Can you tell me what's wrong with my baby fig tree? I've heard this same complaint from two other people - the first few figs were great, then they just got hard and didn't ripen. Now there are spots on the dying leaves.
This is a common fungal disease called fig rust. It generally shows up in late summer and fall and may cause premature defoliation. However, fig trees tolerate the damage well and recover just fine. No need to treat.
Fig trees always produce more green figs than they actually ripen. In late summer and fall, after the main harvest, there are generally many green figs remaining on the tree that never ripen. This is typical for fig trees. As your tree gets older, it will ripen more figs over a longer period.
Consumer Horticulture Specialist
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture