Celestial fig (Ficus carica), also called sugar fig or blue Celeste is a cold-tolerant fig variety prized for its sweet and bountiful harvest and vigorous growth. It grows between 18 and 30 feet high and features far-reaching but shallow roots. This cultivar produces small figs with a purplish-brown exterior and red interior that ripen in mid-June. Trees in warmer climates produce a second harvest in the fall. Each fig features "closed eyes" that prevent pests such as dried fruit beetle from entering and devouring it. Celestial fig trees thrive in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11.
Dig a hole 1 foot deep and equally wide. Make sure the site has well-drained soil and receives direct sunlight for at least eight hours every day. Add fistfuls of organic compost, peat moss or manure into the planting site and mix well so the amendments reach deep down.
Remove the celestial fig seedling from the nursery container and lower it into the planting hole. Add or remove soil to amend the size of the hole, so the root ball sits at the same depth as the nursery container. Backfill the hole with soil and tamp it down to remove air bubbles.
Water the planting area thoroughly at soil level. Spread an even layer of mulch around the tree to retain moisture. Water the celestial fig tree up to twice a week to provide it 1 or 2 inches of water.
Fertilize the tree at least three times during the growing season to provide it necessary nutrients and ensure a healthy and bountiful harvest. Fertilize once in February, then in April, and again in June with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. Follow label directions for appropriate application rates and precautions.
Prune in early spring to remove dead or damaged limbs and invigorate the celestial fig tree. Snip off low-lying and crossing branches to increase air circulation. Use sterilized pruning tools to prevent the spread of disease.
Remove any weeds around the tree and inspect frequently for signs of disease. Fig rust, a common disease, infects growing trees and causes leaves to turn yellow and fall off. The University of Florida Extension recommends spraying new leaves with a 4-4-50 Bordeaux fungicide twice a week during the growing season.