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  • #26
    Kelby this post asked a really good question and contains many good responses 👍. Now 2.5 years later I'm curious if anything has changed based on results, new information/experience or goals regarding growing figs in containers and in ground. I stumbled on this post while researching varieties known to be early, productive and good performers in colder short season climates. Specifically trying to narrow down my list of varieties I'm putting in ground in 2020. Let's revisit this question and this isn't just for Kelby, it's for anyone reading the question he asked:

    "So here's the question for all you fine folks...you can only keep 6-8 trees. They must be easy to grow, productive, and have good taste that isn't too similar to any others. What do you keep?"

    What are your 6-8 keepers in containers? What are your 6-8 keepers in ground? What varieties do you look forward to possibly being keepers in either category?
    Chris - Zone 6b


    • Bellefleurs
      Bellefleurs commented
      Editing a comment
      Once upon a time 6-8 trees seemed like a LOT of trees....😂

    • Evdurtschi
      Evdurtschi commented
      Editing a comment
      Oof. Not sure I could do that yet. 😂 Not until I’ve tested them thoroughly. I do have a top 20 that I would be ok with though but that will also change as I get to try even more the next couple years.

    • ross
      ross commented
      Editing a comment
      I am sure so much has changed.

  • #27
    This thread could be renamed "Okay Newbies, in this part of the country you might start with these 6, 8, or 10 varieties."
    Still just a Newbie --- Eastern Missouri --- Zone 6a --- Wish List: Vast and amazing rooting success.


    • Cguitar
      Cguitar commented
      Editing a comment
      Lol. Many posts on ourfigs reinforce what newbies should stick to. You could start one today: "Despite The Temptations, Stick to These 6-8 varieties if you live in zone ______!". We learn by reading, watching, listening and doing. Everyone is different in the ways they learn. However, when it comes to growing figs many of us can't help ourselves
      and jump to more DOING no matter what our typical learning preferences. I know I'm guilty!!

  • #28
    By chance, I re-read this thread, including my own comments from 2017. Since then, I've managed to get great production from both my DK synonyms -- Zumwalt and Filacciano Bianco. So for me this San Pedro variety is a definite keeper. Meanwhile, I've become less enthralled with late-ripening varieties such as the Adriatics and VdB family. So my updated list (by ripening order) is:

    Desert King (Zumwalt / Filacciano Bianco)
    Ronde de Bordeaux
    Improved Celeste
    Malta Black vs (or equivalent ME)
    Violet Sepor
    English Brown Turkey

    If I had to grow only one variety, it would be Ronde de Bordeaux, which is early, productive and tasty. I picked the first ripe fruit in mid-August, the last in very late October, >200 from a single potted tree. Malta Black (ME) and Florea would be 2nd and 3rd choices for similar reasons. Smith and VS are later but early enough and outstanding in flavor; I described Violet Sepor in an earlier post as "my new best friend." Finally, my generic box store EBT has surprised me by also ripening early enough, producing tasty figs right up to frost. There's a reason why this family is popular.

    I have high hopes for some other reportedly early varieties, which I added a year ago. We'll see.

    If I had a greenhouse, my 1st add to the list would be an Adriatic such as JHA. But so far, both my Adriatics and my VdB types leave too may unripe figs at season's end.

    p.s. I don't distinguish above between potted and in-ground trees, which is deliberate. With my method for protecting in-ground trees, I think I could keep any variety alive and producing in-ground. And I don't do any extravagant pot shuffle, with the result that OTE the potted trees generally ripen fruit only slightly (zero to a few days) ahead of my in-ground trees.
    Last edited by jrdewhirst; 02-16-2020, 09:55 AM.
    Joe, Z6B, RI. Taking COVID-19 seriously. Self-quarantined, looking forward to next season.


    • Rewton
      Rewton commented
      Editing a comment
      Joe, wasn't Desert King identified as a seeding in California while FB is an Italian variety? I hope genetic comparisons are done on these but for now it is difficult for me to think of them as synonyms.

    • jrdewhirst
      jrdewhirst commented
      Editing a comment
      Desert King was growing in CA but there's no evidence (as far as I know) that it was a seedling.

      After past discussions on this topic, I searched forever and the best I could tell is that the seedling part of the story is urban legend. IMO, the most likely scenario would seem to be that some immigrant brought it from the Mediterranean to CA. Maybe the same Franciscan monks who brought "Mission" to the missions.

      My understanding is that the fig wasp was introduced to CA in 1899. Condit says that "King" was propagated from a tree in Madera CA in roughly 1930. Presumably the tree was already mature and bearing. It seems impossibly short work by the wasps to have produced the best ever San Pedro almost immediately after introduction.

      Anyway, I can find no verification that the original King was a seedling.

    • ramv
      ramv commented
      Editing a comment
      Even if they happen to be genetically different, Filacciano and DK are too similar to grow both. They have similar leaves, similar fruit, similar vigor, ripen at the same time. etc. I would bet they are the same variety.

