It’s very exciting for me! My first figs are ripening! They are getting a pretty pink blush. When the color is mahogany they will be ready to pick!! The little tree is ripening six fruit. Can hardly wait to eat them. I bought some fresh figs are the grocery store last week. They were sad, wrinkled and over-ripened things, but still better than dried figs.
The fig tree is in a race with the weather. Temperatures have remained warmer than normal here. We’ve gotten several light frosts, mostly right around the full moons. Covering the tree at night with an old bed sheet has spared it from being nipped by frost. If the temperatures dip any lower than about 28F, I will have to move the tree inside.
The full sun it receives outside is spurring the fruit ripening, I sure. Moving the tree inside will shock it some and cause it to drop the leaves quickly. Not sure what that will do to my fruit. I’m rooting for warm weather to continue for at least a couple more weeks. If past weather patterns hold, it will stay warm right up to late October. We have been getting warm, wet autumns and cool, dry springs for the past several years. Keeping my fingers crossed for figs!
My new fig tree has fruit! Today I was removing a dead leaf and spotted all these tiny figs forming. That was a surprise! I didn’t expect the tree to produce this year. I bought it this spring and it is about four feet tall. During the past couple months it has developed a mop of leaves at the top. Side shoots for lower branches are also starting to form.
The tree appears to be very happy against the south side of the house. I planted some moss roses around the base and water regularly. It’s so exciting to think there may be figs to eat this year!
These fruit are forming without fertilization, called parthenocarpic. They occur as extensions of the stem and will not contain seeds, only flowering bodies. They will still be very yummy, and less crunchy. The “seeds” in figs (the true fruit of the plant) are not my favorite part for eating.
This winter I plan to house the fig tree in a cool room upstairs in my house rather than in the unheated woodshed. The baby fig I had last year got too cold out in the shed and died. Figs are supposed to be able to withstand temps down to 17F, but very young trees are more susceptible to cold. I am much happier with this older, taller tree than with the tiny baby from last year. This tree is old enough to make fruit!!
To update the development of my baby fig: it’s doing great! The photo on right is from when the fig first arrived. The photo at left was taken two days ago. The little tree is very happy in its sunny window.
The poor thing tried to die soon after I received it. I believe the clay pot was the problem, too dry. It has thrived in the plastic pot. Every other day it requires a little water so the soil stays slightly damp all the time. The fig has done so well it needs repotting. The roots are starting to fill the current pot.
I will set it outside today to encourage hardening off for the long winter sleep in the dark, chilly mud room. The shorter days and cooler temperatures will signal it to start dormancy. Next spring the fig can go outside for the warm weather and I hope to get some fruit.
This everbearing fig should grow to about six feet tall and can produce two crops of fruit in a year. Fresh figs are so yummy, I sure look forward to having some!
The baby fig tree almost didn’t make it. Things were touch and go for a bit. Several of the leaves turned yellow and dropped and the rest of the leaves looked sickly. I was confident that even if all the leaves dropped, the root ball would still survive and send up new growth. Then I noticed that the terminal bud was a little ill. I was worried my baby would die.
Only a couple days ago, a tiny green leaf appeared near the base. More popped up, almost overnight. The new leaves are growing quickly. The remaining older leaves have gotten green again, along with the terminal bud. The little fig snapped out of its funk and decided to grow. It’s supposed to reach six feet, so it’s got a long way to go.
Fresh figs are delicious! Unfortunately, fresh figs are rarely available at the market in Maine, even during the height of fig season. So I’ve decided to try growing my own figs. This tiny, baby fig tree came from a mail order nursery. It measures 4.5″ tall, with the little wood stake to keep it upright. It was sent wrapped in plastic to preserve the root ball.
I’ve got the little fig in the window. Since this photo I’ve changed the pot from clay to plastic. The clay was drying out too quickly for the fragile root ball. Now I’m keeping it uniformly moist and drained so it can breathe. The tree is holding it’s own and has lost only four of the smaller leaves. There is a possibility all the leaves will drop, but if the stem remains green, new leaves will grow.
This plant is a persistent or everbearing fig, the Texas Everbearing. Everbearing figs are self-pollinating. Many fig varieties require two trees to produce fruit. The plant growth can be limited with pruning, to keep the tree about six feet tall. Because they do not tolerate frost, the tree must be container-grown and brought in the house during the winter in Maine. A cool, dimly-lit room is best for over-wintering. During summer, figs like full sun, warm temperatures, and a moist, well-drained soil. In the late spring to early summer, the tree will flower and produce its yummy fruit. A second fruiting should occur in the late summer to early fall. If the weather gets too cold, this fruiting can be lost.
The fig fruit is not actually a fruit. It is an edible, fleshy container for the true fruit which are the tiny, crunchy seed-like innards. Fresh figs are so unlike the dried fruit available in stores that it’s not even funny. Fresh figs are sweet and juicy with delicate flesh and the tiny seeds are very similar to strawberry seeds. I look forward to having my own fresh supply of figs one day, maybe even next year.