Anjeer a.k.a. figs have been one of the favorite dried fruits of dadis and nanis during the winters for their health benefits and extremely sweet taste. You would not need to buy them from the market once you learn how you can grow them indoors.
How to choose the container?
You need to choose a small to medium-sized well-drained container. It could be made of anything from clay, wood, plastic, or ceramic until there are enough drainage holes underneath.
You may move up to a bigger-sized pot once the plant’s roots start to occupy most of its area. Start with an 18 liters container and eventually switch to that having 38 liters of capacity. This strategy will also prevent root rots and fungus gnats.
How to prepare the soil?
Choose a good quality soilless potting mix having organic components like peat moss, compost, bark, vermiculite, or perlite for moisture retention, sand, limestone, and other nutrients.
How to propagate figs?
Strip the bark of a branch from a small section of a thriving fig tree and bury it in the soil. It might take 4 to 6 weeks for the roots to sprout.
In early spring, you may also take cuttings of branches from the previous season’s tree. Try to choose a branch that is 2 to 10 inches long. Plant the cuttings in the potting soil. Water the soil and cover the container with a plastic sheet. Wait for 4 to 6 weeks for the roots to sprout. If you start early spring, then the roots might sprout in the fall.
Try to maintain the temperature of the soil around 20° – 22° C.
How to water and fertilize?
It is important to keep the soil moist hence water the tree regularly once the upper layer of the potting mix becomes dry. Continue till the bottom of the pot begins to drain.
It is essential to fertilize the plant at regular intervals using liquid fertilizers. Choose a synthetic fertilizer since an organic one depends on the microbes present in the soil- which are absent in the soilless potting mix. If the leaves are turning yellow and have abnormally small growth, then it requires fertilizer.
What to do during winters?
Cool temperatures and frost make the leaves fall. Hence you need to shift the plant to a basement or indoors where the temperature is higher. You also need to reduce watering and keep it to once a week.
During the onset of Spring, gradually expose the plant to sunlight, before you permanently move it outdoors exposing it to the full Sun.
When does the tree produce fruit?
If you use the cuttings method, then it might take up to 6 weeks for the roots to sprout, 10 – 12 months for the entire root system to be established, and 4 to 6 years to produce fruit, and once the tree produces fruit, you may expect 2 crops annually.
How to prevent pests?
You can spray the plant with neem oil if the temperature of the soil is below 28° C since the oil can damage the plant by producing excessive heat.
When and how to harvest?
Once the fruit becomes soft, it might be ready to be harvested. Also, note the color of the variety of your fig- it may vary from green to yellow, and purple to brown.
Harvest the fruit before it over-ripens and the skin splits attracting insects and ants to its sweetness.
Taking care of the tree
· Expose the tree to sunlight for at least 8 hours during the growing season and shift it indoors once the temperature falls
· Feed the plant with potassium and phosphorus-rich fertilizer during the beginning of the growing season
· Repot the plant to a bigger container once after 4 to 6 weeks and once before new leaves emerge
· Once the tree is 4 years old, it must be in a container 36 inches in width. Also, keep replacing the soil annually and prune the roots at regular intervals
Go ahead and grow this Terri-fig fruit in a pot and make your grandparents proud!