Fig Fruit Stays Green – Reasons Figs Don’t Ripen

By Heather Rhoades

A common question that gardeners with fig trees have is “how long does it take a fig to ripen on the tree?” The answer to this question is not a straight forward answer. Under ideal conditions, figs can ripen in as little as two months, but most figs do not grow in ideal conditions. If your fig fruit is staying green, there are many reasons why your figs are not getting ripe. Let’s look at the reasons why figs don’t ripen and how to ripen figs a little faster.

Reasons Why Figs Won’t Get Ripe

The long and short of why a fig tree is taking a long time to ripen its fruit or the figs won’t get ripe at all is stress. Fig trees are very susceptible to stress and when under stress, they will slow down or even stop ripening their fruit.

The most common stress that is responsible for when figs don’t ripen is lack of water, especially in high heat conditions. Fig trees in containers are especially prone to this. If a fig tree does not have enough water, the figs won’t get ripe because the tree is trying to preserve its self and its seeds. If a fig tree continues to get too little water, it will abort its fruit, which means your fig fruit will fall off the tree while it is still green.

Another possible reason why your figs are not getting ripe is a lack of nutrients. Fruiting is hard work for a tree. It needs extra nutrients to be able to support both itself and its fruit. If the tree has too little nutrients, the figs don’t ripen as fast and may even stop ripening.

If your figs are not getting ripe, pests and disease can also be the problem. Another stress that can stop figs from getting ripe is disease and pests. While a fig tree is under attack from a pest or disease, it must divert its energy from ripening its fruit to protecting itself. The fig fruit will stay green longer if the fig tree is battling pests and disease.

How to Ripen Figs Faster

The best way in how to ripen figs faster is to remove as many stress point from the tree as possible. To avoid figs that won’t get ripe, make sure that the tree has plenty of water, especially in high heat. Another way to prevent figs that don’t ripen is to regularly fertilize your fig tree. Keep a sharp eye out for pests and disease as well, and treat these as soon as you spot them.

While there is no set answer to how long does it take a fig to ripen on the tree, you can take steps to make sure your figs ripen as fast as they can.

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