Figs, how to tell if they are ripe?

I am new to figs. Last year, none ripened in time. This year I have better luck. A Paradiso looked ripe yesterday. It was brownish and soft so I picked it. When I cut it up, I was not sure if it was fully ripe. The area near the stem was grren and tasted a bit raw. The area at the bottom tasted really good and sweet.

How can you tell when to pick figs? I have more figs on four different varieties that I hope will ripen for me before it gets


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I like them when shriveled up. Yours looks too green for me. If they won’t ripen on the bush well enough cut like in your picture, cover with row cover or cheese cloth to keep off the flies, and dry a couple days in the sun. I like them to look like this Strawberry Verte. Paradiso looks the same when shriveled a bit. These were allowed to shrivel on the bush. But weather and pests don’t always allow that.


Great. Thanks, Fruitnut. I assume this applies to all varieties.

I hope the rest will ripen in time. I am not very confident. I brought them out of the basement a bit late. So far, the figs are small and very green.

Most of the big fruited varieties to my taste are watery no matter what. To me they are more in need of some help drying than those types pictured.

Here’s some I was drying today. They are good to eat now as pictured. I think I’ll dry these another day for winter use.


Appreciate your advice very much. The pictures are very helpful, too.

It sort of depends on the fig. Brown Turkey types are really great when they are nice and juicy. They have a honey’d quality to them. For the most part I wait for figs to droop and soften up. Sometimes they crack a little, but if they shrivel up too much on the tree they usually have a fermented or vinegary smell/taste. If I see any latex coming from the stem end of the fig, I know I was a bit too early.

Old Spanish Proverb

A fig is ripe when it has a hangman’s neck (droops), a mourner’s eye (oozes honeydew from the eye) and a penitent’s robe (skin tears).

I pick mine when soft and droopy. They dont always tear or cry.

Thank you, Mr. Clint and Bear.

Bear, the link is very helpful. If needed, I will try “oiling” unripe figs.

Luscious looking figs. Wish I grew them!


Those look phenomenal. Jammy with beautiful color. I can only hope mine will fruit like that someday.

This one was perfect when I picked it last night, Lattarula breba.

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Thanks, ampersand.

I hope more people post the pics of their ripening and ripe figs, too. A pic paints a thousand words.

I won’t even tell you want I was told as far as when a fig is ripe. I’d probably get in trouble with the MODS. You can probably guess though. LOL

I also picked the one in the background due to ants, wasn’t ready. It wasn’t terrible but little sweetness.

Here are mine breba:
This one fell off the tree, or easily picked off the tree. Color is lighter than other figs.

This one, end split

If you have a full size mature tree, you’ll know they are ripe because there will be no storage room left in your reFIGerator and you’ll be worn out from trying to get them picked and properly preserved before they go soggy from their own weight. :wink:

You’ll also know that some are going past ripe on the tree if bees start congregating and sucking their juices.

This droughty and hotter than even normal summer has been our best fig year ever. I’ve never had the problem of having more than we could eat as they ripened before. Instead of hundreds of figs, it’s thousands, most of which are larger than previous years. And the flavor is more concentrated because of lack of rain.

Other figs may not be the same. But with our brown turkey and temperatures in the upper 90’s - low 100’s, a single day can be the difference between ripe and and past peak. The difference between harvesting a fig and allowing the bees to finish feasting on it.

Once it’s softened and droops at the neck, it’s ready