Cold hardy figs


many mount etnas are grown in z6 with no protection.
they are heavily mulched, or planted deep to protect the roots.
true, there is top kill, but these figs can regrow from the ground n set fruit
my black triana died to the ground n still ripened figs.
me, i like large trees so i wrap with fiberglass n cover with plastic.
most folks do this.


In my world, heavily mulched, planted deep is a kind of protection.

No protection is planting at nornal depth and let it fend for itself. Clearly we interpret “no protection” differently.


I have a potted Chicago Hardy and one out in orchard planted. They are both the same age. The one in the orchard is way larger than the potted one and produced 10 times as much as the potted one. In fact I did very little to one in orchard. Lots of pine needles under it in winter and left it alone. It went crazy and fruited amazingly. I don’t even water it and fertilized just twice with 10-10-10.


HEY! a different kind of protection may be available.
it’s called WILT PRUF.
the idea is, it stops water loss from desicating winds.
since that;s what my wrapping does, this looks promising.
a spray on would be great if it works.
a bunch of us are trialing it this winter.
if it works, i’ll report here.
i’ve always thot cold doesn’t kill. moving air kills, so i have high hopes.
i use figs as design elements in my garden, but wrapping gets harder the taller the tree.
if this works, i’ll have 10’ trees.


That’s why a lot of us like this forum. People try different things and report their success or failures here. Some people have fun pushing envelops. Some, like me, are getting tired of pushing an envelop. Sometimes it takes several years to realize that Ma Nature always wins :smile:

I used Wilt Pruf way back for anti-desiccation on my rhodos.

Have fun with your experiments.


mam, did it work?


That’s kong time ago. I believe it worked. @Drew51 has more recent experience with such a product.


I will have to try using it this winter. It sounds more simple than wrapping and unwrapping, and wouldn’t look ugly.


You know I elevated them on a five gallon bucket and a little wagon and never saw ants again. I think the grass and weeds that had grown up over the summer were perfect highways for the ants


I think they don’t like the sun very much. They like living under plastic ground cover too, the argentine ants at least.


I found that wilt pruf or wilt stop work well with tender western blackberries but didn’t seem to help the figs. It seems to be more about temperature than desiccation with figs and vice-versa with blackberries.


there was a report of some guy on long island using 3 coats of wilt pruf on figs n having no die back, i have no info on temps that were endured.


thanks drew/ may i ask, how much did you use n how cold did it get?


Last winter I had one or two days at 0F. My Brown Turkey fig was mulched with leaves but did not have branches protected. It died to the ground but new growth developed and it turned into a nice healthy shurb. I pinched new growth as recommended to encourage fruiting. The result was zero fruit. It’s heading to the composting pile.


Brown turkey most likely would not make any figs if completely died back to the ground. It will the following year by if not too much died back. You can always dig it up and put it in the pit and over winter it in the unheat garage or a shed. It will make plenty of figs then with the tips pinching method.


Yes that seems to be the case. Perhaps I’ll pot it, keep it in the garage and compare it to some of the other potted figs I have potted. I was hoping it would do ok in the ground without much effort on my part but I was expecting too much considering my freezing winters.


I used label amounts in a sprayer, Coated plants as well as possible. I try to spray twice, but last year it was not possible. I sprayed once in December. Coldest was about -5F here. The year before it was -12F. -5F is about the average here, it can go as low as -16F. Lost my fruit buds that year on all stone fruit. The brambles were fine. I didn’t have figs in ground that year.
I think you need to try the various techniques and see if any work for you. Having the ground warmth protect the trunk will work, if you can do it. Some bury the trees, that works every time. I’m not willing to spend the effort. Still deciding on what to do with in ground plants myself.


thanks, drew.
i’m still wrapping in fiberglass.
that works down to -1 so far, but getting big trees into a column is not easy.
fig trees are my garden accents n the taller the better, but i have to trim them to wrappable hight,
that’s why i’m looking for an alternative.
i have a rdb that’s worthless so i’ll try 3 coats on that.
if it dies i lose nothing.


I’m definitely doing some zone stretching growing figs outside in 6A. All the effort I put in learning to grow figs in this colder zone is paying off with huge figs this year! My brown turkey figs have been the best I’ve ever seen them! Feeling very fortunate we are getting in ground figs and blessed they are so big! Several have ripened already!


joe, how do you winterize?