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Ficus carica

Ficus carica
Young 'Celeste'
Ficus carica

Common name fig
Family moraceae
Life cycle tree (Z6-9)
Flowers insignificant, green (spring)
Size 10-20'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes moist, well-drained soil

Now that we've moved to subtropical Houston, we can finally grow figs and not only hope for their survival through winter, but for a crop of fruit too! Figs were among the first plantings we chose for our new garden, and we have high hopes for their contribution to the garden, and especially the sweet rewards. We selected two popular varieties: 'Celeste' and 'Brown Turkey', to encourage greater fruit production (although a single specimen should bear fruit without cross-pollination). Figs grow as large shrubs or small trees with a spreading habit and distinctively shaped leaves. Our specimens, bought at a discount nursery, were spindly and hardly lush to start with, but we were hopeful that with some TLC we could get them to thrive in our garden. So far, both trees have set some fruit, but none have persisted long enough to get close to ripening. In future years, our fig crop should ripen in late summer or fall, on new wood.
'Brown Turkey' produces purple-brown fruit with pink-amber flesh, and is known for its better winter hardiness. 'Celeste' is also fairly cold-hardy, and produces sweet fruit with violet skin and rose-colored flesh, often with two crops in a season. Both varieties can be enjoyed fresh or dried.
The flowers of fig trees are pollinated by tiny female fig wasps that crawl into the cavities in which the flowers grow. Pollination is a side effect of the desire to deposit eggs in the ovary. As the figs develop, the larva develop and grow into adult wasps who mate and fly off to complete another cycle. However, modern varieties are parthenocarpic, which means that such pollination is not required.

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: left fence border

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