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The Best Fig Tree Varieties to Grow in Wine Barrels

By D.C. Winston ; Updated September 21, 2017
Unripe figs on the tree.
wild unripe figs on the tree in santorini Greece image by Antony McAulay from Fotolia.com

Fruit-producing fig trees, known botanically as the Ficus carica species, can be grown successfully in large containers such as wine barrels, provided there is proper drainage and the soil quality and moisture is maintained. Fig trees grow to between 10 and 30 feet in height and spread. According to the California Rare Fruit Growers Association, slow-growing or compact cultivars are ideal for wine barrels and other similarly confined soil spaces. Container planting also allows you the option to move the tree indoors when temperatures threaten to drop below 30 degrees F, thereby protecting the plant tissues and fruit crops from frost damage.

Blanche

Also commonly known as Italian honey fig, Lattarula and White Marseille, Blanche fig trees are slow growing and densely canopied. The fruit are medium-to-large in size with a green-yellow skin and interior flesh that can be white to amber in hue. It is purported to be very sweet when ripe, and possesses a faintly lemony taste.

Brown Turkey

Brown Turkey, also known as Aubique Noire or Negro Largo is a fig native to Provence, France. The tree is considered small but a vigorous grower. It remains suitable for wine barrel planting due to its tolerance for heavy pruning that only increases fruit harvests. The fruit are mid-size with dark, purple-brown skin and pink-to-gold interior flesh. It is considered a well-flavored fig that's best for eating fresh.

Celeste

Celeste, also known commonly as Honey, Malta, Sugar or Violette fig is a small tree with heavy fruit production. The fruit are small to mid-size with deep violet to purple-brown skin and amber red interior flesh. It is very sweet when ripe, and is primarily grown and eaten as a dried fig.

Verte

Verte, or Green Ischia fig trees are small for the species and can produce fruit over a short summer season. The skin of the fruit is green to chartreuse and the flesh is a rich pink. It is cultivated for both fresh and dried eating.

Ventura

Ventura fig has a compact growth form and produces large fruit with green skin and dark red interior flesh. The fruit have a pronounced long neck, ripen later in the season and perform well in the cooler climates of the figs' range. Ventura is grown both for drying and for fresh eating.