Fig Tree, LSU Purple
Fig, LSU Purple
Scientific Name: Ficus Carica 'LSU Purple'
History/general species info: Fig trees have been a part of Texas homesteads since the early development of the state, and grow extremely well along the Texas Gulf Coast. Fig fruit is unique because the edible part is actually an inverted flower with both the male and female flower parts enclosed in stem tissue. At maturity the interior of the fig contains only the remains of these flower structures, including the small gritty structures commonly called seeds. Actually, these so-called seeds usually are nothing more than unfertilized ovaries that failed to develop. They impart the resin-like flavor associated with figs.
Characteristics: Grow glossy purple fruit, enjoyed fresh or dried! Fruit is medium-sized with a mild flavor, high sugar content, and white flesh. The pulp is light amber to light red when ripe. Tree is a vigorous, upright grower. Highly productive. Pest- and disease-resistant. Louisiana State University introduction.
Flower: yes; inconspicuous
Planting / Care: Do not apply fertilizer at planting time. Fig trees survive better if set 2 to 4 inches deeper than they were grown in the nursery. Cut them back when transplanting. This "heading back" develops lateral branches and reduces water loss from the above-ground portion. Since the root system may be damaged during transplanting operations, water uptake may be reduced greatly for a short time.
Needs full sun and well-drained soil. If you don’t have good drainage, you will have problems. If possible, plant in a sheltered area since this variety can sometimes be susceptible to winter frost.
Nutrients are not as important to this tree as they are to some other fruit trees, so it doesn’t require as much fertilization. It self-pollinates, so you don’t need to plant a second fig.
Fig trees planted at the beginning of the dormant season often develop root systems before leafing out in the spring. This can be advantageous; however, young trees are more susceptible to cold injury.
Take care to prevent root damage while transplanting. Remove any broken or dried roots. Dig a hole deeper and wider than necessary for the root system. Crumble the soil around the roots, and pack it down several times during the filling operation to bring all roots into contact with moist soil. After planting, water the tree to settle the soil firmly around the roots. If conditions are extremely dry, watering before the hole is completely filled is beneficial.
Pruning: The fruit is borne on terminals of wood from the previous year. Thus, the amount of pruning should be minimal. If the tree is pruned, the pruning should occur after fruit harvesting (late summer) to allow for flower-bud initiation for next year’s crop, and do not require pruning to be productive.
Mulching: Because their roots are shallow, figs will benefit from organic mulch. The mulch will conserve soil moisture and improve the soil structure.
Fertilizer: Small, frequent applications of nitrogen will benefit both young and mature fig trees.
Size and Spacing: Spread 12-20'. The tree is vigorous, very large and productive.
Pollinator needed to bear fruit: Self-pollinating
Aggie Horticulture: “Figs” by George Ray McEachern, Extension Horticulturist
NC State Extension
Aggie Home Fruit Production - Figs