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Fig Tree Gustis® Ficcolino®

The most compact growing fig variety

Fig Tree Gustis® Ficcolino®


Article number: 2205100


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Product information "Fig Tree Gustis® Ficcolino®"

The fig tree Gustis® Ficcolino® has two superlatives at the same time: its early figs (the so-called summer figs on last year's wood) ripen with the earliest time, in good locations as early as mid/end of June, i.e. in the middle of the berry season; and Gustis® Ficcolino® is the most compact growing variety, at least in our assortment. Even after 10 years it remains at a height of 160-180 cm, whereby it is then almost twice as tall as most other fig varieties – with or without a year of frost. In pots, Gustis® Ficcolino® grows even more compact and can easily be kept at a good metre.

Ficcolino® is therefore a Twotimer® variety, which means that it bears fruit very early on last year's shoots and especially on the side shoots, and later on the new, freshly grown branches starting in early/mid-September. While the early, yellow-green fruits are small but extremely numerous and sugary sweet, the autumn fruits develop significantly larger, but also somewhat less numerous. The summer harvest dominates overall. 
The winter hardiness of Gustis® Ficcolino® is excellent, in particular the side wood that grew last year, which is responsible for the extremely numerous summer figs. This wood overwinters excellently, which may also be due to the conspicuously short and early growth of the fruit shoots...Nevertheless, when planting out, one should choose a location protected from cold north winds in order to protect the fruiting wood that developed the previous year with the summer figs, which are only a few millimetres in size but already created in autumn/winter.

The advantages of the fig variety Gustis® Ficcolino®

  • The most compact growth in the Gustissimo® range
  • Extremely good hardiness, large summer yield
  • THE fig for growing in containers

The compact growth of Gustis® Ficcolino®

Figs, in general, are characterised by a pronounced polymorphism (multiformity), they can show themselves in different ways depending on their mood and environment and they can take on different leaf and fruit forms. This is most evident on the leaves. Of course, there are typical leaf shapes, but beware; there are exceptions for each variety! And if the fig wants to, it sometimes forms extremely lobed leaves, where they are otherwise almost completely covered...The same applies to the growth and the distance between the nodes: a rather scarcely nourished fig in a pot, which has not been repotted for years, forms only short skewers with internodes that are almost only millimetres long; and of course, such a sad fig creature then remains compact...But if you give it water and fertiliser and more root space, the fig tree will immediately explode again and can easily make metre-long shoots. Ultimately, this holistic polymorphism is only a reflection and expression of the extreme adaptability and survivability of the fig.

Gustis Ficcolino® is – at least in part – an interesting and exciting exception: it really and consistently has a different growth than most other fig varieties (although it can, of course, respond to a lack of fertiliser, water and root space with super compact growth): Gustis® Ficcolino® grows naturally much bushier than almost all other fig varieties, and even here in our nursery in a 5 L pot it produces considerably more shoots than other varieties. These fresh shoots themselves are initially quite vigorous, although the internodes are somewhat shorter than those of other fig varieties; but overall, the length of growth at the beginning leaves nothing to be desired. The gardener will be pleased: the plant is very bushy and grows vigorously right from the beginning.  The difference then becomes apparent in the second year and in the following years: while normal fig varieties continue to grow with fat shoot extensions and long branches, Ficcolino® forms beautiful, short branches which then bear fruit and calm the entire shrub. This much stronger branching together with the extreme fertility especially in the summer (on last year's wood) means that Gustis® Ficcolino® remains naturally much more compact than other figs. In Gusti Berchtold's old experiment in Chur, this was the only variety that stopped growing at about 160-180 cm after more than 10 years.

Pruning the compact growing fig Gustis® Ficcolino®

Now how do you prune such an atypical branching fig? We recommend not pruning it at all for the first 3-4 years. Simply let the bushy growth and branching take effect. After that, an older main shoot of the shrub can be cut back completely on a regular basis – this is especially useful for outdoor cultivation and if you notice that enough new shoots are being reproduced from the base. In a pot, one does not usually cut back to the base, but to 20-30 cm, in order to re-grow fresh, long shoots from here, which will then branch out and contribute to the huge yield again. As always with figs, pruning should be carried out in February to March, after the coldest part of winter and before budding.

Short description of the fig tree Gustis® Ficcolino®

Maturity: From about mid-June, the earliest fruits of all the summer figs; however, Ficcolino® also produces autumn figs from September onwards, although they are less numerous but considerably larger.
Fruits: Produces a rich harvest of small, yellow-green fruits, which are very sweet; exciting and always surprising is also the contrast in colour between the yellow-green, so to speak almost “unripe” fruit skin and the juicy and red interior of the fig fruit. Many fig eaters only enjoy the inside of the fruit and leave the fruit peel (which is botanically a receptacle) untouched. These only half-believing fig lovers can possibly be converted to whole figs by Gustis® Ficcolino®, as this variety has a conspicuously soft, fine and easy to bite “skin”. The round autumn fruits from September onwards are then generally approx. 30% larger than the summer fruits.
Growth: The growth of Gustis® Ficcolino® is really very different; where other figs in normal cultivation and with normal care mainly produce thick, long shoots, this variety branches again and again. This starts with the bushy growth but continues with the covering of the main shoots with short side shoots. The bushy growth and this strong branching tendency together with the very high summer yield lead to a compact habit, which makes up about 50% of a normal fig variety. Gustis® Ficcolino® grows to a height of approx. 160-180 cm after 10 years; most other fig varieties can easily double this height. By the way, the leaves of Ficcolino® are usually rather small and hardly lobed.
  • Ripeness/Harvest Period June, July, August, September, October
  • Final height 160cm to 180cm
  • Available February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Leaf Colour green

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Jul 12, 2020

Best figs for winter hardiness with early fruiting? (Thomas Reddick)

Dear Lubera team I live in south west England where the winters are mild but the winds can be strong from the west. The variety Gusis Ficcolino seems very suitable* but please could you recommend me a few more varieties? * I intend to plant my tree in the ground next to a southwest facing wall . Also, to protect from cold winter winds and breezes, would you recommend that I cover the tree with fleece or some other material? I am also considering buying a plant for my allotment which has a south facing wall but is extremely wind swept and may require a wind break I think. kind regards Thomas Reddick