Northern growers, how did your figs and poms fare?


Yes I worry that the branches are losing hardiness, and a quick freeze could kill them to the roots. Or maybe just the tips, but to the roots is possible too. So if that happens Matt, the plant is probably still alive, so don’t give up on any fig till August.
Tonight’s low is 17F here, and my garage is probably at 35F now, and may go down to 25F tonight. It’s keeping everything very dormant. All look great! I just harvested a bunch of cuttings and they looked very good. Some figs really look rough in the winter, and others do not. Some are dark brown and others are still green looking. Many are gray too. Interesting, they do vary. I love figs so easy to grow here for a sub-tropical.


This is an old thread but its a question I’m rather curious about this year…from southerners as well as northerners.

I just this weekend discovered that all my figs have been killed back to the ground. That is really shocking to me. Why? Well, my in ground figs are: Brown Turkey, Celeste, and Chicago Hardy- all of which are reported to be pretty hardy. But what makes it much more shocking is that these guys were all 5 years old, meaning they had trunks in several cases that were 3-4 inches thick. If you think about it-at least to me- a 4-inch thick trunk on a fig is pretty darn big! Another reason I’m shocked is that this winter was long and pretty cold, but the lowest temperature we ever got to was 0, and only for about 1-2 nights. We did have about 3 straight nights where it was around 8 degrees and my water pipes broke in 8 places (for the first time) so I’m sure that is what got my figs. But we have had a single night that hit -6 a couple years ago and my big figs didn’t die back.

Now, I’m not too upset yet because I’m fairly sure they are still ok under ground and I should have figs again by next year-possibly even a few THIS year, but that is iffy.

I will say that it comes at a bad time since I’ve probably lost all my plums, peaches, and perhaps even pears that were in bloom this weekend when it hit 25 here, but such is the life of a fruit grower in my part of the country.

Anyone else loose their figs this year? (too early for a lot of you to tell, I guess?


Mine are still covered. I did uncover my roses and they are budding and green. I should have left one of the roses covered. It has died back a foot since. Do you cover yours up? I was shocked to see one fig in a pot that I left for dead still green. I picked it up and it was rooted to the ground through my drain holes. It sat a couple more weeks in the cold and is starting to turn brown. It was a Black Mission that I have plenty of. It might have just been green but dead because it has been frozen that way. Maybe your CH will fruit for you. they are supposed to grow back from the ground and fruit the same year.


That sucks Kevin. Yeah I think I’m sticking to pots here. Too much work covering and such.
looks like most of mine if not all fared well in the garage including a couple Pomegranates. i also had a sherbet berry tree, but the trunk split, I think that tropical has to come indoors, so it’s out, my indoor space is taken. Not a great berry anyway.


My Peter’s golden Fig is just beginning to sprout some new leaves/branches. I’m in Abbotsford, BC which is 8A/B, we don’t have problems with it getting too cold but often there’s ice storms in winter that damage/snap the branches.


I’m pretty sure all my figs are going to die to the ground. My rosemary is completely dead and thats my “canary in the coal mine”, if its all brown come spring then the figs are dead. Some of the poms might make it, they still have green wood. It depends on how damaged the buds are there.


I unwrapped my 4 ft tall in-ground Chicago Hardy today. Temp was in the mid 40’s when I unwrapped. The first 1.5 ft of stem and branches from the ground up look green and healthy. The part above that looks iffy. The top 1 ft is definitely dead ( shrivelled/wrinkled and very brown.

It’ll be mid 50 for high until Sun when it will be cold again,


A lot of my plants, including all my figs, indicate they suffered an extremely hard winter (unprotected figs all completely dead back to the ground, etc.), but what’s basically my only in-ground pomegranate, a Salavatski, is leafing out now and has little or no winter damage. I can’t figure that one out, but it’s a nice surprise.


3+ layers of row cover worked out OK, some trees did better than others for seemingly unknown reasons. A few are leafing out already and should probably get covered back up since there will be a chance of frost Tuesday night. There are a few breba buds on a handful of seedlings so there is a chance I will find an edible caprifig and be able to make some more crosses this season, fingers crossed. Vole damage was pretty mild, looks like they got a few but they should regrow fine or I might try some bridge grafting.

