What’s wrong with my Fig?

Figs grow well in my climate, I’ve seen it before, but I can imagine that varietal selection plays an important part in it.

I got a Violette du Bordeaux based on flavor reports without considering if it likes my climate. Growth has been slow (it used to be a little faster, but not much), and it’s been infested with scale a few times. Some of the branches look weirdly stunted. Is there anything in particular that’s wrong with my fig?


VdB is characterized by slow growth. However, looking at those branch tips I would check for root rot in that container.


It was suffering from root rot in its prior container. It’s been in the new one for a few short months, and the soil is far better draining than the previous one.


Oh that explains it.

I think you’ve seen this thread? With some decisive pruning it can easily be maintained in-ground within a 5 foot diameter perimeter.


That is a beautiful fig!

¿Is the ground a better option than container culture? My soil is heavy clay, and the last fig I planted in-ground ended up getting sicker until I rescued it (I lost it later under different circumstances).

Yuck! I don’t recommend it. But a a “squat”, rigid, 20-25 gallon nursery pot would work well for many years.

For the soil mix, I recommend one 50-lb bag of “landscape” All Purpose Sand for each 1.5 cu.ft. bag of Kelloggs Patio Plus (or similar) potting soil. I mix them together with a rake in a wheelbarrow, but I suppose a concrete driveway would do in a pinch.

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Alright! Thanks for the advice! I had wondered how much drainage would be best for figs. I know just where to get these supplies. I’ll post the results once I’ve up-potted it. ¿Can I add any companions or would it be best to leave the fig alone?

Also, should I prune off the stunted growth?

No, but I do recommend topping the surface about an inch deep with cured 1/2" to 1" bark – not dyed.

Not now, but check it in a year. If dead, then remove it.

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I have Panache Tiger and VdB in the same container, VdB is about 6 feet spreading, it dwarfs my Panache Tiger.

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The real Panache is one of the most vigorous fig cultivars I’ve grown. Something (maybe multiple) is wrong in your pot, e.g. root wars, mislabeled plant(s).

I know it is but I only want 10 Panache per year. This coming year I will have 30+ fig trees, so 10 out of each tree is enough figs for me, it’s about 300 figs, that’s a lot.

At first you posted

as if to say VdB is not a slow growing plant. Then you post

So what was the purpose of the first post?

Hello, gents! While we are on this subject what is the matter with my fig. First one I have grown. What is up with the black on the bottom of the leaves and the yellowing? It is a Chicago Hardy, not surprisingly. It is putting off a bunch of new growth as of now, and that looks healthy.


I’m noticing physical damage, perhaps from abrasion or grasshoppers. I’m not sure about the black coloration. I don’t see any evidence at the moment of Fig Mosaic Virus.

Thank you, Richard. It did get lacerated by a couple thunderstorms a couple weeks ago. Maybe it’s all just residual damage, being as the rest of the plant does appear healthy.

Maybe I didn’t make it clear, my VdB is much bigger sharing the same container as Panache Tiger, about 3 times bigger.

You did make that clear. Why did you post that fact?

Actually I replied to @caesar as to whether he can add a companion. You then follow with a comment that Panache a Tiger is vigorous. I’m saying VdB is more vigorous than Panache Tiger in the same container, so suggestion if he’s tight of space, he can add a companion.

I said that was due to root wars and/or mislabeled plant(s) and you agreed.

I would never put a second plant in a container with a perennial tree.

That’s your choice, I’m only replying to @Caesar.