How Long Does Fig Tree Live? (Explained)

What’s the lifespan of fig trees? How tall can they grow? What ideal conditions can expand the lifespan of fig trees? Are there any factors that can shorten the lifespan of fig trees?

These questions might arise in your mind if you have recently planted fig trees or are planning to do so.

Here is all you need to know.

How Long Does Fig Tree Live?

Fig trees are slow growers, so they take a long time to grow; almost 25 to 30 years are required for fig trees to reach their full size. However, their average lifespan is nearly 25 to 50 years. The average growth rate of fig trees is 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) per year.

What are the Ideal Conditions for Fig Tree to Live Long?

Ideally, a fig tree requires a temperature of 18 to 23 degrees Celsius (64.4 to 73.4 Fahrenheit), 6 hours of sunlight per day, one to one and a half inches (2 to 4 centimeters) of water every week, safety from pests like aphids, caterpillars, scales, and spider mites and enough space to spread their roots easily.

Though fig trees live for many years, they cannot survive if ideal conditions are not provided. So, ensure all the optimal conditions required for growing fig trees are present.

Here are some of the ideal conditions for fig trees to live long.

  1. Temperature

Optimal temperature is necessary for all plants to grow efficiently, let alone fig trees. Fig trees require 18 to 23 degrees Celsius (64.4 to 73.4 Fahrenheit) for proper growth. They are primarily found in warm tropical regions. So, the development of plants is accustomed to that region.

As fig trees require warmer temperatures to grow, if you live in countries where temperatures don’t rise more than 20 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit), you will need to be extra careful in maintaining the optimal temperature.

If you are not maintaining the ideal temperature, your fig tree might not live long.

  1. Exposure to Sunlight

As mentioned, fig trees are accustomed to warm environments. They need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.

If you are growing fig trees in a shady place indoors, your fig tree probably won’t reach its full potential, and the growth will stunt.

If your area doesn’t have proper sunlight, you have two options to fulfill this deficiency. First, you can use artificial light to cope with the lack of sunlight.

Secondly, you can plant fig trees on the southern side of your area. This way, the fig trees will retain heat for longer.

  1. Water Requirements

Watering fig trees isn’t as easy as it seems. Fig tree’s expected lifespan can be decreased by overwatering and underwatering. Generally, fig trees need one to one and a half inches (2 to 4 centimeters) of water per week.

The initial symptoms of fig trees being affected by abnormal amounts of water are yellow leaves, dry branches, and stopped stems.

The best way to ensure optimum water availability is to check the topsoil of your fig trees. As soon as the topsoil starts to dry, water the tree immediately.

Though the ideal water requirement is to water once a week, you might need to increase the number of watering sessions during warmer weather.

  1. Look Out for Pests and Infections

Pests and infections can decrease the average lifespan of fig trees. Infections are one of the most significant reasons why fig trees die early. So, look out for pests and infection symptoms to prevent unforeseen circumstances.

The most common pests that attack fig trees are aphids, caterpillars, scales, and spider mites. You can use insecticides or pesticides to prevent your trees from any attack beforehand. Besides, you can use beneficial insects to protect your trees from harmful insects.

Removing the leaves or areas of the trees where the infection is spreading is better if you identify any signs of infection.

  1. Location

Your fig tree won’t live long if planted in a small pot. As the tree grows bigger, it needs to spread its roots.

Planting fig trees in pots usually crushes their roots and stunts their growth. So, make sure you choose a location where the roots of fig trees can grow freely.

What Extends Fig Tree Lifespan?

You cannot extend the lifespan of fig trees, but you can make them reach their highest possible lifespan limit, 50 years, which is rare. Most fig trees die before they reach this limit. You can ensure it by maintaining optimum conditions, such as ideal temperature, sunlight, fertilizers, water exposure, etc.

Following are some steps you can take to expand the lifespan of your fig trees.

  • Don’t ignore the temperature demands of fig trees. They need warmer temperatures and almost 6 hours of exposure to sunlight. Make sure you provide them with the optimum temperature.
  • Neither over-water the plant nor underwater. Look out for the water requirements of fig trees based on the temperature conditions of your area. Water the tree frequently enough that the topsoil doesn’t get dry.
  • Use fertilizers for enhanced growth. Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes (buy it here) is one of the best fertilizers for fig trees that doesn’t harm the surrounding vegetation like many other NPK fertilizers. Apply less fertilizer more frequently rather than applying too much fertilizer.

