How to Grow Ficus Carica

Written by addie protivnak
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How to Grow Ficus Carica
Sun ripens the fruit. (wild unripe figs on the tree in santorini Greece image by Antony McAulay from

The Ficus carica is the ordinary fig tree on which people grow eating figs. You have a lot of choices with over 400 different varieties. The most common of the backyard varieties are the Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Celeste, Brunswick and Adriatic. The figs range in colour from light brown to dark brown skin and pink to dark red inside. These are the varieties you want if you're making homemade fig preserves. Fig trees (Ficus carica) are subtropical and prefer hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. They are cold hardy from -9.44 to -6.67 degrees Celsius.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Fertiliser
  • Pesticide for nematodes

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  1. 1

    Select a place that gets at least eight hours of sun and that will accommodate a tree that can be 10 to 20 feet tall in a short time with a canopy as large as the tree is tall. Plant the fig tree in early spring while it's still dormant.

  2. 2

    Trim back at least a third of the tree's top, unless it was done before you bought it. Dig a hole with a shovel to a size large enough to hold all of the tree roots and deep enough for plant to be buried 3 inches deeper than it was in the container.

  3. 3

    Sprinkle some evenly comprised fertiliser such as 8-8-8 into the bottom of hole. Put pesticide in soil, following the directions on the package, for controlling nematodes. Fill the hole with water.

  4. 4

    Place fig tree in the hole and cover the roots with soil. Water the tree, getting the soil wet enough to get rid of any air pockets. Finish putting soil around the tree covering the trunk 3 inches above where the soil came on the tree in the container. Slow water the tree so the soil is wet to the bottom and 3 feet around tree.

Tips and warnings

  • The first year, water the tree every day unless it rains.
  • If plant becomes infested with nematodes, destroy it and do not replant in the same spot.
  • Use manure and compost around the plant.
  • Fertilise three times during the growing season but not late in the season. New growth on a tree can be damaged by a freeze.
  • Buy healthy plants.
  • Fruit will split if left to long on tree.
  • Pick fruit daily.
  • When using pesticides, follow instructions on package. These instructions are government-controlled and have been tested. It is the safest way to use the pesticides.

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