Found in the ruins of a prehistoric village near Jericho, the fig is considered the oldest cultivated fruit. With the proper fig tree fertilizer and care, you can grow and enjoy figs from your own tree, even if you don’t live in the Mediterranean.
Fig trees are relatively easy to grow and very ornamental with their large tropical-looking leaves. Fig fruit is a good source of potassium and calcium. You can’t go wrong with a great-looking tree that produces tasty, nutritious fruit.
While there isn’t a fertilizer specifically for fig trees, choosing a fertilizer with the proper mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is all you need.
Keep reading for our top five choices for fig tree fertilizer, how and when to fertilize your fig trees, and even a recipe for FROG (Figs, Raspberries, Orange zest, and Ginger) jam that you can make with your bountiful fig harvest.
Our Top Picks
Jobe’s Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes
Our top pick for the best fig tree fertilizer is Hoss All-In-One fertilizer. Even though it is sold as a vegetable fertilizer, it has the perfect blend of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to start your fig tree and keep it appropriately fed during its lifecycle.
Along with NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), this Hoss fertilizer also includes other beneficial minerals like calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.
Hoss All-In-One is a granular fertilizer that is applied directly to the soil; no mixing with water.
Jobe’s Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes
The award for the easiest option on our list of best fig tree fertilizers has to go to Jobe’s.
To use Jobe’s fertilizer, simply take the fertilizer spikes out of the package and push or hammer them into the soil along the dripline of your fig tree. The spikes come with a plastic cap on top to help accomplish this without your fertilizer breaking down.
The diameter of the trunk of your tree will determine the number of spikes you use.
With the Jobe’s spikes, there is no mixing or measuring your fig tree fertilizer and no worrying about whether the fertilizer will get washed away with the next rain. You barely break a sweat when using these spikes. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Dr. Earth Flower Girl Organic Bud & Bloom Booster
A bud and bloom booster for a fig tree fertilizer? This one probably wasn’t even on your radar. But, if you look closely at the package, it says it is ideal for fruit trees.
Dr. Earth Bud & Bloom Booster is a 3-9-4 formula, meaning the formula is lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus.
We’ll explain later why excess amounts of nitrogen aren’t good for your fig tree. However, higher phosphorus is beneficial as it promotes blooms. More blooms attract more pollinators which help produce more fruit.
Southern Ag All Purpose Fertilizer
Southern Ag All Purpose Fertilizer is a 10-10-10 fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Although it is very similar to Hoss All-In-One in that they both contain 10% nitrogen, the difference between these two fig tree fertilizers is in the type of nitrogen.
Both Hoss and Southern Ag contain a percentage of ammoniacal nitrogen. Each fertilizer also includes a portion of another type of nitrogen. Hoss contains nitrate nitrogen which dissolves quickly. Southern Ag has urea nitrogen, which goes through a three-step process before dissolving, resulting in a slower release of nitrogen.
Both fertilizers contain the same amount of nitrogen, neither of which is in the harmful range for fig trees. The difference is in the way the nitrogen is released. For more information, Purdue University has a whole study on nitrogen fertilizers.
Fig Tree Fertilizer Buyer’s Guide
When searching for the best fig fertilizer, don’t look on Amazon and purchase the first fertilizer that pops up because it is for the Fiddle Leaf Fig. This is an ornamental houseplant and not a fig tree that will give you figs to enjoy.
Always check the nitrogen content of your fig tree fertilizer. Nitrogen is great for ornamental trees because it helps produce lush foliage. Excess amounts of nitrogen are not good for your fig tree because nitrogen will promote foliage growth rather than fruit growth, which can reduce production.
When choosing a fig tree fertilizer, you want more phosphorus as it encourages root, flower, and fruit growth.
Check out our article on fig tree diseases for other ideas to help keep your tree healthy and happy.
When to Fertilize Your Fig Tree
Generally speaking, you’ll want to fertilize your fig tree at least twice a year – when you start to see new growth in the spring and again in late summer. You can also fertilize your fig tree if the leaves turn yellow. Stop fertilizing your tree at least two months before the first frost date in your region.
When planting a new tree, you can add fig tree fertilizer to the soil in the late spring and summer. However, if you’re planting your tree in late fall or early spring when your fig tree is dormant, don’t add fertilizer.
For more information, check out our post about 10 Proven Strategies for Success for your fig tree.
How to Fertilize Your Fig Tree
Now that you’ve chosen the best fig tree fertilizer and know when to fertilize your fig tree, you need to know how to fertilize it. There are a few simple steps to follow for success.
The best place to add your fig tree fertilizer is around the tree’s drip line. When looking at your tree, the drip line is the outermost area where your branches reach. The tree’s critical root zone is between the trunk and the drip line. Adding fertilizer here helps your fig tree better absorb the nutrients.
If using the Jobe’s spikes, simply follow their directions for planting. You can simply sprinkle the fertilizer around the drip line on the ground when using granular fertilizer. Another option for applying granular fertilizer is to loosen the soil around your fig tree about 2” deep and in the root zone, then add the granules to the loosened dirt and water.
Wrapping up Fig Tree Fertilizer
Now that you know all about fertilizing your fig tree, it’s time to grab a shovel and get to planting so you can enjoy delicious figs for years to come. While you’re patiently waiting for your trees to grow, here are some fascinating fig facts to keep you busy.
And, as promised, here’s the recipe for the award-winning FROG jam. Even though no frogs are used in making this jam, your kids and grandkids don’t have to know that, at least not yet!If you’d like more information on fig trees, we’ve got you covered, including all the health benefits of figs, a step-by-step guide to healthy pruning, and more.