Grow Fig as a Tree in Zone 7

Thank you for another positive vote!
Unfortunately the most sunny spot in my yard is not close to the house. I will have to protect the bottom better. I am OK if some branches die back. But must ensure the main trunk will survive.

It’s an Italian Honey Fig. I bought it at a reliable local nursery. The staff assured me that it was appropriate for the climate and gave me a 1-year warranty. They were correct! Even with our oppressive humidity, I’ve never even had to spray for disease or insects. It’s only foes (and my sworn enemies) are the squirrels, who seem to steal the figs one to two days before they reach peak ripeness! I learned my lesson and now throw a few layers of bird netting over most of it. I leave the two highest, inner-most branches bare because they are a hassle to reach every time I need to pick a few figs, so the squirrels get those.


Never thought Italian Honey fig could be this hardy. I will definitely give it a try as well. Thanks!
I am guessing another factor could be the coastal environment you are in. That would help too.

i picked up a chicago hardy at TSC. been watching them for a month. none sold so i grabbed the best one yesterday. guy gave it to me for $4 so its no big loss if it dies. potted it in a 17gal fabric pot. going to try to overwinter it laying on its side buried in snow and see how it does. it will go in my portable greenhouse from late may on. you guys think i can keep it pruned to 7ft? if not ill keep it on the south side of the house and lay it down there for the winter. my house is a very light gray so the radiance from the vinyl will give it extra heat in summer and also protection from cold wind. i know JesseS grows it in z4b so i may get away with it here. ill keep you guys posted how it goes.


I would grab 5 at $4. :joy:

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They sure looked/tasted the same to me. It was pitched as a new variety because when genetically tested there was no match with any of the varieties in the USDA repository, they don’t have EBT though.

If you find the tree in question, you can simply ask the owner for a few scions. Figs root very well from cuttings and if this variety has proven to work in your area, why not get a copy of it :+1:


Definitely! If I am able to find the place. :joy:

I was browsing online for “early ripen fig” and ran into a few good articles.

The fig tree resistance to cold (very helpful)

LSU Purple cold hardiness

Winter Survival of Fig Bushes

Also from EL:

Now I am thinking to train the LSU Purple to be a tree in ground.

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I have a Mission Fig in DC that had a nice tree form. Until the polar vortex of 2009-2010 hit. Now I have a nice open vase Fig tree.


Yes, like most folks said here. It is possible. But is this something you want to do?

If you diligently protect the main trunk for the first several (or more) years and you may not want to continue to wrap the tree any longer. Then an extremely cold winter or spring can damage the tree. Then you’ll need to restart again.

Whereas a bush-form fig plant can take severe die-back. You can lose a couple of main branches, no problem at all. It is also much easier to wrap small bush with more bendable branches.


I have a CH Fig in Zone 7a (Southern Middle Tennessee).

I started it in 2019, and it grew nicely (nice microclimate location) and we got around 25 nice figs that first fall.

I did not protect it that winter and the next spring, dead to the ground.

But it came back from the roots and last year we got around 75 figs off it over a long period… last ones harvested first of December (then a hard frost).

I protected it this winter… and still have it protected. I think every day I probably should take the protection off, just have not made it to that yet.

I figure as soon as I unprotect it… ole jack frost will come back quick and I will have to re-do all that.

Good Luck with yours !



On our allotment. multiple people have old fig tree’s. Usualy multi stemmed. But they still let them grow 15+ feet tall.

One of them pruned 2 of the main stems away this year. I took the pruning wood to try and root it. The cambium looked green and well. And we had multiple nights of -14 celcius (7 F) This year.
When counting the year rings, it is roughly 15+ years old. And our last extreme frost (exept this year) was around 2011 i think. Some parts had -23C (-9 F)
So it did survive that frost to.

It is dependant on variety though. Since i have seen figs die with way less frost.
Also with heavy frost the main stem might survive. But there could be tip die-back. Which will cost you fruit.

But it seems the ornamental value is more inportant to you anyway?

I don’t know the variety’s of the large fig tree’s on our allotment. But is suspect it to be mostly brown turky. Since that is what is sold most here. Although there are some others to.


Yes. That’s what I am worried - the extreme cold once every 10 or 20 years.

It’s just a matter of personal taste. A tree form looks better to me.

I tried 2 CH figs, but they did not do very well. I found Celeste actually grows better and handles cold better in my yard. I don’t know if I got the wrong CH, but the fruits appear to be the right variety. Anyway I will just give another year to prove itself. :smiley:

Yes. Exactly. I saw these tall and beautiful fig trees before and really liked them. That’s why I wanted to grow my own.

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I am starting to look at things a little differently. Figs root so easily. I have have several in the basement in rooting mix for just over a month and I have roots forming below and above ground. Next time a polar vortex is forecast I could take cuttings just in case. then I could root them for backup and if I don’t need them give them away or my current plan is to donate them anonymously to the edge of a public park.


@NoVA ---- I have been very happy with our CH Fig.

Can’t imagine one being better… but I have heard that Celeste is another variety that some in TN have success with.

But I often watch a guy on youtube — Ross Raddi (something like that) and he really brags on a Smith Fig. He is gowing them much north of me (something like Michigan)… of course with some good winter protection.

I am going to add another fig or two some day, may be a year or two though.

Retirement coming up, selling home, starting over in a new location… Planting Figs, Raspberries, Strawberries, Mulberries… I think will be some of the first things I get going at the new location. Things that fruit first/second year.


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There’re thousands of named fig varieties. I’ve got ~50. Hardy Chicago is perfectly good but there are others that are sweeter, fruitier, earlier, etc. Most importantly, the flavors vary dramatically – suggesting honey or strawberries or blackberries or grapes or just plain figs.

You probably wouldn’t choose to limit yourself to 1 or 2 apple varieties (e.g., a lifetime of only MacIntosh). Figs are more variable.

Putting a fig tree in the ground without winter protection is a risk. Here in Z6B, it would be an exercise in total frustration. I’d strongly advise either (1) growing in pots, which can be protected indoors over winter; or (2) growing in the ground with air-tight, insulated protection in winter. I do both.

Ross is in Philly.


do you not experiance rot or air rootinging issues with air tight insulation?

if been thinking of using sand and rain “roof” tunnle. But still leaving air circulation since i assumed id otherwise get rot problems. But if this is not the case it gets a lot easier. Although in my climate 8/10 winters do not do that much harm to a lot of the hardier figs.

I don’t put the insulation in contact with the tree. Basically a 4’ x 3’ cylindrical cover goes over the well-pruned tree. The insulation is on the inner surface of the cylinder. The cover is open to the ground, so heat from the ground provides the warmth. But there is nothing inside other than the tree.

This method works well even with ambient temperatures below 0 F. I get 100-200 figs per tree starting in mid-August.


Mine is leafing out nicely now…

I used a large tomato cage and mostly hay for insulation… worked… going to try something different this next winter.

Our low this past winter… around +8.

Zone 7a TN.

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