Kadota FigFicus carica ‘Kadota’
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Ficus carica ‘Kadota’
Outdoor Growing zone
The ‘Kadota’ Fig tree is a ‘white’ fig, with medium-sized fruits that turn light yellow, with amber flesh sometimes tinted pink. It has a delicious flavor and a wonderful sweetness – one of the sweetest figs there is. It grows into a full-sized tree up to 20 feet tall and almost as wide, with broad, handsome leaves that are less deeply cut than often seen on figs. It can carry both a breba (early) crop and a main crop, depending on your climate, and it is entirely self-pollinating.
Full sun and hot summers are best for the ‘Kadota’ Fig tree. More than an hour or two of shade will seriously reduce the crop size. It will grow in any well-drained soil, including poor soils and rocky ground. This variety needs more water than many others, so water regularly and deeply through summer, or the fruit will be dry. Free of pests or diseases, and protected from spoiling by a resin plug in the eye, you can expect your first harvest within 3 or 4 years of planting.
Most figs come with a purple skin and flesh that is reddish or even strawberry red. When you see your first ‘white’ fig you might think it isn’t ripe yet, but don’t be fooled. That light green to yellow skin hides a delicious amber flesh that is at least as tasty and delicious as the ordinary purple figs. Now some people don’t find figs sweet enough, and if that is you or someone in your family, then let us introduce you to the ‘Kadota’ Fig. One of the sweetest figs around, but still packed with delicious flavors and the classic fig aroma, this heavy cropping variety produces over a long period and is perhaps one of the few figs that give so much fruit you might want to dry some – it’s easy. Or can some too, if you can keep everyone away from the wonderful taste and pleasure of figs ripe and fresh, still warm from the sun, straight from the tree. This is a fig for hot summers, and it also prefers a little more water than most. Growing into a full-sized tree that can soon reach 20 feet, you can bet on a bumper crop of both breba and main-crop fruit, so get ready for the incomparable joy of garden-fresh figs – there is nothing like it.
The ‘Kadota’ Fig tree is a fast-growing small deciduous tree that reaches 15 or 20 feet in height, and a few feet less in width. The bark on younger stems is smooth and gray, and figs have relatively thick branches, giving them a unique winter profile. The large leaves can be 10 inches across, and although they have 3 lobes, or sometimes 5, they are very full and round, not divided as deeply as most other fig leaves are. The leaves are edible too, and they make great food wrappers – try some salmon on the barbeque!
This fig produces a reliable and valuable breba crop in early summer. These are fruits that form as tiny buds late in the year before, and then ripen on the older branches the next year, while new stems are also growing. Those new stems also produce a crop of figs which ripens in very late summer and into the fall. In cooler zones, the breba crop may be lost over winter or in cold springs, but it always produces a reliable main crop.
The fruit is almost spherical, with an extremely short neck, and medium-sized. Immature fruits are dark green and as they mature and ripen the skin turns more yellow – a signal that harvest time is approaching. Wait until the color is uniformly yellow, and the fruit feels soft, before harvesting – for the best flavors it is important to have fully ripe fruit. If white sap comes from the stem after you break of a fruit, it isn’t fully ripe yet. When you cut open the fruit you will see the beautiful dark amber flesh inside, sometimes with a pink tint. This is one of the sweetest figs around – perfect for children and those of us with a sweet tooth. It is also known for the complete or near-absence of those crunchy seeds that sometimes make fig eating less enjoyable – instead you have smooth, delicious flesh all the way through. Aromatic, fragrant, with a perfect background tang, and oozing juice, nothing on the planet beats the pleasure of eating ripe figs straight from the tree – even the best store-bought can’t compare. This variety is also popular for drying and canning..
When planting, allow enough room for the full development of your tree, and plant at least 8 feet away from walls, tall fences, and property lines. This handsome tree looks great out on a lawn, or filling a sunny corner of your yard.
The ‘Kadota’ Fig grows across a large area, from zone 7 right into zone 10. It is recommended for areas with hot summers that are not too dry, as this tree needs a little more water than many others, or the fruit will be rubbery and dry.
Full sun is always best for any fig tree, and the ‘Kadota’ Fig is no exception to that rule. In very hot zones it will take an hour or two of shade each day with little effect, but too much shade will soon stop it from fruiting. It thrives in any well-drained soil, and that includes sandy and rocky soils too. It isn’t advised to add organic material when planting, or use mulch, as warmth is important for this tree to ripen its crops.
The ‘Kadota’ Fig tree doesn’t normally suffer from any pests or diseases. The fruit has a relatively large ‘eye’, the opening at the bottom. In some varieties this allows insects to enter, spoiling the fruit as it ripens. This variety has a plug of resin in the eye, so you don’t have to seal it with tape or other tricks that growers sometimes use. Water newly-planted trees regularly. This variety is unusual in needing regular watering even when mature. Unlike what is seen in other varieties, this won’t damage the development of the fruit. Soak deeply and thoroughly every week or two during hot weather, and don’t let trees become too dry, or the fruit will be dry too.
The fig tree, Ficus carica, has been grown by humans longer than just about any other fruit. For thousands of years people all around the Mediterranean, from Spain to Greece and the Middle East, have been growing trees and selecting different varieties. The variety called ‘Kadota’ is closely related to a very old Italian variety called ‘Dottato’. In the 1890s a certain Mr. Way in California had an orchard of ‘Dottato’ trees. Among them he found one tree that was more vigorous, faster growing and more productive. In 1898 Stephen H. Taft, of Sawtelle, a suburb of Los Angeles, obtained some cuttings, and named the tree ‘Kadota’. Because it was self-fertile it became the dominant commercial tree for orchards in California. After the introduction of the fig wasp which pollinates figs, the variety ‘Calimyrna’ gradually became the dominant commercial variety.
Don’t be fooled by the light-colored skin – the ‘Kadota’ Fig is wonderful eating, and that delicious flesh and sweet flavor will enchant you. Order now – this classic heirloom variety is not widely produced, and our stock is very limited.