Said to be the sweetest of all figs, the Celestial variety is a popular fruit, especially in Mississippi and Louisiana. It grows well in USDA climate zones 7 through 10, and in Texas it has shown tolerance of temperatures as low as 11 degrees F, according to the L.E. Cooke Nursery. Because it’s a semi-tropical tree, this fig needs very few hours of winter chill in order to produce its brownish-purple, medium sized fruits. It will perform well in moderate climates in coastal areas, as far north as Washington State.
Prepare a planting area for your Celestial fig tree in an area that gets full sun or filtered sun most of each day. Dig a planting hole twice the size of the tree’s root ball. Mix the removed soil with one part organic compost for every four parts of topsoil, and then refill the hole about half full. If the weather is hot the day you plant, water the soil in your half-filled planting hole before you set your tree into it.
Examine the tree’s roots and cut off any that are dry or broken. Set your tree into the planting hole and distribute its roots evenly on the soil surface at the bottom of the hole. Then fill with the soil and compost mixture and firm down gently with your foot. Water it thoroughly by running a hose at the root zone slowly for about 30 minutes.
Prune your newly planted Celestial fig tree when you plant it to encourage strong lateral branches, according to Texas A&M University. Cut all but four or five of the branches that grow horizontally from the trunk: cut them almost to the trunk, leaving the branch collar, which is a bulbous area where the branch grows from the trunk. Make sure the branches you leave on the tree are evenly spaced from each other.
Water your Celestial fig regularly when the soil dries out, but reduce the amount of water you give it during cold weather.
Fertilize your Celestial fig tree once a month during its active summer growing season. Use a balanced plant food, such as one with an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10. If you want your tree to produce more fruit, also sprinkle about ½ cup of horticultural lime on the soil around the tree.
Avoid severe pruning of this tree, even if it grows very large, because the tree will produce less fruit the following season, according to the Texas A&M University.