Peter’s Honey Fig: My New Favorite

Peter’s Honey Fig: My New Favorite

Peter’s Honey Fig 
Peter’s Honey Fig with fig leaf

 Peter’s Honey Fig is thin-skinned and sweet as candy

Earlier in the week, I waxed on about a fig named Desert King; juicy, prolific, dependable and one of my favorites. This week I beg its pardon, and must swoon over my new best friend in the orchard: Peter’s Honey Fig. While I have no idea who Peter is, I’ll vouch for the sweet, syrupy honey-like quality of his namesake fig. And unlike the Desert King fig, which has a thicker green skin, Peter’s Honey is cloaked in a delicate gold membrane that melts in your mouth. This fig is basically one big sugar lump, but pick a day too early and you’re chewing on a cotton ball.

Peter’s Honey Fig Tree

A fig that stands on it own and deserves no adulteration

perfectly ripe Peter’s Honey fig

Peter’s Honey fig is perfectly ripe when the skin is golden on the top half, translucent and very soft and showing a few wrinkles.

[Tip: learn other ways to tell when a fig is ripe]


32 thoughts on “Peter’s Honey Fig: My New Favorite”

  • I was just reading through some recipes thinking about figs the other day. I often don’t find fresh figs here, but I think I will have to track them down. A good fig, as you say, can stand on its own. How delicious!

  • Beautiful figs ! They are almost the size of small pears. We are getting two tpyes of figs from California in our store here in Miami. They are Black Mission and Sierra. I haven’t tried them yet. What do you think of those varieties ?

  • Black mission are great figs but take more heat to ripen than the Northwest can provide even in a good summer. Sierra I have no idea about, so I’ll be checking those out! Take care!

  • Birch will swoon when he sees how figgy things are with you. Maine is not fig territory, alas. So we’ll just have to feast our eyes on yours. Unbelievable!

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  • Hi,
    I’m on a “fig quest” as I have decided to plant my yard in fruit trees. I have ordered a green variety, so the birds will leave them alone, and I already have a brown turkey fig. But I know they take time to grow, and I practically faint when I eat a fresh fig from the tree. The store figs don’t do much for me, as they are tired. I saw Peter’s Honey figs, and now I am on a quest. I have seen a couple of websites that have sold out, and they are not cheap. I will continue to look for cuttings or rooted cuttings online, unless I can find a small tree without mortgaging my house. Loved your website. Thanks for sharing. I live in Florida. Am not sure where you are.

  • I live about 1/2 hour outside of Vancouver in B.C. I bought the Peters honey variety from a local nursery and garden store here called Triple Tree. I’m in to my 2 year now with it from a small stock and it’s grown wonderfully. Unfortunately both seasons have been week summers so not much fruit has come to completion. I have about 25 figs on it this year and hope to get another bit of a heat spell to finish them off. Other than that I will have to wait for next year and hope for a better summer. They are beautiful though and taste incredible…the few I’ve had a chance to enjoy.

  • Great to read all these figgy comments! I am a great enthusiast of figs but until now have only had any fruit on a small brown turkey I planted a few years ago. Large fig trees, probably brown turkey, were here when we came 8 years ago but have never had anything on.

    I live in Ventnor, on the Isle of Wight in southern UK. We have a sheltered micro climate so seldom have frosts (did last year though and even snow on a few days) but moderate summer temperatures due to the proximity of the sea. Probably not a lot different to Tom’s Seattle climate.

    We had about 20 decent sized brown turkeys this summer on the first tree mentioned; problem is, birds get them the moment they ripen so I have to be very vigilant. Strangely, the tree is now ripening a second crop of rather smaller figs – about 30 so far.

    The great success story is an Italian tree I bought as a standard last year; the first had very little root and soon died but its replacement has thrived and I was pleased to get 3 figs this summer. However, much to my amazement it has gone mad this autumn and from late October till now I have picked at least 2 – 3 figs (the size of small pears) each day! As the sun is a bit weak I pick them almost fully ripe and leave them on a sunny windowsill. They are a little tough skinned and paler inside than the brown turkeys but the sheer amount of crop makes it worthwhile; they are also good cooked with the large number of Bramley apples we have this year. Small shoots from the base have some roots and have grown OK when potted but could be from a different rootstock.

    I am about to order a couple more trees, probably a Peter’s honey fig if I can find one and a Violetta, which I have found in the UK.

  • Thanks Trevor, appreciate the input, thanks for the comments.

    Keith welcome, and thanks for your comments also. Regarding growing figs on the Isle of Wight. I checked some weather sites and it does seem Vashon Island in Puget Sound is similar in climate to your Isle of Wight.

