Overwintered Figs Waking Up Early

In the past I overwintered my figs in an attached garage and once the weather was safe hustled them in and out as needed depending on temps. We do not have the same setup at this house so I had been overwintering them in our cold unfinished basement in the deepest, darkest part, but I guess it wasn’t good enough and they’re waking up. Right now I have an existing overhead LED shop light that isn’t really sufficient above them and they’ve been very gently watered over winter.

Trying to figure out best practices…I have quite a bit of grow lights, tent, fans, etc. that I’ve used for indoor growing of things like tomatoes and seed starting, but haven’t really dealt with indoor trees other than my citrus, which live in a sunroom upstairs. At what point in leafing out do I need to consider a stronger light source? Humidity? (Should they be moved into the tent?) Other watering concerns? Some of them have breba. Special fertilizer considerations (they are in a mix of peat, pine bark, perlite)? They’re still pretty young, 2-3 years old and most tried to set a few fruits last year but were not successful. Some are very small rooted cuttings from last year that I would have up-potted this year.

Any advice is appreciated greatly.

Don’t worry about it. They are Ficus. No need to provide lighting. Use a chopstick inserted in a hole at the bottom of each pot to insure the root zone is not going dry. Otherwise ignore them until you are ready to put them outdoors.


I did want to try to grow out the breba so I stuck a better light above them, and they’ve been doing fairly well. Our basement isn’t humid, but it’s much less dry than the rest of our home, and that environment seems to be to their benefit.

Have you considered getting one of those small greenhouse tents with an electric heater? If you have a little patch of earth where it would fit you could have them growing full tilt boogie a couple months sooner than outdoors.

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We are beyond the worst of our cold so that might be an idea. I had one of those at a previous home and they were nice for getting a jump start on seedlings, too.

I love having a greenhouse. I have it set to come on at 35 and it’s only a few bucks a month. Definitely like getting a jump on the growing season.