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I've got a leggy fig, about 5 foot tall in a very large terracotta pot.  I only want it for the foliage so fruit isn't an issue.  How and when can I prune it?


Verdun suggested a short while ago that figs can best be pruned in the winter, when the sap is not rising - this cuts down on the 'bleeding' of the latex.  I plan to follow his advice with my fig.  

Hopefully Verdun will see this question 


Many thanks Dove, I did prune it a bit last year but I think it really needs a good seeing to.

Hiya folks, yes I think there is some differing opinion about this but I prune during the short....down here very short.....dormant season.  Clearly, if there are tiny embryonic figs on ends of shoots that look promising I would leave well alone but if no sign of these a bushy fig for future is the aim.

I'm in Plymouth, which is quite mild.  What would you say is the best month to prune?


Hiya ginny.  I'm in Cornwall here so you're cooooooold!  Prune in December.  

I would protect ....bubble wrap maybe......your pot though 

It's survived in a sheltered spot for five years odd, so I think it's safe.  I will prune in Dec as you advise, think I'll bite the bullet and cut it right back.  Any further advice appreciated, I also have a standard Hibiscus, which I bring into the conservatory.  Last year's serious pruning worked a treat, loads of flowers this summer



The words 'cut it right back' strike terror in my heart, unless you don't really mean that or you know what you're doing!

It's only five years old, can it really have got out of hand?  Prune carefully!

Ginny  said....."only want it for the fruit so....."

Hmmm!  You don't mean to cut your fig "right back" as to the base do you Ginny?  You are looking to create shoots further back on those branches so don't cut too hard.  

a leggy 5' fig in a pot will look better as a dense, bushy one.  And she lives in a mild area where figs have a long growing season, fruit apart, so 5 years is a long time for a fig.  

Feedback is a great plus on the folks, let us know what you did and how your plants responded.  Im also growing a fig ...a a pot.  

No I don't know what I'm doing.  It was about two feet tall when I bought it, so it's a bit older than five. I've tried to load a pic but I just get a blank page turn up.

It currently has no leaves but the ends of some of the branches have green tips.





I have colder winters than most of the UK and have had very severe winters for the last 5 years.   My fig in a pot has had all its top growth frozen to bits for several years on the run so it's a while since I've had any figs to eat and I was about to throw it out until I discovered new shoots at the base in June.   It is now in the ground in the greenhouse and doing very well.   I have had to remove several spare stems in order to fan train the rest against the back wall.

I think it would be fairly safe to prune yours right back if your really want to but it would perhaps be better to cut the stems back by half in order to encourage new stems from the base and from higher up to promote a bushier plant.


I'll try half as you suggest.  Fortunately, Plymouth doesn't suffer from severe weather and the fig has never been frostbitten yet.  Hope I'm not tempting fate with that statement!

many thanks


My fig was in a pot for about 4 years and I put it in the ground about 5-10 years ago. Now its about 10 foot tall and I get lots of figs, so many that I give them to neighbours and family. If it encroaches the deck I just cut back the branches to the boundary and it doesn't seem to have a problem with that. I've been given a fig in a pot by my father in law, its about 4 foot tall and I will be planting it in my sisters garden.

Only want it for the foliage, mainly to hide next doors huge trampoline.  With everyone's help I'll hopefully have a bushier fig next year

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