Figs not leafing out

Hello, I have 3 potted figs that just went through their first winter in the garage. They have buds but are still not leafing out after having been outside for a few weeks. I happened to have overwintered a “World’s Best” mulberry and it leafed out. Do I have to wait for a real warm spell or is this a bad sign?

I brought my fig trees inside my house to get them to leaf out then put them outside to grow and brought back in for the cold night. The figs that were outside have bud expansion in a few places and these described.

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I see. I think I’ve seen people, maybe people here, have setups where they let the figs grow out in the driveway. This might be why. Wheel 'em in at night, wheel 'em back in the morning.

It’s not good, but it may be they got hit by frosts. Do the fig shuffle if frost or freeze possible. put them back. Don’t leave them out in freezing weather. Make sure they are moist in the winter. Do not let them completely dry out. Moist not wet. Some of mine already have 6 inches of growth. Give it time, they may just be set back from cold nights. I’m barely zone 6a, more like 5b. Yours should be ahead of mine. Although I do have a few just leafing out too, all have at least green tips.

Maybe mine are dead. They dried out a little bit in between winter waterings. The mulberry survived with the same treatment in the garage.

scratch the bark.

Preferably on the main trunk of the fig

If its green, just wait and keep them warm

I’m just starting to move mine outside this week and I only have leaves on a very few, and those leaves are likely to burn off anyway…


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One of my potted figs, kept in a detached garage in zone 7A, failed to leaf out with my others a couple years back. It was green when scratched and I kept it watered and eventually, sometime in late June I think, it finally leafed out. The figs on it were too late that year, but it went dormant like the others in the fall, back in the garage, and then leafed out like the others the following spring.

Watering when they are in the garage is tough, since you don’t want them really wet and it is possible I underwatered mine that year and maybe that one dried out too much and lost some roots. That was my theory at the time - that it was almost like a big cutting that was getting its roots grown back out before pushing leaves. But that is just a guess. It is out in my driveway right now with about a half dozen lovely breba figs starting to put on some size.

Scratch to check, but if they’re green there is hope!

I scratched my CH and didn’t see green, but it’s older wood so I don’t think it’s the best to try. I scratched one of the figs Bob Vance sent me last year and it’s green underneath. I guess mine will just leaf out late. Part of the problem may have been that I put it right on the southeast facing wall alongside my potted citrus. The potted citrus seems to handle being introduced to the outside better when I put it there but the lack of sunlight in the afternoon is probably keeping my figs dormant. I actually moved the figs to the sunnier side of the deck earlier today. That may get them going.