How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Yellow Long Neck Figs

Are you looking for the perfect fig for your garden? The ‘Yellow Long Neck’ fig is just one of many fig cultivars that are ideal for a garden and landscape setting. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen introduces ‘Yellow Long Neck’ figs and how you can grow your own delicious fruits!

A Yellow Long Neck fig branch, adorned with ripe yellow figs and lobed leaves, fills the foreground. Behind it, the sky wears a cloak of clouds, lending a serene backdrop to the natural beauty of the scene.


Many people are familiar with figs, either fresh or dried. They may seem like an exotic fruit but they are remarkably easy to grow at home. Edible figs, also known as common figs (Ficus carica) originated in the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia. These edible fruit trees have been cultivated for thousands of years, and there is now a wide assortment of tasty cultivars available for the adventurous gardener.

Edible figs grow on small to medium-sized trees with a typically rounded, shrubby appearance. Each fig cultivar displays slight variations in stature, as well as the taste and appearance of the ripe fruits. The ‘Yellow Long Neck’ fig has distinctive bright yellow-green fruits and a sweet, honey-like flavor. 

Edible figs are easy to grow and make excellent landscaping plants. They require a mild climate, plenty of bright sunlight, and rich, moist soil. If you can provide these growing conditions, you should have no trouble growing a fig tree. ‘Yellow Long Neck’ figs are one of the smaller varieties and are an ideal option for container gardening and smaller landscapes.

Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the wonderful world of figs. If you can grow your own, it won’t be long before you’re harvesting your first crop!


A close-up of an unripe Yellow Long Neck fig, its green hue hinting at imminent ripeness. The blurred backdrop of lush foliage accentuates the fig's solitary beauty, promising a forthcoming burst of sweetness.
The yellow long-neck fig is a deciduous fruit tree belonging to the Moraceae family.
Plant Type Deciduous fruit tree
Family Moraceae
Genus Ficus
Species carica ‘Yellow Long Neck’
Native Area Cultivated
USDA Hardiness Zone 7 – 10
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Rich, Moist, Well-drained
Watering Requirements Medium
Maintenance Medium
Suggested Uses Edible landscape, wildlife garden, container garden
Height 4 – 8 feet
Bloom Season Spring
Flower Color Green
Attracts Birds, mammals, beneficial insects
Problems Fruit rot, root knot nematodes, rust, skin irritation
Resistant To Drought, heat, deer
Plant Spacing 8 feet

Plant Natural History

Edible fig trees (Ficus carica), also referred to as the common fig, are native to the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia. In their natural habitat, they live in warm climates with plenty of sun and average-quality, well-drained soil. They’re an important part of their natural environment because they provide quality food for many species of wildlife.

Humans have a long relationship with fig trees and have cultivated and eaten figs since ancient times. Edible figs were introduced to Europe, China, and finally, North America, where they were grown for their abundance of delicious fruits.

These fruit trees are well-loved and have been bred extensively. There are now hundreds of different cultivars, including the ‘Yellow Long Neck’ fig tree. Almost all of the commercially available figs are cultivars of the original parent species.


A close-up of unripe Yellow Long Neck figs hanging from a branch. The figs display a vibrant green hue, indicating their early stage of growth. In the blurred background, lush green leaves suggest a flourishing fig tree environment.
These figs boast edible soft skin and tender flesh.

‘Yellow Long Neck’ figs are one of the many common fig cultivars. This particular variety is known for its jumbo-sized fruits, which can reach about three inches across. The fruits are well-rounded, with a stout but prominent “neck” at the top of each fruit. 

At maturity, the fruits develop bright yellow-green skins. On the inside, the tender flesh is pale amber-yellow. These figs have a delicious, sweet, honey-like flavor with a bit of seedy crunch. These figs are fully edible, with soft skin and extremely tender flesh.

‘Yellow Long Neck’ figs are self-fertile and don’t require another fig nearby to set plenty of perfect fruits. These trees bloom in the spring but don’t expect to see your tree covered with flowers. Fig flowers are uniquely formed. They are inverted and appear more like small, hard, green fruits than a traditional petaled flower shape.

Fig trees have thick stems and smooth, gray bark. The main stems begin branching very close to the ground and can have a somewhat sprawling appearance. Overall, fig trees look densely branched and rounded in form. The leaves are broad and have three prominent lobes. They stay green throughout the summer and turn yellow in the fall before dropping for the winter.

How to Grow

‘Yellow Long Neck’ figs are easy to grow as long as you can provide the right conditions for them to thrive. Do you live in a mild climate and have moist soil and plenty of sunlight? If you do, these trees should be right at home in your landscape. 


