Figs are a highly rated fruit, valued for their nutritional benefits as well as unique and luscious sweetness.
But it was the fig leaves that first caught our forefather’s attention and made fashion headlines some two thousand years ago when they were the basis of what was the haute couture of the day.
My first fig encounter with the Ficus Auriculata was when I was only six. The Ficus took on mythic proportions, with its massive leaves and fruit which grew from the trunk, branches and roots.
Figs have since become a lot less mysterious and a lot more appealing, especially when I realized that there were innumerable varieties of figs I could plant. Taking the local gardening scene by storm, figs have grabbed the attention of more than a few enthusiasts. Many have been buying fig cuttings and scions, enticed by the range of figs available in various colours of the spectrum; green, yellow, blush, red, purple, black and even striped ones.
Mushrooming fig nurseries and websites have brought many exotic varieties of fig plants and cuttings right to the doorstep of the home gardener.
Buoyed by the tide of enthusiasm, I came back down to earth quickly when I realized how costly the plants were. The rarer varieties were way out of my budget and the more common ones were not cheap either.
My first fig was a rooted Black Mission cutting given by a school friend. Then came the Masui Dauphine and Brown Turkey a few months later. The Brown Turkey has yielded a few figs, but there hasn’t been sign of fruit on the Masui Dauphine. The Black Mission, unfortunately, didn’t make it.
A fellow gardener, on the other hand, has been enjoying great success with his figs. His plants, unlike mine, have been fruiting their heads off.
I’ve recently acquired the Conadria, Black Genoa and Taiwan Golden Fig and am emulating what my friend is doing, hoping that it’ll make a difference and that the plants will swing into high gear.
And, what do you know! Little nubs of fruit are already forming on the plants; little burgeoning figs that should plump out and ripen over the next few weeks. I just can’t wait!
Care and propagation: Full sun; light, well drained soil; water moderately; propagate using cuttings