Are you wondering where do figs grow in the US? As a home gardener and fig enthusiast, I knew that California is the biggest producer of figs in the USA. In fact, over 90% of fresh and dried American figs are grown in California.
Yet I’ve always wondered if figs grow in other parts of America. After some research, I discovered two other states that generate a sizable quantity of figs annually.
I can’t wait to share the details, so let’s dive in!
Where Do Fig Trees Grow in The US?
Fig trees can be grown in most parts of the United States, including Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. However, more than 90% of fresh and dried figs in America are cultivated in California.
In What Climate Do Fig Trees Grow?
USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11 are ideal for growing fig trees. They grow best in regions that experience long, hot summers and moderate winters. Therefore, fig cultivation is widespread in California.
Although figs can survive winters, they need extra care for them. In climates lower than Zone 8, you must cultivate cold hardy varieties outdoors and give them proper protection.
For instance, the Olympian fig is one of the most cold-tolerant fig varieties, which can regenerate from the roots at cold temperatures down to 0 °F (-17 °C).
Olympian fig thrives in hardiness zones 6 through 10. For protection, you can also grow figs as container plants and keep them indoors in winter.
Related: How Long Does Fig Tree Live? (Explained)
States Where Fig Trees Grow in The US
Here are the three main states where fig trees are grown in the US:
Eight main types of figs are grown in California: Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Kadota, Calimyrna, Sierra, Sequoia, Tiger, and Tina. The hot dry summers with a temperature up to 70 °F (21 °C) and moderate winters make California a perfect place to harvest figs.
Figs are pretty easy to grow and can withstand all types of climates. However, their productivity is maximized in a Mediterranean climate.
Therefore, California is an ideal place for figs. Its hot, dry summers and moderate winters make it the perfect state for growing figs.
It is common for temperatures to surpass 70°F (21 °C) in summer. California also ranks first in fig production and accounts for the majority of US fig production.
Madera and Fresno are the main California cities where figs are produced. Other popular areas for fig production are Imperial counties in Southern California and Kern counties in the Riverside and San Joaquin Valley.
Most of these cultivars yield two crops per year. The first is the Breba crop, where fruits sprout from the previous season. These fruits are picked in late spring in May-June.
Then, the main crop is available in early fall in September. However, growers keep harvesting until October. These fig fruits are then sent all across America.
Now, dried figs are available all year round. However, finding fresh figs is a bit of a hassle. If you want fresh figs, consider purchasing them online from California.
You can check the California figs website to find contact information of fig growers and suppliers in California and get in touch with them.
You can contact them via email or phone, get all the necessary information, and order fresh or dried figs.
Texas is known for a few fig varieties, including Texas Everbearing, Brown Turkey, Alma, Black Mission, Celeste, and Blue Giant. All these cultivars are grown in the coastal, southern, south-central, northern, and eastern areas of Texas.
Texas is one of the hottest states in the US, with summertime daily temperatures ranging from 60-63 °F (15-17 °C).
It has a long history with fig cultivation. Residents of this state have been growing figs for a very long time.
Texas’s warm climate makes it a decent producer of fig fruit. Figs can be raised in any part of Texas if given proper nutrition and time.
People grow fig trees on PanHandle, West, and North sides. However, figs truly thrive in the coastal areas of Texas.
These cultivars produce a sizable amount of fruit from each harvest. Brown Turkey, Black Mission, and Texas Everbearing yield two crops a year, one crop in late spring and the other one in early fall.
While others like Alma, Celeste, and Blue Giant bear one crop a year in late summer/early fall. The harvesting months in Texas are between May and September.
Related: The Top 3 Largest Fig Varieties (with Photos)
Figs are grown in North, Central, and South Florida. However, the North and Central parts are preferred for a sizable fig production. Green Ischia, Celeste, and Brown Turkey are the most commonly grown varieties and suitable for the climate of Florida.
With an average temperature of 70 °F(21 °C), Florida is the hottest state in the USA. There are multiple things to love about Florida. However, the one thing I love the most is its fantastic production of figs.
Florida’s harvest season runs from July to October. Green Ischia and Brown Turkey produce two crops a year. Meanwhile, Celeste yields one main crop in the fall.
Occasionally, it bears a Breba crop in the spring. The variety that is grown the most here is Brown Turkey. This tree produces large, dark-skinned fruits that have delicious flesh.
If you are looking to buy fresh figs in Florida, you can head over to Fresh Florida’s website to place your order.
It is an Orlando-based online supplier that sells fresh figs in green and black colors with free delivery.
- What Month are Figs Harvested in the US?
In warmer climates, one crop ripens in late spring, and the second crop ripens in early fall. So the best months to harvest figs in these regions are May-June, then September.
Meanwhile, in regions with short and moderate summers, fig plants only yield one crop in late summer. So, people can harvest figs in August or early September.
- How Far North Can Figs Grow?
After maturing, figs can endure temperatures as cold as 15 to 20 °F (-9 to -6 °C). However, a significant level of winter care is always imperative, even if your fig variety is cold-tolerant.
That said, figs can be raised north of zone 7 if you provide them substantial winter protection. If you are growing in a container, your plant will be fine, as you can bring it indoors and store it in a basement or cool garage in harsh winter.
- Can a Fig Tree Survive a Freeze?
Contrary to popular belief, a fig tree can survive a freeze if it has developed into a strong tree. For instance, mature plants can stand temperatures as low as 15 °F (-9 °C) without getting damaged.
Extremely cold-tolerant varieties like Olympian figs are hardy down to 0 °F (-17 °C) once well established.
But you also have to take care of them in the harsh winter. Even the most frost-hardy trees need some level of winter protection during their life’s first 2-5 years until they are fully mature.
One way to prevent your tree from winter damage is to prune its branches back to a manageable height, wrap it with burlap layers, and cover the entire tree in cardboard. And if you are growing a fig tree in a container, simply bring it inside in the coldest months.
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