A cluster of small, green Yellow Long Neck figs nestles amidst lush leaves, soaking up the sunlight. In the background, blurred branches adorned with more foliage create a verdant tapestry of nature's abundance.
Fig trees need full sun for 6-8 hours daily to thrive.

This fig variety requires a location with full sun. They need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. Fig trees grown in partial shade will lack vitality and won’t produce as many figs as those grown in full sunlight.


A fig tree dappled by droplets from sprinklers. Its backdrop features meticulously trimmed grass, and beyond lies a vast expanse resembling a tranquil ocean, creating a serene ambiance.
The fig trees need thorough watering weekly during their first years.

Edible fig trees like regular soil moisture but not wet soil. Give your fig tree a thorough watering once a week, especially during the first couple of years after planting. Once fully established, fig trees become somewhat drought-tolerant.


A potting mix, a blend of nutrient-rich soil, organic matter, and perlite for optimal plant growth. Its airy texture promotes healthy root development while retaining moisture, creating an ideal environment for vibrant and thriving plants.
This fig variety requires nutrient-rich, slightly acidic soil.

‘Yellow Long Neck’ fig trees benefit from nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. The soil should be high in organic matter, and you can add some organic compost to the planting site to help enrich poor soil. The soil pH should be neutral to slightly acidic.

Climate and Temperature

A vibrant Yellow Long Neck fig tree stands tall, its branches adorned with unripe figs, soaking in the warm sunlight. In the distance, majestic mountains paint the backdrop, casting a serene and picturesque scene of nature's beauty.
The tree may face fungal diseases in excessively hot and humid climates.

The ‘Yellow Long Neck’ fig is hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7 through 10. These trees will survive mild winters and hot summers. Excessively hot and humid climates may increase the likelihood of some fungal and bacterial diseases, such as leaf spot, fruit rot, and powdery mildew. Severe freezes may kill some or all of the branches, but as long as the roots are undamaged, the tree will re-sprout.


A person wearing white gloves and a gray long-sleeved shirt gently holds a pile of tree mulch in their hands, preparing to spread it. Beneath them lies a mound of additional tree mulch, ready to be distributed for gardening purposes.
Fertilize fig trees annually with a balanced fertilizer to avoid over-fertilization.

A young one- to two-year-old fig tree typically does not need any extra fertilizer. As your tree matures, apply an annual dose of a well-balanced fertilizer. Avoid over-fertilization, as this can decrease your tree’s fruit production.

Rather than fertilizer, you can add a top dressing of organic compost mulch over the roots each year. As the mulch breaks down, it will naturally boost the soil nutrients for your tree.


A close-up of a Yellow Long Neck fig stem with fresh, tender leaves unfurling under sunlight. In the backdrop, a blur of verdant hues hints at the lush, thriving ecosystem surrounding this vibrant specimen.
Prune fig trees in late winter for desired shape and size.

Check your tree periodically for dead and damaged branches, and prune these off as you notice them. Edible fig trees don’t require extra pruning unless you want to keep them a particular shape and size.

Do your pruning in the late winter before your tree starts to leaf out for the season. Wear gloves when pruning a fig tree to avoid contact with the sap.


A gardener in brown boots firmly presses a gardening fork into the moist soil, preparing the earth for planting. They use their foot to drive the fork, mixing in organic mulch for nutrient-rich soil.
Using biodegradable mulch around your fig tree conserves soil moisture.

Add a layer of biodegradable mulch around your fig tree, keeping the mulch away from the trunk of the tree by a couple of inches. Mulch will help preserve soil moisture around the roots and will also help protect the roots from winter freezes. As the mulch breaks down, it will help nourish the soil. Mulches have the added benefit of helping prevent weed growth around your tree.

Overwintering container-grown figs

An array of white pots cradling vibrant fig trees, their verdant leaves extending gracefully. Sunlight bathes the intricate lobes, casting a gentle glow on the foliage, creating a serene ambiance within the space.
Shield potted fig trees from harsh winter conditions by keeping them in an unheated garage.

If you are growing a ‘Yellow Long Neck’ fig tree in a container, protect it from severe winter weather. Store your container in an unheated garage or basement, keeping the soil just slightly moist to keep the roots from drying out. When the weather begins to warm in the spring, move your potted fig outside again.


Two hands gently harvest a ripe fig from a lush tree, fingers delicately grasping the fruit. Surrounding the scene are lush green leaves, hinting at the vibrant ecosystem supporting the succulent fruit hanging nearby.
Gently snap fruits off by bending the stem at the branch junction.

