Figs are warm-weather-loving plants that grow fast if around the right plants and under the right circumstances. In areas where the winters drop below freezing for several weeks, try planting figs near a southern facing wall where more warmth will collect. Use a mixture of annuals and perennials to set off this handsome plant as well as to help it grow.
Rue is a plant with bright yellow flowers that grows well around fig trees. It grows around 12 inches high, perfect for filling in the area around the base of the tree. Rue repels several types of insects including flies and Japanese beetles, which is useful especially when the tree is fruiting.
Rhododendron plants have shallow root systems that will not compete with the roots of the fig tree sitting deeper in the soil. The rhododendron grows in partial shade to full sunlight so plant it on the north side of the fig so it does not shade it. In the summer, the green leaves of the fig tree are a nice backdrop for the bright flowers of the rhododendron.
Strawberries require little height and grow well in the top soil under a fig tree. The extra mulch used around strawberry plants helps conserve moisture in the soil, which in turn helps the fig tree. Since strawberries are a perennial, you do not have to dig up the soil every year, disturbing the roots of the fig tree.
Marigolds are effective at reducing nematode populations in the soil around plants. Some varieties of figs are especially susceptible to nematodes. Marigolds grow quickly and easily even from seed sprinkled in the top inch of soil. The brightly colored flowers attract beneficial insects that deter pests while making the landscaping look bright and colorful.
Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.