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Are Figs Self Pollinating? (Read This First!)

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Are you planning to plant figs? Well, then you must know all the nitty-gritty of the fig plants. Without enough knowledge jumping towards them is a bad idea. Especially, pollination is something that gardeners should know.

Are figs self pollinating?

Most of the figs are self pollinating. That means gardeners don’t need to plant extra fig plants to ensure proper reproduction. Depending on the species and the surrounding, these plants often rely vastly on insects to continue the fruit formation and pollination.

Different types of fig plants have to obtain different pollinating methods in order to make fruit. Though they largely depend on insects like wasps, there are other factors that you should know before planting them.

Chicago Hardy Figs:

Chicago hardy figs are one of the most common types of figs in the gardening industry. People who love gardening have, of course, heard this name once in their lifetime.

So, if you are planning to give Chicago hardy figs a chance, then the good news is it is also self pollinating. This halves the work and stress. A relief indeed!

Both outdoor and indoor planting is suitable for these plants. For outdoor landscapes, gardeners need to assure adequate sunshine and warm weather. On the other hand, when planting in pots well-mixed soil is necessary.

As soon as fall passes on, it is the best time for the Chicago hardy figs to pollinate. In this period, they must be exposed to open places. Whether it is pollinated via insect or wind, the proper conditions will help them to form fruit.

Brown Turkey Figs:

Other species of figs such as brown turkey figs are no less different than the Chicago hardy ones. They are also self pollinating and quite easier to grow and produce.

To eat these mouth-watering figs, you need to provide a mixture of effective conditions. This includes a combination of sun and shade, sufficient water and fertilizer, and an ideal zone.

Inevitably, for outdoor planting, states like California and Arizona seem win-win. However, if you live in a state having cooler regions similar to New Jersey, a pot plant is a feasible plan.

Putting accurately, these fruits show an overwhelming production in the early spring. Therefore, from the late fall, the brown turkey figs start the budding process. No wonder, the care at that season is a must.

Black Mission Figs:

Black mission figs look quite similar to the brown turkey figs except they just have a bluish-purple texture. These luscious figs are undoubtedly self pollinating just like the other ones.

The optimum time for these figs is mostly between the summer and fall months. Luckily, with regular watering and the brightest exposure to the sun, the plants can produce tonnes of food with a maximum height of sixty inches.

Similar to the other species, these figs also need proper care and attention to strive in the hardest times. Pollination usually starts before the summer as suggested by the researchers. Thus, this time is most crucial for both the plants and the gardeners.

Do you need two fig plants to pollinate?

To pollinate, fig plants do not need to be two. As they are self pollinating, one plant is enough to reproduce new plants and produce fruits.

Naturally, self pollination involves the transfer of pollen grains from the anther to the stigma of the same plant. The plant is self-sufficient and therefore gardeners get relief from extra plantations.

Plants that have both male and female parts are pollinated using this common method of self pollination. Though the process seems relatively straightforward, there is also a catch.

In order to pollinate the figs plants have to depend upon wasps. As they have attractive scents, the insects are enticed easily by them which is a plus point. However, all this does not guarantee 100% pollination.

Again the types vary and their pollination procedures may follow a different approaches. The perfect example of this is San Pedro and Cedaceus.

Simply put, San Pedro needs pollination from the second crop while Cedaceus demands this from the first crop production.

It is undeniable that the requirements for pollination may change, but the fact that you need no more than one fig plant to ensure pollination is the blaring truth.

Can fig plants cross-pollinate?

Fortunately, the answer is a big no. Fig plants do not need cross pollination for fruit formation. Because they have both male and female reproductive organs, there is no need for them to apply this method.

As pollination is never a completely reliable process, expecting cross pollination is a luxury! It significantly lowers the chance of effective pollination. How can you know if this would land on the same species of fig plant?

No one knows that. Yes, gardeners can increase the possibility by planting more figs within a short distance. Still, there is no need for such hassles.

Because the fig plants have to rely on insect pollination, the pollen grains they possess are awfully sticky. This helps them to stick to the wasps and ensure pollination.

After all this, yet, there is no certainty of pollination. Subsequently, in the long run, cross pollination is not something that the fig plant would prefer itself except it has some disease.

How to pollinate fig plants?

Pollination is a quite natural process and humans can’t interfere with it. For pollination, the wasps act as the vector to ensure better pollination.

Once you know the steps of pollination, it would be better to clear out all the confusion.

Entering the fig:

The cycle begins as the female wasp enters fig. In the search for food and egg hatching, these wasps often find the interior of the fig plant an ideal place for reproduction.

Thus, they made holes in the fruit and enter inside with the hope of surviving and laying eggs. Sadly, the holes are severely tiny, resulting tearing down of their wings.

Hatching the eggs:

As the insect successfully enters the fruit, it’s time to harvest. She starts to eat the food from inside and hatch the larvae.

With time, as she prepares the next generation, her lifespan begins to come to an end. However, her eggs are now prepared for taking things to the next stage.

Mating of adult wasps:

As soon as the larvae hatch, new wasps start to come out and fill the fig. They feed themselves with the food there and become matured sooner within weeks.

As they become adults, the mating process starts; the male wasps mate with the female ones. Thus, a group of female wasps is produced who need to follow the same cycle as before.

Tunneling out:

Now, with the help of the male wasps, who lack wings, the female wasps make petite tunnels to find their way out.

Here’s the best part. While they leave the fig plant, they collect innumerable pollen grains in their body. Hence mission accomplished!


Lastly, these female wasps land on the new fig where they lose these pollen grains. And the cycle starts all over again.

Why is the fig plant not producing fruit?

Even having so many possibilities and availabilities, gardeners often do not get the sight of these savory fruits. And of course, there must be reasons for this.

Knowing these reasons would surely help the gardeners to find the solution. Here it goes-


One of the eminent causes of the lack of fruit in fig plants is overfertilization. They have the power to increase the growth of the plants, but an excess amount can result in leaves only without food.

Dry weather:

Weather plays a major role in fruit production. Without a doubt, the dry weather reduces fruit production. Therefore, mulch and surplus water is needed for the expected growth of the plants.

Infestation of pests:

Pest is an uninvited guest of the fig plants. If not cared properly, the pests can harm the total plant. Spreading pesticides are something that is often recommended by experts.

Requires cross pollination:

It is a rare condition that disables the fig plants from self pollinating. Failure to identify this problem leads to the sheer loss of the fruits and even the plant itself. As a result, planting several plants closer would help it to pollinate.

Greater age:

It is no surprise that no plant bears fruits lifetime. After a certain period, every plant stops fruiting. So simply, age can be a widespread reason for the insufficient figs from your plant.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, most fig plants are self pollinating. Though they can use different methods of pollination varying from environment to environment, most of the species depend on the insects like wasps for the pollination process. Plus, this process allows the owners to get it done with only one plant.

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