A fig tree might not come to mind when you think of backyard gardening fruit trees. But gardeners who know figs are fans of this somewhat overlooked fruit.
Edible figs come in black, green, and yellow colors. If you’ve only recently heard about the yellow fig tree and are wondering what it’s all about, you’re in the right place!
Let’s dive in and learn all about the lovely yellow fig. Looking to buy a yellow fig tree? Check availability.
The yellow fig was discovered in the United States in the San Diego Botanical Gardens, though it originates from the Middle East. This fig variety can only survive in tropical climates, and to this day, San Diego is the most popular city in the United States to find it.
You’ll also sometimes see it referred to as a Yellow Longneck or Honey Fig.
The yellow fig is bright yellow with thin, tender skin. It’s a favorite among fig lovers for its sweet taste.
The tree grows 10-12 feet when mature, though the fruit is only 1-2 inches long.
Its texture should be soft to the touch at peak ripeness, but it shouldn’t be mushy. Be careful when making your selection because figs do not continue to ripen off the vine.
Enjoying the Yellow Fig
Eating and Snacking
The yellow fig is yummy when eaten fresh off the vine, though it can also be dried or made into jam.
Kids will also love the sweet taste of this nutritious fruit as an after-school snack.
Figs pair great with various nuts, warm spices like cinnamon, herbs like rosemary and thyme, tablespoons of vinegar like sherry and balsamic, and dairy products like cheese. Try them with goat or feta cheese.
The entire fig is edible except for the stem, so you don’t have to worry about removing the seeds.
Their high sugar content makes it easy to caramelize them on top of a hot grill.
Fresh fruit is always healthier than dried because it has less sugar.
They contain calcium and dietary fiber; include essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese; and are high in existential vitamins like B and K.
Yellow figs are rich in antioxidants, aid in healthy digestion, promote healthy blood pressure and bone health, and they’re great for improving diet and weight management.
They’re a deliciously nutritious snack to add to your diet, though diabetics may need to be careful not to eat too many.
Although yellow figs are best eaten fresh, they can be refrigerated for up to three days. To preserve them to make jam later, they can be frozen for up to six months.
Prepare your figs for the freezer by washing them and patting them dry with a towel. Then flash freeze the figs for a couple of hours by placing them on backing sheets. Make sure they’re not touching so they don’t get stuck together.
After, you can place them in freezer-safe bags or containers. Label each bag or container with the date.
When you thaw them, they will be mushy, but that’s okay because their delicious flavor will retain when boiled to make jam. You could also try making pies, muffins, ice cream, smoothies, and sauces.
Dehydrating yellow figs is easy. If you’re using a food dehydrator, simply set your figs—which can be whole or halved—on the racks at 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
They should be dry but still flexible in around 12 hours. If they’re not done yet, give them about another hour.
You can also dehydrate figs in the oven. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and line a pan with parchment paper. Ensure that the figs are not touching each other.
Bake for two to three hours. You want them dried and chewy but retaining some moisture.
You can also use an air fryer for speedily dried figs. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees, then cook your figs for eight minutes or until dry and shriveled. Cooking times vary by model, so check them often during your first go-around to ensure they don’t get too hard.
Regardless of your method, you’ll love the sweetened candy taste of dried yellow figs.
Fig Smoothie with Dates and Almond Butter
Growing at Home
The yellow fig requires full sun to grow, so it grows best in tropical areas. It’s considered hardy in USDA zones 7-9.
If you don’t live in a tropical zone, you can replicate the environment indoors by growing them in containers. Fig experts suggest that if you get more than a light breeze, you should leave your yellow fig tree in a container and bring it indoors during adverse weather.
Remember to let your tree go dormant if you are growing it indoors. Fig trees require several months of dormancy to produce plenty of fruit and need little heat or light while dormant. Yellow fig trees cannot survive in temperatures below 15 degrees, and young trees may be damaged below 27 degrees.
A cool attribute to note about the yellow fig tree is that it is sturdy and immune to most diseases and pests.
The yellow fig tree experiences a double harvest, with the first occurring around July and the second occurring around September.
Where to Buy a Tree
Yellow fig trees can be purchased at nurseries or online at Etsy.
Look for dried yellow figs or fruity jams in stores or farmers’ markets.
They’re nearly impossible to find in their off-season, perhaps because their growing zone is so limited. The majority of yellow figs are grown in southern California near San Diego.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, they are sometimes available during their peak season from August through September at Pacific Beach Farmers Market. They can also be found during peak season at Specialty Produce in San Diego.
Wrapping Up All About the Yellow Fig
If you were looking for a reason—not that you needed one—to take a tropical vacation to SoCal during late summer or early fall, now you have one. The yellow fig is eagerly waiting for you to find it, and you’ll be glad you did.
Interested in learning more about fig tree varieties, tips, and tricks? Check out our Fig Tree page.