Zone 6 figs

I like growing figs, no secret there. As proof of concept you can grow figs in ground in zone 6b with minimal protection, here is my Sal’s with figlets this morning. Also have figlets on Bari and expect them soon on Ronde de Bordeaux.

My in ground figs were covered with about 12-18" of mulch and died back to 6-8" stubs. Low temps of 0 to -1F several nights last winter. I went on a planting spree this spring and have about 15 varieties planted, selected for hardiness and ability to fruit after being killed to the ground.


I have several of the supposed “fruit after dieback” varieties but have been disappointed with the results. I got no ripe figs last summer, on 10 different varieties and I think half I saw listed as fruiting after dieback.

Did you pinch the shoots to get them to fruit?

What kind of Sal’s? Sal’s Gene EL?

Scott: Yes, I pinched the tips a few weeks ago when the branches were at 5-6 leaves. Not sure what varieties you have tried, but here is a spreadsheet I put together last year of hardier varieties with notes about whether or not they can fruit after ground kill: Hardy Fig List. If you check the other sheets along the bottom there are some good lists I’ve compiled from more seasoned growers than I.

Matt: Yes, I have Sal’s GS/EL.


Ampersand: thanks for the list. Very useful as I’m new to figs. Rooted a cutting(brown turkey from a local garden) last year and planted it in the ground. Covered it with a Styrofoam box and some leaves. Survived temp of 1 or 2 degrees so I’m off to a good start.
Edit: Here’s a June 16th picture of the 18" cutting that made it through the winter.


Hope it thrives for you, danzeb! I have some varieties like that.

I book marked your list, very interested to see if you can get ripe figs. I have wanted to try here in zone six sw Missouri but did not want to go to extremes measures to protect the plants or move pots.

Derby, Sal’s and Bari should ripen in 75 to 85 days, so around end of August or early Sept. Check out Ronde de Bordeaux, Improved Celeste, Florea, and Malta Black for hardy, early ripening varieties.


Good to know ampersand, maybe I will try next year

Wow, that looks like a great start for your zone. I’m not quite zone 6, but I’m also hoping I can get away with very little protection and only the occasional big die back to deal with.

I have 4 here in VA which are all supposed to be pretty hardy, 3 of which are in your list. I got 2 in the fall and 2 came dormant during the winter as a trade for some cuttings. I’ve left them in containers this year until I can taste the fruit and than I might decide who gets the better placement in ground.

I have a Celeste, a Sal’s Corleone / Aldo, a Black Bethlehem and a Briguglio (local heirloom type from the Briguglio family). The Aldo and Black Bethlehem where the one’s that came as a trade and I was glad to see the reviews of the taste in your list for the Black Bethlehem, since I hadn’t see to much about it in terms of flavor. Mine was just a rooted cutting last year that I received dormant and put into a 5-gallon pot to grow this year. It has been by far the most vigorous grower of all my figs and is putting out a good crop of figs this year (20+). The Sal’s that was about the same size when I got it is way behind by comparison and doesn’t have any figs yet, but looks like they’ll form soon. If I don’t see any by the end of this week, I’ll pinch it, but I didn’t want to slow the growth too much. The Celesete is about 3 feet tall, has reasonable growth, but has quickly put on about 30 figs, some of which are up to a bit over a quarter in size. The Briguglio is the real unknown in terms of when it fruits and what I should expect. It was the largest when I got it at a local yard sale last year and is about 5 feet tall. I think it is starting to set figs and if it does it is large enough that I should get a good crop. This is supposedly quite hardy and is my only light (green to yellow) fig. I know it is supposed to be capable of Breba, but I saw no signs of that on my small fig. Here is this one’s story.

Keep us updated with all the one’s you are trying.

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ampersand, excellent summary. Thank you ! I grow most of figs in the pots and a Hardy Chicago in ground with winter protection. It usually does not die back to the ground unless a really cold winter. The breba is reliable crop here. Spring fig mostly unripe when the frost comes, pinch or no pinch.


At the moment I have planted in ground: Florea, Sal’s GS, Adriatic JH, Ronde de Bordeaux, Malta Black, Chicago Hardy, Black Bethlehem, Excel, Longue d’Aout, Lyndhurst White, Takoma Violet, Bari, and Marseilles Black VS. Improved Celeste should be coming to me soon from a friend. All but 3 were planted this year (been a busy spring), some were started this year from cuttings and others were from last year and overwintered in my workshop. I have a few others to try in the future

Black Bethlehem has been a strong grower for me, too, I’ll be getting fruit this year for the first time. Bass (the finder) lives kind of near me and said the mother tree did well through last winter which is good news.

My list is by no means comprehensive, just a summary of my reading and research.


I’m growing another 10 or so in pots for brebas, too. Trying to find the best for my area! Most haven’t fruited yet but so far Lattarula is a winner.


I have a Lattarula fig tree bough last year from edible landscaping. I also have Chicago hardy and brown turkey, but Lattarula is the only one gave me some mature fruits. This year, all fig trees died back and I may not expect any fruit.

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I think EL’s Lattarula isn’t that. They say it needs pollination for the main crop, which it should not.

Awesome lists ampersand! Thanks so much for compiling all that info!! Those are very helpful for me, both the fig lists and the persimmon list.

My in ground Hardy Chicago has no fruitlets yet even though I have pinched the top off For me, pinch or no pinch, depends on variety, this one on the picture has not pinched

t all,


My Hardy Chicago and Celeste (called “Celestial” by Rabbit Ridge Nursery of NC) are planted in-ground in front of a south-facing boulder in Zone 6b. I wrapped them with burlap and insulated them with TONS of leaves last fall. They both died to the ground, but eventually re-sprouted from the base. Each has two stems. Each stem finally grew its obligatory five leaves in a whorl. So I pinched their tips today. Here’s hoping for some figlet production…

Glad you can use it! I’m an absolute persimmon novice, so take that all with a grain of salt. I read a lot of GW posts by TonyTran, Lucky_P, and others to compile that.

So did anybody get any fig production from trees that died to the ground this year?
A user on the figs for fun forum sent me a Florea fig cutting. It easily rooted and produced around 20 figs. I was told they would not ripen, but once formed they grew and ripened extremely quick! At least 20 were ripe. The only problem is they really are not that good. Rather bland and tasteless. I’m hoping once the plant matures, it will be better. I plan to keep it in a pot, and take cuttings to plant eventually in ground. All my fig trees in pots lost all of their leaves but florea still has leaves, and I just picked figs this morning.

The plant is starting to lose leaves, but still has some. Again all my other figs have no leaves at all. It has taken 4 or 5 frosts so far.

My other figs are in winter storage already in the garage against an interior wall, which should be the warmest spot in the garage. I will spray with Wilt Stop in December. As you can see the leaves are gone.