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Plant of the Week: Fig Trees!

Ficus carica

Plant of the Week: Fig Trees!

One of my favorite fruits to pick right off the tree is a fig. Sweet little fruits you can enjoy fresh off the tree each year. Here is how to get the most out of your Fig tree.

Characteristics:

  • Dimension: vary by cultivar, but can be 4 feet tall and wide and up to 10 feet tall and wide
  • Growth Habit: medium growth rate, wide form upon maturity. Plant multiple trees about 15 feet apart.
  • Foliage: Deciduous in winter. Green forked leaves emerge in spring and last all summer.
  • Fruit: Fruit will emege in spring and will ripen with time. Watch for color of your figs and check for tenderness to know when they have ripened.
  • Hardiness: Protect from extended periods of cold weather
  • Toxicity: Ficus cultivars are listed as toxic to pets

Care Requirements:

  • Light: Requires full sun (6 or more hours per day)
  • Water: water regularly upon initial planting. Water thoroughly during periods of drought
  • Soil: well-drained soil is necessary to prevent roots from rotting. Soil pH should be a little acidic (6.5 is ideal)
  • Fertilizer: Use a balanced fertilizer (8-8-8) in early spring at a rate of 1 lb. per year of age, up to 12 lbs. max.
  • Pruning: Prune in late winter before foliage emerges.

Uses:

  • Use as an edible in the landscape
  • Use as a specimen and plant some annual or perennial color

Edible gardening has become a popular hobby. We live in a great climate to do this in that our season is so long because of mild winters. You can reap what you sow here in South Louisiana. Figs are yet another example of a fresh edible you can enjoy in your home garden. Try one this season!

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