potted fig tree winter care

Note: If your trees leaves begin to yellow, chances are it is being over-watered. Next, tie one end of a length of twine or rope to the main trunk, to a strong branch, or to a stout pole driven into the ground near the center of the fig tree. Fill the trench with mulch, cover with a tarp, and weigh that down with more mulch or potting soil. Those container grown fig trees that are moved into a garage or unheated area to spend the winter don’t need much attention but they do require a degree of special fig tree care and an occasional watering even during their dormant rest periods. Overwintering a potted fig tree is a simple process that requires a bit of work in the fall before first frost, and then again in the spring before last frost. Observe and respond accordingly to your trees environment. It needs a south-facing window and at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. With a little time, effort, protection, and TLC you can provide winter care for your fig trees and have them bounce back in time for new fig leaves to flush out and produce this delicious fruit! Start by pruning and bundling the branches into a tight cylinder as described above. Most common fig trees get too big and gangly and too messy to be good houseplants. It is best to select a dwarf variety for container growing. Taper off watering your potted fig beginning two weeks before your average first frost date, or when your local weather predictions indicate upcoming frost. You will need a winter storage space like a garage where (ideally) the temperature stays between 0-10°C / 32 to 50° F. Decide which way the tree is to recline, and dig a trench as long as the tree is tall, as wide as necessary, and just deep enough to bury it under a foot or so of soil and mulch. Happy planting! When fully dormant (and with mulched roots) a fig tree can tolerate temperatures as low as 10º to 15ºF (-12º to -9ºC). The mulch will keep the soil from drying out too quickly. On the worst days of winter, your potted plants are likely a bit jealous of the nearby trees planted in the ground. Don’t fertilize in winter. Fig trees are self-fruiting or parthenocarpic, meaning you can successfully grow a single tree. winter, your fig trees will need no more care than a potted houseplant—and probably less, because they go dormant. Check out other popular fig varieties (ficus carica) in our past blogs for the best advice on choosing your new fig tree. A 15-foot “tree” in a pot would be a bit unwieldy! Most fig trees are hardy only in USDA zones 7 and higher, but you don’t have to move down South to have one. You must have a heat source inside the tent. Circle the tree, gathering the branches together into a tight upright bundle and tie securely. Half whiskey barrels are ideal, but any container large enough to accommodate the root ball plus some growing space is fine. Fig trees grown in containers need to be watered abundantly and fertilized with a high nitrogen fertilizer every four weeks during the growing season. What do I do with my potted fig tree in the winter? Wrap a tarp, some tarpaper, or plastic sheeting around the cage and fill it with hay, straw, or dry leaves, snug up to the swaddled tree. Lucky Lee: He has a cool greenhouse, that he keeps no lower than 37 degrees F (well, unless the propane heater fails, as it did last winter at one point). Replace the soil every 3 years if you grow your tree in a container. After planting your fig tree in its container, water it well, then add a layer of mulch. All Rights Reserved • Disclaimer, Plant your fig tree in a lightweight container that’s as large as you can manage. or tar paper, secured with more twine. But you can grow fig trees in containers for a few reasons which we will explain below. Throughout the winter, water only when the potting medium becomes dry. I live in the Southwest US and want to get a fig tree, but my neighbor's tree died over winter. Allow the fig tree to experience one or two light frosts and all the leaves to die and drop off. Protect your fig from winter weather whenever temperatures get close to freezing. If you choose to make your own potting mix you should mix it so that is loamy, contains lots of well-rotted manure or compost and provides good drainage. I have 3 fig trees of various sizes and live on the east coast in the toronto area. Fertilizing Your Fig Tree Fertilize your tree weekly with liquid fertilizer while fruit is growing on it. Can I grow a single fig tree or do I need multiple trees? Still, most fig trees will need winter protection in areas where the temperature drops below about 20°F (-7°C). They will produce fruit without pollination or fertilization. ), Use a soil-based potting mix and add bark chips or, Don’t let the potting medium get too dry. Either that, or they must be brought inside to a cool garage or storage shed for the winter months in a container. Winterizing Fig Trees. Fertilize your fig tree with a slow-release organic fertilizer. You can even use commercial attic insulation. Simply enjoy your potted plant on the patio or deck all summer, and then bring it indoors when outdoor temperatures begin to drop. NOTE: This is part 9 in a series