Trying to learn more about cold hardy figs. Ive been growing brown turkey in the ground several years and im trying chicago hardy this year. I know the people who are into figs frequently have 100+ different cultivars. What are some other cold hsrdy varities? We are zone 5 Kansas and we do expect them to die bsck to the ground each year.
Florea, Marseilles Black VS, and some of the Celeste variants might work for you if you baby them.
And maybe Sodus Sicilian, but that one is ultra rare.
Here us a spreadsheet I made. Check the tabs along the bottom for lists.
It is indeed, awesome fig though. My friend nearby was the finder.
I can confirm from first-hand experience that in-ground Hardy Chicago and Celestial Celeste (Rabbit Ridge Nursery) can re-sprout from the base in z6b Md at 1,600 feet above sea level if protected over winter with lots of burlap and leaves.
Also check out Adriano’s Figs in Canada. He grows a massive Desert King with protection every year and gets a breba crop.
What do folks think of the Alma fig bred out of Texas?
I believe @scottfsmith has had some success with it? Scott, has it been productive for you in-ground in Zone 7A? Is the taste worth it?
Has anyone planted Alma in the ground z6b or colder? Results?
Matt, I had it in a too-shady spot. It produces sweet mild figs on the small side; I have never gotten much crop from it though. The big oak in the way I had to remove this summer and it will hopefully produce more. Overall if it produced better it would be a decent fig. The hardiness is about like every other fig - I find all figs except a few particularly tender ones are more or less doing the same - either they all live or they all die back for me in a given winter. With the exception of VdB which is more tender (and, on its way out of my planting).
Did not realize so many figs were cold hardy. Just wish I would have known sooner. Has there been a huge explosion in fig interest in the last 5 years or was i just out of the loop? Thanks for all the great information!
That’s one I would like to try. He’s in Toronto which is a little north of me.
I have 9 different ones now, but all are young, some not even rooted yet. I just got some in, and I could have held off rooting, but decided to root now, and keep under lights till spring. I don’t trust storing them. So far so good, two new ones rooted already, but are still at that stage they could fail. Not getting much of a chill either. They certainly will next year.
Cold hardy can be about the exposed wood or it can be about regeneration from the roots for figs. I doubt there is much difference between varieties at resprouting after the wood has been winter killed beyond relative vigor.
The question is about how quickly figs will form and ripen on the new wood. At my site, which is not close to any large body of water and in Z6 southern NY I’ve tried several varieties such as Chicago Hardy, Brown Turkey and Louisiana Purple that were unable to ripen figs on new wood sprouting from the ground. Close to bodies of water in Z7 nearby it can be done with the same varieties.
I don’t know if any careful evaluations have been done on the actual cold hardiness of wood- here all figs freeze to the ground if left unprotected as far as I know. In Z7 nearby at least some wood will survive a mild winter with at least some varieties.
Thanks Alan. The family down the road from me actually get figs after the plants die to the ground sometimes. There is one very nice thing about Kansas and that is its hot in the summer. Bartlett pears are normally august fruit but sometimes we ripen them in July. This was not one of those years. Might need to get some wood from them to grow that variety of figs that will for sure work here.
Yeah I want to experiment with in ground plantings, but my figs will mostly be in pots. They seem easy enough to care for that way.
Drew keep them in large pots for at least a full year, preferably two, before
you plant them, and feed them lots of nitrogen. The bigger root systems that you let them develop, the better chance they’ll have in surviving freezes
I thought this was more on the cold hardy side, it’s not?
Thanks Ray, OK will do. I have some duplicates I would like to try and plant out. I plan on keeping one example of each in containers. Just because it’s easy to take care of. I will keep them in an attached garage. I have about 10 varieties, I think that is all i will have for now. I will slowly increase size of containers too. Having only to move them a few feet between seasons I can go fairly big.
I also have Southern Highbush blueberries, and more sensitive blackberries in containers and in the garage too. It went well last year.
Anyway I still want to experiment with in ground too. I’ll keep them a year in containers.
So did I. Here is info I collected
Violette de Bordeaux - A particularly hardy variety. Dating from around 1680, it was found to thrive in
Versailles gardens during the cold winter months. The small, purple black figs have a marvellous perfume and a
lovely sweet flavour. Produces two crops per year, and if protected over winter the second crop will ripen early
during the following summer.
Also known as Negronne, Violet de Bordeaux is a purplish-black fruit with rich strawberry pulp. Considered by many the finest tasting fig. Popular in the Northwest and West. Needs protection in cold winter areas. Good for home planting as tree is dwarf. Similar fruit to Black Mission, but hardier and a smaller size tree than Mission. Fruit ripens later than Hardy Chicago, Marseilles and Celeste. Closed eye
Yes, VdB ripens well in cooler weather but isn’t a very hardy variety. Nero600m is similar in fruit but hardier.
Thanks OK, it is small plant and can stay in a pot, and if it can survive in the garage, it should be fine. I’ll test varieties until i have about 10. If I lose any, good a chance to test more!
Marseilles Black vs is one that looks very promising for this area.
Sal’s #1 also sounds excellent, as does Battaglia Green.
Of course Chicago Hardy and Florea work well here. Florea is an amazing producer, I just hope the figs taste better than the first crop i tried. The only fig so far I have grown that produced the first year from a cutting. The cutting by the end of the year produced a good 15 to 20 figs, amazing! Very bland though, may make a good jam though.
Kelby, do you like Nero 600 better than VdB or about the same?