Ask a Question forum: Container fig trees for zone 5

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Skokie IL
Nov 9, 2016 6:36 PM CST
I live in Chicago and am looking to grow a fig tree in a container. I am not looking for a 6-7 foot tree! Something bush-like is preferred. Will black mission figs or brown turkey figs be the better choice or it doesn't matter? Can you suggest some online nurseries to purchase a plant? Also I tried rooting a sucker and did not have success. What is the procedure to do this and how long does this take?
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Nov 10, 2016 9:59 AM CST
If you know someone with a good fig tree get a cutting. A heathy branch abuot 3/4" round bout 3 ft. Long. When dormant. Put 2/3 in ground. And remember figs are sub tropical so they need water year round.
Going in pot u may have to make cutting shorter ? So i would say be sure to have 3 leaf nodes in ground and 2 nodes above. And do 2 or 3 in same pot. ("Insurance")
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Nov 10, 2016 6:08 PM CST

The rule for container grown plants is that they must be able to survive temps 2 - 3 zones colder than your zone. Chicago is a little 'banana belt' compared to the rest of Illinois but according to the USDA, you are still in Zone 6 (winter temps get below 0 degrees). If there is a way to haul your fig in for the winter, it would do okay. Figs take well to container growing and can be pruned to maintain a small size. But outside in a pot, I think it will be toast.

I Googled for 'cold hardy figs' and came up with this:

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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Nov 10, 2016 6:15 PM CST
We have a member here on NGA who grows quite a few types of figs.
Let's see if I can get his attention to answer your post.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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Nov 11, 2016 8:20 PM CST
If you are looking for a good fig variety for growing in pots Violette de Bordeaux is a slow grower with a dwarf habit. You'll need to bring your potted plant into a unheated building, shed, or garage over winter. If you leave your potted plant outside it will be a goner in zone 6. If you are going to leave your plant outside you are better off planting in ground against a south facing wall and a variety like hardy Chicago would be your best option.
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