The fig is the edible fruit of Ficus carica, a species of small tree in the flowering plant family Moraceae. Native to the Mediterranean and western Asia, it has been cultivated since ancient times and is now widely grown throughout the world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.
In the Mediterranean region the fig is so widely used, both fresh and dried, that it is called “the poor man’s food.” The fig was one of the earliest fruit trees to be cultivated, and its cultivation spread in remote ages over all the districts around the Aegean Sea and throughout the Levant.
Table of Contents
3 - 30 feet
3 - 30 feet
Types of Fig Trees
Common Fig Tree
Common figs are the type usually grown in home landscapes. They don’t need another tree for pollination. Figs that require pollination have an opening that allows the pollinating wasps entry to the internal flowers. Common figs don’t need an opening, so they are less susceptible to rot caused by insects and rainwater entering the fruit.
Celeste Fig Tree
Celeste is a small to medium sized brown or purple fig that grows on a fairly large tree. It produces dessert quality fruit that ripens earlier than most other figs.
Kadota Fig Tree
This tree is best known for the preserves. Kadota figs are seedless and when you dry them they assume a light golden hue. They can tolerate cold and thrive.
Chicago Hardy Tree
While the Chicago Hardy is definitely not as popular as the Common fig or the Celeste, they are still deemed to be one of the hardiest fig trees ever. The branches of this tree can tolerate low temperatures of 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and its roots can withstand temperatures between 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Purple Genca Fig Tree
They produce plenty of foliage and fruits most of which are known as Black Genoa figs or the Black Spanish figs. The Purple Genca usually features a dark purplish hue and a massive size. These plants are also known for their sweet and reddish flesh.
Smyrna Fig Tree
Smyrna figs bear all female flowers. They have to be pollinated by a caprifig.
Weeping Fig Tree
The weeping fig is primarily found in areas with a mild climate. Native to the Asian and Australian regions. The Weeping fig is known to be Evergreen, meaning you can grow it as a shrub or as a tree. It has slender and drooping branches that are often decked with greenish leaves with pointed edges. During summer months, this tree produces creamy and yellowish blooms that eventually develop tiny red figs.
San Pedro Fig Tree
San Pedro figs bear two crops: one on leafless mature wood that requires no pollination and one on new wood that requires pollination by a male flower.
Caprifigs only produce male flowers and never bear fruit. Their only purpose is to pollinate female fig trees.
Brown Fig Tree
The Brown Fig tree is best known for its extensive (almost invasive) spread. The tree also bears excellent tasting fruits and stunningly beautiful foliage. Unlike many other common variants of fig-trees, this one doesn’t bloom. The fruits of these trees come with dark purplish skin which is usually sold fresh.
Creeping Fig Tree
The Creeping fig is best known as a climbing plant, that tends to cover up everything it comes across.
Alma Fig Tree
These aren’t much to look at but the fruit has excellent, rich flavor. It ripens late in the season.
Adriatic Fig Tree
Primarily found in the Mediterranean regions, these figs feature a light-greened hue and pinkish flesh especially when you get them fresh. Since their sugar content is super high, the Adriatic figs that are directly grown on trees are later dried for preparing fig bars or pastes. These trees can self-pollinate, and they bear beautiful fruits with delicious pulp.
Planting Fig Trees
Figs can be planted outdoors without much trouble in USDA Zone 8 and warmer. In zones where winter temperatures get colder than 10°F (-12°C) for periods of time, be sure to choose a hardy fig variety. Some winter protection may also be required. Alternatively, figs can be grown in large containers and brought inside for the winter.
Plant fig trees outdoors in the early spring or late fall, when the tree is dormant.
For container fig trees, grow them in a soil-based potting mix and add fine bark chips to improve drainage. Keep the tree in full sun in the summer. Be sure to add a high-nitrogen fertilizer every 4 weeks in the spring and summer and water the tree moderately. In the winter, move the tree indoors and keep the soil moist.
For outdoor fig trees, plant the tree in the spring or early fall in full sun. Fig trees can grow in most types of soil as long as the soil is well-drained and contains plenty of organic material. (Learn more about organic soil amendments.)