‘Yellow Long Neck’ figs will become plump, rounded, and bright yellow-green when fully ripe. Keep a close eye on them during harvest time and harvest them daily as they ripen. If you are unsure when to harvest, simply pick a fig and try it. If it is tender and sweet, then it’s ripe and ready to pick. If it’s still firm and bland tasting, it needs a little more time on the tree. 

Harvest your figs carefully by bending the stem where it meets the branch, and they should snap off with little resistance. Handle the fruits carefully because they bruise easily.


A cluster of ripe Yellow Long Neck figs, their smooth skins glowing golden under soft light, arranged carefully in a container. Each fig, with its yellow hue, exudes a sweet aroma, promising a succulent and flavorsome treat upon consumption.
Extend the shelf life of fresh-picked figs by refrigerating them.

Fresh-picked figs can be stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for several days. If you need to store them longer than this, consider drying them (for an easy snack), freezing them (for making smoothies), or using them for canning and preserving. Try making pickled figs, fig jelly, or fig relish!

Garden Design

Yellow Long Neck fig tree with vibrant leaves and ripe fruits hanging from its branches, basking in sunlight. The golden rays gently filter through the dense foliage, creating a serene ambiance under the canopy of this flourishing tree.
Keep fig trees at a safe distance from buildings to avoid root issues.

This is a beautiful fig tree for landscaping. Since this cultivar doesn’t typically grow very large, it is an excellent choice for a smaller landscape. Grow it as an accent plant in a sunny location and admire its appealing, rounded form. 

Looking to try a fruit tree container garden? This fig variety is a great option. 

This variety can be grown in a 5- to 10-gallon container. Ideally, start with the smaller container and repot your tree every couple of years as the roots fill in the available space. Prune your tree each year in late winter or early spring to keep it a manageable size.

Edible fig trees have expansive and shallow root systems. For this reason, don’t grow your fig right next to a structure, sidewalk, or driveway, and keep it a safe distance away from underground pipes. You don’t want the roots of your fig to interfere with or damage anything on your property.

If you are hoping to create an edible landscape, make sure to include some other edible plants in your yard. Blueberry bushes and figs will grow well in similar conditions. Incorporate some herbs or edible flowers in garden beds nearby for a delicious and beautiful mix of vegetation!

Wildlife Value

A flourishing Yellow Long Neck fig tree stands tall, its robust trunks reaching for the sky. In the distance lies an expansive orchard, promising a bounty of fruits and the whispers of a serene countryside.
Fig trees attract wildlife with their abundant fruits.

Edible fig trees are valuable wildlife trees. Birds will find the trees a good spot for perching and seeking shelter. Fruit-eating birds will happily eat the ripe fruits. Small mammals will also enjoy eating the fruits. Fortunately, these trees are usually so productive that you can safely share some with the local wildlife.


Fig plants can be propagated by cuttings, layering, and root sprouts. Taking stem cuttings is the quickest and simplest method of propagation for most people. If you already have access to a mature fig tree, you can easily start another by the cutting method.


A black seedling tray holds fig cuttings, poised for growth. Surrounding it, a fertile brown soil nurtures an array of flourishing plants, each a testament to the cycle of life and renewal in nature's embrace.
Propagate cuttings by maintaining slight soil moisture until roots develop.

In late winter or early spring, use a clean, sharp pruning tool to take a few cuttings from healthy branch tips. Each cutting should be about 10 to 12 inches long and at least ½ inch thick. Dip the lower end in rooting hormone for faster rooting. Then, place the hormone-coated lower half into a pot filled with clean potting soil. Keep your pot in a protected location where you can keep an eye on it.

Keep the soil slightly moist. As the weather warms, the cuttings will start to develop roots. You will know that your cuttings were successful when they begin to sprout fresh leaves in the spring. Keep the cuttings growing in their pots throughout the summer and continue to keep the soil moist. In the fall, you can safely transplant your cuttings into a permanent garden location. Give them plenty of mulch for their first winter because they will be more cold-sensitive until they become fully established. 


Black plastic bag pots contain thriving fig saplings, their verdant leaves stretching towards the sky. Bathed in sunlight, the foliage glows, casting intricate shadows on the textured surface of the bags, a testament to nature's resilience and adaptability.
Transplant your potted fig tree by choosing the perfect spot in either spring or fall.

