Why Are My Figs Dry Inside?

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Figs should be soft on the inside when ripe
Figs should be soft on the inside when ripe (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When figs are ripe they have soft flesh on the inside that is a vibrant pink color. They are high in sugar, making them naturally sweet. Although dried figs are tasty too, they need to ripen first -- before being dried -- either in the sun or with the aid of a dehydrator. If your figs are dry on the inside before having had the chance to ripen, it could be for one of the following reasons.

Heat

If the figs are dry inside as well as tough, it could be because of excessive heat or a long dry spell. Unfortunately you can’t do much about the weather, so ensure you water regularly and mulch the soil with straw.

Male Fig Tree

It could be that you have a male “caprifig” tree. The male tree produces inedible fruits that never ripen, and it is solely used to cross-pollinate the female tree, which produces figs that will ripen. Take a cutting from a female tree and plant it next to the male one, wasps will carry the pollen between the two and take care of the rest.

Lack of Nutrients

Fig trees need water, sunlight and nutrients in the soil to be able to make glucose, which helps to ripe figs into soft juicy fruits. They are fairly tolerant of different kinds of soil, however it needs to be well drained, so that the tree gets enough oxygen. Use compost or manure to ensure the soil is rich enough. Use a liquid feed such as tomato fertilizer once the fruits have appeared.

Other Tips

To ensure you get the best quality fruit, make sure the roots can’t spread too far as this will affect the crop. Grow the trees in large pots or in the ground with paving slabs to form borders to contain the roots. It’s best to grow them facing the south or southwest, and they should be sheltered from the elements -- and exposed to as much sunlight as possible.

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