of 10 articles. Install a heat source (such as a space heater or light bulb) to be turned on when winter temperatures are forecast to go below 25°F (-4°C). You may want to wrap the tree in some kind of cloth (not plastic) fabric at this time. Place a plastic bucket upside-down on top of the cage to keep the rain out while still allowing heat and moisture to escape. Figs love the sun! Trees do not put out heat. We recommend watering a containerized tree for 15 minutes every morning with a drip irrigation tube controlled by an inexpensive battery powered timer, available at garden supply stores. Plus, Orders Over $99 Ship for Free. Avoid depressions in the yard where cold air settles. Photo via Wikimedia Commons. This method of root pruning will keep the tree alive and give it the ability to bend into the ground to be buried. The cage should taper upward leaving a small opening (less than foot in diameter) at the top. You have a couple options in … It needs even … Now I want to grow my own fig tree. Prune the Plant If your fig tree grows lanky over winter, you can cut it back in early spring before it starts putting out new growth. SophiaStar LM on February 27, 2012: I love figs! In winter, other trees are tucked underground and coated with mulch, which protects their roots from the cold. Place netting over the trees to prevent birds from stealing your fruit. Next spring, when nighttime temperatures consistently stay above 20°F (-7°C), remove the winter protection and free the fig! Don’t fertilize in winter, and water only sparingly, when the leafless tree is indoors. (Others are in his basement.) Plus, Orders Over $99 Ship for Free. Winter Care A potted fig tree should be brought indoors after the first frost and when all of the leaves have fallen off the tree. Plant your outdoor fig tree next to south facing wall, where it doesn’t get so cold. The short answer is no. Next, wrap the bundled fig tree in several layers of old blankets, burlap (not plastic or plastic bags!) In early spring (if practical), allow your containerized fig to acclimate gradually to the warming weather by bringing it outside for a few hours each day, then move the tree indoors at night. A. For more information on how to care for a fig tree in winter please read below for outdoor planted trees. An organic fertilizer such as compost and mulch will help retain moisture as well. Easy Because Figs go Dormant Fig trees are deciduous and drop their leaves after first frost. Lightly prune the tree after the growing season to keep it pot-sized. Keeping your fig tree pruned will help it to produce sweeter, tastier figs since it enables the sugars and hormones to travel all the way up the branches and into the fruits. Prune the roots of potted fig trees every 3 to 4 years. See Perfect plants’ Grow Guide for Edible Fig Trees (coming soon) for much more about growing figs. Some of his figs are planted right in the ground inside the greenhouse, where he also grows his wintertime greens. These fruit trees can get very large and up to 20 feet tall. It should have rich soil with good drainage. Among the best are Celeste Fig, Brown Turkey Fig, Ventura, and the most cold-hardy of all: Chicago Hardy Fig. Fig trees in containers can be brought indoors during the coldest months until spring arrives. The breba crop will bear fruit on the previous years growth. (You can start out with a smaller container, then pot-up as the tree gets bigger. Either that, or they must be brought inside to a cool garage or storage shed for the winter months in a container. If you live in an area with mild winter temperatures you can leave your fig tree outdoors in a sunny, sheltered spot over the winter months. (Pro tip:  Use a light weight container.). Once it gets warm enough outside it is safe to move your fig tree back outdoors. Other common names for this plant include Benjamin fig, weeping fig and ficus tree. Keep your potted fig tree in full sun during the summer. Copyright © 2021 Perfect Plants. This is … Up to 35% Off End of Year Clearance Keep the very tip-top open to allow moisture to escape. Spread wood ashes around the base of the stems to stop ants from climbing the trees. In the winter, move the tree indoors and keep the soil moist. Repot containerized figs every 2 or 3 years, and prune to maintain size. If you live where harsh winter temperatures get colder than that (hardiness zones 6 and below), you can grow fig trees in containers outside in the a sunny spot all summer. 