Figs in bottom?

I have some potted figs that I think are ready to plant, but I’m not sure where to plant them. I have a garden area in a bottom where I’d like to plant them, especially because the area is fenced to keep my chickens out, but I know bottoms are bad for a lot of things. Would it be okay for figs, though? Mid-winter cold has damaged my figs before, but I don’t think my figs have ever been damaged by late spring freezes. My impression is that figs are very tough against late spring freezes, even after they’ve leafed out in the spring, and even when most of my other fruit and nut trees get hit hard. What do you all think? Thanks in advance.

I’m just starting with figs myself, but everything I’ve read is that they “don’t like wet feet.” So if you plant in a bottom, just be sure there is good drainage. The cold resistance varies with the variety of fig

Figs aren’t hardy to spring freezes. They may be a little more hardy than a few other things but not much below freezing after leafed out.

Thanks, Randy and Steve.

To your point, Randy, even though the area is very low-lying, it’s very well drained. I was actually a little concerned about excessive drought stress in the summers, but it seems figs can tolerate drought better than a lot of things.

As far as the cold, how much of a difference should I expect a bottom to make? Two other figs have had no problems just 15-20’ higher and just 80’ away in front of the barn. There’s a tiny bit of further slope from where I’d plant these figs, but I’d basically call it flat. And for whatever it’s worth, my whole property is relatively low-lying compared to most of the surrounding land, so I don’t think I have any ideal site choices to choose from anyway.


To make a real difference there would need to be some real difference in elevation. Good sites are usually 50-100ft or more above nearby lower ground. Even 10ft can make a difference but not usually life and death, Obstructions like dense trees can also block air flow and back cold air up onto an otherwise warm site.


I think you’ll be fine planting your figs in the bottom area. What
varieties are you planting? Figs are usually late to leaf out, so I
doubt that a spring freeze would have any effect on them.

Agreed, zone 7 should not be a problem. If you are worried use cold hardy cultivars.

Thanks, everyone, for the advice and opinions. That’s very helpful.

I actually have a choice of varieties, some of which I’d like to plant in the bottom and some of which I’d like to plant elsewhere. Probably more important than cold-hardiness is going to be height, especially if some varieties are significant smaller natured. I’d like to have my shorter figs in the bottom so that my chickens don’t get as many. I have in pots (some of which are still small enough that I’m contemplating keeping them in pots for one more year):
Chicago hardy
Brown Turkey
Strawberry verte
and a rooting of a local friend’s tree of unknown variety

I have never, ever disagreed with anyone on here simply because in 99.9% of the time I know I have less knowledge and experience than others here. But in this one case, I want to simply tell you my own personal experience with spring freezes and figs. Bottom line is that I’ve found figs to be very susceptible to even mild spring freezes. You should also know that I am talking about what are generally regarded as some of the most hardy figs- Chicago hardy, Celeste, and Brown Turkey. I have 4 each of these varieties. Last year, even though it was a brutal winter we did have a warm early spring. I unwrapped/dug up/brought out all my figs after a week of temps in the 50’s and 60’s. Over the next 2-3 weeks my figs all leafed out completely-full sized leaves and even a little new stem growth. Then we had one night- just one single night- of freezing temperatures. And I mean BARELY freezing…just 29 degrees! Without exception, every single leaf on every single fig- several of them large plants with thick wood and some small plants- all of them were killed. Just the leaves, of course, but it set the plants back a long, long time. Leaves didn’t start to grow back for 2 weeks and were slow in doing so. I got no breba crop at all that year, and I feel like my figs were behind all year. I had a similar thing happen 2 years before but my figs were all 1 year old then so I assumed they were more tender.
I would also add that in my case, the first fall frost of the year completely kills all my fig leaves, proving again how tender they are. Now, to be clear, this is not a comment about the survivability of figs- no plants of mine have actually been killed by late freezes, only damaged and set back. In terms of survivability, I’ve found my figs to be MORE hardy to mind winter freezes than expected. This year we got down to about -2 to -5 and I have some unprotected figs that look like they survived. I can’t comment on the bottom-land planting. But my point is just that -for me- figs LEAVES and early growth are extremely susceptible to freezing temps in spring and fall, but the life of the plant is not. Good luck.


That’s my experience as well. Around here figs don’t get the first flush of leaves frozen off all the time just most yrs. And that’s partly because they winter kill nearly to ground level every yr and therefore leaf out latter than normal. All zone 7 climates aren’t fig friendly and I’m 7b/8a.

Most 7b sites out East are a lot more fig friendly. The problem here is we’ve already had weeks in the 70s and still are 5 weeks from ave last frost.


You’re right to be concerned about drought. A new fig planting needs to be watered well the first year, but at the same time it can’t be in a poorly drained area.

Also I believe that Hollier may be more prone to cold weather damage than the others

I live in Zone 7a and I have a 1 year old Chicago Hardy fig that was exposed to the single digits a few times this year. (lowest it got was 4 degrees) It’s not really protected by anything other than having my house to the west of it. I’ll let you know how well it did in a few weeks.

Right now, it looks like it survived pretty well, but I will know for sure in a few weeks.