Blue Giant FigFicus carica ‘Blue Giant’
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Ficus carica ‘Blue Giant’
Outdoor Growing zone
The Blue Giant Fig tree produces the largest figs or any variety. The are large ovals with short necks, and the size of an apple. The purple-maroon flesh often has a bluish bloom, and the flesh is amber with purple touches. The flavor is delicious and sweet, full of honey and berry flavors, and of course it is best fully-ripened on the tree. Wait until the skin begins to crack before picking, and enjoy. This tree produces a large main crop in late summer and fall, with some possibility of an early summer crop as well if your winters are very mild.
Plant your Blue Giant Fig tree in full sun, although it can take a little shade in zone 10. The soil should be well-drained and it doesn’t need to be rich – figs enjoy dry soils, including sands and rocky ground. Don’t overfeed or overwater, once your tree is established, as it has good drought resistance. Pests or diseases won’t trouble it, and it grows rapidly, probably giving you the first figs within 2 or 3 years.
Figs are delicious and this is one fruit where you can never compare the store-bought with the garden-grown. Fully ripened on the tree, and still warm from the sun, nothing on the planet beats the sensual experience of eating a fig like that. Savor the delicious honey juice, sweet, but not so sweet that it drowns out the wonderful aromas and subtle tastes of the flesh. It’s addictive, and you want to keep coming back for more. Most figs are no larger than an egg, but if you love figs, treat yourself to a fruit that is the size of an apple – the Blue Giant Fig. Certainly the largest fig on the market, it isn’t just size and not much else. The flavors are just as delicious, and one is a meal to relish. The skin is dark purple, with bluish tones from the white ‘bloom’ that often coats it, and the inside is a soft amber to light pink. This is a tree that is not as hardy as many others, so it’s a special delight for gardeners in the warmest zones, with mild winters and hot summers.
The Blue Giant Fig tree grows rapidly into a large bush or small tree about 15 feet tall and wide. It is fast-growing, and can easily give you the first figs in the second year of growth in your garden. The smooth gray bark on younger stems becomes browner and rougher as they age, and new growth is often green while young. The leaves are large, about 10 inches across, with three broad lobes and the leaf has a more rounded, fuller profile than many other varieties do. This is a main crop fig tree that is self-fertile, so it normally produces a single crop in a year, in late summer and into the fall. In mild areas, fruit production can continue late into the year. Fruits develop along the new growth that sprouted in spring.
The fruit is probably the largest of any variety, and can easily be the size of an apple, with a rounded, oval or teardrop form and almost no neck. The skin is green when immature, turning purple as it begins to ripen, often with a white, powdery coating that makes it look bluish. The flesh inside is amber brown to purple. For the best flavors, make sure your fruits are fully ripened before harvesting. As the neck is thick, it won’t show the normal softening that indicates ripeness, so wait until some cracks develop in the skin – now it’s time to pick that delicious fruit, sit back and enjoy a taste of heaven. In very warm areas with frost-free winters this tree may also develop an early, breba crop from fruits carried through the winter, but this is not a reliable feature of this variety.
Plant the Blue Giant Fig in a sheltered spot in full sun, for best results. With its attractive foliage and rounded form, it is perfect as a lawn specimen, or planted in a corner, allowing enough room for it to develop. Grow it on a rocky slope, or in the dry soil at the foot of a wall.
The Blue Giant Fig is a warm-region fig, suitable for growing in zones 8, 9, and 10. If you live in colder areas, check out some of our more cold-hardy varieties, such as ‘Chicago Hardy’.
For best results, plant the Blue Giant Fig in full sun, although in zone 10 it would grow well even with a couple of hours of shade each day. The ideal soil is very well-drained, and it grows well even in poor soils and dry areas. It is drought-resistant, but if you see any yellowing or drooping leaves, water deeply and thoroughly.
You won’t normally see pests or diseases on your Blue Giant Fig tree, and it is fast-growing and easy to grow. Fertilizer isn’t needed, and in fact too much watering and feeding will reduce, not increase, the crop. Pruning isn’t needed either, but you can pinch out the tips of any long, unbranched stems to encourage more side branches, which in turn means more fruit.
Humans have been growing the fig tree, Ficus carica, for thousands of years, and probably picking the fruit from wild trees for millennia before that. In America, Texas has always been a popular fig-growing area, with the long, hot, and dry summers many varieties grow best in. Eddie Fanick was born in 1902, and after spending time delivering milk from a mule and wagon, and growing plants on the roof of the San Antonio Arsenal to camouflage it from enemy bombing, he opened Fanick’s Garden Center in San Antonio in 1946. It was always a funky, family-run business, but Eddie was a keen plant-grower and created many new plants. It isn’t clear when he selected the fig variety known as Blue Giant, but he certainly made a big impression with this great tree.
There is more to ‘big’ than size, and the Blue Giant Fig has much more than that. It’s delicious flavor, sweetness and heavy production make it a great choice, so order now. We can never keep our fig varieties in stock, so don’t hesitate or they will all be gone.