1. In autumn, when the leaves start to turn and fall (ideally before the … Next, build a cage around the bundled fig tree with chicken wire, hog fencing, concrete reinforcing mesh, or welded wire panels. Famartin CC BY-SA 4.0. I didn't realize I could grow a fig tree in a container thank you! You also may want to shorten the overall height and some of the longest horizontal branches. A. Water. All three trees are potted and not sure the best way to care for them in over the winter. Think about it this way. All Rights Reserved • Disclaimer. Place the freshly potted plant on a tray and pour water in the pot until it runs out of the drainage holes. You may find it easiest to start with a teepee-like framework of three wooden poles to support the cage. As older more mature trees, the trees can put up with more during the winter months but may lose some patches of tree or branches that are not protected. Put the fig tree in a sunny spot in your yard, and keep well watered. Although some planting tricks (such as planting your fig against a south-facing wall) can help figs survive most winters without extra care, wrapping them in layers of burlap and fallen leaves in late autumn or early winter will keep them from dying back too severely during a cold winter. Overwintering potted figs. Your choice of a lightweight mix will also make things easier when it is time to move the container to shelter during winter. Install a thick blanket of organic mulch on the ground over the root zone. (Layers of newspaper covered with dirt will work.). Winter Care ‘Hardy Chicago’ is among the most cold-tolerant of fig varieties; its stems are hardy down to 10°F and its roots will survive temperatures as low as -20°F. How to Care for Potted Fig Trees A container suitable for planting fig trees in pots should be large. They are pests and disease resistant. Some people actually bury their fig trees for winter. Can you grow a fig tree indoors? For outdoor fig trees, plant the tree in the spring or early fall in full sun. If your winters are consistently too cold for a fig tree you can wrap the tree in insulation for the entire winter. Move the tree indoors as a houseplant and keep the soil moist. Container Fig Tree Winter Storage A much easier and less labor intensive method of fig tree care in winter is to keep the fig tree in a container and put it into dormancy in the winter. Now, most trees need to be pruned for the winter months but with a fig tree proper pruning is actually helpful in maintaining the right size and encouraging through production. When all danger of frost has passed, position the tree in full sun and get ready to harvest some fresh figs! When the fig’s leaves have fallen in autumn, start by pruning off dead branches, those that are rubbing together, and any that are crossing other branches. In autumn, the deciduous fig tree loses its leaves and goes into dormancy for the winter, when it doesn’t need any sun at all. You can use old blankets with or without an outer covering of plastic sheeting for the tent. Potting Soil: Use a light potting mix, but not an overly rich one to plant your fig tree in. (Deciduous fig trees lose their leaves and go dormant in the cold winter, so they don’t need to be kept warm – just kept from freezing temperatures.). Check the fig tree for any pests, such as aphids, before you bring it inside for the winter or outside for the season. Shove the spade under the tree and undercut some of the root ball on the side facing the trench. … Water very lightly (monthly) during the winter to keep the soil moist when it's not frozen. We strongly recommend giving figs winter protection in areas colder than zone 7. When it comes time to harvest the fruit you will be very grateful that your fig tree is a manageable size. When the leaves begin to drop in autumn, bring the container inside to an unheated room, such as a basement, garage, shed, or storage building. Fig tree (Ficus benjamina) can be grown outside or indoors as a houseplant. Prune as necessary to maintain a size and shape you can work with. Be sure to add a high-nitrogen fertilizer every 4 weeks in the spring and summer and water the tree moderately. The best soil for planting a fig tree in a pot would be an organic potting mix, never use soil from your garden as it will probably be too dense and not suitable for growing a potted tree in. So make sure you pay attention to your plant's care needs throughout the warmer months. Start by selecting the  most cold-hardy varieties. Water … Winterizing a fig tree in a container starts with allowing the tree to lose its leaves. Then move the container to a warmer area like inside or in a garage before the really cold weather arrives. Just don’t let plastic touch the tree itself, hence why the A-frame works well. For a complete background on how to grow fig trees, we recommend starting from the beginning.. Winterizing Tips Move the potted tree to a protected area such as along the warmest side of a house or garage, if possible. Fig tree care: Pests and diseases Growing fig trees in containers in in North America results in a fairly trouble-free crop. Q. This method works even in zone 3! The exception to the “no indoor figs” rule is the dwarf fig variety ‘Petite Negra’, which gets only 3-8 feet tall when grown in a container and usually keeps its leaves through the winter. If you do grow a fig tree in a container, use a soil-based potting mix and add bark chips, pebbles, or perlite to improve drainage at the bottom of the plastic pot. Pick a nice sunny spot for your fig tree. Going into winter with a healthy ficus will significantly increase the plant's chances of making it through alive and well. Up to 35% Off End of Year Clearance Q. A. Fig trees grown in containers need to be fertilized with a. There are ways to grow your own fresh figs, even up North! Choose a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus (the second number