Violette de Bordeaux Fig


@Richard, that’s a relief to hear regarding the taste of VdB. A couple of ripe jammy fruits I picked yesterday from tree had no taste. I guess I will have to wait till the next year for the real fruit.

hmm, based on your comments, I now bit regret using the self-watering pot. I am still hopeful and will wait till next summer to see how it performs. Saw Ben B. on YT who grows 300+ fig varieties in pots and seem to be in favor of using the self-watering pots. After watching his video, I thought I’d give this pot a try. I like your idea of an automated irrigation system. Hopefully, I will get enough time one day to install it.

Your soil mix seems interesting (no fert or supplements). Could you share your fertilizer regiments for the potted as well as trees in the ground - at the potting time and at regular interval?

I just followed advise from some long time figs growers like Lou Montie on YT who recommends highly of adding Calcium, etc. supplements.

I am fig and fig forums newbie; I did not know you sell plant (great!). Do you sell BM KK or Robert’s Golden Rainbow - website? Just curious. Thanks.


@barry my long term (hopefully, next year) plan is to graft BM KK and Robert’s Golden Rainbow on this potted VdB and be done with it. If I can manage to do it, I have nothing more to ask about great tasting figs. However, have no experience w/ grafting at all; will experiment w/ this option next year. I won’t miss VdB as I just put one VdB in the ground as well. I am in 9b, NorCal.


See “Fertilizing Deciduous Fruit Trees” on this page:

Here in San Diego, some people think of Santa Barbara as NorCal. When I lived in Arcata, some people thought of Sacramento and the Bay Area as being in central California :slightly_smiling_face:. To make matters worse, zone 9b here in San Diego is very different from the 9b in the central valley :thinking:. So whereabouts are you growing figs?


What, there’s something above LA?


@Richard: that’s funny! I am in Bay Area (Santa Clara). The weather is overall cooler here than in SD. I’ll have a look at the Fert link. Thanks.


Santa Clara is a great place to grow figs. Two of my cousins grew up on Branham Lane about the time the orchards started coming down.


Livermore CA here. My VdB is about 12 feet tall, in the shade, and makes lots of yummy fruit, although the opossums and rats are eating them right now.


@Richard, yeah, sadly, it’s turning into the urban jungle just like other places in the bay area. Is there any way to know if fig wasp exists in our area?


There are at least two ways. One is to observe your main crop figs daily. Another is to acquire a verified San Pedro or Smyrna fig and see if the main crop attracts B. psenes and the crop holds from caprification.


Good to know that it can handle shade, Monardella. At 12’ tall, how old is your VdB? The primary reason I chose VdB for the ground is that I hear that it’s relatively dwarf variety. I don’t want it to grow taller than 10’.

It’s gets much hotter in Livermore / East Bay (favorable) than here in Santa Clara south bay area. My probably 1 or 2 years old VdB planted in the ground a months ago gets sun during summer from 10:30 AM - 4:45 PM only.


So, no Wasp map exists like for HLB citrus psyllid? Sounds like there’s not much research done in the US about where the fig wasp exists (CRFG, USDA, all the UCs - David/Riverside, etc., no one has done it?) Bit disappointing.


It is a slower growing variety and thus easily trained. Untrained in our climate with adequate care it can reach 25’ and wide in a few decades.

Sorry, I don’t believe a government map exists for feral parrot populations either.


As @Richard said, there isn’t a map for the fig wasp. However, look at the CalFlora map for Ficus Carica and where you see a concentration of feral figs, the wasp is most likely present. A stray fig just means one was randomly planted by a bird…


Thanks @JCT, that is very useful.

One thing to watch out for: CalFlora refers to all Ficus carica (including Caprifigs) as “Common Fig”, in contrast to all Ficus palmata as “Punjab Fig”.

For my area I found:

  • A fig a mile south of me alongside Buena Vista Creek, shortly after passing under the 78 Fwy (pink dot)
  • A fig in a golf course community 4 miles west (yellow square)
  • Fig trees 2-3 and 10 miles to the east of me on private property (blue dots)


It was planted in 2013. Over time I trained it to grow strait up since that shape works best in its location. It might interest you to hear that my friend, who lives in Stockton, planted his VdB at the same time I planted mine (and both trees are from Dave Wilson). His is more exposed to sun than mine, and he has had nothing but trouble - stunted, unhappy, unproductive. He can’t stand it when I brag about my VdB. But next to his VdB is a Mission, which is unstoppable and perfect (as you would probably expect).


Stockton, that’s hot place (at least compared to here in SC). My in ground VdB is probably busy developing roots as no new green growth on the top at all. However, there are 6 figlets popping up near the top in last week or 2, not that they’ll ever mature as the cold starts setting in next month or 2.


… unless we have a long warm Fall.


I’m expecting another 35-40 days of ‘warm fall’ in Kentucky. 89 today…8 degrees above average…but cooler than last week by a good bit.