Cold hardy figs

Still to early to unwrap here. still more cold to come.

same thing happened here 2 years ag0;\the figs looked to be dormant but were just not prepared for a november cold snap.
seems like there are stages of dormancy,
a tree can laugh at temps in janurary that wreck it in november.

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heating cable is definitely out of the question for me…I am looking for self sufficient plants…energy use , whether it’s my own…or electricity, can not be part of the equation…

you know, even tho varieties are important,
age of tree may matter more.
most of mine have been inground for 6 years.
they are as hardy as they’ll ever be.

babying them for a few years may be smart.

heck, i don’t even water or fertilize any more.
this is semi arid grassland but my trees have huge tap roots that have found water, probably 6’ down.

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@PharmerDrewee or @growjimgrow do you have a Chicago Hardy outside? And If so is it leafing out yet?Mine isn’t showing any sign of life. Scratch test green but that has been the case for many newly dead plants for me. Not sure if it isn’t time for CH to break buds yet or if it’s dead. Winter was very warm so it’s not the cold weather.
Even my grapes show a tiny sign of life. So I’m starting to worry.

Were in the same area. My 3rd year in-ground Chicago Hardys have one or two odd green tips but otherwise very look dormant.

The 2nd year in-ground Florea & VDB thats against the southern side of the house are starting to leaf out but mostly from the suckers at the bottom.

2nd year potted figs (RdB & Smith) also against the southern side of the house are the furthest along and actually leafing out from the tips, about 1" of growth on them.

Interestingly the figs between the Chicago Hardys are definitely not looking good. Most of the upper branches are dry looking (wrinkly) and brownish red versus a healthy brownish green.

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Thanks Dimitri. Hopefully by next week it’ll show green.

Hi @Susu Yes, I have 2 very large Chicago Hardy in the ground --maybe 9 years old. The buds are starting to open and it looks like I’ll get some breba for the first time in perhaps 4 years. This is very early for them, so don’t worry if yours is still sleeping like Dimitri said. Normally I don’t see leafing out until May around here. Other figs like Gino Black and Dalmatie are very much still dormant.

I suggest to you Malta Black and Marseilles Black VS for additional figs to grow in the ground. They’ll ripen a crop even if they die to the ground after a hard winter. Both should start ripening at least a week before Chicago Hardy too. Make sure to situate them next to your house or a brick wall, preferably on the south side to give them extra sun and protection from winter winds. This helps with survival and cropping in colder zones.

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Thanks. Giving me hope…

Hey Susu,

I have Chicago Hardy fig that I got from a cutting last year. I overwintered it in my garage and it has been outside for several weeks now and is just starting to wake up. I wouldn’t worry yet.


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i haven’t even unwrapped my HC yet. temps in the 20s next week.
i unwrapped my dominick early n killed some buds.
rewrapped it.
susu, you are always in hurry.

:smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I know! Totally need to learn how not to get carried away.

by the way, pharmer is right about the mbvs,
you need one of those. very vigorous n tough,

Will try to find wood next year…

Add a reminder to PM me mid/late November and I can send you some when I cut back my figs for winterizing.


@dimitri_7a Can I trade you for Florea fig cuttings or airlayers later in the year? This sounds like a fig I should be growing. I have plenty of figs and various other things if you’re interested. I also have enough rootstocks this year that I could graft you a persimmon tree too.

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Yes, see PM.

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Today I pulled out a large Marseilles Black VS I had protected inside to plant in the ground. The potting soil started falling apart when I pulled it out of the pot. There were beetle larvae all over the roots! I never realized that these could be a problem with figs, especially potted figs. I must have killed at least 20 grubs. What a disgusting sight.


was the tree hurt?

The tree appears ok. It leafed out normally and there were no concerning signs. The grubs look like they ate all the fine roots in the top few inches of soil, so all the soil on top fell apart revealing them when I pulled the tree out. I soaked the rootball with pesticide to kill any remaining grubs.

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