Q&A: Trimming Back a Fig Bush
How to keep your fig bush going strong all through winter.
Q: I purchased a fig bush two years ago. The first year it died back at the first frost. The second year, to my surprise, it came back bearing two figs, sending out branches below the dead part of the trunk. This is its third year, and it's bearing more figs and is quite healthy and bushy. There are many branches close to the ground. When and how do I trim it back? I live in the high desert.
— D.S., Rosamond, Calif.
A: Since it sounds like getting the shrub in shape takes priority over fruit production at this point, let's start with that. In late fall or winter, cut back stems to their bases, thinning growth to the desired shape. Remove the obvious branches first (those that are broken, weak or crowded). Once the fig is in shape, you can prune to encourage fruiting when you want it. Prune in the fall/winter period for fall production, or prune a little in both fall and summer to get a little in each season. Some folks don't prune at all and get two full crops. If frost and hard winters are an annual event in your area, protect your fig with burlap wraps after leaves have fallen. Most figs can produce two crops of fruit per year, one on the previous season's growth as well as on the new growth of the current season. Hope this helps!
— National Gardening Association
Create a Tower of Climbing Annuals
Some feature plants are best grown in pots where they are much easier to view and care for, and you can put them at center stage. These morning glories (Ipomoea purpurea) grow very quickly from seed sown in the spring.
The Siberian iris flourishes in a rich, moist soil and blooms in the spring.
This delicate perennnial with daisy-like blooms is great as a perennial border.
Gardeners can grow their own Indian corn to eat or use as decoration for the holidays.
Mum's the Word
Classy and so flashy, mums could be the answer to a drab garden.
How to Plant Springtime Bulbs
Give your lawn and garden spaces new life with these colorful design tips for planting bulbs.
The Dutch iris consists of six petals and blooms in the spring.
Uncommon Summer Bulbs
Expand your gardening horizons with these summer bulbs.
Growing Satisfying Summer Flowers
The budget gardener's trick to growing satisfying summer flowers is to do it from seed.
Currants grow on a thornless shrub that produces clusters of white and yellow flowers in the spring.
Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.
We're serving up the latest news, gorgeous style, crafty DIY projects, clever entertaining tips and more. Consider these your design digests.