Will my potted fig be ok after the cold?

All my fig plants are potted. I was planning to wait for them to go dormant before move them into unheated garage.

Then the temperature dropped suddenly on Friday, I pull in one potted fig along with many other plants when temp was at 25. But for some reason I can’t understand myself, I didn’t move in other figs. The lowest it got was 20 that night.

Will my figs survive? The one I pull in only exposed to cold for a few hours, but others were out all night. They are hardy Chicago and SAL’s GS.

1 Like

They should be fine. Worst case some top damage, but roots are hardier, till at least zero or more. Mine are all out as I was not home, and the garage is not ready for them anyway. No plans to move them in for at least a couple weeks.


I purposely left mine out through the recent 17 degree night. If I bring them in when they still have green leaves, I have to strip them off or they can rot right into living tissue. Figs should be fine above 10 degrees unless you are interested in preserving your breba crop. Here, they don’t seem badly affected if temps stay above the low single digits- then they freeze to the ground.

However, potted figs may be more of a gamble if you don’t heal them in- roots being more sensitive to cold, but I’m pretty sure yours will be fine at those temps, especially if the soil medium was moist.


Thank you, @Drew51& @alan ! I feel so much better now😄

As long as they aren’t just puny cuttings, they should be fine. But don’t leave the pots out all winter. Teens or single digits would be too cold.

How big are the pots? How old are the trees?

Matt, they are 2 year old(I rooted them at the end of 2015) and in 5 gallon pots.

I accidentally left one out for 2 nights( lowest temp were 17 f).

Guess I will find how cold hardy they are. I have one pot moved in after a few hours below freezing, a few pots were out for the whole night(lowest 20 f), and the last pot was out there for two nights(lowest 17f).

I will come back to update next spring.

Those have a good chance of being perfectly fine. Big enough pots. Correct cultivars. Old enough plants.

Put them in the garage or basement before too long. Keep them in a dark place, or throw a blanket over them. Water them once a month thru winter. They have a good chance of being fine.

Sal’s Gene and Hardy Chicago are currently my two favorite figs for growing in my backyard. They are cold hardy AND tasty AND early ripening.

1 Like

They are in garage already, I will remember to cover them up. Thanks!

I will experiment with putting one in ground next spring since I have quite a few pots. The spot is well shield from wind, but it’s not as sunny as I would like.

I will see what happen.

Does sals gene taste distinctively different from CH? I would like to add a second fig and am not sure what to get

Not really. They are both equally good as far as I can tell.

1 Like

Don’t you want to try a green fig such as Paradiso, instead of another dark fig? I like Paradiso.

The dark ones I like is Violette de Bordeaux and Ronde de Bordeaux.

1 Like

There are only minor differences between the various Etna types. Sal’s tends to be sweeter, or perhaps less acidic, and has a rounder fruit and leaf shape. On the down side it usually has a larger eye than the others, which can let insects and mold in. There must be at least 50 different named varieties that are Etna types and all of their their fruit and leaves can vary based on pruning, age, weather, location, etc., so it is a hard question to answer, although they can easily be lumped into the group based on common characteristics (people still disagree about which belong and which are different though). There are some that people perceive as being more valuable for whatever reason, the sellers don’t mention that there are so many cheaper substitutes though.

It would not be a mistake to plant another Etna type, or just another HC, they are very rewarding and reliable (perhaps the most split resistant I’ve grown).

1 Like

They taste about the the same to my uninitiated taste buds😛

1 Like

Both are Mount Etna types, some vary a touch, but they are very similar. It’s good to have a few, see what does best/ Like I have MBVS which also is a Mount Etna type, although it out produces CH in my yard at least. .I do think CH tastes better though, at least at the start of the season MBVS seems to get better later in the season for me. So some differences I have observed. I do want different types and I will need years to fully decide, one obvious early winner is Red Lebanese Bekaa Valley. it also is a dark fig, but has a different flavor, also produces breba which the Etna types do not. Cold Hardy too. Also not that cold hardy but does fine in a container in the garage are the black figs. I like these the best. VDB has out produced all my plants, and every single fig ripened this year. Valle Negra, I-258, Petite Negra etc are very similar black figs. I think these do vary a lot in production and growth yet taste fairly similar
Then we have the green figs that have an amber interior. Still looking there, and the green figs that are deep red inside. Many more types that don’t fit these categories like yellows, and small figs like Teramo and others.
I also think you need three crops on some for best taste. I was ready to cut some, this was their third year and the figs were much better. An example was Osbourne Prolific or however you wish to spell. Big and watery the first 2 years, ready to cut, and it was amazing this year with a delicious honey flavor. Much like a Celeste type, but much bigger. I’m keeping it.

1 Like