When your potted fig tree is ready to be transplanted into a permanent home, follow these simple steps:

  • Select an ideal location for your tree.
  • Transplant in the spring or fall for best results.
  • Prepare a hole slightly deeper and about twice as wide as the pot.
  • Gently remove your fig tree from the pot.
  • Spread out the roots so they aren’t tangled in a tight jumble.
  • If your tree has a prominent tap root, keep it aiming down.
  • Place the tree into the prepared hole.
  • Refill the hole with soil, adding several handfuls of organic compost with the soil.
  • Tamp down the soil around the transplanted tree.
  • Check to see that the tree is aiming up and not leaning to the side.
  • Water your tree well, making sure the soil is thoroughly moistened, not just the surface.
  • Keep your newly transplanted tree very well-watered for the first few weeks.
  • If planted in the spring, continue to water weekly for the rest of the summer.
  • If planted in the fall, mulch it well to protect your tender young plant from winter weather.
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Common Problems

Fig trees are typically healthy and easy to grow in the home landscape. If you can provide the right climate and growing conditions, you probably won’t experience any problems with your trees. Keep an eye out, however, for each of these potential issues.

Fruit rot

A close-up of a withered fig, its skin wrinkled and darkened, clings to a branch. Despite its decay, the fig's contours retain a haunting beauty, capturing the passage of time in nature's delicate embrace.
Harvest ripe figs daily to avoid fruit rot as they soften fast.

Once figs start to ripen, they ripen really fast. If you can’t pick all the ripe fruits each day, they will quickly start to rot. Fruits ripening during extremely wet and rainy weather will also be more prone to fruit rot.

Rotten fruits then start to smell fermented, soften, invite insect pests, and spoil. The best way to prevent fruit rot is simply to harvest all the ripe fruits every day, even if you know you can’t eat them all. 

Root-knot nematodes

A close-up of fig roots reveals entwined tendrils hosting root-knot nematodes, their slender bodies intertwining amidst the fibrous network. In the blurred backdrop, lush greenery hints at the vitality of the ecosystem, a symbiotic dance of growth and predation.
Root-knot nematodes infect fig tree roots, causing swelling and reduced vigor.

Root-knot nematodes are microscopic organisms that live in the soil. If these nematodes are present in the soil near where you plant a fig tree, they will infect the roots of the tree, causing the roots to develop swellings and bulges. Infected trees will lose vigor and have poor fruit production and yellowed leaves. If your tree dies as a result of root-knot nematodes, or if you know these organisms are present in your soil, do not plant another fig tree in the same location because it will also become infected.

You can treat areas that are infested with root-knot nematodes with beneficial nematodes. These prey on the detrimental species, eliminating them in the process. Do two treatments spaced seven to ten days apart in temperate weather. Soils below 50°F (10°C) and above 80°F (27°C) are inhospitable to beneficial nematodes.


A close-up of a fig leaf reveals its intricate lobed edges, gracefully textured and defined. Specks of rust add a weathered charm, hinting at the passage of time and the leaf's journey through seasons.
Fig rust is a fungal infection prevalent in warm, humid regions.

Fig rust most commonly affects fig trees grown in warm, humid climates. Rust is a fungal infection that results in a powdery, rusty-brown growth on the leaves and fruits.

While rarely fatal to the tree, rust does cause damage and diminishes the overall health of your tree and its fruit production. Prune away severely affected leaves and branches and destroy infected materials so they don’t spread the rust spores to cause reinfection.

Skin irritation

In a garden, a young fig sapling sprouts, its tender branches reaching for the sunlight. Its foliage boasts lush, lobed leaves, each vein a testament to its burgeoning growth and promise of future fruitfulness.
Handling edible fig trees can cause skin irritation due to their sticky sap.

Edible fig trees contain a sticky white sap in the leaves, stems, and branches. This sap can cause contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals. The stiff leaf hairs can also cause minor itching and skin irritation for sensitive people.

When you are working with your tree, wear gloves and long sleeves to avoid contact with the sap and the stiff leaf hairs. Also, wash your hands thoroughly after working with your tree. 

Final Thoughts

Anyone considering growing a fig tree in a pot or in their landscape should consider the merits of this cultivar. These charming little fruit trees produce plenty of delicious, sweet, and healthy fruits that you can enjoy eating fresh, frozen, dried, or preserved.

All you need to grow your own ‘Yellow Long Neck’ fig tree is a little space, good lighting, rich, well-drained soil, and a mild to moderate climate. With excellent growing conditions, these trees are virtually trouble-free and low-maintenance. Within a year or two, you already will be able to enjoy your first harvest!

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