Little Miss Figgy™ Dwarf FigFicus carica ‘Little Miss Figgy’ (PP# 27,929)
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Ficus carica ‘Little Miss Figgy’ (PP# 27,929)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Little Miss Figgy Dwarf Fig is an amazing shrub, growing less than 8 feet tall, that carries two crops a year of huge, delicious figs. It fruits prolifically, yet it takes up very little room and it is ideal for container growing everywhere, even in very cold zones. The large figs are carried in profusion all along the branches, and they are dark burgundy to purple, with a bright strawberry-colored heart. Soft, juicy, sweet and delicious, this premium-quality fruit is supreme when allowed to fully ripen on the tree.
Full sun and a warm location is needed to grow the Little Miss Figgy Dwarf Fig. It is hardy outdoors in zone 7, but it can be grown as a container plant everywhere. It grows best in very well-drained soils, and enjoys rocky and sandy ground, fruiting better in poor soil. Once established it is very drought tolerant, and normally unbothered by pests or diseases. Container plants can be overwintered in any cool place, with or without light.
One of the most wonderful eating experiences you can have is to bite into a tree-ripened fresh fig, still warm from the sun. If you only know figs as dried fruit you are in for a sensational treat. Even store-bought fresh figs pale in comparison, as they are picked before final ripening, so that they can be shipped. The delicate sweetness and unique aromatic flavor – subtle while also bold and distinctive – make the fully-ripened fresh fig one of Nature’s great gifts. The problem is, growing a fig tree can be difficult, unless you live in a hot state, and also have room for a large tree. At least, that’s how things used to be, before Little Miss Figgy came along. This dwarf fig tree is not just very hardy, so it can be grown in zone 7, it is also compact and bushy, so it can fit easily into a small garden, a sunny corner, or on a wall. Best of all, it can be grown for years in a container, meaning that everyone, no matter where you live, can grow figs, as long as you have a cool place to store it for the coldest months. But wait, there is more. Little Miss Figgy is a dwarf version of the famous Violette de Bordeaux black fig, which everyone agrees is the caviar of figs, the most delicious and flavorful variety there is – who could ask for more?
The Little Miss Figgy Dwarf Fig is a deciduous shrub that grows no more than 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It has many short branches, making a dense bush completely different from an ordinary fig tree, which is angular, open and large. The ornamental leaves are smaller than normal, but very decorative, and make this tree worth growing just for the foliage, in scale with the smaller bush. They are about 6 inches long and wide, divided into 3 or 5 big lobes, that are further divided into smaller ones, with scalloped edges.
The flowers of fig trees are unique, as they grow ‘outside-in’, with many tiny flowers wrapped inside a smooth skin. So really, all you ever see is fruit, and it develops without pollination, meaning no crunchy seeds. This tree can carry two crops a year, depending on your climate and growing conditions. Everywhere it will produce a summer crop, with fruits developing in late spring and growing through the summer to ripen from September to November. It may also produce a ‘breba’ crop – that is, fruits that overwinter while very small, expanding and growing in spring to give a crop from April to mid-June.
The mature fruits are a full 2 inches across with burgundy to dark purple-black skin, and the interior is strawberry pink. The aroma is pronounced, and the flesh is juicy, refreshing and deliciously sweet. This bush produces a large crop of figs, carried all along the branches, not just at the ends, as many other varieties do. Leave the fruit on the tree as long as possible, to ripen fully. It is perfect for eating when the ‘neck’ of the flask-shaped fruit collapses, leaving the fruit flopping a little, rather than held firmly out. Enjoy!
You can grow this shrub in any sunny garden bed, or in a tub. In cooler zones choose a sheltered, very sunny spot. A place at the foot of a south-facing wall is ideal, and you can tie the branches back to get more sun onto the fruit, for ripening. In a pot it can be grown on a terrace or patio, or even on a larger balcony.
This is a very hardy fig, growing well in zone 7, and of course in all warmer zones, including zone 10. In cooler areas grow it in a container and bring the container into a cool place once all the leaves have fallen. It doesn’t need light, but a place just above freezing is perfect. Keep it there until early spring, and bring it back outside. Don’t try to grow it indoors in a warm room, as this will disturb the natural growth cycle, and prevent good fruit production.
Sun, sun, and more sun is the secret for good fig growing. Avoid all shade, which will stop fruit forming, even if the tree still appears to be growing well. Any well-drained soil is suitable, and fig trees are well-known for growing well in poor, sandy and rocky soils – in fact they prefer them, and fruit better if the soil is poor. For containers, use a soil for cactus and succulent plants. This tree is completely drought resistant, once established.
The compact form of the Little Miss Figgy Dwarf Fig means little or no pruning is needed. If you do want to prune, do it in May, trimming back new shoots to 4 or 5 leaves. Don’t use fertilizer or mulch, this will only reduce fruit production. Pests and diseases are very rare on fig trees and this tree is very easy to grow, and very rewarding.
Fig trees have been grown in southern Europe for millennia, since the beginning of agriculture. Many different varieties have been selected in Greece, Italy, Spain and France, and from there brought to America, often by migrants. The variety called ‘Violette de Bordeaux’ is considered the very best fig of all for eating fresh. In 2010 Michael Nobles was growing pots of this variety at his nursery in Ridgeville, South Carolina. He spotted an unusual short branch, with abundant large figs on it. When he propagated that branch he realized it was a new dwarf form and he named it ‘Little Miss Figgy’. He was awarded a patent in 2017. This new dwarf fig is released by the Southern Living® Collection, as part of their DownHome Harvest® range of edible plants.
We were thrilled to receive this tree, because it opens up a whole world of fig growing to gardeners with limited space. Order now, because trees like this never stay around our farm very long at all.