Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Grow a Fig Tree -

"Train up a fig-tree in the way it should go, and when you are old sit under the shade of it.
"
Charles Dickens
 

From the Tropical Rainforest to your Plant Container

The deciduous fig tree grows in nearly every tropical area of the world. A good place to start our investigation is the 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.

Indoor Fig Tree - Edeble Fruit
 The Mistletoe Fig
Indoor Bonsai Trees are very special.
When the tree really fruits inside the
 house
it's even more special.
This plant is very slow growing,
 the one on the picture is 8 years old.
and ready to be sold.
Bonsai Boy From New York is since 1993 the place
for the online Bonsai enthusiast.

The Weeping Fig

When somebody tells you they have an indoor fig tree, it's easy to assume they know how to grow bonsai trees. However, they are probably talking about f.benjamina, commonly known as the Weeping Fig.

The Weeping Fig as Bonsai

The Weeping Fig is the popular plant you see in many offices and homes. Grown for dark and glossy green foliage, its 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.

This tree is very sensitive

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 is not the same as the real common fig tree.

The Common Fig

italian-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.

Figs are not fruit at all

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. Meaning that it is both 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.

The most commonly referred to Fig

If someone tells you he grows figs, usually the tree he grows is f.carica. The Common Fig is native to the Mediterranean but is grown commercially and by home gardeners in many areas of the world.

Hardy in zones 7b to 11, the Common Fig also grows 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 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.