Ghost Hill™ FigFicus carica ‘White Texas Everbearing’
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Ficus carica ‘White Texas Everbearing’
Outdoor Growing zone
The Ghost Hill™ Fig is an unusual and valuable fig for several reasons. The rare ‘white’ fruit is light yellow when ripe, with amber-colored flesh, very different from the usual purple-skinned figs. It has a delicious honey flavor, juicy and lush, and perfect for eating ripe straight from the tree. It forms a compact bush no more than 15 feet tall, more slender than most other varieties. It normally carries two full crops – a breba crop in May or June, and a main crop in September and October, so you have an abundance of figs over months.
Grow the Ghost Hill™ Fig tree in full sun, or with just an hour or two of shade each day. Plant it in well-drained soils, including dry, sandy or stony ground, and don’t add composts to the ground – figs thrive in poor soil. Pests or diseases rarely cause any concern, and the most pruning you might need to do is to remove the growing tips of branches to keep them a little bushier – but this is entirely optional.
For a tree, fig trees lead complex lives. Most plants only have the time and energy for one crop of flowers or fruit, but figs have worked out how to do it twice. Many varieties (but not all) produce the beginnings of a crop late in the season, and then wait until the next summer to finish growing it. This is called a ‘breba’ crop, and the fruits are always sterile, without any seeds inside them. As well, on new shoots that sprouted in spring, they produce a ‘main’ crop that ripens late, often into the fall. These fruits can contain small, crunchy seeds, because they are often pollinated by a tiny wasp that enters the ‘outside in’ flower-head of the fig tree through that tiny hole you see at the base of the fruit. Fig varieties that have both crops are called ‘everbearing’, and while you, depending on where you garden, may not see both crops every year, with two to choose from you have a much better chance of harvesting your own delicious fresh figs. Most figs are purple with red flesh, but there are also white figs – pale yellow when ripe, with amber flesh. Many consider them even more delicious, and for two harvests of fabulous everbearing white figs you can’t beat the Ghost Hill™ Fig tree. A medium-sized tree, it’s perfect for expanding beyond the basic purple fig, and a terrific variety that is sure to bring you lots of tasty pleasures.
The Ghost Hill Fig is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing rapidly to be 12 to 15 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide. This is a lot smaller than many other figs, and much narrower and upright than many others, so it’s a great choice for a smaller garden. The leaves are large, up to 10 inches across, and they are deeply divided into 5 broad lobes. They are mid-green with a dry, matt surface, and a gray-green underside.
The breba crop usually holds well through winter as tiny baby fruits, and then begins to quickly develop as warmer weather comes. By late May you should be harvesting your first fruits, and they continue to ripen through June. The fruit is medium-sized, round, with green skin that turns yellow when it ripens. Often we judge when a fig is ripe because the neck softens and bends, but that doesn’t happen much with this variety, so wait until a few cracks develop in the skin. A fig must be fully ripe to fully enjoy the wondrous fragrance, sweetness and texture that only tree-ripened figs have. When you cut it open you will see the honey-colored inner flesh, with a touch of brownish-red, oozing delicious juice. Enjoy.
The main crop develops on new branches that sprout in spring, and ripens between late September and early November – a wonderful fall treat to finish off the year. The fruits are similar but perhaps a little larger and sweeter than the breba crop.They may contain a few seeds, but they are just as wonderful to eat fresh.
The Ghost Hill™ Fig can be grown directly in your garden, or in a large pot or planter. It can also be grown spread out on a south-facing wall – a position that is often very successful in colder zones.
The Ghost Hill™ Fig grows from zone 7 to 10, thriving in areas where the summers are hot and dry – conditions that also give you the best chance of a main crop. Potted trees can be left outdoors all winter from zone 8, but in zone 7 it may be safer to bring them into an unheated, porch, shed or garage once the leaves have fallen.
Plant your Ghost Hill Fig in full sun for the best results, although in the hottest zones it will grow well even with a few hours of shade each day. It grows in any well-drained soil, including poor, sandy or rocky soils, and in dry places. It is very drought resistant too, once established. For containers use a mixture of equal parts garden soil, coarse sand and regular potting soil, and make sure your container has a large drainage hole.
The Ghost Hill Fig tree doesn’t need much in the way of care, and it isn’t necessary to add organic material when planting, or to use fertilizer. Established potted trees should be fed with liquid tomato food in spring and summer. Pests or diseases almost never cause any problems. You don’t need to prune, but long branches can have the growing tip removed in early summer to encourage branching.
The fig tree, Ficus carica, has been grown for millennia all around the Mediterranean. Most of the trees grown in America are different from European varieties, and many can be traced back to Spanish missionaries and Italian immigrants, who brought over bundles of twigs to establish them in the New World. As well, figs arrived in Virginia from England in 1669, mostly varieties that had been imported from Italy over a 100 years earlier.
Texas has always had unique varieties, and one is called ‘Texas Everbearing’. It is very similar to an old variety that came from Provence, in France, called ‘Brown Turkey’, but probably a little different. Bud sports are branches on a plant that have mutated, producing something noticeable different, and it is likely that the white-fruited version of ‘Texas Everbearing’ developed that way. It was found at the Aldridge Nursery in Von Ormy, Texas, and seems to have been first released by the L.E. Cooke Co. nursery in Visalia, California in 22017. The trademarked name Ghost Hill™ was given to it, because the part of the Aldridge Nursery where it was found was known as Ghost Hill.
Enjoy something different from the usual purple fig, and grow the delicious Ghost Hill™ Fig instead. With the chance of double crops each year, this compact variety could become your favorite fruit tree – and the easiest to take care of. Order now – this new variety has been attracting a lot of attention, and we only have a few plants available.