Plant Care Barbary Fig

Barbary Fig

Reviewed by: Kiersten Rankel | Last Updated: 01/24/2023

4.6 out of 5 (18 experiences)

Barbary Fig has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Barbary Fig has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate

About Barbary Fig

Barbary Fig is a super popular houseplant 🌿 that is isn’t challenging to grow and needs very little water to thrive. They do best in long-lasting, direct light ☀️ and should be less than 1 foot from a window.

Plant parents describe this plant as being a survivor and easy to propagate with a whopping 1498 being grown with Greg around the world. Check out the reviews below for more details!🌟

Barbary Fig likes soil that is extremely well-draining. Your plant shouldn't need added fertilizers if you repot each time it doubles in size.


Opuntia ficus-indica

Also known as

Prickly Pear and Sweet Prickly Pear

How to care for Barbary Fig

💦 Water

How often to water your Barbary Fig

Water needs for Barbary Fig
0.5 cups
every 12

Barbary Fig needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Barbary Fig

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

☀️ Light

Finding light for Barbary Fig in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Barbary Fig: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Barbary Fig love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Barbary Fig does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Barbary Fig in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Barbary Fig

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Barbary Fig: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Barbary Fig after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #BarbaryFig
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Barbary Fig is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Common Barbary Fig Problems →

💦 Water Needs

Barbary Fig thrives in dry soil and should be watered sparingly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Barbary Fig Water Frequency →

Barbary Fig Root Rot →

☀️ Sunlight Needs

Barbary Fig requires abundant, bright and direct light. Place it less than one foot from a window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Barbary Fig Light Requirements →

🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Barbary Fig is not known to cause harm to humans or pets. Regardless, if you, a family member, a cat, or dog has ingested any plant material, please consult a doctor or a veterinarian.

Barbary Fig Toxicity to Cats →

Barbary Fig Toxicity to Humans →

💨 Humidity

Barbary Fig prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.

Barbary Fig Humidity Needs →

🪴 Soil

Barbary Fig is very sensitive to wet soil, so choose a potting soil that drains very well and doesn’t retain too much moisture. A good soil will have lots of perlite or vermiculite for drainage and some organic matter for nutrition. A few handfuls of perlite added to regular store-bought cactus soil will do the trick!

Best Soil Mix for Barbary Fig →

When and How to Successfully Repot Barbary Fig →

💩 Fertilizer

Barbary Fig grows very slowly and doesn’t require added fertilizer. Replacing your plant’s potting soil once a year should provide them with more than enough nutrition. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!

How Much and When to Fertilize Barbary Fig →

❄️ Dormancy

It’s common for Barbary Fig to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.

🌎 Native Region

Barbary Fig is native to the Americas.

🌸 Flowers

Barbary Fig produces flowers in the wild, but does not flower when kept as houseplants.

Barbary Fig Flowers →

⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Barbary Fig grows vertically and new growth will emerge from the top of the plant.

How and When to Prune Barbary Fig →

🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Barbary Fig can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Barbary Fig Temperature Tolerance →

🌱 Propagation

Barbary Fig can be propagated by the stem method. To propagate:

  • Make a cut just above the node. The node is the break in the stem where the leaf emerges.
  • To get the cutting to root, you can either:
    • Place the cutting in water until roots emerge and are ~2” long and then transplant into well-draining soil, or
    • Place the cutting directly into well-draining soil and water when dry.

How to Propagate Barbary Fig →

🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.

😖 Common Issues

Overwatering is a likely cause of issues with Barbary Fig. These plants are very sensitive to wet soil so if you notice your plant becoming squishy or translucent, overwatering is the likely culprit.

Cut your plant just past where the rot ends and allow it to callus over for a few days before replanting it in fresh, dry soil. Download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!

Care Summary for Barbary Fig

Barbary Fig

Barbary Fig

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 12 days


< 1ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Barbary Fig has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 14
Barbary Fig has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 8
Barbary Fig has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 6
@SirLiquorice avatar
leaf-1 143 Plants
xp 18,248 XP

It’s doubled in size in 3 months and it feels like I never need to water it.

Fast grower Fast grower
@Popsicle49 avatar
leaf-1 12 Plants
xp 4,708 XP
globe St. Pete Beach, FL

I love Minnie. She is strong and healthy and doesn’t require a lot of care. I got her as a rescue cactus from a preserve.

Fast grower Fast grower
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
@owenwist avatar
leaf-1 29 Plants
xp 684 XP
globe Deposit, NY

Very simple and cute plant

Survivor Survivor
@darlingkyo avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 108 XP

Very beautiful form of cacti, would definitely recommend.

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
@Popsicle49 avatar
leaf-1 12 Plants
xp 4,708 XP
globe St. Pete Beach, FL

I just started growing a little baby. Looks good so far.

Survivor Survivor
@Ivylewmelon avatar
leaf-1 20 Plants
xp 289 XP

I don’t have drainage holes in here and it’s doing great. it survives in cold weather but flourishes in heat. when it wasn’t growing for a while i plucked off some of the top sections and it’s been growing since.

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor

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