Kitchen Gardening

Want to Grow Figs? Try One of These Varieties

Issue #201 – September/October

There’s a fig for every taste. Some are more berrylike; some are more datelike. The color of the skin ranges from very dark purple or brown to very light green, and the color of the flesh inside is also quite variable.

There are many named varieties, some of which are synonyms, so choosing one can be confusing. There are also many unnamed varieties. If you know a local fig grower, ask what does well in your area. Here are six well-known varieties commonly available in garden centers.

Celeste figs Desert King is good to grow figs
‘Celeste’ produces small fruit with violet-brown skin and pink flesh. Photo: Howard Rice/ ‘Desert King’ yields lots of breba figs with green skin and red flesh. A main crop will only mature in areas with the wasps that aid pollination.
Hardy Chicago figs Excel fig
‘Hardy Chicago’ has small, violet-colored fruit with red flesh. It is very cold tolerant. ‘Excel’ has medium-size sweet yellow figs with amber flesh.
Lattarula fig is good to grow figs in your garden Ronde de Bordeaux fig
‘Lattarula’ bears medium-size, very sweet, yellow-green figs with light-colored flesh. It also produces a heavy breba crop. ‘Ronde de Bordeaux’ is good for an early ripening main crop. The fruits have purple skin with strawberry-colored flesh and an excellent berry flavor.

More on growing figs:

Steven Biggs, author of Grow Figs Where You Think You Can’t, has trialed so many varieties in his Toronto garden that his family put him on a “fig diet” to make space for other things.

Photos, except where noted:

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