Figs ripen for harvest from August through September. However, it’s essential to pick figs when they are just right to get the best flavor. First, wait until your figs change to their final color. Then, wait until they are hanging downward on their stems. Next, check the “button” on the bottom of your figs. Some varieties will leak a little bit of sugary syrup from the bottom to show they are ready to be picked. Finally, feel the fig. It should not feel firm, but instead should feel like the fig is full of jelly.
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Will Figs Ripen if You Pick Them Green?
Figs will not ripen off the tree, so it’s essential to pick them when they are at peak ripeness. Many beginning fig growers pick their figs too early, which means they lose out on a lot of the flavor and sweetness of figs. Since green figs stop ripening as soon as they’re picked, don’t make this mistake. Green figs lack sweetness and can be tough or unpleasant to chew. Follow our tips below to pick peak figs every time.
5 Signs that Your Figs are Ripe
If you’re new to growing figs, it can be difficult to tell when they are ripe. Figs are very unique fruits that don’t follow the same rules as the other fresh fruits in your garden. Use these simple rules to pick the best figs possible.
Wait for the Right Time of Year
To pick figs at their peak, it’s essential to know when fig trees produce fruit. Although certain varieties of figs produce an extra crop in early summer, the main crop with the sweetest figs always occurs in late summer. Figs will start to fully ripen in August, but the harvest will continue through September. So, remain patient throughout summer while those fig fruits develop.
Check the Color
When figs are approaching ripeness, they will transform into their final color. This can be tricky for new growers because different fig varieties have different mature colors. Some figs are purple when ripe, while others are brown, black, pink, yellow-green, or green. It’s helpful to know what variety of fig you are growing. If you’re not sure what type of fig is growing on your property, check for cracks in the fig instead of changing color. For some varieties, cracks in the skin signal the fig is nearing peak ripeness.
Wait Until they Droop
Figs will begin to droop downward on their stems as they ripen. Any figs that are sticking straight out from their stem are not ripe yet. Be patient and wait until the figs hang toward the ground. The fig stem will bend downward at this time. Once you see your figs starting to droop, check daily for the last two signs. Sometimes, one day can be the difference between an underripe fig and a deliciously perfect harvest.
Look for Fig Honey
Many varieties of figs begin to leak a small amount of sugary syrup—called “fig honey”—from the button on the bottom of the fruit once they are ripe. To check for this, gently lift the drooping fig. If you see a small droplet of amber liquid or dried syrupy residue, then the fig is almost certainly ready to be picked. However, not all fig varieties leak fig honey, and wet weather can wash this honey away. So, always perform the “feel check” before you pick.
Feel Before Picking
Figs should feel so soft when you pick them that most beginners think the fruit is rotten. Gently squeeze the fig between your finger and thumb. A fig that feels firm—like a berry or tomato—is not ready to be picked. Wait until the fig feels like a bag filled with jelly before picking. This super-soft texture is the most reliable sign that a fig is ripe. If you use this rule as your final test, you’ll get the sweetest, juiciest figs imaginable.
What Colour are Figs When Ripe?
Different varieties of figs are different colors when ripe. Some varieties shift from green to near-black to signal that they are ready for harvest. Other varieties remain green even when they are fully ripe. If you know what variety of fig you’re growing, color can be a great sign to start checking for ripe figs.
- Different fig varieties are different colors when ripe.
- Some figs turn black, brown, or purple as they ripen, while others stay green.
- Provided you know your fig variety, you can use color to gauge the fruits’ progress.
- If you don’t know what type of fig you have, use timing, drooping, and feel to pick ripe fruits.
If you’re not sure what type of fig tree you have, don’t worry about color. Wait until the figs begin drooping on their stems in late summer. Then, check for fig honey and jellylike softness before harvesting. Beware that your animal friends might be waiting for ultra-ripe figs, so you may want to protect your figs from birds as they ripen.
When are Figs Ready to Pick?
To determine if figs are ready to pick, look for these signs:
- It is fig harvest season—from August through September.
- The figs have taken on their final color.
- Your figs are drooping downward on their stems.
- There is a small amount of sugary honey dripping from the “button” on the bottom of the fig.
- When you squeeze the fig it feels squishy and “overripe.”
The ripe figs feel much softer than other ripe fruits. So, it can take a while to get used to picking figs at their peak. Remain patient and let the fig practically fall off the tree into your hand. Friends and family will appreciate the delicious figs you picked.