How to Grow a Celestial Fig

Overview

Commonly known as sugar figs, Celestial figs (Ficus carica), Conant or blue Celeste are renowned for their sweet and abundant fruit that resist most insects and pests. This prolific grower thrives in USDA hardiness zones eight to 11 to reach heights of between 20 and 30 feet. It features shallow roots that spread far in different directions. The sweet figs are purple outside and red inside, and naturally closed at the tip so that pests cannot enter and eat the fruit that is usually harvested in mid to late June.

Step 1

Dig a 1-foot deep and equally wide hole over a spot that has well-drained soil and receives up to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. Add a shovelful of organic soil amendments such as peat moss, well-rotted manure or compost to the planting hole. Water the hole lightly so the amendments mix well with the existing soil.

Step 2

Remove the Celestial fig from the nursery container carefully. Lay the container on its side and roll it several times to loosen the seedling if it is stuck. Remove large clumps of attached soil from the roots and separate them gently with your fingers if pot bound before lowering the seedlings into the hole.

Step 3

Adjust the size of the hole if necessary by adding or removing soil so the root ball rests at the same depth as the container. Add soil into the hole until it is in line with the soil level. Press it down to remove trapped air bubbles.

Step 4

Water the soil with a garden hose until evenly moist. Also spread a 1-inch-thick layer of organic mulch around the seedling to help prevent weeds from growing there and retain moisture that keeps the roots cool. Provide the Celestial fig 1 inch of water at soil level two to three times a week.

Step 5

Feed the growing tree a well-balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer three times a year to provide it the necessary nutrients it needs to grow and develop healthy fruit. Follow specific label directions for usage and precautions before fertilizing in early February, then April and again in mid to late June.

Step 6

Prune the Celestial fig in early to mid spring to invigorate its growth. Use a sharp, clean pair of pruning scissors and remove dried or diseased branches, stems and foliage. Cut off crossing or low-lying branches to maintain the appearance of the tree and allow sunlight and air to penetrate the canopy.

Step 7

Inspect the growing tree frequently for signs of foliage turning yellow. This indicates the presence of a common disease known as fig rust that causes infested leaves to change color and eventually fall off. According to the University of Florida Extension, spray young and growing leaves with a 4-4-50 fungicide containing Bordeaux two to three times a week.

Things You'll Need

  • Narrow shovel
  • Peat moss, well-rotted manure or compost
  • Garden hose
  • Organic mulch
  • Well-balanced fertilizer
  • Pruning scissors
  • 4-4-50 fungicide

References

  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Fig Production Guide
  • University of Florida Extension: The Fig
  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Fig
Keywords: celestial fig trees, growing celestial figs, celestial figs

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Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.