All the others look dead to near the ground, and unfortunately I let my oldest trees ride it out since they did well last winter.

Most of my container trees were out for the first freeze in November, which was unusually cold, many have mild damage and a few were top killed. I’ve never seen so much damage happen in the fall before.

The ones in compost socks are doing fine, they were laid down and covered before the cold snap and only had damage on branches that touched the cover or were sticking out or something. There might be some root damage since the socks were not insulated at all and froze, I have others in socks that were stored inside to compare against and see if better insulation would really be worth it.


I also have some poms that appear to have live buds on them. They are still not showing leaves but they are swelling so its a good sign. The figs look all fried. The cold did the figs in; poms can take more cold but are more sensitive to spring freezes but we didn’t have a bad one of those this year.


I suppose that means I should pot my Parfianka instead of put it in the ground.


My experience this year would lead me to suggest the opposite, at least for a location like Scott’s or mine.


Well for Parfianka I would pot it, that is a soft-seeded pomegranate. I killed all of my outdoor soft-seeded ones, I had three of them at one point but they are all dead now.


I’m not sure that Parfianka is as cold hardy as Salavatski, but they all tend to leaf out earlier than figs and get zapped by late spring frosts. So in ground is okay if you can protect it after it starts growing in the spring. I’m moving a few of my in-ground pomegranates to the north side of a building to see if that delays their start in the spring. But I also have some in pots and move them into an unheated garage during late frosts.


Many of my inground fig plant appear to have survived with some of the branches I bent over and covered with 6-12" mulch. Definitely some variation between varieties, will report more on that as they bud out. We were below -20 F several times this past winter, so a real test of hardiness and my somewhat casual protection. I might even uncovered them a bit early, encouraged by a warm spell a few weeks back, we have had Temps in the low teens after that which may have done some further damage-lesson learned! True test will be not just survival, but whether these make fruit…I am not growing these for ornamental value alone.


Put Parfianka in a pot. Outside it will surely die to the ground at some point.

This year my Salavatski and Kazake seem to have come through the winter okay. I did lose a big trunk on the Salavatski, but that had split bark some hard late frosts in previous years, so was already pretty weakened. There might be some dead tips, so I’ll double check when it is fully leafed out. My other half dozen varieties in pots did fine in my unheated, detached garage, except for possibly Vkusnyi which I’m hoping is just a bit late leafing out.

My figs are mostly okay, but are all still in pots. The only 2 I think are toast are 2 I started from cuttings from Brent that I got a little later in the year. Their growth wasn’t fully hardened up and the cold came on very suddenly and hard last year before I put them in the garage for the winter. I’m hoping they still come up from the roots, since I had been hoping to keep those varieties. Some other cuttings I had started by sticking some trimmings in a flower bed have come up from the roots even though they were out without protection all winter until I dug them up in early March. But they are a different variety.


I’ve got a Brown turkey and a violette de bordeaux, both died back to the ground last year but I think lower trunks are looking greenish after being uncovered this spring so I hope they are not completely dead this time. No growth yet though.


My Celeste also died to the ground in 7b, and I haven’t seen any regrowth yet either.

My VdB in a pot is growing a little, but I think it’s been too cold lately for much.


I decided since so many struggle in warmer zones than me with pomegranates just to grow in containers. I must say this first winter with them they did very well, what fast growing plants too. They did as well as the figs. Only 2 inches of dieback on one stem on 2 trees. I have 2 I rooted from cuttings this winter now too. They look great and are starting to leaf out. Cool looking plants too, I may try and root some cuttings for in ground experiments. Maybe not either! If I can get them to fruit, I’ll be one happy camper. I don’t expect flowers 2nd leaf, but should produce next year if al goes well this season. Figs are looking great and leafing out.


This spring has shown me how much the early warming does in pomegranates, they are relatively hardy otherwise. We had no early hard freezes and I have every single pomegranate leafing out well; every single fig is dead to the ground.

The problem where I am is at least recently there have been few years where one of them doesn’t die. Poms need to have 4-5 years in a row of not dying back for them to get mature enough to fruit, and I have had only one such stretch in my 12 or so years of growing pomegranates. Figs I at least get something on every few years.