Cold hardy figs


@hambone My favorite is Malta Black. It’s hardy, productive, and best flavored. Chicago Hardy comes in 2nd place.

When figs die back, they form lots of shoots in the same places along the branches, very close together. I’ve found it important to thin out the new growths (rubbing them off) when they are still small to allow more space between these new developing branches. This allows more light to reach each branch to help fruit grow and ripen faster. Less vegetative growth also seems to facilitate fruit formation. When I do this, the bushes form fewer branches with much more fruit than if I just let it grow freely. I will take pictures next year to better represent my words. I also pluck off any fruit that forms after the middle of July, because they won’t ripen before cold weather in my climate.


@PharmerDrewee Have you grown or tasted Adriatic JH?


Yeah, it’s a good quality fig, that’s easy to grow. Here are some I harvested in September.


Do you find Adriatic JH to be winter hardy?


That’s a beautiful color combo. I’m looking for a green after ripe fig. Maybe this one could work. Interested to know about cold Hardyness too…


@Susu @hambone It’s hardy enough and isn’t too late ripening to grow in ground. Not as rugged as Mt Etnas but satisfactory. It’s worth the effort for diversity. Just plant in a sunny spot next to your house and or cover it with a tarp for winter protection. Feel free to pm me if y’all would like cuttings.


Thanks Drewee. Is yours in the ground? If yours survive in ground, I will most likely be able to grow it in ground too since we are not too far from each other.
By the way, have you been to Black Creek greenhouse in East Earl? Pretty nice place.


Yeah, I’ve got one in ground and a potted one as backup. The idea of having to start over from cuttings is unacceptable to me and wastes time, so I keep potted backups even though I’ve never completely lost a fig to winter.

Thanks for the tip on Black Creek greenhouse. I haven’t heard of it, but will investigate for sure!


Busy day for me. Sprayed copper, covered the CH fig tree and planted garlic.

This is what I did to the fig tree. Wrapped it in burlap. Taped the bottom edges of cardboard box so it won’t get moist when in touch with the soil. Put that box around the fig tree. Stuffed it with R13 insulation. Skinny box so not much space for insulation. Wrapped around the box with more insulation. Then chicken wire cage to hold it. Then plastic around it. Then mulched the bottom area plus about 10 inches up. Left the top of the box open for ventilation with a bucket to cover the hole. I tried to keep the moisture out of it since I covered with plastic and it won’t dry. We will see what happens…,


sounds great, susu.
tthing is, if you plant multiple trees, you will need to simplify that a bit.
seems like yours may be better than what i do.
mine works fine to 5 degrees but i get 10% die back at -1.

um, sometimes mine die to ground the first year, but that tells you nothing about future years.

i’m not sure about plastic for your area. i cover mine in plastic but
the air here has little moisture.
this is the most arid area i’ve experienced.
you need to check with others in the same area. people mostly use breathable tarps even with ventilation.


I kind of went all the way I know :blush:. This is my one n only fig tree so I don’t mind. But as I was typing up the steps I took, I rolled eyes myself :grinning:.
Mine hadn’t really hardened off too well. Just the bottom foot of wood was brown. Rest of the plant was still green. So I didn’t want to take any chances.

I’m not sure about the plastic either. But I figured since I’m using insulation, I should try to keep it dry. After a good soaking rain I’ll peak inside to see if the box is wet. We do get a lot of rain and snow in the winter. On dry days I can take the bucket away. Maybe that’ll help…


you will lose the green wood. sorry.
enjoy your first years.
when branches get big n thick,
getting them into a column takes days.
some folks cut trees way back to make it easier, but the more wood you protect, the more figs you get.


We MAY be past the worst of winter (very iffy but let’s hope so) and tomorrow we’ll be in mid 50’s. Real feel 60! So with warmer temps coming I’m itching to do something out in the yard. I’m wondering if I should unwrap the fig tree that I covered for the winter and take a look to see if it’s doing ok. Does anybody check their figs before the last frost to make sure no mold or any other issues under the wrapping? Mine is covered in insulation and then plastic. That’s why I want to check for mold. When do you uncover your fig? Do you uncover, let it breathe and then cover it back up until last frost? The other concern is if weather warms up big time before last frost, it might start growing under the covers. Our last frost is mid April.


i never open mine, but since you used plastic, you might as well check.
it is not necessary to leave it open to breathe.
remember this.
the wrapping protects from the cold, but also from warm temps.
i’m coming to believe that wrapping really just protects from rapid temp swings, more than anything else.
do’nt let your tree warm up.


I check for vole damage, if you can reach up in there and feel the bark to tell if it is getting chewed you don’t have to unwrap. You can use your hand to feel for temperature and moisture as well.


Dug up the underground cutting vault today.


How are you looking? …:+1:…or…:-1: or somewhere in between?


So far so good, had what looks like grey mold on a few which kills the bark so had to trim a few tips and toss one so far. Also some surface “mold” on most which I think is probably web blight or anthracnose because it was really bad last year, it is growing on fruit stem stubs and residue on the leaf scars but not bothering the bark so they should be fine. Getting them individually labelled, treated with bleach and and soaking the ones I want to get started right away to rehydrate.


I didn’t get a chance to unwrap it all the way. But I removed enough protection to break a piece of of the top of the tree. It was completely green. Not moist promising green. Looked very dry but still green. I think it’s dead, at least the top is. But the wood hasn’t had time to brown yet? Not sure. The top was not properly hardened off when I wrapped it. It was completely green. So it’s safe to say it’s dead. Can’t figure out the green though.


um, i think i mentioned that you were gonna lose everything that was green when you wrapped the tree.
that means nothing about the health of the rest of the tree.
next year, trim off everything that;s green before you wrap.