Fig tree

The characteristics of the fig tree.

The fig tree is a resistant plant, with a particularly expanded root development and a thick gnarled trunk of a greyish color. The plant, with horizontal development, does not exceed eight meters in height, often generating an underlying shadow area that favors soil fertility. The syconium, or the inflorescence, produces two types of flowers: the sterile ones – called primaticci figs or fioroni – that ripen in late spring and those that give rise to the fruit that ripen throughout the warm months of the year until the end of summer . The cultivated fig is multiplied by rooted sucker or by cutting. There are hundreds of domestic species of figs, often of very ancient origin, and may vary slightly depending on the area in which the growth takes place.

The cultivation techniques of the ficus tree.

The tree is usually planted towards the end of winter. The procedure must be accompanied with a supply of nutrients that will help the tree to regenerate the root system, settling in the new environment. Fertilizers of purely organic origin are recommended together with the contribution of phospho-potassic substances. Once planted, the tree is reduced to a size not exceeding one meter in height, thus allowing the plant to regenerate freely, without further intervention by the grower until the following year. Pruning, which will take place twelve months after planting during the winter period, will focus on eliminating branches that have grown badly, dry or that risk compromising the harmonious development of the plant.

Fruit picking

The fig tree is mainly cultivated for its delicious, sweet and juicy fruits, which are generated in large quantities by the plant especially in the summer months, once the spring ripening phase has passed. After the detachment of the fruit from the tree, ripening stops. For this reason it is important to identify the best time for harvesting, which often varies according to the geographical location of the crop. In Southern Italy the fruits are usually harvested in late spring and early summer. In the northernmost areas, however, the harvest takes place starting from the month of August. Freshly picked fruits can be kept in the fridge for up to thirty days. Alternatively the fruits can be dried.

Fig Tree: How to Care for the Fig Plant

The fig tree, being a plant coming from areas with little rainfall, is very resistant to high temperatures, but suffers from those that are too low. Precisely for this reason, the tree is often grown near coastal areas. Hail and snow represent the main threat: constant low temperatures can even kill the plant, even when it comes to adult specimens with a well-developed root system. Moisture represents another major danger to the plant. Having adapted to arid environments, soils that are too humid can favor root rot that often causes the death of the tree. Among insects, the fruit fly is particularly harmful.

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