  • #29
    Great thread. Too little experience with varieties to give an opinion, but I'm happy that many of the must haves on lots of experienced growers lists have made it to my grow closet or at least my WL!
    Tony. Pickens county, SC zone 7b
    WL: Angelo's Dark; Atreano; Azores Dark; Brooklyn White; Dominick; Florea; Golden Riverside; LSU Early Improved Celeste; some Maltese or Italians; Napolitana:


    • #30
      1. RdB - early
      2. Syrian Dark - because it is early and good
      3. Red Lebanese(BV) - I don't have one in the ground
      4. Smith
      5. Strawberry Verte
      6. Black Zadar
      7. Soccoro Black
      8. I-258

      New list as above also in approximate ripening order. I have a Florea and RdB in ground which are both productive but the RdB in ground has been slow to get started so I would retain RdB in my list.
      I have 10 Mt Etnas in ground and could remove the two listed in my first list.
      Syrian Dark is a little different than the standard Mt Etnas and is earlier, thicker texture (could be substituted with Norella or Azores Dark but they were not quite as early)
      Red Lebanese could be substituted with St Rita, I think
      Borjassotte Gris could replace Soccoro Black as they are very similar.

      And I need 9 to include LdA.
      SW PA zone 6a


      • Sod
        Sod commented
        Editing a comment
        Ed do you have Black Zadar in the ground?

      • eboone
        eboone commented
        Editing a comment
        No I do not
        Might be a future project

    • #31
      Originally posted by Kelby View Post
      For various reasons I'm likely going to begin the process of substantially thinning my potted tree collection. I know, brand me a heretic now.

      This isn't anything new, I've always had the intention on only having 6-8 potted trees to supplement my in-ground trees. These will be jumbo potted trees, 25 gallon pots (bigger if I can figure out a way to move them without breaking my back). I think most 25 gallon size trees will be capable of producing ample fruit. Some smaller trees will be kept to trial, hopefully replacing trees or being discarded reasonably quickly.

      So here's the question for all you fine folks...you can only keep 6-8 trees. They must be easy to grow, productive, and have good taste that isn't too similar to any others. What do you keep?

      Here's my 8 at the moment...

      Nexoe (English Brown Turkey)
      Adriatic JH
      Malta Black
      Black Madeira KK

      Oh, and if anyone wants some large (10 gal, 6' tall) San Pedro trees (Desert King, Grantham's Royal, Filacciano Bianco) and can pick them up, let me know. They aren't making the cut.
      Hi Kelby . I am interested in helping you thin your collection and can pick up one or several from you if still available. Thanks... joe

      Ooooops. Just noticed that this thread was from 2017. Im a little late.
      Last edited by JoeRap; 02-16-2020, 06:51 PM.
      Joe - Zone 6B in Pennsylvania


      • Figtron
        Figtron commented
        Editing a comment
        You're in good company!
        I'm constantly thinking old threads are a hot new item too, lol!

    • #32
      Hi Kelby,
      There are 5 here that I grow in pots, a few I wouldn't do without.
      Ive been growing Atreano for at least 10 years. Its a good fig, but many like this.
      Malta Black is excellent. Close to a must have, you need a good Lattarula in there for the honey fig lovers in all of us.
      Must Have's :
      Ive been growing an awesome RdB that I bought from the infamous Herman 2 (Vasile). I can't say that every year is awesome, but when its good, its as good as any fig Ive ever tasted.
      I feel even stronger with Adriatic JH. I got mine from JH and it is without a doubt one of my top tasting figs consistently and see it as a major step above. Also, when right, it doesn't get any better.
      Good luck culling, It ain't easy


      • #33
        I love threads like this. I would like to hear from experienced growers with figs in a dry, hot environment with a long growing season, and which figs perform best in their locale.
        Deep in the heart of Texas
        zone 8b


        • #34
          Still a year away from major culling, although a few will hopefully be leaving this season, simply because I am out of space. I won't claim that these cover the range of flavor profiles, I like exotic Berry, so that's overwhelmingly represented. Ultimately plan on keeping about 10, so far those that I think might make it on the Ark (always subject to change):

          Craven's Craving
          Col. Littman's
          CdD Blanc
          CdD Gris
          Bourjasotte Grise
          White Madeira #1 or Ponte Tresa
          Martenenca Rimada or CdD Rimada
          Smith or I258
          Unk Pastilliere with grafted caprifig (State has removed almost all the wild figs near me, gotta hope I can keep some wasps with only grafted caprifig)
          Thermalito or Exquisito?

          OMG, that leaves about 60 varieties, some of them really, really good, some I haven't had a truly ripe fig from yet, vying to kick off one of these. This can't be happening. I can't do this. Even if I graft and create a bunch of frankenfigs, I simply don't have the room to let them get big enough for each variety to produce meaningful numbers of figs. What have I done !?!
          Richard - San Diego 10a
          2020 Cuttings Sale Link


          • #35
            Ha. My trees cull themselves. Takes all the guess work out of it.
            Willamette Valley Oregon, zone 8b. WL: zaffiro, Black Tuscan, rodgrod, campaniere, CLBC, de la Gloria, thermalito, del sen juame gran, Sangue dolce, Black ischia, Jack Lily, vincenzo, verdolino, Syrian dark, rubado


            • FigHearted
              FigHearted commented
              Editing a comment
              Oh Sod, I'm sorry for you.

