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  • My Fig Tree won't Ripen...

    I've been waiting and waiting for my fig tree to ripen... but they seemed to have just halted developing all of July... they didn't get bigger, they didn't fall off, they didn't rot, they didn't do ANYTHING.

    Because it's in the ground, I can't tell if it's getting enough, too little, too much water. I read about the dab of oil over the eye... but all the eyes are tightly shut, there's no opening. Do you think that, or anything else, will help force them to ripen faster? Is it normal to take this long? The exact same sized breba I had ripened back in May... it's now August and the same sized main fruit aren't changing...
    Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)

  • #2
    Be patient, there is a lot happening inside the fruit right now. Last year I had Atreano stall and it was members on this forum that reassured me to wait and wait I did. I was rewarded with the fruit swelling to almost double its size in a 7 day period and it turned into soft marshmallow - very tasty.

    Avoid touching, squeezing and poking. What variety is it?

    Really happy with what I have.


    • #3
      It is normal to for them to stall out at the stagnant stage for what seems like forever. It roughly takes about 3-4 months for figs to ripen. Do you know when you first started to notice the small main crop figlets forming?

      With respect to the oil, some say that it works but also reduces the quality of the ripened figs. Haven't tried it myself.
      Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Sucrette UCD, Rubado


      • #4
        Last year, mine went from green to ripe and drooping in under a week. I thought it would never happen too. Sit tight!
        Zone 7a in Virginia


        • #5
          Ok. Thanks guys, that's reassuring! I didn't try the oil, because I read it might alter the taste. The variety is unknown, it's my 'big fig', which resembles a LSU Gold, but isn't. I also thought maybe it just had too many figs on it to ripen properly, there are about 400 figs on the tree...

          Should I water it more? We are getting daily rain downpours, but they only last for a few minutes at a time. Would more fertilizer help? I just feel like I should do something, but not sure what.
          Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)


          • #6
            OMG!!!! After typing this, I went outside to look at my fig tree, and they ARE starting to ripen!!!! There was ONE fig, way up near the top of the tree that I didn't see that was not only ripening, it was exactly at the stage of slightly overripe that everyone has talked about. I picked my May breba before this point. This was so ripe, it was almost watery and falling apart. So I took pix just now.

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            My breba were melon-like in taste. This was... omg... I can't even describe what it tastes like, there's nothing I've ever tasted that was like this. The lower half of the fruit was soggy ripe with juice. Almost barely held in by the thin skin. It was slightly tart/sour... wine-like, even a hint of salty. The top portion had a zing of sugary sweet that balanced the tart. I think because it was over-ripe, it actually began to ferment at the bottom of the fruit, which gave it un-freaking-believable depth. The plate after I cut it had about 1/2 a teaspoon of juice sitting on it (which I licked- and it had an almost wine-like taste). I've had this tree for 10 years in the ground, but never caught any of the fruit at this stage of development. In prior years, I didn't hover over it like a mother hen either. OMG!!!!

            There's more ripening, but I think a few more days before they get to this stage of ripe. The fruit is large, I wouldn't call it huge, but around 2 1/2" -3" in diameter. Before it was fully ripe (where I had picked it before, the inside was scarlet red in a T formation, like the tips of the flower buds, but over-ripe like this, it's hard to tell how red it is. I shot these at my desk where the light isn't great, but the inside is still much redder than amber.

            AHHH!!! I want a bucket-ful of these, NOW!!! LOL!!

            Here are the next most ripe ones.
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            When all the fruit are gone (in my belly), I'm going to air layer many of these branches. I don't know what other fresh figs taste like yet, but if they are anything like this, I may tear everything non-critical bush out of my yard and plant them!
            Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)


            • #7
              I was going to add that for your plant to carry 400 fruit its in good condition and does not need extra anything ......and then they ripen.

              Really happy with what I have.


              • #8
                Because the figs were all around the same size, I thought they'd all ripen at the same time. Apparently, they are going to ripen a few at a time... so maybe no jams or jellies, but I'll get figs longer (I hope). This is amazing!
                Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)


                • #9
                  Q tip with drop olive oil on the eye. They will ripen on 3 day
                  Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                  1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                  2) This weeks ebay auctions.


                  • AscPete
                    AscPete commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Oiling works at the end of the stagnant stage, it hastens the ripening stage (Stage III).

                • #10
                  http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/15714/PDF ,

                  'Main Crop Figs:
                  Stage I ... Rapid growth to quiescence (stagnant stage or stage II), 5 - 6 weeks
                  Stage II ... Quiescence stage 3 - 8 weeks (depending on the fig variety)
                  Stage III ... Ripening 3 - 5 weeks.'

                  They are at Stage II for up to 2 months (depending on the cultivar) and typical for all figs, since they develop as the branch grows out they ripen over an extended period, its essentially the 30 - 60 - 90 day fig ripening rule.
                  Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


                  • #11
                    Fabio, I will try a few this way too.

                    AscPete, that explains why it took soooo long. Mine decided to take the longer time frame on all stages maybe. I'm happy now tho!
                    Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)