Does anyone have advice on:

- how big a container I should plant a fig in if I want a fairly good tree, but to limit the root growth?

- What sort of containers can be recycled for this use?

- how big with the tree get in it?



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I planted 2 figs in containers last winter. The advice I found online said to go for a container 5x bigger than what your fig tree came in. Mine are in the largest self-watering pots I could find at Bunnings (those ones with a water reservoir at the bottom), but I can't seem to find the brand name or pot size... I'd guess they're abt 25L. Anyway, I reckon they're going to get ridiculously big for the pot size, and I'm planning to cut the trees back by half this winter to try and keep the branches reachable from the ground.

I have planted mine in a recycled washer, those tubs you get from the topload machines.

I think that is sufficient...

hello Laine, may I hijack your discussion:) 

Kelly and Lay - have your trees fruited yet?

I have three fig tree cuttings that have been in pots for a couple of years now and wondering how long before they start producing.

I dunno about cuttings... mine are a couple of years old and have fruited, but they are grafted with wood from mature trees... ?

Got mine from the nursey - was just around a foot high - and planted mine early this summer and it fruited (one!). I pinched it off tho' when it was about a dollar coin-size. 

I don't know if it was the right thing to do but I thought along the lines of what you'd do to a one-three year old lemon tree.

OK thanks Kelly and Lay (and Laine for starting this discussion).

HI Laine,

I have two fig trees in large rubbish containers bought from Mitre 10 for $30 odd dollars each and holes were drilled in the sides up 20cm from the bottom so the bottom becomes a saucer.  They fruited really well last year as you see in the photo - that wasn't all the fruit. They are about 4 years old and do very well in the containers. I have taken them out once and cut off a 1/3 of the roots and then given them more soil and repotted them.  They do need watering in the summer.  The person who I learned this from is Wally Richards - he has a website called Garden Enterprises and writes a weekly email with gardening notes - I've learned heaps from him. To get his email write to him here Wally Richards <> Hope this helps.


Thanks everyone for your replies. Our front loading washing machine died this week. I will see if I can remove the drum and use that. If not, it sounds like a rubbish bin with holes would work.  Julie, I am in a wet area, and figs don't like water logging  so I will drill holes in the bottom if I get a rubbish bin I think. Did you drill holes all over the bin except the bottom? And how big would you suggest making the holes?



HI Laine,  I would make the holes 20-30cm big. We drilled about 6 holes around the rubbish container as I mentioned near the bottom. If you drill holes in the bottom the fig will send roots out those holes and clog them with the roots.  But  you could sink the pot in the ground and they would grow into the ground and be semi root bound (and could get their own food).  They fruit best root bound, but they do need water in a container to make nice fruit.  They fruit on new wood so you can prune them quite hard and they'll fruit on the new wood that grows in spring. If you make cuttings of your prunings they will all grow.  I've given heaps of fig plants away to friends and neighbours.

Great, thanks Julia. I am planning to put it in the ground. If it gets a bit wayward there is plenty of space where I want to put it, and it is bounded by a driveway, chooks and bush. If I wanted to have it root bound but still a bit bigger, do you think more holes are in order? I assume you meant 20-30mm rather than cm holes.

Smiles, Laine

HI Laine,

oh yes I did mean 20-30mm.  Yes more holes probably would be in order to keep it a bit root bound but able to grow into the soil.  I'd love to hear a progress report on how it goes.  

All the best,




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