I'm starting with figs this year, and belatedly discover I've ignored Celeste. Please, can you help? Next February I hope, I'll have cuttings to swap or give away.
Celeste fig cuttings
I'm not 100% sure what I have is actually Celeste...that's what I ordered but the central stem leafed out without adding growth for several years and finally withered away. Meanwhile shoots from the root zone shot out and up to the point that a huge monster took over. At one point it was split by lightning and I figured it would be a goner, but no, even the trunk section down on the ground continues to leaf out and produce. The fruit crop is enormous. I may have to have it taken out entirely as its growth has reached the eaves of the house. It has been pruned extensively but has since sent runner roots outward and started new saplings. Could not in good conscience offer cuttings because I don't but what the tree is from grafting root stock. My original source was Edible Lanscaping, and I should have inquired whether it was grafted or not.
I am a neophyte with figs, but I don't believe they are propagated by grafting on root stock. They seem to be so darned prolific. I have a couple of cuttings rooting right now, but they are from two unidentifiable trees that grew here in America from cuttings carried from Greece, across the Atlantic in someone's suitcase.
Tell me about the fruit you get. Is it tasty? If so, that's great!
The fruit is okay flavorwise, but not outstanding. I went back through my records (I've had the tree 7 years now), and I'm sure it is not the Celeste as I had ordered. It's not Latarulla, either, which I had inquired about. Celeste is also known as the Sugar Fig or Honey Fig, small to medium sized fruits. This one is only moderately sweet but the fruits tend to be quite large. The eye of the fruit is closed so that wasps are not a problem unless a fruit is left on the tree to the fall-apart stage. Mostly I harvest the fruit to puree and freeze it for cookies & puddings, etc. I don't bother with a ladder for the upper branches - the cardinals, bluejays and woodpeckers quite happily do the clearing out for me. The thing is enormous! I also have a Petite Nigra - small, very sweet fruit and small tree, no more than eight feet and could be kept smaller in a container.
Paradise Nursery has Celeste on special now and I might order it to replace this tree (http://www.paradisenursery.com - 18 positives in GardenWatchdog). I am reluctant to take out a living plant that is so enthusiastic, but it really is oversized and out of control.
Paradise Nursery is a fantastic choice. Sybil, there, was very helpful. I purchased two hardy Celestes and one Violette Black from them, just one month ago. They were packed beautifully and securely, in an almost-fitted case. They came in one gallon pots, and were well-rooted. I am planning on taking the Celestes up north this summer, and so she advised me to repot them in 3 gallon pots. They are doing remarkably, and are fully leafed out, altready. I planted the black, and it is already leafed out, but not as prolifically as the Celestes. The photo below shows what the Paradise figs looked like on February 6th. Tomorrow I'll show you what they look like now. (They are the three in the middle of the photo.) They are on a south-facing wall.
Looking great! Maybe I misunderstood your original post. On the eleventh you said you had ignored Celeste - what did you mean?
I lead,.at least, two lives. One grows things and eats the stuff, the other starts things. I am growing a couple of new Celestes to take up to NJ. They are too new to take dormant cuttings from them. Below is a photo of how one of the new Paradise Nursery Celeste looks today.
The only cuttings I have started are from a neighbors "black" and "white" Greek figs. They're doing well. I also want to start a couple of Celestes, from dormant cuttings
Ah, I see. Thanks for clearing that up. Your Celeste is making excellent progress - figs are fun to grow. They are so exuberant and seem to enjoy the chance to perform! Since it is now so close to spring, I think I'll let the "no-name" have one more romp. Besides, last year there were two hummingbird nests in it - maybe it will attract some more tenants. I'll check with Sybil about the ultimate size of the Cleleste - if I can keep it within reasonable bounds I'll go for it now. Thanks for sharing your plans...helps me rethink my own.
Looking great! No-name is still in place - cut back from the house just a bit but still enormous. I've grown rather fond of it and appreciate the cooling shade it provides. Drought restrictions have brought on water rationing - I hope what water I can provide will be eough to mature the fruit.