Why A Fig Tree Is Not Producing Fruit

fig leaves
Image by Beatrice Murch

By Heather Rhoades

Fig trees are an excellent fruit tree to grow in your garden. But when your fig tree does not produce figs, it can be frustrating. There are many reasons for a fig tree not fruiting. Understanding the reasons for a fig tree not producing fruit can make this a little less frustrating.

Reasons for a Fig Tree Not Producing Fruit

First, in this article we will be covering information on why a fig tree will not fruit. Read our article on fig trees dropping fruit if you are looking for that information.

When a fig tree is not fruiting, there are a few reasons that this could be happening. The age of the tree, too much nitrogen and water are the three main reasons for a fig tree not producing fruit.

Fig Tree Not Fruiting Because of Age

The most common reason for a fig tree not producing fruit is simply its age. Trees, like animals, need to reach a certain maturity before they can produce offspring. Fruit is how a fig tree creates seeds. If the fig tree is not old enough to produce seeds, it will also not produce fruit.

Typically, a fig tree will not fruit until it reaches two years old, but it can take some trees as long as six years to reach the right maturity.

There is nothing you can do to speed up the rate a tree matures at. Time and patience are the only fixes for this.

Fig Tree Not Producing Fruit Because of too Much Nitrogen

Another common reason that a fig tree is not producing figs is because of too much nitrogen. This commonly happens when you are using a fertilizer that is too high in nitrogen. Nitrogen causes the plant to have lush growth in leaves and branches, but very little, if any, fruit.

If you suspect that your fig tree may not be growing figs because of too much nitrogen, start using a lower nitrogen fertilizer or add some phosphorus to the soil to counter the nitrogen.

Fig Tree Will Not Fruit Because of Watering Conditions

If a fig tree is suffering from water stress caused by either too little or too much water, this can cause it to stop producing figs or never start producing,  especially if it is a younger tree. Water stress will send the tree into a survival mode and the fig tree will simply not have the energy needed to invest in making fruit.

If your fig tree is getting too little water, increase the water. Remember, fig trees in pots will need daily watering when the temperatures rise above 65 degrees F. and twice daily watering when the temps go above 80 degrees F.

If your fig tree is getting too much water, either cut back your watering or improve the drainage in the area or in the pot. Do not let fig trees grow in standing water.

These are the most common reasons that fig trees will not make fig fruit. There are many other less common reasons that are mostly tied to the nutrients in the soil. If you feel that the above reasons are not what is affecting your fig tree, have the soil the tree is growing in tested and amend the soil according to the results of this test.

This article was last updated on

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