Figs, or Ficus carica, are a deciduous shrub with large, bold, tropical looking foliage and delicious unique looking fruit. They are excellent in the garden, a large container or anywhere a tropical look is desired. Fig trees are often multi-stemmed and can grow quite large, up to 15-20ft is common.
Exposure / Moisture
Figs prefer a warm sheltered area with a southern exposure. Basically, for fruiting, the more sun the better. A moist, but well drained soil is preferred.
Figs are self-fertile, meaning no additional plants are required to grow fruit. Technically, pollination occurs when tiny wasp like insects enter the fruit carrying pollen, but for practical purposes, figs are self-fertile. Figs produce two crops a year in warm climates, but our mild pacific northwest autumns often do not allow the second crop to ripen in time.
Figs are ripe and ready to pick when they are soft and droop from the stem from its own weight. You can also pick slightly earlier and refrigerate for better storage.
Fertilize figs before each crop begins. This translates into early spring and then again mid-summer. Arts Garden Pro fruit and berry food is ideal.
Figs can consume plenty of water in the warm months. Water regularly so that the top 6-8 inches of soil are wet.
Fig trees should be pruned in late winter before the plant breaks dormancy. Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches. Remove branches that cross, rub or otherwise grow in the wrong direction. Prune to encourage light penetration and air circulation. The second pruning should be performed in mid-summer. Pinch back stem tips after they have produced 4-6 leaves.
Figs benefit from a healthy application of mulch in the winter. 2-3 inches is ideal, but keep mulch several inches away from the trunk to reduce the likelyhood of pest or disease problems. In freezing temperatures, fig trees may die back to the ground, but usually resprout from the base. Plant them in a sheltered location, such as near a house if winter survival proves to be a problem.
For More Information:
For more information about figs, the fig varieties we carry and additional care and cultural information, please contact Arts Nursery at 604.882.1201. You can also visit our online fig catalog.