Mediterranean bonsai

These are typical Mediterranean trees, they live better outside because they need both the sun and the cold to produce fruit. Most are grown in our fields in Tarragona, the most representative are: olives, citrus and apple.

Ficus carica

Family

Moraceae

Origin

Middle East (Syria, Iran, Greece, Anatolia). The cultivated fig tree, as it is now known, is the crossed fruit of many different species. These species are found in Iran, Arabia, India and Ethiopia in a wild state which also explains why there are so many different cultivated fig trees . Some of these wild species are F. persica, F. virgata, F. serrata, F.palmata.

Etymology

From the Greek “sykos” meaning fig.

Ficus carica

Characteristics

It is a deciduous tree with fast growth and plenty of edible fruits. The cultivated species (with only female flowers), sometimes give fruit in autumn (figs), others only in summer, and others in both seasons. Wild fig trees are also called male trees and have both male and female flowers. In summer they have smaller leaves and non-edible fruits.


Place

Ideally in a Mediterranean climate, outdoors all year round. In cooler climates ensure they are always protected from freezing temperatures.


Irrigation

Generously in summer, decreasing in winter.


Fertilization

In spring and in autumn.

Transplant

Every 2 years in spring-summer.

Substratum

100% Akadama or mixed with 20% of volcanic clay.


Pruning and nipping

Pruning

Before the spring blossom

Nipping

Using the tweezers, prune back to 2 leaves after 6 to 8 leaves have grown from the branch.

Fencing

Can be carried out throughout the year.


Curiosities

Flowers are found inside the fig. Most of the cultivated fig trees only have female flowers. To be able to be fertilised a male fig tree is required as it has both male and female flowers. Also required is a hymenoptera insect, the Blastophaga psenes. The insect will travel carrying the pollen and impregnate the female flowers in the vicinity.


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Ficus carica