How To Grow Fig Trees in Florida: Varieties With Tips

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Growing Fig Trees in Florida
Growing Fig Trees in Florida

Figs are great either fresh or dried and have such a lot of goodness in them that they are worth the effort to grow. Dried figs tend to be very sweet and have a high concentration of natural sugars so I find fresh figs the best for eating. However, fresh figs don’t keep very long, so you might find it hard at times to buy them in the fruit store. Because of this, we will show you in this article: How To Grow Fig Trees in Florida.

Fig trees grow very well in Central, North and South Florida. However, they may not produce as much fruit in South Florida due to the climate offering fewer chilling hours. There are four types of figs, but for Florida only common figs are recommended, as fruit production for the common fig trees do not require pollination. The best varieties of common fig for Florida are Celeste, brown turkey and Green Ischia.

The other three types of figs are Caprifigs, Smyrna, and San Pedro. These are not good for growing in Florida as they rely on a specific wasp called a fig wasp for cross-pollination, a wasp which is not found in Florida.

Fig trees are easy to grow and don’t require a lot of maintenance. They can keep producing fruit for 100 years and so are a good investment of time to establish a good tree.

Before we look at how to best plant and grow your fig tree in the Florida landscape and climate, we need to answer the following questions:

Do Fig Trees Grow Well in Florida?

Figs trees grow will in North and Central Florida, but don’t produce as much fruit in South Florida as they do not require more than 100 hours of temperature of 45°F (7.2°C) or less during the dormant season to promote normal reproductive bud development. Because of this, figs do not receive sufficient winter chilling in the south.[1]

For South Florida the best varieties to grow listed in the table below with some features and pictures. Note that these varieties will also do well in North and Central Florida.

Variety of Fig for South FloridaPicture of FigFeatures of FigRipening Months
Celeste (Celestial, Blue Celeste, Little Brown)
Fruit has closed eye with small, purplish-bronze to light brown skin.
Following severe freeze damage will not bear fruit in season.
Mid July to Mid August
Green Ischia (Ischia Green, White Ischia, Ischia Verte)
Closed eye with green color skin.
Following severe freeze damage will not bear fruit in season.
Late July to Early August
Table of Best Fig Varieties with Pictures and Features To Grow in South Florida

Of the two types of fig trees above, the very best to grow in South Florida for taste and all round yields with pest resistance is the Celeste variety. Because of the intense sun in South Florida figs can be grown successfully in filtered sunlight rather than direct sun. Filtered sun is where anything partially obstructs the path between your plant and the light source.

If you are deciding to grow figs in South Florida you need to take a look at the video below for more help. This guy has planted over 100 different fig trees in South Florida and will show you which ones are best. You will find that chill hours are not a problem if you follow his tips.

How to grow Figs in Florida and other Southern States

For North and Central Florida the best varieties to grow are the Celeste and Brown Turkey. However the most common grown would be the Brown Turkey.

Take a look at the table below for features, pictures and ripening months of the Brown Turkey fig tree.

Variety of Fig for North
and Central Florida
Picture of FigFeatures of FigRipening Months
Brown Turkey (Eastern Brown Turkey, Brunswick, Har­rison, Lees Perpetual, Ramsey)
Brown Turkey Figs
Fruit has bronze skin and amber pulp.
Small-to-medium closed eye.
Good fresh and processed.
Medium-large in size
July – August
Table of Best Fig Variety with Pictures and Features To Grow in North and Central Florida

Now that we know which varieties are best for the different areas of Florida we can take a look at how best to plant and grow them. The same information applies to growing most varieties of figs.

Where Is The Best Place To Put a Fig Tree?

The best place to put a fig tree is in an area that gets full sun. The more sun they get, the better the fruit quality and production. If your fig tree is getting 7 to 8 hours of sun a day then it should do fine. There should also be plenty of room for the fig tree to grow and spread out, with about 10 feet away from any other obstacle.

When planting your fig tree, check the depth of the container you are going to replant it from and dig a nice hole about 1 to 2 inches deeper. If you are adding mulch, then just dig a hole the same depth as the container and add the mulch afterwards.

Add a little organic compost into the hole before planting the fig tree. You don’t want too much compost as the fig tree will not have any incentive to spread its roots as it will be getting everything it needs from the compost.

If you are transplanting from a container then wet the soil around the fig tree before removing it. This will help to remove the root system without damaging it.

Check out the video below for more tips on planting and growing your fig tree.
Planting Fig Trees

How Long Does It Take For A Fig Tree To Bear Fruit?

Most fruit trees take 3 to 5 years to start producing fruit. Depending on the variety some can produce two fruit crops a year. Grafted fig trees can produce fruit within the first year.

Do Fig Trees Like Sun or Shade?

Fig trees prefer to grow in direct or partial sun, however, if you are growing in South Florida, due to the intensity and heat of the sun, they can also be grown in filtered sunlight.

Are Fig Trees Hard To Grow?

Since so many trees can be difficult to grow its always nice to be able to plant one that is easy to grow.

Fig trees are not hard to grow and will grow relatively easily in containers and in the ground. They prefer warmer climates with at least 100 chill hours, however they can be successfully grown in areas and zones with less chill hours such as South Florida.

If you follow the information above and the videos above you will have no problems growing your fig trees anywhere in Florida.

What Month Are Figs Ripe?

In Florida the fruit on the Fig tree ripens between July and October.[2] However, some fig varieties will fruit twice a year. This fruiting will occur in spring or summer and once in fall.

Do You Need 2 Fig Trees To Produce Fruit?

Common fig trees are self-pollinating so do not need 2 fig trees to produce fruit. The flower of a self-pollinating tree has both the male and female parts. The male part will release pollen onto the female part.

If you have the Smyrna variety of fig tree then they will need pollination by the fig wasp.

Do You Need A Male And Female Fig Tree?

The common fig variety are self pollinating and so do not nedd a male and female fig tree.

For more information on growing figs you might like to check out the article: Growing Figs in California

Juan & Raquel

We are Juan & Raquel, the guys behind Fruit Information. We've been interested in fruit over the last few decades and have been busy with improving our knowledge of the different varieties. I, Juan, have been almost a fruitarian for over a decade and almost solely living on fruits as my main dietary intake. My wife Raquel has worked on a fruit farm and also worked in a nursery and seedlings shop. She is a very experienced and knowledgeable farmer. We have recently undertaken a new Dragon Fruit farm with friends.

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