Ficus carica Violette Dauphine - Fig
The figs are a huge genus of plant with over 800 species world wide. The vast majority are not hardy in the UK. Ficus carica Violette Dauphine rare in production in the UK. is reasonably hardy in warmer parts of the UK. An ancient fruiting variety from France it is a handsome architectural plant with large leaves and superb large very sweet dark purple to almost black when ripe fruit with pinkish purple flesh
It can be grown outside in the south of the UK but should be grown against a south facing wall preferably with the branches trained along the wall. If you live elsewhere in the UK you can still enjoy these excellent fruits but you must be able to protect from hard frost or grow in a greenhouse or similar. If you are primarily interested in fruit then you should plant in a very sunny location and try to harshly restrict the spread of the roots. In Victorian times figs were in great demand for their fruit and often the gardeners would sink an old galvanised water tank into the ground with the top just below soil level fill with soil and plant the Fig inside the tank. Any container will do as long as it drains easily as Figs do not like to be waterlogged
If you prefer the architectural look of the foliage then for best effect allow the roots free rein and plant in a shady location. Violette Dauphine is suitable for a pot or other container. It can be grown outside in the summer and moved into a greenhouse or conservatory when the days shorten and frost threatens. If you like figs it is a labour worth the effort as a well cared for plant of a good size will produce abundant fruit. Use a good quality John Innes compost as this plant will be there a long time and peaty types of compost eventually degrade become too packed and choke the roots. Ensure you prune and feed regularly as a hungry plant is a poor performer. We recommend Osmoscote pro 8-9 month applied in the early spring. One application gives all the nutrients the plant requires for the whole year. John Innes is a soils based compost.