I asked for a fig tree for Christmas.  If you’ve ever picked up figs at the grocery store, you know how expensive they can be. I think the last time I looked it was 4 figs for an appendage. And if you’ve seen some of my summer posts, you know how much I cook with figs. Luckily, my fig fascination started with my Grandparents who supply me with freshly picked figs throughout the summer. Noted these same aged relatives (as Bertie Wooster would say) also decided to plant a retirement vineyard; they like a challenge.

While the mid Atlantic region may seem a little chilly for figs, George Washington actually kept several fig trees at Mt Vernon! It can be done! To start these trees off with lots of care, I’m potting them for indoor use until spring. You can learn about winterizing your outdoor figs here.

I received two varieties of figs. Peter’s Honey Fig:

Italian Everbear:

The figs needed TLC after a trip in a cardboard burrito. Like adopting an animal, signatures with Willis Orchard were exchanged with promises to take care of the tree.

Here’s what you need to know about ideal fig planting conditions:

  1. well drained soil (we used a sandy gravel mixed with dirt)
  2. plentiful sunlight
  3. most varieties are cold tolerate to at least 20 degrees
  4. water regularly.

Your trees will likely come with the roots tightly wrapped in plastic and tape with jello like bits for hydration. During the unwrapping process, most fell out which is fine since I’m watering these after potting.

After unwrapping the roots, find a large pot. Add your soil mixture to the large pot until you reach your roots will fit into the pot and allow the base of the trunk to rest at ‘dirt level’. For me, that was about a hand length from the top of the pot.

Live plants are a great gift for any one. Fig plants fit my asthetic and needs (I’m looking at you fig fruit leather!). But instead of cut flowers for your hostess, a rosemary bush or small meyer lemon tree will provide more enjoyment and use.

-Carlene Future RD

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.