Earth–Kind® Plant Selector Home
Start a Search

Common Name:

Common Fig

Scientific Name:

Ficus carica

Family Name:



The Common Fig is a large deciduous coarse textured multi-stem shrub with an upright to rounded crown. Large dark green lobed leaves can lend a tropical appearance. Ficus carica is the source of commerical figs and is widely cultivated in home gardens. Consult your local extension agent or nursery professional to learn which cultivars perform best in your local area. Contact with the latex (sap) from pruned surfaces can cause a contact dermatitis in some individuals; exercise caution when pruning.

Plant Habit or Use:

Large shrub



Flower Color:

Not ornamental

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer

Fruit Characteristics:

Commercial fig, edible for most people, purple, brown, to nearly-black, poisonous reactions have been reported for some individuals


10 ft to 12 ft, sometimes 20 ft


8 ft to 10 ft, sometimes more

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9, 10

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Cold hardiness varies significantly among cultivars, some are herbaceous perennials even in USDA zone 8 while others are stem hardy to z. 7 and root hardy in protected sites in z. 6b. Common Fig does not grow as well in heavy clay soils as those that are better drained. Tends to quickly outgrow the scale of many urban and suburban lots.
Click for Larger View Click for Larger View

A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.