    I have a new favorite greenish-yellow fig that ripens nicely here: Latturula. Some folks say it is the same as Peter’s Honey, but I’m suspect of that assertion. They seem a little different and my Latturula is a better producer. I rarely if ever get a second crop of figs here though, so congratulations on your second harvest of Italian figs.

    I also have another tree, called a Vashon Violet, which was propagated from a neighbor’s tree. A fig aficionado friend of mine, said he believed it to be a Brunswick fig, again, a fine producer in cool climates. Kind regards, Tom

  • hi everybody! I am a new here. bought my 1st Peter’s honey today. The tree has one fruit on. I live in Maryland, I am not sure that is a good time to plant my tree now? I would be happy to get your help. thanks

  • Hi Alya, springtime is a great time to plant a fig tree. Give it plenty of sun, loosen up the dirt and dig a hole leaving a two foot ring around the tree and plant the tree at the same soil level as in the pot. Water thoroughly, and make sure it gets ample water during hot spells. Good Luck!

  • Today, I got a Peter’s Honey fig with easily 2-3 dozen figs in various stages of development. It will spend the summer on a deck in full sun. It’s a beautiful tree form that was probably cultivated in Connecticut. I live on the mid-coast of Maine, now sometimes identified as zone 6. I’ve had brown turkey figs that spent winters indoors and never produced outdoors in the summer. In frustration, I left them in the ground with protection. The mice ate the barsk. So, back to an indoors-in-the-winter fig. I may keep it under grow lights, hoping to prolong the fig harvest.

    • Hi Prentiss, Good luck on the fig tree. You may even have it spend some time in a greenhouse to prolong its season. Do you know anyone with a greenhouse or hoophouse. Maybe keeping it there in the summer in a warmer environment will help it fruit.

  • I was able to get 30-huge Neveralla main crop figs to ripen this year because of the long rare heat spell here in Tacoma. I also had it covered from head to toe on the S. side of my house in plastic for 3-mos. I had no breba crop on this 16yr old tree. Are there ANY good, reliable breba trees other than Desert King?

    • Hi Chuck, I’ve had luck with a breba, that is first crop, with Lattarula, White Genoa, and Negronne (Violette du Bordeaux). While the crops weren’t as robust as Desert King, the trees are still young and show promise.

  • Hi Tom, I was just checking options for improving our Peter’s Honey fig crop when I found your blog. We’re a few miles north of Seattle in Shoreline, and have a tree that’s about 15 years old, planted with good southern exposure for maximum sunlight and a fence to the north. It tends to lose much of its new growth each winter, and sets only up to a half dozen of the early crop of figs in late spring, some of which drop before ripening. Very disappointing. By late summer, the tree’s looking very healthy, with lots of new growth and lots of green figs that never ripen. I’ve taken to cooking the less mature of these as a vegetable, just to get some benefit from the tree. Fertilizing doesn’t seem to help. Any suggestions? Did I just get the wrong cultivar? I’ve seen figs in the area that are loaded with ripe figs in late August.

    • Hi Earl, I tell you it is tough being a fig lover in the Pacific Northwest. Desert King is the best producer in my orchard, and a fig I like for jam-making and cooking. Peter’s Honey is a sweeter, thinner skin fig in my opinion. Don’t give up on your tree, it may require some prudent pruning as figs are produced on ‘new’ growth from the year before. Try two prunings. In the winter, prune out overlapping branches and dead branches. In the summer, tip prune branches that are gangly and tall. This will create more branching and thus more figs. As warm as this last summer was, it was not a good summer for my figs either. Go figure? 😉 Good luck and let me know what happens.

  • I read in another article it was Peter Dana of Portland, Oregon who brought this Peter’s Honey Fig from Sicily.

  • Hi Tom, I found your blog not that long ago. Very excited to see that you are growing figs in the Seattle area! I started with a Desert King tree 12 years ago and what fruits I get after the squirrels, birds and raccoons have had their fill are absolutely wonderful!
    I started trialing a few other varieties this year: Peters Honey, Violetta and Violette de Bourdeaux among many others. They’ve all put on a ton of figs. I’m worried that they won’t ripen given that our weather starts cooling in September. Are you able to ripen any main crop figs consistently up in our area?

    • Hi Ram, unfortunately, I’m not able to get a main crop with any fig variety I’ve planted, only the early breba crops. Even with this wonderfully sunny summer we’ve had, there are just not enough “heat units” in each day to thoroughly ripen the second crop of figs. I have some fig trees in my greenhouse, and under cover they will ripen enough to eat, but usually that’s in late October, so that tell’s you just how much heat they need…a lot. I’m trying out a new variety, “Olympian” along with “Stella” and “Vern’s Brown Turkey” so I’ll report back when I have my first decent fruit set. That may be a while… 😉 Thanks for checking in, and good luck!

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