Plants

Fig tree: everything you need to know

The fig tree is a fruit tree of the Ficus genus of Asian origin that has spread throughout the Mediterranean area and other areas of the world. It is a tree with a history: 4,500 years ago, the Egyptians already collected it, as can be seen in the hieroglyphs typical of this ancient civilization.

It has more than 1,000 species, mainly in the warm and intertropical regions. Ficus carica is the only species of the Ficus genus found in the wild in Europe.

The growth of the fig tree involves the growth of its roots, which are excessively strong and can break down floors and walls. In fact, the fig tree is a tree that can grow naturally in rocky terrain without much problem.

In addition, it is a tree that is very resistant to adverse weather conditions and that is why its cultivation is carried out without many of the concerns that other fruit trees imply.

Description

The fig tree is a more or less medium-sized fruit tree that does not usually exceed 10 meters in height but has a very wide crown that is very useful for providing shade. There are three quite different varieties of cultivated fig trees:

  • Smyrna fig trees : they are pollinated through insects and, more specifically, through the fig wasp.
  • Common Fig : they do not need pollination.
  • Intermediate fig tree : they do not need pollination for the development of the figs, but they do need pollination for the main crop of figs.

It blooms from February to April with unisexual flowers gathered in large numbers inside a pear-shaped, fleshy receptacle called in botanical terms SICONO (fig). The fig ripens during August, September and October.

Some fig trees, called breveras , biferas or re-blooming, produce two harvests a year: in June the figs, larger than the figs, and the figs in early September.

As far as appearance is concerned, the fig tree is a very large deciduous tree , with a smooth grayish trunk and the flowers can be of one sex or both on the same tree, depending on the variety of fig tree that grows. we have in front It has a characteristic odour, leaves that are palmatiparted or variable in shape (the outer leaves are larger and more symmetrical than the inner ones).

It is recommended to plant the fig tree during one of the months belonging to the winter and we will prune it in the month of February to regenerate it. Growing a fig tree requires very simple care that any horticultural enthusiast can carry out without problems.

Care and cultivation of the fig tree

Very rustic tree resistant to drought and salinity. It accepts limestone and slightly acid soils and also with little depth, but the best yields are obtained with soils with a good capacity to store water. It is often found as an isolated specimen without being in the form of ordered plantations. The figs have enough temperature to ripen well until the bottom of the mountain. It makes good use of the autumn rains typical of the Mediterranean climate. In irrigation they are planted in wider frames than the rest of the fruit trees due to the great width of the crown.

It is very shady and many weeds cannot thrive under the fig tree. You need a fertilizer balanced in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The harvest must be done with care, the branches are fragile and the fruit is soft and tears very easily, to make the harvest a lot of labor is needed. To harvest the fruits that are made on the outside of the branches at an inaccessible height, the flake is used, a curious and minority use of the cane, without having to climb up the tree. Birds eat and spoil many figs.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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