Ficus Tree Care

Ornamental and Edible Fig Varieties

Ficus tree care. Information about different types of fig trees. Ornamental and edible varieties of figs. Variegated Ficus and Creeping Fig vines. Ficus lyrata, benjamina, pumila and elastica.

Kadota, Celeste, Brown Turkey and Black Mission table figs.


The Big Banyan Tree at Selby Gardens in Sarasota.

The Big Banyan Tree at Selby Gardens in Sarasota

The green leaved types can be placed in reading level light.

Variegated Ficus varieties require brighter light in order to maintain their color. They tend to revert to solid green if the light around them is too dim.

One characteristic that all Ficus plants share is their love of light. No Fig really wants to grow in a dark corner.

Another thing all fig types have in common is their dislike of cold weather. Some of the edible kinds can tolerate frost but the ornamental varieties will not. These can only be grown outdoors in zones 10 and 11. Elsewhere, they make wonderful houseplants.

All figs enjoy regular water, but they don’t like wet feet. Pot them in well draining soil and allow the potting mix to dry between waterings. Keep them on the dry side when the weather is cool.

Ficus tree care involves feeding the plants properly. Give them a balanced fertilizer once a month during warm weather to keep them growing well. If your edible figs fail to fruit, sprinkle a bit of horticultural lime into their pots each spring in addition to the fertilizer.



Types of Ficus Trees

Edible Fig Varieties

Figs ripening on the tree.

Some edible fig trees require caprification or pollination by caprifig wasps in order to set fruit. Others are self-fruitful.

Fig Varieties Requiring Caprification:

Sycamore Fig Tree

The sycamore fig tree, Ficus sycomorus is not to be confused with the European sycamore which is actually a maple tree. F. sycomorus is an evergreen fig tree growing to 60 feet tall and nearly as wide in its native Egypt.

It grows in thickets along rivers and streams and bears edible fruit in clusters for several months at a time. The fruit must be pollinated by a fig wasp in order to develop properly.

Growers nick the young fig fruits with a knife to encourage ripening. The ripe fruit is orange and has a distinctive flavor.

The sycamore fig is most likely the sycamore tree of the Bible.


Calimyrna Figs

Golden, nutty Calimyrna figs must be pollinated by a tiny wasp in order to set fruit and develop the slightly crunchy seeds which give them their unique and delicious flavor.


Self-Fruitful Fig Varieties:

Black Mission Fig

The Black Mission Fig is the single best all-around fig tree variety for the continental U.S. It performs well in the north and south, on both coasts, and in inland locations. Mature specimens are delighting their owners with bountiful crops in climates as diverse as Arizona and New York.


Celeste Fig

There are several different types of Celeste fig trees: Improved, Golden, Blue and Giant to name a few.

This is further complicated by the fact that it is also called by several different names like: Malta, Sugar, Violette, Celestial fig and Honey fig...


Kadota Fig

A plate of Kadota Figs.

Kadota figs are known for their taste and it's no wonder it is one of the most liked fig varieties. It's 97 % sugar! The high sugar content causes them to dry quickly.


Ornamental Fig Varieties:

Strangler fig trunks.

Strangler Figs

Variegated Ficus

There are variegated forms of Ficus benjamina, the weeping fig; Ficus elastica, the rubber tree; and Ficus pumila, the creeping fig vine.



Different Types of Trees:

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