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  • Just moved to South Florida - Zone 10b

    We just moved to South Florida (10b) - former TNBandMom. I am trying to see what is needed to keep my figs happy and alive with minimal damage. They are currently in light colored pots, elevated from the pool deck and they are receiving sun most all day. I fertilize with 10-10-10 and I have been watering once a day but I am noticing a bit of leaf wilt during the day. I will go to twice a day watering (morning/afternoons) or move my plants to closer to the house to avoid too much sun if needed. I have been reading about nematodes and will keep a look-out for them when I up-pot my trees. I have the tops of the soils covered with brown pine bark mulch. I have noticed some rust spots on leaves/figs since it rained almost every day for two weeks when we first arrived. Not sure what to do about that issue.

    Any suggestions as to what to look out for and the best care that I can provide? Do I even think about trying to root these in the ground even with lots of organic material/deep pot planting?

    Any suggestions on varieties of figs that will do well in this type of high humidity/full sun conditions? I have attached photos showing location of pots around pool and a close-up picture of my RdB which produces the first ripen fruit of the season for me (just picked two beautiful delicious ripe figs this week). Finally, I included a picture of my Kesariana fig tree that I won in an auction to benefit Ourfigs (thanks to strudeldog and WillsC). The pool/plants are on the north end of the house but receive sun most all day.

    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 3 photos.

  • #2
    Congrats on your move! I think zone 10B Miami area is generally cooler than central florida in the summer because of the sea breezes (our heat index this week reached as high as 113 degrees). While I'm not a longtime fig grower, what's been growing and making figs very fast from cuttings, despite the horrible temps (in the heat of the day, most figs are wilting a bit):
    LSU Purple (this one is growing like a weed, and outstripped every other small fig I have!)

    I guess this is why these are the most popular varieties, because they are workhorses. I'm pretty sure that most figs would grow well for you in Miami tho.
    Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)


    • #3
      Thanks, HStark. I previously lived in the Boca Raton area before moving to Tennessee. Now that we returned to Boca/Delray, I forgot how hot it gets down here and what a difference from that Mid-State TN cool weather. I have one Celeste (plant 2nd from right on the small table) and it seems to tolerate the heat as well as the others (a little wilted during the day). I read somewhere about the veracity of the LSU Purple so I will try one. I will follow up on the Alma and Conandria since I am not familiar with those types. I will report back how my other ones do in this heat.

      FigMomFL -- Now in South Florida -- Current Stable of Figs in Pots: Chicago Hardy (Lowes), Lebanese Red (Harvey C), Makedonia Dark (Bass), Ronde de Bordeaux (KK), Kesariani (strudeldog), Marseilles VS Black and Figo Preto (pawpawbill) Wish List: Violette de Bordeaux, St. Rita, Bethlehem Black, Maltese Falcon, Black Beauty 10
      Last edited by FigMomFL; 07-13-2016, 12:40 PM.


      • #4
        I live in Tampa. Welcome to the forum

        I can tell you that is very hard to grow figs in pots in Florida. The summer sun is just so intense - it requires daily water, sometimes multiple times per day. And then when the figs ripen, they tend to get a little washed out due to the constant drenching.

        But then we have the nematode issue. Are you opposed to trying a few in ground? You could air layer one of your plants, plant it in ground and just see what happens. There are ways to get around the nematodes...rich soil, lots of mulch and some people even plant in a container and cut the bottom open since it is said the nasty buggers live in the top 12 inches of the soil.

        If you are forced to grow in pots, I would recommend getting as big of a pot as you can, and try to give them some shade during the middle of the day. You are doing the right thing by keeping them off the ground at least.

        About the rust, there is really nothing you can do to win that battle. I usually try and rip off the leaves as they are starting to get rusty and throw them away, but by the end of summer, the rust is just going to take over. My trees usually defoliate because of the rust and then put out a flush of new growth in about October.

        I have found that just about all of the LSU figs seem to really do well here.


        • #5

          Thanks for all the good advice. I am buying bigger pots today and have a pot caddy that can move them around to shady areas. I am currently handwatering once a day (and on really hot days, I am doing it twice).

          I am not experienced enough for air layers right now but have 3 Makedonia Darks that I can try one rooting in the ground. I saw a fungicide that I am buying for my Meyer lemon trees - Bonide 811 Copper 4E Fungicide -- do you think that will work on the rust that I am seeing? Or do you recommend any organic spray to help them along?

          Finally, of my current plants, the Ronde de Bordeaux and Lebanese Red seems to be the happiest, followed by the Figo Preto and the Kesariani. The Makedonia Darks have the most rust issues and my two Chicago Hardy's seem to be tolerating the heat but not sure of the long term effects of the heat. The Marseilles VS Black and my Celeste are just OK - the leaves don't seem right.

          I will keep reporting on the heat and my figs so that others can see what is working in 10b weather conditions. I will review and perhaps buy a couple of the LSU figs -- I am partially to the dark figs as you can see.


          • #6
            out side of Tampa fig grower here too new to give you fruiting advice yet but I can tell you to keep your figs in the shade during the summer they will get plenty of indirect light Wally World had some really big plastic pots a while ago Big Lots is another source Don't do clay sucks the moisture right out of the soil you can get some healthy inexpensive violet bordeaux from Wellspring Gardens they are tiny but grow quickly. they are in Lakeland Florida not too far from me but they do not allow you to pick up ???? but they ship quickly rust is a reality I have used the copper spray late in the day but doesnt seem to do much i just pick the nasty leaves off and throw them in the trash