S & J Nursery’s Types of Fig Trees
for North East Florida
Types of Fig Trees For Northeast Florida / Ficus Carica Varieties
There are four types of fig trees available: Caprifigs, Common Figs, San Pedro, and Smyrna. Within each of those types of figs there are lots of hybrids or cultivated selections each chosen and propagated for its unique fruiting characteristics, taste, color, etc.
All of those 4 types of Fig Trees are native to the Mediterannean area climate where hot dry air is prevalent, the exact opposite of our North Florida hot and humid subtropical climate zones. But that doesn’t mean the fig tree isn’t an easy care fruit tree for North east Florida. In fact, figs require little to no pruning or spraying making them one of the easiest of all fruit trees to care for in Northeast Florida provided you have purchased a variety that is well suited to our climate.
The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences states in “The Fig” by Peter Anderson and Timothy Crocker, that there are 60-100 named cultivars of fig trees for Northeast Florida, so be sure that when you purchase your fig tree, especially from mail order sources, that the variety of fig tree is listed and that it is a selection commonly grown and recommended for the east coast. I have included a link at the base of the page that will blow your mind with the selections of Fig trees that have been propagated over the years. In UC Davis publication The Fig: A Monograph there is somewhere around 100 pages of just Common Fig Cultivars and their descriptions.
So Many Fig Trees? Which one Should I choose?
It can be a bit confusing, so here is my best attempt to break it down for you…
Of those 4 varieties of fig trees grown, the group known as the “Common Fig” is best suited for the hot and humid North East Florida climate. They are self pollinating so there’s no need for a second tree as a pollinator in order for Common Figs to bear fruit.
Not so hard, was it? Now I know all gardeners like to push the limits, we all like to see for ourselves what is going to grow in our gardens. After all, we have learned that those books dont always have it right. So why only Common figs for Florida?
Caprifigs produce only male flowers and although they can be useful for pollen, they will not bear fruit themselves.
San Pedro and Smyrna figs make up the last two of the four and they require a specific wasp pollinator to spread the pollen from the Caprifig tree to the blossoms of the San Pedro and Smyrna fig tree blossoms to pollinate them and turn those blossoms into fruit. These specialized wasps are not present in Florida making the selection of “Common Fig” varieties the only choice for our Northeast Florida landscapes if you want your fig trees to bear fruit. If using them strictly as an ornamental, and they are really a very pretty tree with large tropical looking foliage, then of course none of that matters at all.
S & J Nursery’s Selections of Fig Trees for Northeast Florida
Here are some of the varieties of Fig Trees that we have grown here at S & J Nursery through the years. Because I am often asked which one is the best, I have planted several in my home gardens but found that each time I eat the fruit on a Brown Turkey, The Brown Turkey Fig Tree is my favorite and if I am eating a Black Mission Fig Tree it’s my favorite and if I’m eating Celeste Figs, they are my favorite, so I’m really not much help at all. Fresh figs right off the tree are just delicious no matter what you call them!
S & J Nursery’s Selection of Fig Trees For Northeast Florida
S & J Nursery guide Care of the Common Fig for Northeast Florida information on pruning, water, fertilizer and growing tips for common fig trees in the Jacksonville Florida St. Augustine Florida area.