The Fiddle leaf fig tree is a confusing plant that leaves people wondering if it produces figs. After all, it has the word “fig tree” in the plant’s name, so it would only be natural for one to assume this plant produces that tasty fruit that made Fig Newton cookies famous.
Unfortunately, the fiddle leaf fig tree fruit isn’t easy to come by and trying to force the plant to produce its figs can be an uphill battle.
Let’s see just what you can do to get your fiddle leaf fig to fruit, as rare as that may be.
Do fiddle leaf figs produce figs?
Fiddle leaf figs can flower and produce fruit. However, it is not common for this to occur outside of the plant’s native habit. As a houseplant, the fiddle leaf fig plant is grown for its foliage and overall appearance and growing fruit on indoor ficus trees is rare.
Fiddle leaf figs can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. Unfortunately, even in these climates, it is not uncommon for the plant to never produce figs. What’s even worse is that, even if the tree did begin to bear fruit, the figs are not like the delicious ones you purchase in the store.
Fiddle leaf fig trees’ natural habitat is in Africa, where this evergreen tree can grow up to 100-feet tall. This plant needs an abundance of light just to be healthy, and your fiddle leaf fig needs even more light to produce figs. In most cases, indoor gardeners cannot provide the plant with the high amount of light it needs to develop figs.
See how to grow your fiddle leaf fig outdoors in our article to see if you can get ficus fruit that way!
Do fiddle leaf fig trees produce fruit before leaves?
Like other fruit-bearing plants, fig trees will develop leaves before any fruit appears. Fig trees are, however, a bit different from other fruit trees. This plant will actually produce two different crops every year, although the first crop may not be edible.
The first crop occurs on new growth that formed during the current year and usually appears earlier in the season. This crop is called breba crop and typically produces small fruits that are more acidic and not as desirable. The second crop occurs during the summer or fall months and is formed on last year’s growth.
Keep in mind, however, that indoor fiddle leaf fig tree fruit is not common. In fact, you probably won’t ever see your indoor plant produce flowers or fruit. Even if you move the plant outdoors, the chance of it producing fruit is slim to none.
Is fiddle leaf fig fruit edible?
Fiddle leaf fig fruit is edible, though the chances of your houseplant producing flowers or fruit is low. Furthermore, while they are technically edible, their fruit doesn’t taste the best, so you probably wouldn’t want to snack on fiddle leaf figs anytime soon.
The exterior of the fiddle leaf fig fruit is rather leathery even when completely ripe. The fruit isn’t sweet and people who have consumed it often describe the taste as either bland or tart. The fruit is also said to have a mouth-drying effect, which doesn’t sound very pleasant.
So, while the fiddle leaf fruit is edible, that doesn’t mean you will want to eat it. Another thing to consider is that the tree’s fruit, as well as other parts of the plant, can be toxic to pets. Keep this in mind before bringing the plant into your home.
Find out more: Are Fiddle Leaf Figs Toxic to Dogs?
What do you do with fiddle leaf fruit?
Gardeners who grow fiddle leaf trees indoors won’t have to worry about what to do with the plant’s fruit, since the tree more than likely won’t produce any. The indoor environment does not provide the plant with the correct growing conditions that would make flowers and fruit occur.
If you want a fig tree that produces edible and tasty figs, consider a different variety that is classified as a fruit tree and not an ornamental tree. Fiddle leaf figs are considered an ornamental plant and are grown more for their attractive foliage and overall pleasant appearance than they are for their flowers or fruit.
Before deciding which fig tree to grow, take into consideration the plant’s growing requirements and whether you will be growing the plant indoors or out. If you want to keep the plant outdoors, choose a fruit-bearing fig tree that can grow in your hardiness zone.
Will an indoor fig tree produce fruit?
Just because the fiddle leaf fig tree won’t produce fruit when grown indoors doesn’t mean that’s true for all fig varieties. In fact, there are a few fig plants that can be grown indoors and will still produce edible fruit. The Negronne Fig tree, for example, is one of the most common indoor varieties that produce fruit.
The fruit of the Negronne fig tree has an almost black exterior with a dark red flesh that has a sweet flavor. It grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 10, and many gardeners outside of these zones choose to grow the fig in a container indoors. This fig tree is self-fruitful, which means a pollinator is not required for fruit to form.
Negronne fig trees are not a rare plant and are available at various online merchants. Your local nursers and garden centers may even have this variety of fig tree available for purchase.
How to make a fiddle leaf fig tree fruit
Fiddle leaf fig trees are native to tropical jungles and West Africa, which means they need hot and humid weather. Furthermore, fiddle leaf fig trees are pollinated by the fig wasp, which is not something commonly found in North American households.
Trying to make a fiddle leaf fig tree fruit outside of its native habitat is not an easy task, especially if you can’t get the fiddle leaf fig the temperature it needs for this, and most gardeners will become frustrated trying to get the tree to bear a crop. Even if you could get the plant to fruit, the figs it produces are not pleasant to eat.
If you want a fig tree that produces edible fruit that can be grown outdoors in your climate, consider the Chicago Hardy fig tree. This tree grows in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 to 10 and is cold hardy to -10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fiddle leaf fig fruit benefits
Fiddle leaf fig fruit has a number of benefits for your health, including that it contains high levels of certain antioxidants which can lower cholesterol levels and help with particular liver conditions. It can also improve your mental health, including for treating anxiety and other similar conditions.
That is, the fiddle leaf fig tree fruit contains chromone, flavonoids, and β-sitosterol, all of which can have a calming effect – meaning that managing to get your hands on one is definitely one of the fiddle leaf fig’s benefits! According to this source, this makes the fruit useful for treating anxiety, severe stress reactions and panic attacks, as well as sleep disorders.
It is also beneficial for preventing kidney stones, by increasing excess fluid output through one’s urine. As such, not only is the fiddle leaf fig fruit edible (even if the taste often leaves something to be desired…), it can be good for you too!
Finally, another fiddle leaf fig fruit benefit is that it can act as a natural preservative for certain food types, including meat. This is due to the fruit containing high levels of bioactive compounds, especially phenolic compounds, flavonoids, triterpenoids and tannins.