Baby figs, Keep or Remove?

Hi There,
There are so many figs threads. I don’t know where to find an answer. So, I will ask you guys here.

These are figs on pots. This year, I brought them out earlier than I used to. They’ve started to leaf out. Today I found baby figs emerging the same times as leaves. Should I remove them? Why or why not?


Those are called breba figs because they are developing on last yrs wood. They often fall off. Those that do develop are often of poorer quality than the main crop that will develop on new wood. Still I usually leave them just to see what they’re like.


Thanks, @fruitnut. I will leave them on as they may be the only figs I have this year. Among my potted figs, I see 3 varieties that have these brabas: Chicago Hardy, Violet de Bordeaux and Drop of Gold.


Everyone always says that brebas are poor quality but IMO the brebas on my brown turkey are bigger and better than my main crop. Maybe I’m just so fig hungry that enjoy I them because they are first!!!


My various breba do tend to be different in size and shape compared to main crop. You’d think they were 2 totally different varieties depending on the trees. They are a welcomed surprise because they’re ahead of main crop by 2 months or longer.


My brebas from two weeks ago…


@BobVance and @SMC_zone6
How are you guys’ potted figs coming along? Mine just start to leaf out. I have about 8-9 varieties. Their growth rate varies.

I started a lot during the winter from cuttings and moved many of those outside a few days ago. I just did a quick count and there are only 14 of them left inside :slight_smile:

I still need to move out the dormant ones from the basement and will probably do that in the next few days.


I did something wrong in moving out my figs, but I don’t know where I went wrong. It was either too strong sunlight/heat (mine had leafed out in lowish light) or leaving them out when it dipped to 40 degrees again after warm nights.

Does anyone know the symptoms of either? Mine dropped leaves and have brownish streaks on the branches. The hardiest fig wasn’t affected.

It’s also possible that I missed a watering they needed. Too many possible mistakes! But they don’t look too awful.

They got dun burned and will bounce back in time.

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Some of my in-ground ones look like they were hit by voles pretty bad this winter. I feel like they should bounce back but time will tell. A group of potted figs I keep under the barn stayed nice and dormant until I took them out last week. Another group that I had under lights since February already has figlets and transitioned outside pretty well because of all the rain and cloud cover. I feel like this should be a pretty good year, fig-wise.


Location Long Island. Mine where moved from the garage to outside a month a go. Brought them inside a few nights when temp where going below 30. They have brebas about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in size.

Sometimes brebas are just as good as, and sometimes better
than the main crop.

My own experience on baby figs growing on potted, young fig trees is, they usually fall off. It depends on the size of fig tree, and the variety. If they do grow and ripen, they may not beas good as figs from a mature tree, because it takes more leaves to make the sugar and flavor components.

I have about 15 fig cultivars. Each is different, from King (Desert King) which is almost all breba - and very productive and very sweet, and almost no main crop, to Lattarula (White Marseilles) which does both equally well, to Hardy Chicago which makes lots of little brebas, drops them, then makes a very early main crop, to Petite negri that grows some brebas, very tasty, but drops most of them and then mostly makes a late main crop, much of which spoil in chilly fall rains, to Brunswick that usually makes a lot of brebas, they become large and fall off without ripening, then a late late main crop that rarely ripens before rains that spoil them. The few that i get from Brunswick are usually the largest and sweetest of my figs. This is very climate dependent. With longer, hotter summers, I think those late main crop figs that I often lose would be superb.


Outside of fig wasp country Desert King will only ripen brebas. The main crop requires pollination to ripen.

Thank you all for your input. Your input and advice is helpful for us, inexperienced fig growers.
@rayrose - I sure hope you’re right about brabas (may) taste good :smile:

@Bear_with_me, my figs that all fell off before ripened last year were Drop of Gold. Not sure why. Most did not ripen in time because I brought them out from shelter late last year. The ones that ripened in time for me were Chicago Hardy and Ronde de Bordeaux. So, they are my keepers.

@Cafeaulait - I do not know what caused your fig issue. This year, I did like @danzeb did. I brought them out on the driveway on April 1 a few weeks earlier than years passed. Most had tiny green tips so I knew they were not dead. I brought them back in the garage a few times when low temp was below 32F. So far, they have developed much further than in the past. I probably will move them out as early in the future.