By Cindi Sullivan
WAVE 3 Garden Expert
LOUISVILLE (WAVE) -- If you have the right growing conditions at home, WAVE 3 garden expert Cindi Sullivan says fig plants can be a beautiful and tasty edition to your garden.
Edible fig plants are multi-stemmed shrubs or small trees native to Asia. They have been grown in gardens for centuries for the delectable, edible fruits.
Leaves of the fig are 3-5 lobed, quite interesting looking and, depending on the hardiness of the variety and the amount of winter protection the plant gets, will be evergreen, semi-evergreen or deciduous. If the fig is in a protected spot, it may grow to 12-30 feet high, but more often than not they are killed back (sometimes to the ground) in winter.
'Brown turkey' and 'mission' are cultivars that you will likely see in mail order catalogs or at your local garden center. Figs also make great pass-along plants because cuttings taken from 2-3 year old shoots in fall after leaf drop will root fairly reliably. So if you have a friend with a fig, you should be able to acquire a new plant easily enough.
Insect and disease problems don't tend to be too troublesome to figs. Over fertilization will result in lots of vegetative growth at the expense of fruit production, but figs do need lots of water during fruit production.
Since figs don't ship or keep well, they make an excellent choice for the home gardener if you have the right growing conditions. They also make a very attractive addition to the garden.
If you have a gardening question for Cindi, you can e-mail her by clicking on her name below. You can also find many helpful garden tips from Cindi by clicking on the highlighted link: Garden Talk.