I’ve had a Chicago Hardy in ground for the last three years and it’s survived -16. No protection except snow cover. It dies down to the roots every year and comes back but not very vigorously. It’s only been able to produce a few figs after so much winter damage. I plan on protecting it starting next winter. I’m still hoping to find a truly hardy fig – maybe Sodus Sicilian, maybe some local finds I came across last summer – that can work for growers in the north.
I live in zone 6B officially but I am in a frost pocket. The lows around here are very similar to yours and I have been able to over winter a hardy Chicago by burying it. I need to mention that although the low here in Utah is similar it doesn’t stay that cold for long periods of time and has wide fluctuations in temperature. This makes so the ground doesn’t freeze that deep. I tried wrapping them for a few years but they always died. The problem with wrapping them was they would come out of dormancy and get moldy after the temps went back up, then later freeze when the temps dropped back down. For example today it got over 70 and we are nowhere near the end of winter. I found it better to keep them in then ground to keep them both alive and dormant until the appropriate time. I usually dig them up when the peaches are in bloom.
I appreciate your honesty guys i’ll pass on messing with all the tropical stuff. Im gun shy on apricot & nectarines as well. I’ll stick with cherrys, peaches, apples, & pears.
I grow mine in containers, and I like it a lot. I get hundreds of figs. It for sure is the most hardy tropical plant I have ever seen. In pots it’s not work. So I grow them. But everybody has different needs. My in ground cherry trees require a hell of a lot more attention than my figs. Figs are the easiest to grow fruit tree I ever grew.
How are your figs i ground? Would like pto hear your report.
Did you cover you in ground Chicago Hardy? How does it do now?
My in ground CH Was protected this past winter so it did not die to the ground. Due to our colder than normal May, it has not taken off but it has done well all things considered.
I didn’t treat my figs all the same this winter, so I’m not sure how helpful my experience will be, but I’ll share it anyway.
The three different ways I managed my figs were: 1) unprotected, 2) covered in a regular gardening pot (these pots were just placed over figs upside down and with a rock on top so they wouldn’t blow over), and 3) covered in a gardening pot and then completely covered in mulch. All figs were cut back to about a foot above the ground. All were placed in the ground last spring and entered the winter two years old, some from cuttings some from air layers. It was a mild winter with a low of only -1.2
Covered in a pot and mulch: Yellow Lebanese, Makedonia Dark.
- Both of these figs survived fine with no die back.
Just covered in a pot: Black Zadar, Nero600, Sal’s Gene, LSU Champagne, Black Bethlehem, Nordland, Stella, Florea, Lussheim, Sunfire, RdB, Brooklyn White, Staten Island Bomb, Malta Black, Dark Portugese, LSU Tiger, Gino’s.
- It looks like most of these survived but all died back to the ground. It’s still a bit early to tell but I think Black Zadar died, and maybe Sunfire too. I’m not sure. It’s been cold recently and not everything is fully awake yet. The one notable exception from this group is Staten Island Bomb. That one seems to have suffered no die back and is really taking off. It shows a lot of promise for being cold hardy in this area with minimum protection. I’m really excited about it.
Unprotected: Unk Teramo, Red Lebanese (Bekaa Valley), Red Italian, English BT, Pakistani Brown, Yellow Greek, Mike’s Czech.
- Too early to tell with these. I’ll update when I know what made it and what didn’t.
This summer will be another test to see what comes back from the ground and is able to ripen fruits. There are a few more potted ones I’ve already planted out for another round of winter testing, then I’ll just keep what works and forget the rest. My plan is to grow out the winners like they’re not-quite-hardy raspberries – keep a tight row of them that I chop back low each fall, cover in mulch, and then grow out again in the spring.
Most cold hardy yellow/green fig?
Thank you for the report. I have not heard of most of the varieties you are growing.
Hope they will taste good, too.
my in ground Hardy Chicago fig was completely cover under heavy straw，under tarp. It starts to grow, and marble size breba
The burying method worked for me this year by accident! I decided last year I wanted another brown turkey and thought it was to much work to take cuttings so I bent a branch over to root it by burying it. Guess what was still green this spring? Yes the entire branch I buried. The fig did die to the ground. It was a warmer winter than most. I also have a second fig tree :0)
The extra fig you sent - Staten Island Bomb - likes it down here in Maryland! It especially likes the Bone Meal I sprinkled on top of it.
I’m impressed with how vigorous this fig is. Hopefully it tastes as good as it grows.
I’d forgotten to do this update. All the figs I mentioned above survived and came back from the roots. Unk. Teramo was the last to come back, just sending up new growth a few weeks ago, which was a bit of a surprise because I’d expected it to be one of the more cold hardy varieties.
San Peitro has finally ripened for me this year.
Fruit are large, full of water, unfortunately. It tasted sweet but diluted. I think it would taste better in drier years.
@Roundface, the tree, potted, set a few large fruit this year. It ripen about the same time as my potted Chicago Hardy.
Excited to see my first in ground fig plant is ripening it’s fruit, Malta Black. This one has survived one winter here in z5a with protection and is now over 7’ tall with a few fruit that will hopefully all ripen, these will be my first fruit from an in ground plant that has made it through a winter outside.
My stupid figs and poms woke up, and refuse to fall back asleep. The dark basement wasn’t good enough for them.
I’m putting these naughty girls outside. The lowest overnight low forecasted for the next several weeks is 21 degrees. They’re gonna have to figure out if they want to survive in those kinds of temps, cuz I’m not gonna fool with them much more just cuz spring came early. These drama queens!
Steve’s Brown Turkey from @zendog thinks it might give me a breba this year…
Wow those look pale. Hopefully it stays overcast for a few days to help them green up before they need SPF1000.
Most of my plants in my crawlspace and garage are still sleeping, except for a coupe poms in the crawlspace that are starting to push and some blueberries in the garage with swelling flower buds. I’ll probably have to put those waking up out soon and start doing the container shuffle when it gets cold.
I’d be interested to see how they do at 21 degrees, but not interested enough to risk it myself…
Good luck with that breba. SBT breba can get pretty darn big, so hopefully everyone in your family can have a taste.
That is a risk, I would bring them in. The fig shuffle. At least till they look like they are going dormant again.Slowly expose them.
Yeah i had that happen and I now store them outside front porch with overhead protection. Including two Southern Highbush plants. I just got the mail and looked at them. They look dormant still.
I also have 3 northerns in fabric containers with no protection at all, they look great! I have 6 in raised beds as my control to compare to.
I have 2 poms in the garage not growing yet, but it is not warm here in any way!
What’s nice here is we kind of go from winter to summer, not really but it stays cold till it doesn’t. hardly any early warm spells, it does happen, but never last that long and are not extreme. Like it’s going to warm to the 50’s but only for 2 days, then back to the 40’s and continues into the 30’s.
My garage stays between 40 and 50 except for the few warm days like today where it’s 58. My 5 potted figs are still dormant.
At 21F those turn from white to black. Only question is how much dies not if something dies.