Sunday, October 7, 2012

Plants That Will Never Be In My Garden...Figs

Sometimes it might seem that my garden evolves in a haphazard way...just put something in the ground and see what happens. Actually, I do try to at least pick the proper plant for the proper area. I'm continually telling my wife when we're at the garden center to figure out where a plant will go in our limited space before she puts it in the cart.

Some plants I just won't allow. King among those is the ficus, the family of fig trees.

Oh, they can be pretty trees. Few cast more cool shade than a common fig but watch can have ghastly consequences when put in the wrong place.

The city of Los Angeles is currently facing a $1.5 billion dollar bill for fixing sidewalks throughout the city that have been destroyed by figs.  They are also trying to figure out a way to get homeowners to pay for it and get the city off of the hook.

You see, figs have very strong, vigorous, and just slightly sub-surface roots. Strong enough to destroy a sidewalk...strong enough to destroy a house (which I've seen happen too).

They're also messy and, since they're so shady, can stop anything else from growing underneath it.

The Federal Building in L.A. has figured that Jacarandas work better with their sidewalks

I would not plant a ficus anywhere that I didn't have at least 50 feet of open space in all directions from the tree.

So, for this cheapskate, no figgin' ficus trees in my tiny little garden.

Copyright 2012 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved


  1. I love ficus, but no, they are better off on large large properties.

  2. Guess I should count myself lucky that they are grown basically as a barely hardy perennial, if grown at all, in my zone 5 climate. Still, I would commit some dastardly acts for a basket of fresh figs.