Monday, 03 June 2013 11:34

Fig Wilting After Planting

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Question: I planted a White Fig from your company, two weeks ago, I added commercial compost to my soil, I soak it three times a week, as our weather is very hot. My fig today is curling its leafs, what does that mean?  Patricia, Terlingua, TX.

Answer: I assume since this is June that the tree you planted was in a container (not bareroot) and the root ball fully enclosed with dirt (in other words, the dirt did not fall off and expose the roots as you planted it).  Since the fig was happy in the container at the nursery and not happy in the hole filled with compost and water, that something changed that it did not like.  Figs, for the most part, are a desert loving tree.  They do not like too much water.  Adding compost will retain moisture and soaking the tree 3 times a week is likely creating a soaked condition that is not allowing the roots the oxygen it needs. The roots are likely rotting and not taking in new moisture for the tops.

1) Stop watering immediately and let it dry down so you only feel dampness (not wet) 3" down in the hole.  2) Since I am assuming the roots are damaged, they need to recover but the top is still giving off water through photo synthesis.  I sould reduce the top to reduce the need for water until the roots recover and can support the top.  Thus I would trim back the top to only a few small branches with leaves.  That will reduce the demand for water so the tree does not dessicate itself.

Ron Ludekens