Hirts is ok if you want small plant or tissue culture. Same with Wellspring Garden. You get what you pay for!
figs grow so quick im not worried about it. ive got other small plants from them and they all grew out fine. id rather have a small plant as it has time to adjust to my soil and growing conditions. bigger plants take longer to adjust and start growing again.
The tissue cultured fig commonly sold as “White Marseilles” is misidentified. It may be “Tena.” Has long “finger” leaves, very unlike WM; never got a fig from it.
On the whole, I rather like tissue cultured figs—cheap and healthy. Some are recalcitrant about fruiting—certain cultivars seem to go into a “seedling” mode when propagated by TC—but this can be fixed by propagating a new plant from the TC via cutting or layer. Never had any problems with the Mt. Etnas (“Hardy Chicago,” “Letitizia”) or “Olympian,” though; TCs of these varieties, once they started growing in earnest, fruited normally for me. If I were going to try my hand at growing breba figs in the far north, I’d probably start with “Olympian.”
I purchased what was labeled as a White Marseilles from Logees two years ago that turned out to be a Tenna fig. I emailed their customer service to bring it to their attention and to see if I could obtain a refund or credit for the error. Needless to say I didn’t even receive a reply. It’s first winter in ground on the south side of my house I wrapped it with burlap, tarps, mulched around it and gave it a 5 gallon bucket hat. Last spring it had almost no die back and grew over 12 foot tall. Produced a ton of figs but non ripened before the first frost hit. I did not protect it this last winter. Most of the lignified branches I scratched showed some green so we shall see what happens this year.
There are plenty of figs that should ripen in ground where you’re at with little or no protection depending on how much die back you’re willing to have. Protection normally allows for a much earlier crop, so that doesn’t look too good that they couldn’t ripen in time.
I’m slowly working on propagating more cold hardy varieties. I would not have personally selected Tenna. I figure I’ll give it another year or two to see what happens.
I’ve heard of people wrapping an espalier-like trained fig with miniature, incandescent Christmas light strings for over-wintering with good success. Also planting on South facing, of course.
So how big is this Chicago fig that you wintered over? I am afraid that my figs here in Walla Walla are too big to try to get to lean over in the winter, even if I cut the roots on one side. But I am willing to try! I had figs last year, a lovely breba crop on my Olympia fig and a unnamed huge green fig, and a main crop on my Brown Turkey. But they are all pretty large trees and I am afraid they froze to the ground in our single digit temps.
it froze to the ground winter of 21’ but grew back from the roots last summer to 6ft before frost stopped it in oct. i didnt protect it or dig the roots on one side that winter. just snow protection. now that i know it wont set a breba crop , i might just let it die to the roots and let it come back each summer i may get lucky in a warmer late summer and get a few figs to ripen. if i dont after 4-5 yrs. i may get rid of it and replace with a earlier ripening fig.
@steveb4 … instead of letting it die back completely… you might try what I do… I just cut mine back to short stumps that I can easily protect over winter… and un cover in the spring and let it take off.
The one first year that mine died back to the ground… it was into first week of May before any shoots came up from the roots.
When I protect the short stumps and uncover them mid to late March… I have shoots a foot long or more by first week in May.
Getting a little head start might make the difference for you.