          • #36
            DrDraconian Wake up!! Wake up!! It's only a very, very bad dream. A nightmare. You don't have to kick off any. It's okay, you'll be alright just as your figs will be. Calm down, relax and take a few deep breaths. We're here for you. You are all safe....
            Last edited by FigHearted; 02-17-2020, 10:21 PM.
            WL: Maltese Beauty, Dalmatie, Texas Peach, Buzzone Nero, BFF, BB10, Adriatic JH, Battaglia Green, CLBC, White Baca, Del Monte, Raspberry Tart, Watermelon, Edith Lamb, Thermalito, Hative D'Argenteuil, Azores, Martinenca Rimada, Paratjal Rimada, Golden Rainbow


            • #37
              Well I have to make it to a couple hundred varieties before I start booting anything that is not horrible for my area
              Actively seeking any and all varieties
              #Sharing is caring
              Courtenay, BC 🇨🇦 zone 8a


              • #38
                In no particular order:

                (B) Smith - Very obvious
                (B) Azores Dark & Malta Black - these are thicker and more jammy HC types with decent drying capabilities
                (C) Nerucciolo d’elba - Indestructible
                (A) Verdino Del Nord (VR) - This fig is #1. Also indestructible.
                (C) Moro de Caneva - Replaced VdB
                (B) Campaniere - Potential to replace Smith, but it's currently #8 on this list. Just need more personal experience with it.
                (A) De la Roca - a better Coll de Dama with drying capabilities
                (B) Bourjassotte Grise, Socorro, Violette Sepor - I’m not entirely convinced that they’re different. Probably very minor differences like the HC types.

                Some of these are not too far away in flavor. Noted by A, B, & C in order of preference.
                Last edited by ross; 02-17-2020, 10:52 AM.
                Zone 7A - Philadelphia
                Flavor Profiles & Variety List / Facebook / YouTube / Blog


              • #39
                In ground
                lake spur
                Coconut BT
                11 Etnas To me not the same

                Going in ground this year:
                Stella unknown

                Pots- Top so far for ripening outside
                Stella Unknown- favorite green with red interior
                Super productive ink EBT (the only EBT I am keeping unless my rooted Susser George turns out to be better)
                LSU tiger- all around terrific
                Large negronne my favorite VDB excellent breba
                CCDGris (mine ripens 3 weeks earlier than Blanc and Noir)
                Blanche D'argentile- my favorite honey berry
                Hative D'argentile- ripens well and tangy
                Negre D'agde- productive and easy
                RDB- early and tasty
                Bourdisotte Gris/ Soccorro Black- my favorite outside dark fig
                Smith- my favorite outside green fig

                not great for short seasons but really good in pots
                Verdal negra (finished its crop inside)
                Planera (finished its crop inside)

                Great ripening in grow room
                CDD Blanc and Noir
                BM JFE
                De la Plata
                Motoso Preto

                Looking forward to likely fruiting this year
                Black Zadar
                Green Michurinska
                Gris olivette
                Gris de ST Jean

                Tons more young ones might fruit but too numerous to count. I probably totally left out some winners

                edit: yep
                how could I forget my favorite CLBC! Best all around and I am hoping to propagate to put in ground.
                long yellow/golden rainbow on the anticipated to fruit list

                Last edited by blaze; 02-17-2020, 07:35 PM.
                Soccer playing, whiskey drinking, cigar smoking, dark fig eating woman
                married to my best friend, the same uber tolerant man, for 29 years
                Zone 7a


                • #40
                  I would keep the first five I noted two and a half years ago for flavor, productivity, and diversity: Mt Etna, Ronde de Bordeaux, Improved Celeste, Brooklyn White, Long Yellow. And now, at this point, I would add two sizable and visual berry figs: Violet Sepor and Planera. For the eighth and last variety, I would look long at Florea for early productivity, Nordland for diversity and size, Violette de Bordeaux for early breba and premier main crop, LSU Purple and LSU Tiger for quality productivity, Figo Preto for multiple premier reasons... Would be hard pressed to pick that final spot. Probably Preto because the most different and premier.
                  Tony WV 6b


                  • Sod
                    Sod commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I certainly covered the “going overboard” part. Disposable income and free time are a bad combination. Lol. Now the free time is gone. I tried to research as much as I could, hopefully focusing on types that will work for my area, with just a few that’ll be borderline, and a couple primos that’ll need help. I didn’t anticipate going so far over, so I think I’ll have some stuff I’ll need to cull/sell. Luckily Evdurtschi has shown me how to properly ship trees, and I’ll be a little more confident in that. The crazy thing is there’s still more I want to get.

                  • Sod
                    Sod commented
                    Editing a comment
                    And btw, I have to give you, mountainfigs and a lot of other people a ton of thanks and credit for doing the initial legwork for us. I’ve frequently found myself using your site, Ben’s site, and all the forum posts here to drive my list.

                  • mountainfigs
                    mountainfigs commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks, I blazed a few new trails, of a sort, following the leads of many others. That's how it works. Lots to be further pursued for those who have the interest.