Violette de Bordeaux Fig


You have a pastry chef in the family? That looks difficult to make.



In the rearranging of my garden three years ago, I lost track of fig varieties, but I’m pretty sure this was my VdB. It didn’t give me any figs in the last location but it did get too much shade.


moved it to a full sun location. It’s been there for three years and NOT ONE FIG! I even cut all the branches shorter and tried notching branches. Could these be baby figs? Other ideas for getting this fig to sprout some fruit?


Please provide a single full picture of the tree, including pot or planter basin.



It appears to be composed of suckers coming out of the soil. Does it die back to the ground each year? If not, consider removing all suckers except one central “trunk” and train it to support scaffolds as I’ve illustrated in this thread.


Hi Richard! Yes, it is suckers. I’d never thought of it that way! It does grow differently from my other figs and that’s a good way to describe it!

This particular fig does die back every year. So, if it does die back, how do you suggest trimming it?

Thanks for your help!!


In your climate I’d transplant it to a pot and bring it indoors every winter – and also plant something more cold tolerant in its place outdoors.


I’ve got one a pot, but it just doesn’t want to grow. Do figs need a certain type of mix or something?


If it’s a TC (toothpick size tree), discard it and purchase a several year-old sapling; e.g. from Four Winds Growers.


Doesn’t look like VdB to me…I’d say Brunswick if that is an option.


Judging by appearance of sucker branches and leaves is a perilous practice!


So is buying fig trees period, adapt to survive :wink: I’ve never seen a VdB with a matte finish, suckers or otherwise.


Whatever it is, it needs to come out in my opinion.


Looks like it would not transplant well to me (a lot of work anyway), I’d bend a few suckers to the ground and cover with bags of mulch or whatever and get rid of the rest in the spring. At any rate, they transplant much better in spring, every one I’ve dug in the fall has died.


It’s about 3-4 feet high and has maybe a dozen figs on it, but hasn’t put on much growth since I got it. My potted Celeste is hardly doing better, while the in-ground Celeste is 7 feet tall and producing strongly.

I use a peat moss/pine bark potting mix, I fertalize, and I water but while the blueberries, blackberries, etc all do fairly well the potted figs just don’t grow.


My potted soil mix for fruiting trees:

3 parts horticultural sand (washed sand)
2 parts ground sphagnum moss or triple ground redwood bark
1 part cured and dry greenery compost

More details are here:
Fertilizing Deciduous Fruit Trees


Darn! None of my other figs die back to the ground (I’m in DFW), but this particular fig is in a very open location. I also can’t remember if it died back in the prior location. I’m not great at potted plants and keeping them watered. Maybe I’ll try moving this fig to a more protected location in my yard, but I’m running out of sunny locations!! :rofl:


I agree with Brent, that fig isn’t VdB. Personally, I would trash it and start over unless you want to dig a sucker up and grow that one in a pot like Richard mentioned above. Out of curiosity, what other varieties are you growing that are successful for you; and are you growing them all in the ground?


All my potted plants are on automatic irrigation.