Fig

Ficus carica
Moraceae, Mulberry family
Fig
Fig
they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves
Genesis 3:7 NIV
Fig
During Solomon's lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.
1 Kings 4:25 NIV

Cultural Information

TypeEdible Tree
Height18 to 30 feet
Soiltolerates clay to sandy soils, needs good drainage
Exposurefull sun
Leaveslarge, palmate leaves with three main lobes, strong green, deciduous
Fruitplump, kiwi-sized, pear-shaped "fruits" (figs are not true fruits but fleshy stem tissue), vary in color from rich brown to purple to green, must mature and ripen on the tree

Planting Tips

  • hardy to zone 8, find a cultivar suitable to your garden's cold tolerance or humidity concerns
  • northern climates can overwinter figs in pots indoors or greenhouses
  • situate in full sun, preferably morning sun exposure, with good protection from extreme winter temperatures
  • figs are have a dense, shrubby, mounded habit; space about 16 feet apart
  • fig trees require no pruning to stimulate fruit formation; form and shape as desired for your garden design, preferably in winter dormancy
  • most figs bear two crops of fruit, early spring (Song of Songs 2:13) and late summer to fall. Figs ripening over summer are the sweeter.
  • minor spring fertilizing and fall mulching are the basic needs of fig trees

Garden to Table

  • enjoy fresh figs as a seasonal fruit treat all by themselves or sautéed, stewed, braised, or roasted in delicious recipes
  • fig’s sweetness lends itself to desserts as well as a compliment in savory meat and salad dishes
  • dried figs are available in the supermarket as an alternative snack to other dried fruits
  • preserve your abundant crop in jams and fruit spreads
  • of course, don’t forget the age-old delight of fig newton cookies!
  • fig leaves wrapped around meats while grilling impart a unique taste
  • use fig leaves as placemats when setting a garden to table meal

Additional Resources

See Blog Posts on Fig
As fig [crops] grow, they are bitter, then sweet, just as our gardens begin barren and then mature beautifully; our muscles to work them are sore at first, then strengthened; our garden club acquaintances seem awkward, growing to familiarity, then finally sweetening to friendship and interdependence. Bitter at first; then sweet.
-from the NIV God's Word for Gardeners Bible
Fig
During Solomon's lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.
1 Kings 4:25 NIV

Photo Credits

©2014 Shelley S. Cramm A neighbor’s fig tree in Southern California
© Studioportosabbia | Dreamstime.com - Figs At A French Market Photo August 2012
©2014 Shelley S. Cramm An old fig tree in a private garden greenhouse in Pittsburgh, PA. Don’t let your northern climate keep you from cultivating delicious figs!
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