The Q&A Archives: Winter care for fig trees

Question: I received a fig tree this past summer, now that winter is near I know I must protect it. I cannot bring plant indoors. I've received many suggestions on how to protect it, I've becomed more confused. Can you give me any good suggestion.

Answer: Your zip code places you in zone 6A, the coldest part of zone 6. Depending on your microclimate this could actually be as cold as zone 5. This is really too cold for growing figs so it would be best if you maintained it as a container plant and brought it into a protected location such as an unheated garage in late fall every year. If it is still in a container, maybe you have a friend or neighbor who could keep it for you? This would be much better than trying to plant it now, it really is too late in the season for it to have a chance to become well rooted enough before winter and survive the winter -- even if it is one of the hardiest types.

If it is already planted in the ground, the best thing is to check with nearby neighbors and see if anyone has a fig (of the same variety) growing successfully in a similar location (same microclimate meaning same sun exposure and same amount of wind exposure and similar soil) and find out what they are doing and copy it.

If there isn't one, you can try following the directions in the following information sheet about growing figs in the home garden in a colder climate. You may need to cut and paste the complete url to make it work correctly.

Best of luck!

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