How to Grow Figs - Here are the basics of Fig Growing



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How to Grow Figs

As vegetable and fruit gardeners we are always looking for new plants and fruits to grow. So why not learn  how to grow figs. Although not suited for most of us, growing figs is an interesting topic anyway. And.... we can always dream of owning our own tropical hideaway where we will grow figs and other tropical treats ourselves. Ofcourse we can always revert to container gardening and try to grow some fig trees just the same.

The deciduous fig tree grows in nearly every tropical area of the world. A good place to learn how to grow figs is in a rainforest. Because different fig species bear fruit at different times of the year, the fig is considered a ?keystone? fruit of the rainforest. Hundreds of animal species enjoy the fruit of the fig tree. In fact, some animals depend on these tasty fruits for up to 70% of their diet.

When somebody tells you they have an indoor fig tree, it?s easy to assume they know how to grow figs. However, they are probably talking about f.benjamina, commonly known as the Weeping Fig. The fig that provides the filling for your Fig Newton comes from another of the over 1,000 ficus species, f.carica or the Common Fig.

The Weeping Fig is the popular plant you see in many offices and flower and fruit gardening guides homes. Grown for dark and glossy green foliage, the Weeping Fig?s branches arch gracefully from a light gray trunk. Sometimes three or four f.benjamina are grown together in a pot, their trunks woven together to form a single braid. The Weeping Fig also is used frequently in bonsai gardens. As its name implies, the Weeping Fig is a very sensitive plant and will drop leaves, like tears, if moved or disturbed. Keep your Weeping Fig happy by giving it a large pot filled with nutrient rich potting soil and plenty of filtered sunlight. However growing a Weeping Fig doesn?t mean you know how to grow figs.

If someone tells you he knows how to grow figs, usually the tree he grows is f.carica. The Common Fig is native to the Mediterranean but is grown commercially and by flower and fruit gardening guides home gardeners in many areas of the world. Hardy in zones 7b to 11, the f.carica can also be grown in zones 4b to 7a if given winter protection. When planted in the ground, the Common Fig can quickly reach 15 to 30 feet in height with a canopy that spreads equally wide. In its native state, roots of the Common Fig will cover up to three times the size of the canopy. Because of this, most gardeners grow the Common Fig in a large container. Given a large container filled with permeable soil, the tree sends its roots straight down.

An interesting fact in knowing how to grow figs is that figs aren?t actually fruits at all! The fig is a synconium, or a gourd like receptacle that is flower and fruit gardening guides home and hiding place to its flowers and filled with the edible seeds that give dried figs their nutty flavor. Although many domestically cultivated figs have been hybridized to be self-pollinating, in its natural state, a tiny wasp that enters the synconium through an ostiole, or opening, opposite the stem end, pollinates the Common Fig.

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