Figs not maturing and falling off

Bud24(11a)July 6, 2013

I have a problem and need help! I have a ground planted, 5/6 year old fig (I think that it is a Brown Turkey & was a cutting off a 25 foot tree in eastern Mass). Initially I cut all the offshoots off to gain height. Within 2/3 years it was six feet tall. The first year, I got two figs. I picked the first one too early (I didn't know any better) and waited until the second one was near to rotting on the stem. It was the most delicious fruit that I have ever eaten! However, I have since, let the tree bush out, with no pruning. Each year, in December/January, I return to the Keys to find the fig bush dormant with no leaves. For two South Florida Winters, I watered it daily. It became flush with large, rich green leaves and produced more figs each year, but the figs would grow to about half size, seem to mature (a color change observation) then wrinkle up and fall off with no edible flesh. The slightest touch would frequently cause even the green ones to fall off. This year I added a very moderate amount of citrus tree fertilizer. Many more figs, five dozen (?) or so, but all change to a mature dark brownish purple at half size and fall off. None are edible. I had added about two cubic feet of garden soil and peat moss (from Home Depot) when I first planted the tree. The ground otherwise has no soil, just a normal limestone island upon which we live. The bush gets direct sunlight 90% of the day. I have a potted two year old "Paradiso" fig that, with the same watering and fertilizer has produced two very good figs and two more will mature soon. No problems with falling off. Any suggestions? Thanks for your help.

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john222-gg(Mississippi 8a/8b)

I sure hope someone with knowledge answers your post . I have the same thing going on . My tree is a Celest 5 years old that has never made a fig good enough to eat. Right now the figs are turning purple and falling off. Every year it is loaded with fruit that never gets ripe. I was thinking about pulling it up and getting rid of it hate to kill such a pretty tree. Maybe someone can save it. HOPE HOPE

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Hi John, It is likely that there is nothing inherently wrong with your Celeste, so, despite frustration, I don't recommend pulling it up. Someone will have figured out a solution and kindly forward it to us. On mine, I find it interesting that after rapid growth to 6', upon being allowed to bush out, it has only grown 6 inches taller I three years. I still have about two dozen immature figs on the tree, so I still have some hope left. Here in the Florida Keys, we have a substantial to severe drought every Winter, then thunder showers late every afternoon in mid-Summer.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:15PM
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john222-gg(Mississippi 8a/8b)

the purple fig in the picture if you touch it. It will fall off. They never get ripe. Very discouraging.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 4:39PM
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This is frustrating-waiting for one whole year for the fig fruits but never get it tasted in the mouth!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 1:01PM
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An interesting note about the parent tree (mentioned in the top post), the 25 footer in Eastern MA, has survived the New England winters, because the owner has progressively built a three story tall greenhouse around the tree as it grew!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 1:58PM
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John and Bud:
Both figs you guys have,are not adapted to your particular climate.
Specifically south Florida is to humid and too hot for many fig cultivars to produce good fruits.
Celeste is notorious for dropping fruits if it does not like the climate.
Try other cultivars,that can take your climate that is my aDVICE

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:19PM
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its important to get a fig adapted to your area. I've tried a dozen types in the past 6 years; Texas A&M recommends 4 for my area, this rest I just picked on my own. Only 5 produced well. All 12 produced figs, but other than the 5 winners they wouldn't ripen properly.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:52AM
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I don't think this will help, but I'll post it just hoping that will open a new window to the solution of this problem. I am Sicilian and remember in the old days (60 years ago) during the winter merchants would bring loads of ticchiara. ticchiara to my eyes were immature figs looking very close to the ones in the picture, but people would buy ticchiare and hang it to the branches of fig tree that were not productive. In fact people in Sicily says: " la ticchiara fa la ficu" meaning "Ticchiara makes the figs". I was thinking that ticchiara would rut and attract bees tor the pollination. I know that it was working. Now a days they might have better ways.
I hope this will spark some ideas. Here in upstate NY I have three potted figs One is about 7 ft and the other two about 5 ft. The bigger was very good last year the other two I hope will fruit next year or so. During the winter I bring them in the garage.
Good luck

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 8:06AM
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It is now a month and a half later than my first post. All of the brebas fell off while immature. The new crop is half successful and I've had about 50% mature to their delicious best. I'll be moving part of the parent, with roots, to MA, zone 5/6. Thank you herman2, bhawkins and rossello44 for your help.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 1:10PM
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What to do about falling figs

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:57AM
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