Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Common Fig, Edible Fig, Higo
Ficus carica 'Celeste'

Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ficus (FY-kus) (Info)
Species: carica (KAIR-ih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Celeste
Additional cultivar information: (aka Blue Celeste, Honey Fig, Malta, Sugar, Violette)

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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10 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral ej_the_dj On Oct 29, 2012, ej_the_dj from Warner Robins, GA wrote:

I do not know the plant's origins because the fig trees I reported were not mine. However, I know what fig trees look like and have seen many in my vicinity.

Positive joood On Oct 29, 2012, joood from Gbariola Island, British Colum
Canada wrote:

We have a huge fig tree growing in partial sun in our backyard, against a south facing wall, and we live in Canada, a little north of the 49th parallel, in a coastal climate zone. Our area has freezing weather every winter, but the tree has never seemed stressed. It does produce figs, but they don't often ripen in time for the fall weather. Those that do we have to share with birds and raccoons. Before reading your article I didn't realise that I could have been fertilizing it all these years. I will try mulching it and see if it yeilds more fruit. I love the leaves in the summer, and they make great mulch as well.

Neutral lbp On Oct 29, 2012, lbp from Richardson, TX wrote:

This salad is great with Celeste figs from my tree in Richardson, TX. I used them fresh, sliced in half, and fried in olive oil for less than two minutes.

Splittsville Fig and Pesto Salad from Nadia G
This salad rocks: Sweet figs and crisp mesclun greens tossed in a rustic pesto, topped with a golden goat cheese crostini, and drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic reduction. Let's get cooking.
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 small clove garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Goat Cheese Crostini
1/2 fresh baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1/4 cup creamy goat cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced dried figs
4 cups mesclun greens

Balsamic Reduction
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup real maple syrup

To make the pesto: In a food processor, blend together the basil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan, sea salt, and cracked pepper. While blending, slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil in a thin stream. Blend until smooth.

To make the goat cheese crostini: Spread about 1 tablespoon goat cheese onto baguette rounds. Drizzle with olive oil and broil for a few minutes until cheese is slightly golden and bubbling.

To make the balsamic reduction. Heat a small saucepan on medium. Add equal parts aged balsamic and real maple syrup. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 5-8 minutes, until thick, syrupy, and coats a wooden spoon.

In a bowl, combine the figs, mesclun greens, 4 tablespoons of the pesto and mix. Serve topped with 2 pieces of the goat cheese crostini and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Yield: 4 Servings

Positive njsunshine On Oct 29, 2012, njsunshine from Monmouth Junction, NJ wrote:

Love my figs! have had them for about 15 years, the result of one plant my Italian brother in law gave me. i do not know the variety, although it looks like the Celeste. I have had one plant about three feet tall that i bring inside for the past two years, in a large pot, stored in the cellar, which produced about a dozen figs this summer on our patio. the other area in my garden is many small trees that would die back in winter and regrow the next season, although with this method they will be late leafing out and may not produce fruit in time. they need as much full sunshine as you can manage, so chose your site carefully. if you chose to leave your (in the ground) figs outside, winterize this way- when leaves have fallen, tie branches together as much as possible in a tube shape. wrap with heavy roofing paper to the ground and tie closed, leaving top open. cover with a tight fitting bucket to prevent snow and rain to enter. remove when all danger of frost is past in spring. fertilize with lots of organic matter, dried manure. protect with netting or the birds will pick all your figs for you! my brother in law's figs are over the top of his garage and he covers them each fall. he had aso many this year he couldn't pick them all. enjoy!

Positive Annsyard On Oct 29, 2012, Annsyard from Bartow, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I got my fig tree at a yard sale several years ago as a small plant about 12", so I don't know what kind it is. It has been in a sunny location and can't help but get a lot of water during our rainy season/summer. Our occasional few below freezing nights don't seem tp bother it, has grown to about 4' tall but it looks more like a spralling bush then a tree, it's about 6' across with many loose branches. I fertalize with horse manure mix, what is collected from the stalls, several times a year. We get a couple dozen figs a year.
Bartow, FL

Neutral gardengirl86 On Oct 29, 2012, gardengirl86 from Middleboro, MA wrote:

I wish I had a place to overwinter one of these trees. I live near Cape Cod and it just gets too cold here in the wintertime. I grew up eating figs, my mother being Greek, and figs being a large part of their food culture.
I just canned 7 jars (8 oz.) of dried fig jam, but it would be so nice to pick the fruit off of my own tree to make fresh fig jam.
If any of you lucky people who have fig trees and do canning would like my jam recipe, let me know, and I'll email it to you. I have recipes for both fresh and dried fig jam.

Positive petset77 On Dec 20, 2011, petset77 from Fort Garland, CO (Zone 4b) wrote:

I grew up with a large celeste fig in my parent's yard. "Celeste" is the sweetest, most tender fig variety I have ever tasted. I've never seen the fruit for sale, I assume because it is so soft and tender that it won't ship well. I have one in my yard in New Orleans. It was one of two suckers I got off of a neighbor's tree in 2004. During the flooding of 2005, both the mother tree and the other sucker (I planted in my girlfriend's yard) died, but somehow mine survived. That tree has done great, and makes loads of fruit annually. I now live in zone 4, in the mountains of Colorado. Celeste figs and another favorite, Loquat, will not survive in this cold. When I build my greenhouse, I'll take a cutting or hopefully a rooted sucker off my tree in the south. I highly recommend this fig to anyone in a zone where it will grow.

