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Ficus carica

Figs have been a special fruit since Biblical times. This delicious fruit is well-adapted to the hot climate of the South and will grow as far south as Miami. In more northern areas they may freeze back in winter and resprout from the roots in the spring. Figs like limestone soils and do well planted up against a house for winter protection. Once they get older, they get more hardy and will survive temperatures to 15F and colder. There are many types of figs, with colors ranging from brown, purple and black to green, white, golden and yellow. Some varieties have 2-3 crops per year. Figs have a few pests - nematodes can be a problem in sandy soils. For more information on how to grow figs, click here. Additional varietal information can be found on the NAFEX Fig Interest Group page.

Cold Protection

Most people lose their figs trees in the first or second year of the tree’s life. It pays to protect these small trees during 25 degrees F or lower freezes.

In general, cold winds come from the north and west . Never plant figsin the North wind! Cold air drains down slopes, so the tops and sides of hills are warmer than low spots. Overhanging trees help trap heat, as do ponds or other water bodies. Figs on the south or east of buildings will be protected from north winds and will receive heat radiated from the house. As you plan your plantings, try to locate potential sites offering some cold protection combined with maximum sunlight and good drainage

Very young figs may be damaged or killed at temperatures below 25F. For the first year after planting we suggest that trees be covered. This is especially important in trees that have not entered dormancy or which have begun growth in the spring. If an established tree sustains frost damage, wait until growth has resumed in the spring to assess injury and remove dead limbs. With age the tree will develop a certain degree of cold tolerance.

Figs must be protected from winter cold. We suggest that you mulch the base of the tree heavily with leaves. Cover the tree completely with a two-layer combination of a blanket and then plastic. Uncover the next day as it warms up.


Figs grow on a variety of soils that are well-drained. soils when good drainage is provided. Figs grown in soils in organic matter or clay content are less subject to nematode damage.

Figs will grow more vigorously and produce more fruit in full sun. By full sun we mean at least 6 hours of sun in the afternoon.

How to plant

Gently remove the plant from the pot and place in the planting hole . To avoid burying too deep, make sure plant is positioned with the top most roots at the soil line. Fill the planting hole with the mix of soil and organic matter; gently tamp it in. Water thoroughly to settle the roots and eliminate air pockets.

Dig a planting hole approximately three times the width of the pot and at the same depth as the root ball. Enrich the planting hole with aged mushroom, aged manure or composted pine bark mixed with soil dug from the hole (50:50 mix). Mushroom compost and rotted manure are excellent mulches for fighting off nematodes in figs.

If desired, construct a water basin around the base of the tree approximately 36 inches in diameter. Keep the area under the canopy of the tree clear of grass and weeds to minimize competition for water and nutrients. Mulch this area with 2-3 inches of mulch, leaving an area about 2 feet from the trunk mulch free or at most only ½ inch thick.

Keep the area under the tree canopy clear of grass and weeds to minimize competition for water and nutrients.


You can use a good citrus fertilizer like Espoma Citrus tone or 10-10-10 with minerals.

Make sure that the fertilizer contains iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, copper and boron.

Spread the fertilizer evenly under the entire canopy of the plant avoiding a 5-inch area around the trunk. Water in. In North Florida, we fertilize in late February as the weather warms and the trees come out of dormancy, and again in late May and late July . Withhold fertilizer in fall and winter to slow growth and encourage dormancy during cold weather. Never fertilize after August as this will promote new growth late in the year which will be subject to freeze damage


The first year is a critical time for the establishment of a new fig tree. Water thoroughly twice a week on light soils and once a week on clay soils. Soak the entire root system deeply – this usually takes 40-50 minutes. Established citrus should receive at least 1 inch of water each week. Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Fruit may drop prematurely if insufficiently irrigated during dry spells.


Fig trees do not require pruning to be productive. Sometimes fig trees are pruned to a central leader or to a modified central leader, but such pruning is usually futile since these trees are often frozen back and regrow in bush form. Freeze-damaged wood should be eliminated after regrowth commences. The fruit is borne on terminals of wood from the previous year. Thus, the amount of pruning should be minimal.

If the tree is pruned, the pruning should occur after fruit ripening (early in the summer) to allow for flower-bud initiation for the next year. For late-maturing cultivars, pruning may result in a significant reduction in yield the next year. Heavy winter pruning can eliminate the entire crop the following year.

Additional varieties available: LSU Purple, King, Pasquale, Magnolia, TN Mountain King. Please call for availability.

Height: 10-15'
Spread: 10'
Pollination: Self-pollinating
Bears: Summer, often after only 1 year. Some varieties produce 2 crops/year.
Light requirements: Full sun
Soil type: Well-drained pH 6.0-7.0
Pruning: Bush
Maintenance: Easy
Hardiness Zone: 7-10 (depending on variety)

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Item #: Black Mission Fig - A dark purple-black fig with red flesh, excellent for drying. Discovered in California at a Spanish mission in 1769, the parents of this plant were probably brought from Spain by early settlers....
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    Item #: Brown Turkey Fig - A very sweet popular variety with small to medium sized, purple-brown fruit with sweet flesh. Excellent flavor, vigorous grower. One of the very best varieties. Zones 7-10. Ripens July -...
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      Celeste Fig
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      Item #: Celeste Fig - A very sweet popular variety with small to medium sized, purple-brown fruit with strawberry flesh. Excellent flavor, vigorous grower. One of the very best varieties. Zones 7-10. Ripens July -...
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        Green Ischia Fig
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        Item #: Green Ischia Fig - A medium-sized green fig with pale green skin and very attractive strawberry flesh and excellent flavor. Very flavorful, productive variety. Birds don't attack this variety as the green fruit blends...
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          Jelly Fig
          Availability: Out of Stock
          Price: $24.95

          Item #: Jelly Fig - A medium-sized yellow fig with very tasty, very sweet amber-colored flesh. One of our very favorites! Zones 8-10. Ripens July - August Please call for prices and availability.Available at farm for...
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            Royal Vineyard Fig
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