South Carolinians often select fig trees for their home gardens to enjoy their fresh-picked fruit right off of the tree. Growing your own figs is a popular choice since figs are very delicate and do not last long in their fresh state. Highly nutritious, figs are a good natural source of potassium, iron, beta carotene and soluble and insoluble fiber. Fresh figs provide 44 calories a serving, while dried figs pack 215 calories. According to Floridata and Joseph S. Guthrie of Clemson Extension, Brown Turkey, Celeste, Ischia and Magnolia are common fig trees for the southeastern United States.
The fig tree (Ficus carica) belongs to the Moraceae, or mulberry, family and is related to the mulberry and breadfruit. A non-native fruiting tree, the fig tree was imported from the Mediterranean and Asia to the United States. Figs thrive in locations that mimic their native origin. The climate of South Carolina suits this tree that does well in dry conditions and warm temperatures. Most fig trees grow between 10 and 30 feet tall, while some even reach 50 feet in height. Figs prefer full-sun locations, the best condition for their fruit to ripen.
The Brown Turkey cultivar is also known as San Piero, Aubique Noire and Negro Largo. It produces brown figs that are pink-colored on the inside. Its fruit mature without pollination and have a longer ripening season than other figs. This is a fig tree that grows well in containers.
Also known as Honey Fig, Violette, Blue Celeste, Sugar and Malta, Celeste fig trees produce high-quality figs. Its fruit have a hint of violet to their brown color, and the inside of the fruit is a more pronounced red color. Celeste figs are very sweet. Its fruit mature without pollination and ripen in early July, and the tree is very hardy or cold-tolerant.
Also known as Verte, the Green Ischia fig produces bright green figs that are bold pink on the inside. Green Ischia fig trees are small in size, and their fruit ripens in mid to late summer.
Also known as Madonna or Brunswick, these figs are amongst the largest figs available. The outer part of the fruit is bronze colored and the inside of the fruit has a yellowish to bold pink color. Magnolia figs ripen in the mid to late summer months, and it makes a good fig preserve.
Conditions for Growing Figs
According to Joseph S. Guthrie of Clemson Extension, fig trees for South Carolina grow in varying soils as long as they are well-drained and nutritionally rich. Fig trees prefer full sun and require very little pruning, and pick the fruit fresh from the tree once it ripens for the best taste.