Positive Fires_in_motion On Jul 25, 2011, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have an enormous one in the backyard in full sun. It's next to the vast neighboring sugarcane field, which probably gives off fertilizer runoff, and right next to a deep, usually dry ditch, which probably helps with drainage. It has suffered a recurring fungal leaf problem over the last several years; so much so, in fact, that I simply assumed the leaves of all fig trees turned a yucky orangey brown in the summer and fell off after fruiting! After treating it with sulfur and copper octanoate, and pruning it heavily over the last few years in order to allow more light and airflow to the leaves (also an essential tactic with junipers in the Southeast) it now seems much healthier. (Our record drought + heatwave, spanning mid-April to mid-June of this year, surely also helped this tree to recover and made it feel like it was back home in the Middle East.) The wood is very easy to cut, possibly the softest wood I've encountered. The figs, even when the tree was sick, melt in one's mouth. The trick is to pick them right after they start to "droop" on the branch; they are held up in the air on the branch while ripening.
My next-door neighbor recently told me that he planted this tree for this house's ex-residents about 20 years ago, and told me it is indeed a 'Celeste.'

Positive vossner On Sep 9, 2009, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

When I purchased this plant, I knew NOTHING about figs. I got it b/c I liked the foliage and b/c I thought it would make a nice shrub. I never dreamed it would become a tree--luckily, I planted in a place where it had the space. Otherwise, I would have had to transplant a long time ago. Birds and squirrels have finally discovered my tree, so they hardly ever leave me any fruit.

UPDATE March 2014. We severely pruned our tree one month ago. It had gotten so tall I could no longer harvest fruit without using a ladder. We have pruned like this once before and were pleased with results. I have posted pic of recently pruned tree.

Positive holm On Jul 20, 2009, holm from Columbus, OH wrote:

I have two Celeste's in pots on my south-facing front porch in Central Ohio. This is their third summer, and they are about 3' tall and around. (The pots are small square plastic tubs, about 18")

I bring them into an interior but unheated stairwell in the fall, once they've dropped their leaves, and water them two or three times during the winter. I wait until nights are above freezing to bring them out again, but the leaves start unfurling in mid- to late-March -- they're ready to get started! This year, I had a ton of fruit already forming on the trees when I brought them out, but we had several bitterly cold days when I brought them inside the house, and they dropped all the brebas.

Last summer I harvested about 30 figs from the two trees, this year it looks like I'll have at least 50. Last spring I sprinkled rabbit manure on top of the pots, but otherwise I have not given them any extra fertilizer. In the height of summer I water once or twice a week.

Really love these plants. Am moving to a new home, still with a south facing porch, and will repot them in larger containers after they're done producing figs. Have to figure out how to overwinter them, and find some place that stays above freezing, but below 45.

Positive MitchF On Jun 10, 2005, MitchF from Lindsay, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is only this plants first year and it is doubling! The thing is grownig like crazy filling in the tropical look and already giving us two figs. Wonderful fig - now to get somemore!

Positive Kameha On Apr 22, 2005, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

My small shrub bore fruit the first year I planted it! The first crop is borne in spring on last season's growth and is called the "breba" crop. Second crop is borne in fall on the new growth and is the main crop.

The Celeste fig's fruit is small to medium with light violet to violet brown skin. The flesh is reddish amber and very sweet (another name for Celeste is brown sugar fig)! Its great dried!

The tree has a tightly closed eye, protecting it from the dried fruit beetle a serious pest in the Southeast. It usually is small but very productive and hardy.

Like all figs remember...the more organic matter in the soil--the better! Mix manure or compost into planting site and then after planting mulch with compost or manure. I actually used composted pea vines for a mulch for mine. I feed mine with slow release 10-10-10. Figs prefer cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers so they are pretty drought tolerant in summer.

Positive deborahgrand On Aug 17, 2004, deborahgrand from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

We have two in our backyard and they produce enormous amounts of fruit like clockwork every July for about 3 weeks. Are subject to whiteflies and other insects -- just can't seem to keep them away -- but as long as you stick to the fruit higher up, they don't seem to bother you (leave them the low fruit). You may have to fight the birds for the higher fruit!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

New Market, Alabama
Tucson, Arizona
Corning, California
Los Angeles, California
Palm Springs, California
San Diego, California
Lewes, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Colbert, Georgia
Fayetteville, Georgia
Warner Robins, Georgia (2 reports)
Woodstock, Georgia
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Marrero, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)
Vacherie, Louisiana
Bishopville, Maryland
Louisville, Mississippi
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
Monmouth Junction, New Jersey
La Luz, New Mexico
Charlotte, North Carolina
New Bern, North Carolina
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Winnabow, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Barberton, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tionesta, Pennsylvania
Sumter, South Carolina
Walhalla, South Carolina
Crossville, Tennessee
Morristown, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Cibolo, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Fredericksburg, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Missouri City, Texas
Montgomery, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Richardson, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Richmond, Virginia
Woodstock, Virginia
Walla Walla, Washington

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