Space fig trees at least 20 feet away from any buildings or other trees.
Fig trees put down deep roots if given the chance, so bear that in mind when choosing a planting spot.
To plant container-grown trees in the ground:
Remove the plant from its pot and remove any circling roots by laying the root ball on its side and using shears to cut through the roots.
Dig a hole that is a few inches deeper and wider than the spread of the roots. Set the tree on top of a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Be sure to spread the roots away from the trunk without excessively bending them.
Plant the tree 2 to 4 inches deeper than it was originally in the pot (check the color of the trunk to see the original soil line).
Care for Fig Trees
Morning sunlight of more than 6 hours a day is ideal for flowering and fruit development.
The soil should be well drained, fertile and rich in organic content for growing Anjeer fruit plant.
Poke your finger/plain small stick into the soil to check the moisture.
Apply 4 cup (approx.200ml) of water when the top soil (1-2 inch) in the pot feels dry to touch.
Do not overwater the plant.
As a rule of thumb, water the plants thoroughly in summer and reduce watering in winter and rainy season.
Water should be applied preferably in the morning or evening.
Application of Fertilizer
Before application of fertilizer loosen the topsoil without disturbing the roots of the plant so, it can uptake the nutrients and moisture easily.
Apply organic fertilizer once a month during the main growing season (December-February)
Apply water immediately after application of fertilizer.
Remove dead, infected or damaged plant parts and discard them away from the plants.
For any insect attack or disease, you can use Neem oil, Eucalyptus oil or Citrus oil spray for primary treatment.
Do not overwater the plant specially when pot doesnt have drainage hole.
Avoid applying water in hot afternoon it may cause fungus infection.
Pests and Diseases
You should harvest figs only when they are fully ripe, as they will not continue to ripen off the tree. The figs should be fully colored and slightly soft to the touch.
You may need to invest in bird netting to protect your crop; figs are a favorite of birds and squirrels.
When picking figs, wear gloves or long sleeves because the sap from the fig tree can irritate your skin.
Figs are very perishable. Store figs in the refrigerator; they will keep for 2 to 3 days.
For long-term storage, you can freeze figs whole for later use. Another storage method is to dry the figs. You can also can your own figs.
Benefits of Figs
Promotes digestive health
Figs are often recommended to nourish and tone the intestines, they act as a natural laxative because of their high fibre content. The fibre they provide also has prebiotic properties, feeding the gut bacteria and promoting a healthy gut environment which as a result improves digestive wellness.
Rich in antioxidants
Figs, especially ripe ones, are rich in protective plant compounds called polyphenols. These compounds have protective antioxidant properties, this means they help prevent oxygen from reacting with other chemicals and causing damage to cells and tissues, by so doing they are key to managing oxidation.
May support healthy blood pressure
Many of us consume too much sodium (salt), which is found in processed foods. High intakes of sodium can lead to deficiencies of potassium and this imbalance may lead to high blood pressure (hypertension). A diet rich in fruit and vegetables, including fresh figs, naturally increases potassium levels and is therefore encouraged to help manage blood pressure.
May support bone health
Figs are a good source of bone-friendly minerals including calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Figs are especially rich in calcium with some studies suggesting they contain 3.2 times more than other fruits.
Being a good source of potassium may help to counteract the urinary excretion of calcium, caused by a high salt diet. This in turn helps to keep calcium in bones and as a result may lessen the risk of osteoporosis.
May improve diet quality and aid weight management
Naturally high in dietary fibre and packed with vitamins and minerals, figs may be a useful dietary inclusion to improve the nutritional density of your diet and in turn help with weight management. High fibre foods provide feelings of fullness and can reduce hunger and cravings whilst key nutrients improve blood management.
Fig plant can be used in the garden for an ornamental purpose
Fig fruit is used as laxative to relieve constipation and its leaves are used for diabetes, high cholesterol and other skin conditions
Some time milky sap(latex) from the tree used to treat skin tumors and wart
Note: The following information is general guidelines, be sure to ask your healthcare provider for guidelines
Fruits are edible