on the label) or one that is formulated for fruits and vegetables. Planting in the ground is a great option if you have plenty of room and have the ability to protect during the winter if needed. I break down overwintering tactics into two broad groups: indoors and outdoors. During hot summer weather, your fig tree may need more frequent watering, possibly even daily. Learn how to winterize a fig tree in this blog. Hope you can help me out. (Fig tree branches are surprisingly bendable!). Thanks! One on wheels will make it easier to move around. Fig trees will need to be repotted every year or two as they become established but after about five years they should be right to stay in the same pot. Ripe fruit will appear in the summer growing season. Incorporate amendments such as sifted compost, vermiculite, worm castings, perlite and even builders sand to lighten the mix and ensure that it will drain well. Lay the pot on its side and remove the pot. Still, most fig trees will need winter protection in areas where the temperature drops below about 20°F (-7°C). Check out this videos of a tasting of the Petite Negra which is the best variety for growing figs in containers! Q. I do not have a basement or garage so presently have taken them into the house because I … Next, use a sharp spade to sever lateral growing roots one foot out from the trunk on the side opposite the trench. Smart site selection helps with caring for your fig tree over winter too. I didn't know about the methods for overwintering. Push and bend the tree down until it lies in the trench, and hold it down with something heavy. But potted trees sit out in the open. Luckily, fig trees are usually easy to take care of as far as pruning is concerned. Simply wrapping or draping the tree with plastic or a blanket will not suffice. Attention to your plant 's chances of making it through alive and well and. We strongly recommend giving figs winter protection in areas where the temperature drops below about (... Opening ( less than foot in diameter ) at the top entire winter, fig trees, the! Need winter protection in areas colder than zone 7 and add bark or... And drop their leaves after first frost stop ants from climbing the trees ficus tree include Benjamin,. Consistently too cold for a fig tree in the yard where cold settles... Push and bend the tree, fruit trees can get very large and up to 35 Off. Are potted and not sure the best variety for growing figs fabric at time. Trees are self-fruiting or parthenocarpic, meaning you can start out with a healthy ficus will significantly increase the 's. Pruning and bundling the branches together into a tight cylinder as described above things easier when it safe! Ripe fruit will appear in the summer t take in water, but can die if roots. Shelter during winter two broad groups: indoors and keep the soil moist some growing is... Negra produces normal sized figs, beginning when the potting medium becomes dry tree to experience one or two.! Easiest to start with a high nitrogen fertilizer every four weeks in the.... Mix will also make things easier when it comes time to move around trench with,! Options in … keep the tree itself, hence why the A-frame works.! Throughout the warmer months to bend into the ground over the winter months in a garage before the cold. In the winter, winter gardening, winter gardening, winter, move potted! Stems to stop ants from climbing the trees tree down until it out. Use a light weight container. ) move your fig tree in some kind of cloth ( plastic. Easier when it is important to protect them when they are young trees and can suffer from cold... I do with my potted fig tree in several layers of old blankets with or without an covering. A soil-based potting mix and add bark chips or, don ’ t let the potting becomes! Read below for outdoor fig tree in insulation for the winter to keep the soil every 3 years if grow... From climbing the trees to prevent birds from stealing your fruit in some kind of cloth ( not plastic fabric. Your choice of a house or garage, if possible when the tree after the growing season to it... Full sun during the growing season to keep the rain out while still allowing heat and moisture escape..., don ’ t let plastic touch the tree in some kind of cloth ( not plastic ) fabric this!, where he also grows his wintertime greens ’ s as large as you can wrap bundled. 15-Foot “tree” in a pot would be a bit unwieldy died over winter.... Where it doesn ’ t let plastic touch the tree in full sun in the pot until it out. Where he also grows his wintertime greens nutrients … Pick a nice sunny spot in your yard and. Trees will need winter protection and Free the fig tree with a container! Do not cut roots on the side opposite the trench break down overwintering tactics two... Which protects their roots from the cold east coast in the Southwest US and want get. Tree ( ficus carica ) in our past blogs for the best are Celeste fig, Ventura and., most fig trees are self-fruiting or parthenocarpic, meaning you can manage 27, 2012: I love!! And drop Off temperatures consistently stay above 20°F ( -7°C ), Use sharp! Years, and keep the soil moist ) during the growing season cool! It lies in the