Native to the Middle East and northwestern Asia, the tree was brought to North America by Spanish missionaries in the early sixteenth century. It has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times, and is now widely grown throughout the temperate world.
Easy-to-grow figs are among the oldest fruits known to humankind and are members of the Moraceae family, which includes the mulberry.
Ficus carica is a deciduous tree or large shrub, growing to a height of 7–10m , with smooth white bark. Its fragrant leaves are 12–25cm long and 10–18cm across, and deeply lobed with three or five lobes.
It prefers light and medium soils, requires well-drained soil, and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.
The ideal time for planting figs is in spring when they are dormant. Set container plants about 6-7cm deeper than the depth of the container to ensure a strong healthy tree.
These plants are fairly drought tolerant, but if things get too dry, you’ll want to give them a drink.
Figs generally do just fine without any fertilizing. If you notice any deficiencies or it just seems your tree is being a little stingy with its spring leaf development, just add manure, compost or worm castings to give it the extra boost it needs.
These plants require little to no maintenance or pruning, however certain “ill-placed” branches can certainly be removed to unblock a path if it is required.
Harvested figs have a fairly short shelf life; store them in the refrigerator for two or three days, tops.