Q&A: Trimming Back a Fig Bush

How to keep your fig bush going strong all through winter.
Similar Topics:
Fig Bush

Fig Bush

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

Next Up

Fig Fest: A Party Spotlighting This Elegant, Delicious Fruit

Celebrate this seasonal delicacy with lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith, who prepares a figgy fete to herald the end of summer.

Growing Figs in the Home Garden

There are thousands of varieties of fig trees worldwide that grow in a range of conditions. Here are tips for growing them at home from the garden experts at HGTV.com.

How to Make Fig Preserves

Whole fruit canning just got a little sweeter.

Plant Figs for a Wall

You can grow this delicious fruit at home. Just plant it against a sheltered south-facing wall and it should produce plenty of fruit.

Homemade Fig Newtons

Get figgy with this recipe for the cookie classic.

Guide to Growing Fig Trees

Figs come in a range of delicious varieties fit for any garden area.

Q&A: Pruning Coreopsis and Marguerite Daisies

Tips for taking care of these lovely blooms in the winter.

How to Prune Shrubs

When you prune a shrub depends mostly on when it blooms. Here are the basics of pruning woody plants.

Q&A: Overwintering Bananas

Tips for growing banana plants in cold weather.

Pruning Basics

Keep these tips in mind before tackling trees and shrubs.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.