA

Nope! Sorry... What you are looking at is essentially an inside out flower. Unless you can find a fig wasp, it will never be pollinated. You might as well eat it.

I suspect the nutrients to keep the plant healthy are leaching out of the metal of the pot. Don't fertilize. If the salts (from comercial fertilizers) build up in the soil, you will have to repot it.

I would love to see a photo of this plant. Can you share one? Please?

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hummingbirder Plant Identifier
Aug 26, 2016 4:11 PM CST
Welcome! William!

I, too, would love to see this tree!
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Aug 27, 2016 8:30 AM CST
Don't change anything as long as it seems happy Thumbs up Congratulations!

I have a christmas cactus at my mother in law's. Little three inch grocery store plastic potted one, from her 95th birthday. It's in the same pot, same dirt, and she'll turn 99 this November. This CC is growing and leaves are plump and dark green. The soil is typically shrunk from the pot, I water it about weekly and it drains into a bowl if there's excess. In other words, it seems happier than the ones I have at home that I care for the 'right' way. D'Oh!

I'm just saying, some plants defy our expectations in a good way Hurray!
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)

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