what is a good first fig tree?

bullet08(7)September 24, 2010


i have only grown plants, but no fruit trees. however, i was talking with my wife about growing some fruit tree after visiting my father in law few weeks ago. he has number of things growing in his backyard and i wanted to try some.

reading and researching the net, i found fig tree is not very hard to grow. so decided to give it a try. but not really sure which one to try.

i heard good things about paradiso, violette de bordeaux, and many others.

i live in north carolina. it's very hot here. it's almost oct. and temp is still going up to 90 degrees during afternoon. and it can get very humid.

what would be the best fig to try? i can only have one fig tree to start with. after that, if i'm able to keep it going for year or two, i might give a shot at few others.

i read good things about edible landscape, raintree and figtrees.net from this forum. what would be a good fig tree that won't disappoint me too much?


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Hi Pete.Talking about black (dark) figs,i like hardy chicago,sal's el or corleone and marseille vs black and....hundred more!!!Marius

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:41AM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

Spanish missionaries, when they colonized the west coast, were faced with the same question. They brought and planted black mission figs. Still a good choice.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 8:27PM
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Hi Pete, if it were me I would go ahead and go with a Violette de Bordeaux. It tastes great when grown in a warm climate. For that matter I've heard it tastes great grown in any climate. Once its established it can fruit 2-3 times a year here in the south. Its just a little bit warmer here but it should be a great tree where you live too. My guess is it will fruit at least twice a year in your climate once established.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 8:59PM
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I would also suggest you go with a Violette de Bordeaux as your first fig. It is one of the best tasting figs. It is easy to grow, does well in pot culture or in ground, and the tree itself is very pretty.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 1:52AM
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What iimportant in your climate in order to grow figs,is how cold is the extreme low in winter.
Mission for example can get killed to ground eaSY IN THE WINTEReven thow is a super excellent fig.
On the other hand Marseilles vs black will take winters on when Mission,and Violette will struggle,and die to soil line.
So get your extreme low and if it is higher than 20F,then go with Mission,and other exotic,figs but if Lower go with Hardy Chicago,Marseilles vs Black,and even Better Gino's fig.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 10:05AM
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mountainman0826(z8B TX)

Herman is correct in his assertion that Mission (Francisciana)is a little more cold sensitive than some fig varieties. If you grow Mission, you also have to consider the space you have available. Even when you trim it heavily, it grows to be a big tree or bush. According to Condit, if I recall correctly, in the earlier part of the 20th century, he came across some Mission trees in the northern Virginia/Washington D.C. area, so they would probably grow in coastal areas of North Carolina or in the right microclimate. The pioneers chose the Celeste fig variety for several reasons: cold hardiness, taste and reliability. The tree is also more compact than Mission. Celeste is still a good choice, although the figs are somewhat small. Adriatic is also a good choice. However, like Mission, it is more cold-sensitive than Celeste or Hardy Chicago.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 11:37AM
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thanks all for the replies. i decided to go with gene's paradiso, violette de bordeaux, and kathleen's black. i know that's more than i planned. i'll be growing them in containers, and will be taking them into my garage once they drop all the leaves for the winter.

i hope i don't kill them..


    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 6:53PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Ahhhhh, Another fig nut is born..... That's great, Pete.

Besides the fact that figs are so delicious--They're good for you, to boot! Can't beat that.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 9:44PM
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Dennis AKA Snaglpus(8a)

Pete, everyone gave you some of the best information. I live in NC like you. And yes, it has been one of the hottest summer ever! I have all the tree mentioned and they do fine here. However, for those I have in containers, I had to relocate them to complete shade. Because the sun was burning the leaves really bad. Once I placed in shade, the sun burn went away and I had figs, lots of figs. Like Herman2 said, you have to consider the winter months. In my area (western Piedmont) it gets really cold here and we have 4 full complete seasons. How cold? Well in January (our coldest month) temps got down to 20 degrees for several days. I have 3 Mission figs in the ground. The hard freeze killed them to the ground, but all three came back 3 feet tall and grew fruit!

VdB, Parasido, and Hardy Chicago are excellent figs and will grow fine here. I have several of these cultivars too. You made some good choices. But once you see them grow and taste the fruit, you will want more! I love the flavor of Gino's, Parasido, Strawberry, MVS, and VdB. But there are many others that are excellent in richness and flavor also, but stick with what you chose for now, read the past forums....do your research. In no time you will be in love with figs like the rest of us! Good luck, Cheers! Dennis

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 11:11PM
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