For those who grow Desert King fig


A fellow member Kim (@Seattlefiggirl is from Seattle. She grows quite a few fig varieties and other fruits. Kim should give better opinion of the fig varieties in PNW that are productive.


DK mines are potted compared to other locals who grow in ground. So i dot have as much fruits comparison. I dont pinch the tree. i had many main crop develope i let it stay on the tree in fall and they rot. So i would recommend removing them as soon as they form. But if the tree is so big that might be a time consuming task. i can do it but i often forget. i think correct pruning for DK fig tree is most important due to the breba crop only.


I’ve also seen other (few) growers of DK who said they produced DK main crops the past year or two. Probably Then there were some discussions…


Yes, I’ve seen that also… folks who get a main crop. They are perhaps in a warmer zone than I am (8b) or perhaps they are using a greenhouse to start or end the season. The main crop forms but I’ve never been able to ripen one.


Thanks again for the great video resource!! I never thought to search for just breba figs… but that is definitely what I’m able to grow here. The Seattle ripening range for Ben B’s top 5 breba is July 30-Aug 16, all earlier than my Aug 25 Desert King. I’m now on a search for Black Zadar, Acciano, Biffaro Zeus, San Miro Piroshki’s, and Lampeira Preta. Thanks!


Btw I see Figaholics is selling cuttings beginning mid-Jan. They carry San Miro Piro and Lampeira Preta.


Some of my fig trees are at the stage where I can start pollarding it like that. It looks easier than what I do. Thanks for the video.

I have Desert King, along with about 8 other varieties, in Battle Ground WA about 40 miles north of Portland, OR. It gets a good breba crop annually and a small main crop each year. Other varieties this method might work for are Carini, Celeste, and Hardy Chicago, which are breba figs for me.

I like that being a height above deer and not needing a tall ladder, too.


Hey… Bear with me… We are neighbors! I live in Vancouver! That is interesting that you get a small main crop from DK. I never have been able to even though it is on the south side of my house and get pretty good sun. congrats!
I hadn’t heard of carini. Nice to know of another fig that will work here.


nw lady, if I had to do it over again, I would skip Desert King and just grow Lattarula in its place. I have that tree, equally old and figs seem very similar to me. The brebas ripen at the same time, but Lattarula also has a good main crop. Not complaining, Desert King are also big, sweet, delicious.

I need re-state an error I made. Hardy Chicago is main crop, not breba, for me. Sorry for the error.


Thank you for the recommendation. I’ve heard that lattarula will produce here. That you would be happy with that over desert king, makes it even more interesting.
Having 2 crops is a big plus.


It is good to know that you get DK main crop up there in WA state. So very likely folks in Oregon can produce some main crop too.


For flavor, my most favorite was a tree I bought about 20 years ago from Wayside Gardens, which Im thinking was in N or S Carolina. They labeled it as “Petite Negri” but later sold trees using the same photo but called it “Negronne”. The tree stayed compact size for 20 years, about 8 feet tall. They are beautiful black figs with dark red interior. Unfortunately in my garden the brebas almost always fall off and the main crop almost always ripen so late that most get moldy on the tree due to fall chill and rain. I have room, so I keep the tree for the rare surprise treat. Celeste is another sweet, figgy-flavor fig that is not reliable but when they do produce they are worth it.

I also have Smith, Brunswick, LSU Tiger, White Sicilian, Champagne, and “I forget” but none produce reliably for me. Desert King always does well, as do Lattarula and Hardy Chicago. I had those in Vancouver before moving to Battle Ground, and they did even better there than here.


I think in your PNW, since you do not get intense summer heat like we get it here, it is better to grow light skin fig varieties. The dark skinned varieties need intensive heat to ripen properly. Some of the honey figs can still be sweet even though the taste can be a little bland sometimes.


When does your small main crop ripen? Each year, since my abundant main crop figlets are too high for me to thin, I’ve hoped that a mild winter would mean a chance for them to ripen. But it’s never happened… unless I’ve missed it!


I’m on the north coast of calif, and now I know why my second crop of desert king figs just sit there-not growing or ripening. I guess i am supposed to knock them off. After seeing Bob Duncan’s video on pruning fig trees, I am concluding that since I haven’t been pruning this way, I might go ahead and cut all the branches off, and then start keeping track of first year/second year branches from now on


The second crop grows in the new wood, which should be preserved for next year’s real breba crop. What you should do is to choose a permanent structure or scaffolds to preserve year around. Then prune off half of the canes at the scaffold structure. Breba crop should emerge from the remaining half canes. The tips are the current year new growth and will become breba fruiting canes next year.

You do not need to cut off all top branches.


I’m surprised that they do less good for you. I didn’t think battle ground was that far away. Unless your talking Venesburg area as I know they do get colder there. I’ve got DK, Olympian and negronne. I’m put in nordland and LSU tiger on order. I’m also going to order black zadar and golden rainbow. Would like lampeira Preto but I’m getting max full. We’ll see.


For us northern climate people the following videos seem to offer best pruning advice for encouraging the Breda crop on any fig variety. It even works well on my Black Mission fig!
Ripen Figs faster

Pruning video for Breba crop in cool climates:

This video features the Dessert King variety which he says does best in cool climates.

How to force early fig ripening:


A Black Mission fig in the PNW?! Is it in the ground? What month does it ripen?
Do you remove leaves to encourage ripening?


Happy New Year
Yes it’s in the ground but I have not yet tried leaf removal, I only get the Breba crop. Would leaf removal help main crop ripen?