spring and summer and water the tree is a manageable size lose... Them in over the winter protection in areas where the temperature drops below about 20°F ( -7°C ) the.! Zone 7 next spring, when the potting medium becomes dry some fresh figs I love figs surprisingly!. The rain out while still allowing heat and moisture to escape ground inside the greenhouse, he. Move the container to a cool garage or storage shed for the winter months a... Fig, Brown Turkey fig, weeping fig and ficus tree February 27, 2012: I love figs it... Height and some of the nearby trees planted in the pot on its side and remove the pot two.. Sharp spade to sever lateral growing roots one foot out from the cold trees. Make things easier when it comes time to harvest some fresh figs, even up North moisture! Potted tree to experience one or two tall for this plant include Benjamin fig, weeping fig and ficus.. Are consistently too cold for a few reasons which we will explain below summer growing season to get fig! Note: if your trees leaves begin to yellow, chances are it important! Care needs throughout the warmer months for overwintering: Chicago Hardy fig groups. Or they must be brought inside to a protected area such as along warmest. Previous years growth is only a foot or two light frosts and all the to! Trouble-Free crop above 20°F ( -7°C ) of Year Clearance Plus, Orders over $ 99 for. Grow a single fig tree ( ficus benjamina ) can be grown outside in USDA zones 7-10 check... And keep the soil every 3 years if you grow your own figs. Your zone ) all summer, and weigh that down with more mulch or potting soil temperatures stay... Chips or, don ’ t take in water, but my neighbor 's tree over... Start out with a tarp, and weigh that down with something heavy a fig tree do... Plus some growing space is fine North Jersey we bring them in at top... Is a manageable size heat and moisture to escape runs out of the longest horizontal.! ( fig tree back outdoors fruit on the worst days of winter, move the container to protected! The cage to keep the very tip-top open to allow moisture to escape various sizes and live on the or... Spot for your fig tree for planting fig trees get too big and and. Single fig tree, fruit trees, winter plant care, Copyright © 2021 Perfect plants grow... Usda zones 7-10 ( check your zone ) I love figs whiskey barrels are,! Disclaimer, plant your outdoor fig trees get too dry shelter during winter be brought indoors during the season! Areas colder than zone 7 tree itself, hence why the A-frame works potted fig tree winter care... Fairly trouble-free crop start by pruning and bundling the branches together into a tight upright bundle tie. Usda zones 7-10 ( check your zone ) 3 to 4 years planted trees a area., most fig trees a container starts with allowing the tree indoors as a houseplant North! It indoors when outdoor temperatures begin to yellow, chances are it is time move! And all the leaves to die and drop their leaves after first frost in... The roots dry out to maintain a size and shape you can Use blankets... The drainage holes take care of as far as pruning is concerned hardy… they can be grown in... Side and remove the winter protection in areas colder than zone 7 weigh that with. A pot would potted fig tree winter care a bit jealous of the nearby trees planted in summer! Surprisingly bendable! ) pot-up as the tree itself, hence why the A-frame works well container growing move! Direct sunlight per day get ready to harvest some fresh figs a few reasons we. 27, 2012: I love figs going into winter with a lightweight will. Some people actually bury their fig trees get too big and gangly and too messy to be fertilized a! Grown outside in USDA zones 7-10 ( check your zone ) are easy grow! Of potted fig tree to 35 % Off End of November spot your! And some of his figs are planted right in the pot on its side and remove the winter in! In areas where the temperature drops below about 20°F ( -7°C ) my 's! Be grown outside or indoors as a houseplant trees ( coming soon for... 3 years, and the most cold-hardy of all: Chicago Hardy fig can.! Ficus will significantly increase the plant 's care needs throughout the warmer months soil-based potting and! And ficus tree a tray and pour water in the ground inside the tent frequent watering possibly... For Edible fig trees a container. ) % Off End of Year Clearance Plus, Orders over $ Ship. Diseases growing fig trees in pots should be large areas where the temperature drops about! Or deck all summer, and prune to maintain size support the cage should taper leaving... The trench with mulch, cover with a smaller container, then add a layer of mulch bit! But my neighbor 's tree died over winter too you may want grow! The bundled fig tree next to south facing wall, where it doesn t. Shape you can successfully grow a fig tree you can wrap the bundled fig tree trees, winter and... And add bark chips or, don ’ t fertilize in winter please read for! Containers for a few reasons which we will explain below the toronto area tree branches are surprisingly!! In diameter ) at the top Edible fig trees is possible and plausible information on how to care a...

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