Fig trees don’t demand much; as long as you provide them with ideal growth conditions, your fig trees will grow happily.

What Shortens Fig Tree Lifespan?

Low water availability, unfavorable temperature, limited exposure to sunlight, and lack of nutrients are some of the main reasons that shorten your fig tree’s lifespan.

Here are a few things you need to consider if you don’t want your fig tree to die so soon.

  • Run a soil check prior to planting fig trees. Fig trees cannot grow well in low pH soil. So, if your garden or pot soil has low pH, treat it with Jobe’s Additive De-Acidifier (buy it here) to make it suitable for growing fig trees.
  • Anthracnose, fig rust, fig mosaic, and endosepsis are a few common diseases that target fig trees. Diseased fig trees have short lifespans. So, the best way is to prevent the fig trees from diseases.
  • Another factor that significantly affects the growth of fig trees is ineffective soil drainage. Make sure the soil drains properly. Otherwise, roots will suffer from the incapability of absorbing oxygen. The tree’s growth will eventually halt, and the lifespan will subsequently shorten.

Do Fig Trees Produce Fruits as Long as They Live?

No, fig trees don’t produce fruits as long as they live. Once they reach a certain mature age, which is particular for different varieties, they stop producing seeds. Resultantly, the fig trees will not bear fruits after a certain period.

Fig trees demand patience. You must wait almost 3 to 4 years after planting the tree for fruit production. Sometimes, the trees bear fruit at earlier stages. However, the fruits are not ripened and matured. So, make sure you wait for the right time.

How Big Can a Fig Tree Get?

Fig trees can grow as big as 15 to 30ft (4.5 to 9.1 meters) tall.

They expand vastly in width rather than length. So, you might need regular pruning if you have limited space. Even when the trees stop fruit production, they are good options for shady trees.

How Long Does it Take for a Fig Tree to Grow Full Size?

Your fig tree would require 15 to 30 years to grow to full size, based on how tall it is supposed to grow.

The average growth rate of fig trees is 1ft (30.4 centimeters) per year. Though the growth rate of fig trees is lower, they have longer lifespans.

How to Tell That a Fig Tree is Dying?

Leaves turning yellow, halted growth, leaves not seeming normal, and burnt foliage are all the symptoms of a dying fig tree.

There are solutions for every problem, but they won’t work until you identify the problem and decide which solution you want to implement.

So, if you want to figure out if your fig tree is dying, ask yourself the following questions.

What is the color of the leaves?

If the leaves are turning yellow, there is a probability your fig tree is on the verge of dying. If there is a minor yellowish shade, it might be because of over-watering, so fret not.

However, you need to deal with yellow leaves carefully. One wrong step while reviving yellow leaves can push your fig tree into the depths of death.

Yellow leaves can also result from limited exposure to sunlight, root rot, or soil acidity. So, identify the cause and treat the plant accordingly.

Are there any spots on the leaves?

If you spot any brown spots on the leaves of fig trees, it can be because of two reasons, over or underwatering and pests. Both lead to plant death if not treated timely.

Firstly, the brown spots can be because of overwatering or underwatering. These types of spots usually appear on the edges of the leaves and feel crispy when you touch them like mud crumbles.

Secondly, it can be because of pests, such as scales. The only way to confirm the source of spots are pests is to find them on the fig trees.

Are the leaves droopy or curling?

Droopy or curled leaves are also a sign that something is wrong with your plant.

The most probable cause of dropped or curled leaves is limited water availability. You can water the plant and watch the leaves return to life in an hour or so.

Are your fig trees shedding too many leaves?

Yet another significant symptom of a dying fig tree is the abnormal loss of leaves. Fig trees are highly prone to stress. They instantly react, even if there is a slight inconvenience. So, look out for probable reasons that might have caused stress to the fig tree.

Above mentioned questions will give you an immediate insight into what’s happening to your fig tree. I hope you figure it out right and deal with it accordingly.