Few trees can top the backyard fig tree (Ficus carica) for sweet, edible fruit on a particularly appealing, widely spreading shrub. The fig grows outdoors year-round in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10, and usually requires only basic services to thrive and yield fruit. But sometimes a fig tree may begin reducing its ability to set fruit, leaving some leaves, and falling leaves that are otherwise healthy. This typically results in a cultural problem that, if caught in time, should not endanger the health of the tree.
The fig tree is native to Mediterranean regions in which weather is characterized by dry and rainy seasons; the tree’s natural response would be to drop leaves, regrowing them when weather returns if rain is infrequent. When cultivated in a house garden, the tree reacts to any **unevenness in watering** using a similar response, falling leaves in possibly substantial numbers. If this happens, it’s vital to **fix watering so that the root ball doesn’t stay too dry or too wet** for any time period. The tree generates a group of leaf buds, After watering practices are adjusted.
Adjusting Moisture Levels
When beginning with a fig tree that is young, keep its soil moist for the first month or two, helping it develop a good root system. For a mature shrub, **water deeply whenever the top two or three inches of soil feels dry** for your fingertip. After watering, check the soil’s moisture level using a hand trowel to dig a 6-inch-deep trench should feel moist. Adding **3 or 4 inches of organic mulch** such as straw or shredded bark into the area under the tree’s canopy conserves soil moisture and helps prevent wide fluctuations in soil wetness. Additionally, it keeps down weeds that compete with the tree for water and soil nutrients. When applying mulch, **keep it back several inches in the tree’s main trunks** to help discourage growth of fungus.
The fig tree is susceptible to two pests — the spider mite * and the * Pacific spider mite — that might bring about leaves that are green to drop from the tree. The mites begin sucking juices from leaves feeding in the spring and causing damage to leaves on the lower regions of the tree. These pests aren’t observable, but you are going to see their **telltale webs** covering growing shoots and some parts of individual leaves. If mites aren’t ruined, slightly brown may turn prior to starting to fall from the tree. Mites are best controlled by **spraying the tree with insecticidal soap**, diluted at a rate of 5 tablespoons per gallon of water. Spray all parts of the tree and repeat the application every week or two, as required.
The fig tree usually produces **considerable amounts of fruit** and is a bad selection for planting near an outdoor area such as a terrace, because lost fruits mould or ferment, resulting in odor, or they can draw flies and wasps. *The tree and its leaves contain a milky sap that can cause allergic reactions. * This shrub could be **invasive** in some portions of the United States, producing root sprouts that slowly spread to form a clump; fresh plants can also sprout from lost branches. Control this tendency by **retrieving and destroying broken branches and by cutting on root sprouts off regularly**, using tools that you wipe with rubbing alcohol between cuts to prevent spread of illness. Seeds that are eaten by birds or other animals can germinate, using fresh trees. You can help lessen this problem by clearing away veggies though hard to control.