What to Plant Under a Fig Tree: A Guide to Companion Planting

Fig trees are very easy to grow and make an awesome addition to gardens in warmer climate areas. They are best suited in growing zones 8+, though there are varieties that can survive zones 6-7.

These plants love warm weather and would grow quickly when they are around the right plants and cared for properly. Yes, companion planting works, with a mix of annuals and perennials to set off the growth of this plant! If you’re wondering what to plant under a fig tree, read on for the list of companion plants suitable for them.

what to plant under a fig tree

What to Plant Under a Fig Tree

Companion planting is extremely beneficial, known to improve plant health and growth. That said, you have to make sure that you select the right plants to be near one another to prevent them from competing for water and nutrients.

For instance, most fig trees would do better with varieties that have confined roots. These are the plants that would do well when planted beside or under a fig tree:

1. Rue

This is an herb that came from the same area of the world as fig trees, which is why they make natural companions. When planted with figs, it would deter insects and pests such as aphids and fruit flies, which is very helpful when the fig tree begins to fruit.

This is a pretty plant that blooms bright yellow flowers, growing up to 12 inches high. It’s ideal for filling in areas around the tree base.

Some gardeners may have said that rue and figs won’t grow together, though there aren’t any reasons for it. Most gardeners haven’t experienced any problems.

2. Comfrey

If your fig tree is free planted on the ground, then comfrey will work well, as it releases a lot of nutrients from the deeper parts of the soil. You can also plant comfrey with fig trees grown in containers, as it attracts beneficial insects after it flowers.

3. Mint

This is a very useful herb that can attract hoverflies, ladybirds, and predatory wasps to your area. These are very beneficial insects that keep a lot of bad bugs away.

However, make sure that you grow mint in containers, or it becomes invasive and uncontrollable.

4. Stinging Nettles

When you have stinging nettles growing under the fig tree, it will benefit your garden greatly! It adds a wild side to the area and attracts a lot of beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, and ladybirds. They are also great to control aphids and for pollination.

With all the other insect activities, a lot of bad bugs will be kept away!

5. Strawberries

Strawberries were originally woodland plants and benefit from the dappled shapes fig leaves provide. It also provides ground cover to keep the weeds at bay, which prevents the bad bugs living in weed growth. Furthermore, you get to save nutrients and water!

If you can, do grow alpine or woodland strawberries, which are best suited for underplanting.

Take note that they require a bit of height, but they do grow well in the topsoil, under fig trees. The extra mulch that will be used in strawberry plants would conserve moisture in the soil, which will help fig trees. Strawberries are perennials so you won’t need to dig up soil yearly, so as not to disturb the fig tree’s roots.

6. Marigolds

All varieties of marigolds are beneficial that grow well when under fig trees. They will keep harmful nematodes, such as eelworms, away from plants. It can also add mycorrhizal fungi to the soil, which would encourage the exchange of nutrients among the neighboring plants.

Another advantage of marigolds is that they can grow quickly and easily even when you sprinkle seeds on the top inch of the soil. They also bloom bright-colored flowers that are the ones that attract good insects while deterring the pests. And of course, they make any landscape look colorful and attractive!

With all these in mind, other good companion plants work well when planted under fig trees, such as herbs. You may also try to grow chamomile, chives, lavender, lemongrass, mint, marjoram, rosemary, sage, stevia, tarragon, or thyme! These are quite helpful and used as companion plants for other plants as well.

What NOT to Grow with Figs

People have advised growing rhododendrons under fig trees, and while they do have their benefits, it isn’t advisable. These plants are invasive and even the smallest roots can grow new plants!

These plants may also have chemicals that inhibit the growth of their neighboring plants. While the shallow root systems may not compete with the fig trees’ roots that sit deeper in soil, it’s best to avoid growing them under the figs.

Wrapping It Up

There are a lot of things to consider when growing fig trees, and you may want to consider companion planting for it to thrive. There are numerous plants you can plant under a fig tree for both to grow successfully, and with proper care, you can enjoy the many benefits these plants offer.

Hope you learned a lot about what you can plant with your fig tree! Take note of these plants if you plan on getting a fig tree or have one you’d like to nurture further. Happy gardening!

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