Fig Trees

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Characteristics

Species: carica

Plant Height: 120-240 in.

Spread: 120-240 in.

Evergreen: No

Plant Form: Sprawling

Summer Foliage Color: Green

Minimum Sunlight: Full Sun

Maximum Sunlight: Full Sun

Ornamental Features

Ficus carica, commonly called common Fig, is a deciduous shrub or small tree to 10-20’ tall. It is noted for its spreading habit, attractive foliage and edible fruit.

Landscape Attributes

Old trees with smooth silver-gray bark (sometime gnarled with age) are ornamentally attractive. Large, palmate, hairy, 3-5 lobed leaves (to 10” long) are rough dark green above and smooth light green beneath. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, although you might consider protecting the plants when fruit is ripening. No serious insect or disease problems. Non-showy greenish flowers form in spring inside hollow receptacles near the branch growing tips. The fruit (edible fig) develops within each receptacle. The main fruit crop ripens in late summer or fall on new wood. In some areas, a lesser crop may appear in spring on new wood. Species plants as well as most fig cultivars are parthenocarpic (fruits develop without cross pollination).

Planting & Growing

Figs trees when fully mature are about the same height as width and they can reach 15 or 20 feet high with the same spread. So plan accordingly. Usually they will have four to six primary trunks branching off near or below ground level from the crown. These primary trunks can each be 6 inches in diameter in a large, older tree. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years. Figs need plenty of sun. If you plant them next to a wall or solid fence, make sure that they get at least 7 to 8 hours of full sun a day in the growing season. Figs and water go together, but not too much water. The main thing is to keep the soil moist, but not wet constantly. The best soil for figs is a well drained loam with plenty of organic matter, but they will grow in less than ideal soil. Figs can be propagated by suckers, layering, or cuttings. Suckers from the crown of the bush are not advisable because they will transfer nematodes from the roots of the mother bush. The easiest way to propagate figs is by stem cuttings. This shrub is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated edibles garden.