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  • Best fig varieties for full desert sun, intense heat?

    What varieties of figs do best in the ground with full sun and intense late summer heat in the 100s?
    We’ve had a recent heat wave here in SoCal and I’ve noticed that some fig trees with full sun have fruit that dries up in the heat rather than plumping up with ripe juiciness, even with daily water. I’ve had to move a number of pots to afternoon shade to save their harvest.
    One of the locations in my yard has full sun all day and I thought it would be perfect for figs, but now I’m not so sure. The Violette de Bordeaux planted there last Winter hasn’t grown at all and the Desert King flat died.
    I have a number of trees that are growing out of their five gallon pots and are ready to move into a permanent location. Any suggestions you could make would be appreciated.
    Mara, Southern California,
    Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

  • #2
    There is a grower in Las Vegas who I think has posted about this very subject before on this forum or figs4fun. I can't remember his username though but maybe he will chime in. He grows in SIPs. One thing I remember him saying is that Battaglia Green does much better than most figs in the extreme heat.
    Steve
    D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
    WL: Nantes Maroc

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    • #3
      Thanks Steve. I have two Battaglia Greens, could try one in the ground and one in a pot.
      Mara, Southern California,
      Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

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      • #4
        From experience, these are doing best in the full sun all day:
        Long Yellow, Zingarella/Aldo, Unk Pastilliere, Golden Celeste, El Molino, Panachee, Scott's Black, MBVS, Havasu Purple.
        The figs do not dry up and stay nice and plump after the extreme sun exposure .
        The ones that are terrible are Preto, Black Madeira, i258, some Greek figs
        USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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        • Altadena Mara
          Altadena Mara commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Igor, not only for what does well but also for what does terrible. That’s really helpful. I would hate to put one of my premium figs like BM and i258 into a challenging location and have them die like poor Desert King.

        • ammoun
          ammoun commented
          Editing a comment
          greenfig Can you update this list please for 2019. This would save me years to grow a variety just to realize that it can't handle the heat well, thanks!

      • #5
        I've found that extra fertilizer overcomes sun and heat sensitivity. I would love for some of you to try that and see if it helps. So far it's just an observation at one site. Validation would need many observations.
        Bob C.
        Kansas City, MO Z6

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        • Altadena Mara
          Altadena Mara commented
          Editing a comment
          Bob, I was giving my figs extra fertilizer several times a week before the heat wave hit with low doses of Miracle Grow. However, I’m afraid MY sun and heat sensitivity slowed down my enthusiasm when the temps went over 100 degrees. I’m still seeing possible results with great growth and a lot of new figs being produced to the point where I have to thin them. It's so late in the season with temps being more cool now, I'm not sure whether to start the fertilizer again or not.

      • #6
        I wasn't aware that Zingarella is the same as Aldo/Palermo Red/etc. At any rate, my Aldo absolutely struggles in the ground in central Texas. Most varieties go into a dormant-like state during the most intense heat of the summer. My best growing variety is an unknown from Fannick's Nursery in San Antonio. They named it Sanford after the man who grows it.
        Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
        N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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        • #7
          Figs with Calimyrna heritage tend to do well also, I forget that common release that's a UCR-174 sib, then Gulbun, probably, 278-128/Deanna, etc. Hot desert areas are also optimal for California Brown Turkey.

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          • eboone
            eboone commented
            Editing a comment
            Mara, Marabout IS a Smyrna class fig but it does not have Calimyrna heritage. Calimyrna heritage refers to figs in the breeding program of Ira Condit and successors

          • Altadena Mara
            Altadena Mara commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the info, eboone. I thought they were the same.

          • shah8
            shah8 commented
            Editing a comment
            Calimyrna is actually a variety called Sari Lop. This is one of many Smyrna figs like Zidi or Marabout or Black Bursa, etc, etc, etc.

        • #8
          Paint that pot white!

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          • Altadena Mara
            Altadena Mara commented
            Editing a comment
            My poor growing Marabout is my only fig tree in a white pot. All my other trees facing full southern sun are in smaller pots inside larger pots where there is a cooling space between the inside pot and the sun beating down on the outer pot. They all are doing really well. The white pot is also my largest -too large to fit into another pot. The Marabout was so large when it arrived I thought it deserved a large pot. Perhaps that's the problem with it. I should move it to a smaller pot over the winter?
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