How to grow: Figs

Lots of figs with one half fig showing the inside on top.

Think of figs, or better still taste one, and you will immediately be transported to sunnier climes where the sun beats down all day, ripening this exotic-looking fruit to a deep, rich brown.

However, you don’t need to live in the Med to enjoy the fig’s wonderful, sweet flesh since they will grow very well in many areas of the UK.

Fig plants are surprisingly hardy – in most seasons only some shoot tips or young fruits, which form in leaf joints at the end of the branches as they grow, are killed by frost, causing the plant no long-term damage.

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Fruit specialists sell a number of varieties the hardiest and most freely available of which is ‘Brown Turkey’ but most are easy to grow and well worth a try.

Varieties

Over the many centuries that figs have been cultivated, lots of varieties have been bred, but not all are suitable for our climate or readily available from nurseries, although if you have a greenhouse the choice is much greater.

Try the old favourites ‘Brown Turkey’ and ‘White Marseilles’, both of which are reliable and easy to get from garden centres or fruit specialists. For the greenhouse there is ‘Rouge de Bordeaux’, and for the patio compact ‘Panachee’ with variegated fruit.

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A hand grasping an unripe fig on it's branch.

Growing Tips

Planting/growing

Over the many centuries that figs have been cultivated, lots of varieties have been bred, but not all are suitable for our climate or readily available from nurseries, although if you have a greenhouse the choice is much greater.

Try the old favourites ‘Brown Turkey’ and ‘White Marseilles’, both of which are reliable and easy to get from garden centres or fruit specialists. For the greenhouse there is ‘Rouge de Bordeaux’, and for the patio compact ‘Panachee’ with variegated fruit.

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