Black Bethlehem Fig Tree
“Discovered” in Bethlehem, PA and noted for being particularly cold hardy as it frequently survives the Zone 6b winters there. We don’t have winter temperatures anywhere close to that cold, but a friend shared this one with us for its early ripening, delicious flavor, and extreme productivity. Similar in flavor, production and cold tolerance to Chicago Hardy.
One of the easiest fruits to grow, and a true gourmet delight, you should not live your life without feasting on this sweet, delectable fruit. To fully enjoy fresh figs you must grow your own. When fully ripe and at their most tender, shipping them long distances is virtually impossible. Another plus for Figs – deer don’t like them (most of the time)!
Click here to read our Fig Growing Guide.
Latin Name: Ficus carica
Site and Soil: Figs do well in well draining soils, and require at least 8 hours of sunlight during the growing season, ideally in a very hot location.
Pollination Requirements: Self-figful.
Hardiness: Black Bethlehem is reportedly hardy to between -10° F. possibly lower from the roots as this one was re-discovered growing on the East Coast
Bearing Age: 1-2 years after planting.
Size at Maturity: 8-15 ft in height, smaller with pruning.
Taste: intense strawberry
Fruit Skin: Purple-black
Fruit Flesh: Red
Bloom Time: Flowers are not noticeable as they are inside the fig.
Ripening Time: August – October
Yield: 10-15 lbs. or more per plant
Pests & Diseases: Figs are not bothered by pests in our region. Cover plants with netting if birds are a problem.
Fig Mosaic Virus is a benign virus that exists in all cultivated fig trees. Yellow spotting of the leaves is a cosmetic symptom that shows more in container culture, but is quickly outgrown once trees are planted in the ground. The presence of FMV in all cultivated figs has become widely accepted, as even the national germplasm repository for figs maintained by the USDA has Fig Mosaic Virus. If the presence of FMV is a concern, then purchasing fig trees may not be the best option for you.
USDA Zone: 7