How to grow a fig tree in a pot to give your garden a Mediterranean look

This is everything you need to know about growing a fig tree in a pot, according to gardening experts

Potted fig tree
(Image credit: Getty Images/Jasenka Arbanas)

Fig trees are known both for their deliciously sweet fruit and beautifully decorative leaves that look like they’ve been carefully cut out of paper. So we definitely see the appeal of fig trees. But while you can plant one in your garden, growing a fig tree in a pot is actually more beneficial.

Native to the Mediterranean and southern Asia, fig trees are used to warmer climates and don’t handle the cold so well. So by growing yours in a pot, you’ll be able to move it indoors during the winter to protect it from the frost which is a vital part of how to grow a fig tree, along with knowing things like how to prune fig trees and what soil they need.  

So this is what you need to know and do to help your fig tree thrive and be healthy, rewarding you with your very own figs every summer.

Potted fig tree on a balcony

(Image credit: Getty Images/Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo)

How to grow a fig tree in a pot

‘Growing figs in pots is beneficial here in the UK due to our colder climate, and means that they can easily be overwintered (brought inside) during the colder months which protects them from frost,’ says Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench.

Putting a fig tree also helps to stunt its growth which makes it one of the best trees for small gardens, especially if you opt for a dwarf variety and prune it regularly. And learning when to prune a fig tree is also a very important part of its care. 

‘I recommend opting for a dwarf fig variation instead of a standard variation. This is because standard variations can grow incredibly tall, too big for a pot,’ Steve notes.

Steve Chilton portrait
Steve Chilton

Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field. As the director of LeisureBench, an industry-leading garden furniture company, Steve has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. 

Fig tree

(Image credit: Getty Images/Nenov)

What you’ll need

Choose the best spot for your fig tree

As mentioned above, fig trees are native to warmer, sunnier climates so they will do best in a sunny spot in your garden.

‘A fig tree needs a lot of light to grow and produce fruit, so it’s best positioned in a sunny spot in your garden,’ says Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at, the UK’s leading trades matching site. ‘Placing it near a south-facing wall or fence will give it shelter from the harsher weather without restricting its access to sunlight. You can move your tree to a greenhouse or porch over winter to protect it.’

Headshot of gardening expert Fiona Jenkins
Fiona Jenkins

Fiona Jenkins is a UK-based landscaper with over twenty five years of experience in the industry. As a gardening expert for MyJobQuote, one of the UK's top trades-matching sites, Fiona offers her expert advice to MyJobQuote's tradespeople and homeowners, and has also been featured as a gardening expert for a range of reputable publications.

Potted fig tree on a balcony

(Image credit: Getty Images/Westend61)

Water your fig tree regularly

When it comes to watering your fig tree, it’s all about balance. As during the growing season, the tree will need regular watering but you need to be careful not to make it waterlogged. But there are things you can do to prevent that from happening.

‘Fig trees do need regular watering during the growing season, so don’t fill the compost right to the rim,’ Fiona says. ‘This stops water and compost spilling over the sides. Using bricks or pot feet to raise the pot off the ground and placing stones in the bottom of the pot will help with drainage and ensure the roots don’t get waterlogged.’

Re-pot your fig tree every couple of years

Fig trees need to be repotted regularly to larger planters as they continue to grow.

‘Fig trees are happy in pots, so long as you repot them every few years to give the roots space to grow,’ Fiona says. ‘You’ll need to choose a weather-resistant pot with drainage holes in the bottom.’

‘You can start a fig tree off in a pot with a 30cm diameter. After a couple of years you can repot it into a 35cm pot to give it more room and into a 40cm pot after another two years. Then, into a 45cm pot. You shouldn’t need to repot it after this. Make sure the pot is quite deep, so there’s enough room for the roots to spread out,’ she explains.

Potted fig tree

(Image credit: Getty Images/mjrodafotografia)


What kind of potting soil to use for a fig tree?

Getting the right soil for your fig tree is going to be very important in its successful growth.

‘They need free-draining, moisture-retentive soil. They do prefer organically-rich soils so adding compost is a good idea or opting for a potting soil that's mixed with organic matter,’ Steve says.

Fiona adds, ‘You can use a tomato feed in summer and top with mulch to boost the nutrient levels and keep the tree in good condition. Do make sure that the mulch doesn’t touch the tree stem though.’

A fig tree growing against a wall in West Sussex

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How big of a pot does a fig need?

‘You'll generally have to re-pot it every year as the fig gets bigger and bigger,’ Steve says. ‘A fig tree needs quite a large pot, especially if you don't want to re-pot it every year . If you want to start with a smaller pot, then I recommend getting one that's 30cm in diameter. If you want to start out with a bigger pot and not have to re-pot so quickly, then start out with one that's around 50cm in diameter. Anything from 30cm to 50cm should work well.’

And that’s everything you need to know about how to grow a fig tree in a pot.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.